May 23, 2014 12:11 PM EDT

Few topics inspire as much fiery passion as barbecue. The style may vary across the country, but two ingredients remain the same throughout: smoke and meat, a powerful combination that’s enticed eaters since ancient times. Today, barbecue is a deeply rooted part of American culture, with regional ‘cue preferences speaking to a city’s history, geography and taste.

FOR THE FULL LIST, CLICK HERE.

MORE: 10 Low-Key Cocktails That Are Perfect for Day Drinking

MORE: 5 Flawless Ice Cream Sandwiches That Will Ruin You for Cones

MORE: Best Bacon Burgers in the U.S.

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

You May Also Like
EDIT POST