These 2 Meats Almost Tied For Your BBQ Go-To, According To New Survey

Meat lovers, unite. Just in time for the Fourth of July, brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage, and chicken rank among barbecue essentials, according to a Tasting Table barbecue meat survey. Over 600 people responded to the questionnaire, proving that summer is truly optimal for barbecuing — which is not to be confused with grilling.

Indeed, now is the time to stock up on charcoal and your favorite marinade. Before you settle on a recipe, however, make sure you've considered all the options. Every state has its own style, not to mention technique. Are you grilling basic burgers or trying a slow-cooked brisket? How about whipping up a Kentucky-style Worcestershire sauce?

With so many choices, it's tough to go wrong. But, as the survey says, two meats reign supreme. In fact, only one vote separated the top two barbecued meats, so turn on a summer playlist and pick up your spatula. These meats were made for grilling.

Summer tastes like chicken — and ribs

Chicken took the title of most-beloved barbecue meat, with ribs closely behind. Of the people surveyed, 31.95% favored chicken, whereas 31.79% couldn't say no to ribs. How's that for a close call?

Yet even with nearly 32% — which equates to 200 people — voting in favor of chicken, there is still room for variation. According to Food & Wine, chicken is among the most versatile of grilling options. To pull off the ultimate barbecue, check out our tips before bringing your chicken outside.

Following chicken and ribs was pulled pork, which accounted for just under 15% of the vote. Brisket (14%), then sausage, took fourth and fifth. Yet while sausage was the least-preferred barbecue meat, it still amassed over 7% of the vote — and pairs with peppers and onions like nothing else.

Evidently, any meat you choose will be in good hands. Just remember to let fast-cooked meats rest. If you cut into your chicken or steak fresh off the barbecue, its juices will drip out and onto your plate, says Serious Eats. Give meat time to sit so its juices stay put, creating that optimal bite.

While you wait for your meat to rest, skip on over to the side table. A May Tasting Table survey named baked beans the top barbecue side, but grilled corn, macaroni and cheese, and watermelon make for the ultimate well-rounded meal. Offer your guests ample sides, and the question of chicken or ribs may no longer matter.