We know you love it, but how much do you really know about barbecue? From its history to goofy facts, there’s a lot to know when it comes to grilling. In honor of kicking off the Summer season (a.k.a barbecue season), we’ve narrowed down some of our favorite BBQ’n facts. Take notes — you’ll never know when they may come in handy:


  • The origin of the word “barbecue” is up in the air, but a common theory is that it originated from the word barbacoa, which was used in the Caribbean to refer to the slow-cooking of meat over wood. Sounds pretty accurate to us!

  • The biggest barbecue competition is said to be the American Royal World Series in Kansas City, MO, with over 500 teams competing and over 70,000 loyal spectators. Unsurprisingly so, they claim to be the Barbecue Capital of the World, though Memphis, TN and Lexington, NC also like to boast the title. (Pssst… keep up with our events and local competitions here!)

  • Baby-back ribs were named as such because they’re shorter than spare ribs, not because they come from a baby animal. The more you know.  

  • The first barbecue at the White House was hosted by Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960’s, Texas-style. Since then, many Presidents have thrown their own massive barbecues for guests.

  • Oklahoma has the most barbecue restaurants per capita, but Texas is home to the most BBQ restaurants in the USA overall with 3,000 plus. That’s a lot of barbecue!

  • The wood used when grilling has an impact on your BBQ’s overall flavor. Learn more about our tips when it comes to wood pellets here.

  • Your favorite fast food joint was originally a barbecue drive-in. Yup, McDonald’s was once known as McDonald’s Bar-B-Q, which closed and was later rebranded to the McDonald’s we all know today.


Whether it’s trivia night or you just want to show off what you know, keep these BBQ facts in your backpocket this summer. In the meantime, brush up on your cooking skills with our premium grills, BBQ tools and accessories here: https://www.bbqislandinc.com


Sources: https://www.jamesbeard.org/education/eat-q-test-barbecue-answers

https://www.buzzfeed.com/tgifridays/delicious-facts-to-raise-your-bbq-iq?utm_term=.rhbeeXKLv4#.qg7EE8Mv0A

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/what-you-don-t-know-about-barbecue