Fire Up The Grill: What Michigan Loves Eating Most at Cookouts

Summer is around the corner and for millions of Americans that means one thing: Fire up the grill!

Doing an outdoor barbecue is one of the nation’s favorite activities in a backyard, or at a park, or tailgating at the same sporting events that draw action at Michigan sportsbooks.

We decided to go coast to coast with our research and find out which meat was the most popular in each state for grilling over an open flame.

Another summer treat is good for cooling you down after you spend time standing over, or even near, a hot grill. Check out how Michigan ice cream lovers pushed the state toward the top among places that love the dessert treat the most.

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So Many Grilling Options

Some folks opt for a simple, affordable portable grill, usually one that uses charcoal. Others go all out with a name-brand cooker that’s large enough to feed an army – did some comparisons to determine the grills they thought were the best for 2023.

But you don’t have to get too elaborate to enjoy the company of friends, the smell wafting from the grill and the warmer weather that folks can enjoy from the streets of Detroit to the tip of “The Mitten” in Mackinaw City and all the way up to the Upper Peninsula, where the land juts into Lake Superior.

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Favorite Cookout Meat By State

  • Ribs (19 states): Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
  • Hamburger (10 states): Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma
  • Hot Dog (10 states): Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia
  • Wings (6 states): Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania
  • Grilled Chicken (5 states): Hawaii, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont
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Michigan Falls in Line With Popular Choice

GreatLakesStakes, your home for online casino Michigan sites and much more, used Google Trends to determine the most searched main meal in each state at cookouts. We determined this list, based on online search history, of the five most popular cookout foods: Wings, hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and grilled chicken. We took the trends over the past five years, from April 1to Sept. 1 each year, then averaged the results to arrive at our breakdown by state for the most popular grilled foods.

The result? Michigan joined a plurality of states in choosing ribs as the favorite.

In all, 19 states went with ribs, almost twice as many as states that chose two more picnic staples, hamburgers and hot dogs (10 states each). Michigan joined neighboring Wisconsin in choosing ribs as its go-to grilled meat.

Stay with GreatLakesStakes for information on the best Michigan casino bonuses as well as lifestyle stories such as this one, casino coverage and more.


Bryce covers sports betting and gaming for, along with other Midwest states. He joined after spending the last nine years covering high school and college sports throughout Michigan. His favorite sports to gamble on are football, basketball, baseball and Formula 1.

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