United Steaks of America: The Ultimate BBQ Roadtrip

Last Updated November 7, 2020
GoShindig is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Though meat consumption across the world has dropped off slightly in recent years, due to the rise of veganism and vegetarianism, Americans still eat more meat per person than almost any other country on the planet.

According to findings issued by Our World In Data, each person in America consumes more than 100kg of meat per year.

As beef consumption in the US began to decline in the 1970s, poultry consumption began to rise and chicken soon surpassed beef as the country’s meat of choice.

We at GoShindig decided to conduct some research and found that there were over 150,000 monthly searches on Google for exotic meats across the US. We set out to find out which exotic meats were the most popular. We then went one step further and found the best BBQ restaurants within each state and mapped out the ultimate BBQ road trip across the US!

United Steaks of America: Goat meat named the meat of choice for a third of states

We researched the different types of exotic meat available within the US and analyzed the monthly search volumes for each meat per state.

Popular BBQ Meat in Each State

Out of the 42 exotic types of meat we analyzed the below 12 were the most popular

BBQ Exotic Meats

Exotic Meat Type Monthly Search Volume Total (US) Number of States Most Popular In
Alligator Meat 12774.92 9
Buffalo Meat 9398.64 5
Elk Meat 9533.63 3
Emu Meat 2599.2 1
Goat Meat 16084.25 18
Kangaroo Meat 2464.79 1
Lamb Meat 5235.62 3
Ostrich Meat 7142.68 4
Rabbit Meat 5926.09 1
Reindeer Meat 778.37 1
Rocky Mountain Oysters 3257.49 3
Wild Boar Meat 3580.68 1

Our data shows that goat meat received the highest number of monthly searches throughout the US and proved to be the exotic meat of choice for 18 states

This was closely followed by alligator meat, which is favored in 9 states and not too far behind was buffalo meat, which came up top for 5 states.

The Ultimate BBQ Crawl

We thought you meat lovers might want to know where you can sample the finest food across the US. So we mapped out the Ultimate BBQ Crawl across the US, listing the highest-rated BBQ joint in each state. The restaurants were ranked according to TripAdvisor ratings and the average price of a starter, a main course and drink.

Showcased in a handy map, you can now see just how long it would take to complete the ultimate BBQ crawl. If you’re a massive foodie or have simply always dreamed of taking a road trip across the US, then our BBQ crawl has it all! Visit the country’s finest BBQ joints, sample some exotic meats, and visit (almost) every state in America.

How long would it take to complete the crawl? The answer, in case you were wondering, is 10 days, 4 hours and 29 minutes.

However, discovering the best BBQ joints in America wouldn’t just cost you time – it turns out you would also need a large amount of spare cash too!

The average cost of ordering food and beverages within each restaurant comes to $14.23 while the cost of fuel adds on another $1320.25 to the bill, totaling $2017.73.

The tour covers a distance of 15454.39 miles, which would take you through every state in America, apart from Hawaii!

Apparently, Alaska is the best place to start, working your way south towards Arizona, before heading up the east coast right up to Maine, and then looping back north-west to the final pit stop in Wyoming.

Our research reveals the top 20 BBQ restaurants in the US

Best BBQ Restaurants

Position State Restaurant name
1st Montana Cherries BBQ Pit
2nd West Virginia Ridge View BBQ
3rd Virginia Mission BBQ
4th Georgia Community Q BBQ
5th Oregon Matt’s BBQ
6th Rhode Island Becky’s BBQ
7th Arkansas Whole Hog Cafe
8th South Carolina Lewis Barbecue
9th Colorado Smokin Yard’s BBQ
10th Nebraska Phat Jack’s
11th Indiana Big Hoffa’s BBQ
12th Oklahoma The Butcher BBQ Stand
13th Arizona Naked BBQ
14th Iowa Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack
15th New Hampshire Smokeshow Barbecue
16th Ohio Eli’s BBQ
17th New Mexico Sparky’s Burgers
18th Pennsylvania Road Hawg BBQ
19th Kansas Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
20th Louisiana The Joint

Montana – Home to the best BBQ restaurant in the US!

Known as one of the top Cowboy states in America, it’s no surprise Montana is home to some of the best BBQ restaurants in the whole country. According to our data Cherries BBQ Pit is the best BBQ restaurant in the whole of the US.

An average meal at the BBQ joint will set you back $11.50 and it seems customers love it too with Tripadvisor data revealing 94% of all reviews are positive.

Ridge View BBQ in West Virginia and Mission BBQ came in a close 2nd and 3rd place.

The full research can be seen here.


United Steaks of America: Using Google search console, we gathered the monthly search volume for 42 exotic meats to find out which was the most searched for in what state across the US.

The Ultimate BBQ Roadtrip: In order to create the roadmap we ranked the top 5 BBQ restaurants from each state to find the top ranking based on TripAdvisor reviews and the average price of a meal including appetizers and a drink.

We then used a route planner, myrouteonline.com, to determine the most efficient driving route in order to visit all of the top restaurants in each state.

The cost of travel was calculated based on the average price per gallon according to globalpetrolprices.com.

Travel cost for 15454.39 miles at 35 mpg with a fuel cost of $2.99 per US gallon total $1320.25

About Brian Hamilton

Brian Hamilton is a BBQ grilling enthusiast and has the expertise and knowledge to have created GoShindig.com. Brian specializes in all methods of grilling and bbq equipment and is a self-proclaimed backyard Pitmaster. Qualified at degree level he gained a BEng Degree in Engineering in the United Kingdom. Brian is a well-traveled and cultured individual and has lived and worked in several countries in Europe and has gained quite a reputation amongst peers for his skills and commitment on the grilling circuit.

United Steaks of America: The Ultimate BBQ Roadtrip

1 thought on “United Steaks of America: The Ultimate BBQ Roadtrip”

Leave a Comment