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This is What Every State Would Bring to a Summer BBQ

We found the quintessential summer BBQ dish from every state.

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Friends Friendship Outdoor Dining Hanging out ConceptShutterstock / Rawpixel.com

If America held a cookout, what would each state bring? Our great country is known for its diverse melting pot of cultures, so it’s no surprise that different regions boast different recipes. From sea to shining sea, we found each state’s quintessential summer dish. Make these flavorful recipes at your own summer BBQ to send your taste buds on a cross-country road trip—no toll money required.

Next up: Check out the most iconic ingredient from your state.

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Alabama: Baked Two-Cheese & Bacon GritsTaste of Home

Alabama: Baked Two-Cheese & Bacon Grits

In the South, everyone loves three things: bacon, cheese and grits! After playing around with this recipe, I took it to my first family party as a newlywed, and it was a huge hit. This recipe has become a family tradition that I'm sure will be passed down for generations. —Melissa Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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Alaska: Barbecued Alaskan SalmonTaste of Home

Alaska: Barbecued Alaskan Salmon

We eat salmon all summer long, and this is our favorite way to fix it. The mild sauce—brushed on as the fish grills—really enhances the taste. —Janis Smoke, King Salmon, Alaska.

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Arizona: Arizona Corn BreadTaste of Home

Arizona: Arizona Corn Bread

Unlike other cornbreads, this one uses yeast. With oil and sour cream, this moist, tender loaf has a bit of zip to it from the peppers. —Margaret Pache, Mesa, Arizona

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Arkansas: Apricot Lemonade Iced TeaTaste of Home

Arkansas: Apricot Lemonade Iced Tea

Every special occasion deserves a refreshing beverage (and a lovely punch bowl). Our tea has a tangy flavor from lemonade, apricot nectar and mint. —Kay Chon, Sherwood, Arkansas

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California: California Lemon Pound Cake		Taste of Home

California: California Lemon Pound Cake

Citrus trees grow abundantly in California, and I'm always looking for new recipes which use the fruit from the orange and lemon trees in my yard. This is one of my favorites! My mother passed this recipe down to me. —Richard Killeaney, Spring Valley, California

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Colorado: Green Chili Ribs	Taste of Home

Colorado: Green Chili Ribs

I like my food with a spicy kick; my wife does not. These ribs with green chiles suit her taste. For more firepower, add cayenne or jalapenos. —Guy Newton, Nederland, Colorado

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Connecticut: Bacon Avocado SaladTaste of Home

Connecticut: Bacon Avocado Salad

Everyone in my family loves this bacon avocado salad—even the younger kids! I serve it at pretty much every get-together I've hosted, and at this point, the recipe's been shared too many times to count. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut

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Delaware: Strawberries & Cream Torte	Taste of Home

Delaware: Strawberries & Cream Torte

This festive strawberry summer treat is one of my mom's favorites. It wows guests every time yet is simple to make. —Cathy Branciaroli, Wilmington, Delaware

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Florida: Florida Citrus Meringue Pie		Taste of Home

Florida: Florida Citrus Meringue Pie

Why limit a fantastic dessert to just one kind of citrus fruit? Thanks to orange and lemon, this lovely pie packs a bold sweet-tart flavor! —Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida

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Georgia: Georgia Peach Ice Cream	Taste of Home

Georgia: Georgia Peach Ice Cream

My state is well known for growing good peaches. This delicious recipe has been a family favorite for more than 50 years. —Marguerite Ethridge, Americus, Georgia

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Hawaii: Pineapple Pie with Coconut CreamTaste of Home

Hawaii: Pineapple Pie with Coconut Cream

You’ll find pineapples and coconuts everywhere in the South Pacific, so we play them up in this creamy cool pineapple pie, dolloped with coconut cream. Divine! —Karen Naihe, Kamuela, Hawaii

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Idaho: Grilled Potato Packets	Taste of Home

Idaho: Grilled Potato Packets

Potatoes require a little extra time on the grill, so remember to give these pouches first dibs on the flames. —Anna Bjornn, Rexburg, Idaho

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Illinois: Corn Ice Cream	Taste of Home

Illinois: Corn Ice Cream

You have to give this novel ice cream a try. It’s actually made with corn, sweetly flavored by vanilla extract and maple syrup. I plan to make this surprising treat every summer.—Diana Burrink, Crete, Illinois

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Indiana: Indiana-Style Corn Dogs	Taste of Home

Indiana: Indiana-Style Corn Dogs

One of the best parts of the many fairs and festivals in Indiana is the corn dogs! My family loves corn dogs, so I fix them fairly often at home. —Sally Denney, Warsaw, Indiana

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Iowa: Stuffed Iowa Chops	Taste of Home

Iowa: Stuffed Iowa Chops

Here's a hearty dish for big appetites. The corn and apples make a tasty stuffing for the chops. —Judith Smith, Des Moines, Iowa

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Kansas: BBQ Country Ribs	Taste of Home

Kansas: BBQ Country Ribs

I created this country ribs recipe many years ago when I adapted a sauce I saw in a magazine. The original called for much more oil. I usually triple the sauce and keep some in my freezer to use on chicken, beef or pork. —Barbara Gerriets, Topeka, Kansas

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Kentucky: Root Beer Pulled Pork SandwichesTaste of Home

Kentucky: Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My husband is a huge fan of pulled pork sandwiches, so my sister shared this incredibly easy recipe with me. At potlucks and family dinners, nobody can get enough of this root beer-braised version. —Carolyn Palm, Radcliff, Kentucky

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Louisiana: Cajun Gazpacho	Taste of Home

Louisiana: Cajun Gazpacho

Horseradish, spices and slightly sweet balsamic vinegar give this gazpacho its Cajun flair. Served chilled, it’s one of the best starters you can have in the heat of the summer.—Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana

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Maine:  Blueberry Lattice Bars	Taste of Home

Maine: Blueberry Lattice Bars

Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for new berry recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely, yummy bars won a blue ribbon one year. —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine

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Maryland: Maryland Corn Pops	Taste of Home

Maryland: Maryland Corn Pops

Fresh-picked sweet corn is a big thing in Maryland. Here’s my homespun version of Mexican street corn. —Kristie Schley, Severna Park, Maryland

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Massachusetts: Slow-Cooked Boston Beans	Taste of Home

Massachusetts: Slow-Cooked Boston Beans

These slow-cooked beans have a little more zip than usual Boston baked beans, and the rum helps lighten the flavor. —Anne Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts

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Michigan: Cherry Bars

Michigan: Cherry Bars

Whip up a pan of these festive bars in just 20 minutes with staple ingredients and cherry pie filling. Between the easy preparation and the pretty colors, they're destined to become a holiday classic. —Jane Kamp, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Minnesota: Northwoods Wild Rice Salad

Minnesota: Northwoods Wild Rice Salad

This is my Minnesota version of a vintage German slaw served at church suppers. The wild rice has a nutty flavor that’s perfect with tangy sauerkraut. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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Mississippi: Southwestern Catfish	Taste of Home

Mississippi: Southwestern Catfish

Catfish fillets are rubbed with a blend that includes chili powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne and paprika, then topped with homemade salsa. A green salad, garlic bread and baked sweet potatoes round out the meal nicely. —Bruce Crittenden Clinton, Mississippi

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Missouri: Ultimate Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie

Our family hosts an annual barn party for our close friends, complete with a pie cook-off. A few years ago, this recipe won first prize! —Janice Schneider, Kansas City, Missouri

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Montana: Crispy Fried Chicken		Taste of Home

Montana: Crispy Fried Chicken

If you've wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken! —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana

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Nebraska: Nebraska's Stuffed Beef Sandwiches	Taste of Home

Nebraska: Nebraska's Stuffed Beef Sandwiches

When I moved to Nebraska, I discovered many ethnic foods that I had never heard of before. A friend introduced me to this runza recipe, a German-Russian beef sandwich, and it quickly became a family favorite. —Dolly Croghan, Mead, Nebraska

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Nevada: Orzo Vegetable SaladTaste of Home

Nevada: Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada

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New Hampshire: Homemade Antipasto SaladTaste of Home

New Hampshire: Homemade Antipasto Salad

This colorful antipasto salad is a tasty crowd-pleaser. Guests love the homemade dressing, which is a nice change from bottled Italian. — Linda Harrington, Windham, New Hampshire

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New Jersey: Jersey-Style Hot Dogs		Taste of Home

New Jersey: Jersey-Style Hot Dogs

I grew up in northern New Jersey, where hot dogs with grilled potatoes were born. It's a combo you’ll love. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

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New Mexico: Frito Pie	Taste of Home

New Mexico: Frito Pie

Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic. —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico

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New York: Italian Sprinkle Cookies	Taste of Home

New York: Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Of all the Italian cookie recipes I make, this is my favorite. These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York

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North Carolina: Six-Bean ChiliTaste of Home

North Carolina: Six-Bean Chili

When it's cold and frosty outside this meatless chili is sure to warm you up. It's packed with fiber, protein and flavor. Serve it with sliced avocado. Or add shredded cheese, corn tortilla chips or a side of your favorite cornbread. —Liz Bellville, Jacksonville, North Carolina

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North Dakota: Batter-Up Walleye		Taste of Home

North Dakota: Batter-Up Walleye

Nothing is more rewarding than celebrating the day's catch with friends when you share this fresh dish. Substitute your favorite pan fish! —Alesha Oster, Williston, North Dakota

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Ohio: Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Bites	Taste of Home

Ohio: Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Bites

My son Micah and I love peanut butter cups, so we made them into a new treat. We entered these peanut butter no bake cookies in a creative baking contest and won first place! —Autumn Emigh, Gahanna, Ohio

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Oklahoma: Chili Cornbread Salad	Taste of Home

Oklahoma: Chili Cornbread Salad

A co-worker brought this wonderful dish to a potluck several years ago. She had copies of the recipe next to the pan. Now I make it for get-togethers and also supply copies of the recipe. I never have any leftover salad or recipes. —Kelly Newsom, Jenks, Oklahoma

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Oregon:  Oregon's Best Marionberry Pie

Oregon: Oregon's Best Marionberry Pie

I believe Oregon marionberries make about the best berry pie in the world. And when you add some cream cheese and flavorings, you'll be making the best even better! —Frances Benthin, Scio, Oregon

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Pennsylvania:	 Pat's King of Steaks Philly Cheese Steak	Taste of Home

Pennsylvania: Pat's King of Steaks Philly Cheese Steak

This ultimate Philly cheesesteak recipe is a best-seller at Pat's King of Steaks Restaurant. Patrons praise its thinly cut beef and crusty Italian rolls. —Frank Olivieri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island: Rhode Island Hot Wieners	Taste of Home

Rhode Island: Rhode Island Hot Wieners

Many Rhode Islanders spell wiener with an “ei” and serve theirs “all the way” with meat sauce, mustard, onion and a sprinkle of celery salt. —Karen Barros, Bristol, Rhode Island

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South Carolina: Grilled Chipotle Shrimp	Taste of Home

South Carolina: Grilled Chipotle Shrimp

I created this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo party, and it was a hit! It’s so easy, yet has a serious wow factor. The creamy dipping sauce mellows out the shrimp’s heat perfectly. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina

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South Dakota: Rich Fruit Kuchens	Taste of Home

South Dakota: Rich Fruit Kuchens

This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the "Kuchen Room" for this coffee cake. —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota

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Tennessee: Banana Skillet Upside-Down Cake	Taste of Home

Tennessee: Banana Skillet Upside-Down Cake

My grandmother gave me my first cast iron skillet, and I've been cooking and baking with it ever since. Sometimes I add drained maraschino cherries to this banana skillet dessert and serve it with a ice cream. —Terri Merritts, Nashville, Tennessee

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Texas: Texas Taco Dip Platter

Texas: Texas Taco Dip Platter

When I'm entertaining, this colorful dish is my top menu choice. My friends can't resist the hearty appetizer topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and olives. —Kathy Young, Weatherford, Texas

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Utah: Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies	Taste of Home

Utah: Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies

When my husband wants a treat, he requests these chewy peanut butter honey cookies. —Lucile Proctor, Panguitch, Utah

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Vermont: Chewy Maple Cookies	Taste of Home

Vermont: Chewy Maple Cookies

My husband, Bob, and I have a small sugaring operation with Bob's father. I love to put some of our syrup to use in these golden cookies. —Reba Legrand, Jericho, Vermont

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Virginia: Peachy Jalapeno GuacamoleTaste of Home

Virginia: Peachy Jalapeno Guacamole

Fresh jalapenos and summer-ripe peaches give this creamy guacamole so much flavor. It's got a little kick, but I love that it's not so spicy it burns off my taste buds! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Washington: Washington State Apple Pie	Taste of Home

Washington: Washington State Apple Pie

This pie won Grand Champion in the Apple Pie category at the 1992 Okanogan County Fair. The pie looks traditional, but making your own filling gives it a different flair and great taste. —Dolores Scholz, Tonasket, Washington

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West Virginia:  Aunt Lou's Fresh Apple Cake	Taste of Home

West Virginia: Aunt Lou's Fresh Apple Cake

My Great-Aunt Lou made a luscious fresh apple cake recipe that became a family tradition. My mom makes it for our annual beach trip to the Outer Banks. —Cristy King, Scott Depot, West Virginia

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Wisconsin: Barbecue Brats & Peppers		Taste of Home

Wisconsin: Barbecue Brats & Peppers

We live in brat country, and this barbecue-style recipe feeds a crowd. The sauce gives it a welcome change from the same old grilled bratwurst. — Maria Zrucky, Kronenwetter, Wisconsin

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Wyoming: Wyoming Whopper Cookies	Taste of Home

Wyoming: Wyoming Whopper Cookies

These big country cookies are made to travel—in fact, I came up with this recipe while trying to match a commercial cookie that was good, but too crumbly to carry. —Jamie Hirsch, Powell, Wyoming

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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