Why Barbecue Is A Staple In The South
Food & Drink

Why Barbecue Is A Staple In The South

Barbecue is more than just a way of cooking meat; it’s a cultural institution in the South. From Alabama to Texas, barbecue is a beloved tradition, with each state and region having its own unique take on the dish. In this blog post, we’ll explore five reasons why barbecue is a staple in the South. 

1. Tradition and History 

Barbecue has been a part of Southern culture for centuries, with roots that can be traced back to the indigenous people who used to smoke and cook meat over an open flame. As European settlers arrived in the South, they brought with them their own methods of cooking meat, which eventually blended with the techniques of the indigenous people. The result was a unique style of cooking that has been passed down from generation to generation, becoming a treasured tradition in Southern households. 

One example of a barbecue restaurant that embodies the tradition and history of Southern barbecue is Lawlers BBQ near Killen, Alabama. Lawlers BBQ has been serving up some of the best barbecues in Alabama for years, with a menu that features all the Southern staples like ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. The restaurant is a testament to the long history of barbecue in the South and the pride that Southerners take in their culinary heritage. 

2. Socializing and Community 

In the South, barbecue is more than just a way of cooking meat; it’s a reason to gather with friends and family. Barbecue pits and smokers are often the focal points of backyard parties and community events, where neighbors come together to share food, stories, and laughter. 

This social aspect of barbecue is especially evident during the annual barbecue festivals that take place throughout the South. These festivals celebrate the best of Southern barbecue, with live music, games, and of course, plenty of delicious food. For many Southerners, attending a barbecue festival is a way to connect with their community and celebrate the unique culture of the South. 

3. Flavor and Variety 

One of the most appealing aspects of Southern barbecue is the variety of flavors and cooking techniques used across the region. From the sweet and tangy sauce used in Memphis-style barbecue to the dry rubs and slow smoking techniques used in Texas-style barbecue, there’s something for every palate. 

At Lawlers BBQ, for example, they offer a range of sauces to suit different tastes, from the sweet and spicy Original BBQ sauce to the tangy and vinegar-based Carolina-style sauce. This variety of flavors and cooking techniques ensures that there’s always something new to discover and enjoy when it comes to Southern barbecue. 

4. Pride and Identity 

For many Southerners, barbecue is more than just a food; it’s a symbol of their identity and pride in their region. Barbecue is often seen as a way to showcase the unique culture, history, and flavors of the South, with many restaurants and pitmasters taking great pride in their recipes and cooking techniques. 

This pride in Southern barbecue is evident in the numerous competitions and cook-offs that take place throughout the region, where pitmasters compete for the title of the best barbecue in the South. These competitions are a testament to the passion and dedication that Southerners have for their barbecue and the lengths they’ll go to perfect their craft. 

5. Accessibility and Affordability 

Finally, another reason why barbecue is a staple in the South is its accessibility and affordability. Barbecue is a simple and straightforward way of cooking meat, which means that it’s accessible to everyone, regardless of their cooking skills or budget. 

Many Southern barbecue restaurants, like Lawlers BBQ, offer affordable prices and generous portions, making it a go-to option for families and individuals looking for a filling and delicious meal. The accessibility and affordability of Southern barbecue ensure that it remains a staple in the Southern diet and a popular choice for people looking for comfort food


Barbecue is a cultural institution in the South for many reasons, including tradition and history, socializing and community, flavor and variety, pride and identity, and accessibility and affordability. Whether you’re a lifelong Southerner or a newcomer to the region, experiencing Southern barbecue is a must-do activity. And if you’re looking for some of the best barbecues in Alabama, be sure to check out Lawlers BBQ near Killen, where you can taste the rich history and tradition of Southern barbecue in every bite.