Sure, you can run to your local superstore to stock up on shrink-wrapped steaks, ground meat, ribs, and anything else needed for a Fourth of July Alabama barbecue.

But if you feel a patriotic pull to support homegrown businesses and honor the state’s culinary traditions, we have tips for throwing the ultimate DIY Bama barbecue. From meat to smoker grills, state farmers and entrepreneurs produce what you need for a holiday or weekend cookout.

Start with meat raised on a nearby farm, or cut fresh by a local butcher. Alabama’s passion for barbecue also pays off for backyard grillers. Many local joints package and sell their own spice rubs and sauces that reflect regional differences in flavors.

Some restaurants also sell grilling packages like Full Moon BBQ’s Ultimate Flavor Set, combining bottles of red barbecue sauce, Alabama white sauce, seasoning rub, and Full Moon’s famous chow-chow relish.



If your goal is an all-Alabama barbecue, several family-run small farms in the state raise cows, pigs, chickens, and sometimes sheep or goats for meat. They sell directly to consumers at the farm, online, or at pop-ups like the Madison, Pepper Place, or Birdsong farmers markets.

Indigo Ridge (Anniston): Pork, beef, chicken

Sherrill Family Farms (Anderson): Pasture-raised pork and chicken

Shipbrook Farm (Birdsong): Pork, beef, chicken

Stillwater Farm (Pell City): Beef (100 percent grass-fed), pasture-raised pork

Yarbrough Homestead (Montgomery): Pasture-raised pork, ground beef



These hometown meat specialists can help you pick the right cut and quantity for a holiday or weekend gathering. Often you will find house-made seasoning rubs, sauces, and high-end charcoal as well.

Cajun Cleaver (Hoover): Fresh pork, beef, chicken, sausages

Filet and Vine (Montgomery): Prime- and Choice-grade beef

Lad and Dad’s Steak & Seafood Market (Mobile): Steaks, smoked meats, shellfish

New York Butcher Shoppe (Cahaba Heights): Fresh beef, pork, and chicken; frozen sausages and specialty cuts

Rocket City Meats (Huntsville): Fresh beef, pork, chicken, seafood; frozen rabbit, alligator, quail



The next step after sourcing the meat is seasoning it with a dry rub or similar spice mixture. One of the key sources of flavor in barbecued or grilled meat, a good rub blends salty, sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. Some ’cue masters create unique rubs for specific cuts, like pork ribs or pork shoulder butts.

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q (Decatur): Seasoning, Dry Rub

Dreamland Bar-B-Que (multiple locations): Pork Rub

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q (multiple locations): BBQ Rub

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Cahaba Heights): Pat’s Hot Dust, Season’d Salt, Dixie Rub, Big Hoss

Pilleteri’s (Mr. P’s Deli in Hoover): Rub A Butt, Sweet Rub A Butt, Bold and Spicy, Cajun, Italian, Greek, Lemon Pepper, Mexican, Liquid Marinade

Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ (Homewood, Trussville): Rib Rub, Hog Rub

Saw’s BBQ (multiple Birmingham locations): Rub



Whether you want to smoke pork and brisket for a crowd or gear up for a barbecue competition, find equipment made close to home by these manufacturers.

HBT Smokers (Guntersville): Makes large smokers, custom fire pits, and food-dispensing trailers

Black Warrior Smokers (Snead): Manufactures and sells both standard and custom-built smokers that are popular among competition cooks, caterers, and restaurants


Barbecue sauces vary among regions. Vinegar is more pronounced in west Tennessee and the eastern Carolinas, while tomato-forward potions from Alabama and Georgia offer varying ratios of sweet and heat. Yellow mustard shows up in sauces from North Carolina’s mountains and South Carolina’s Lowcountry; it also flavors and helps color Dreamland’s sauce.

Of course, north Alabama’s contribution to the barbecue canon is a tangy white sauce, originally created for chicken but now used to slather just about anything cooked with wood.

Find these branded barbecue sauces at the restaurant or its online store. To compare sauces from multiple restaurants, head to groceries like Piggly Wiggly or the Alabama Goods stores in Homewood or Huntsville (it also sells online). Some sauces are available by the gallon. In the list below, when a company carries more than one sauce, the style is noted in parentheses when needed.

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q (Decatur): Original White, Championship Red, Habanero Red, Backyard Mustard

Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q (Bessemer): Barbecue (central Alabama red)

Dreamland Bar-B-Que (multiple locations): BBQ sauce (mustardy)

Full Moon Bar-B-Que (multiple locations): Classic BBQ sauce (red), Alabama White

Golden Rule Bar-B-Que and Grill (Irondale): No one has been around longer than Golden Rule in Irondale. Original, Rib Glaze, White, Golden (mustardy)

Jim N Nick’s Bar-B-Q (multiple locations): Original Bar-B-Q (red), Habanero Bar-B-Q, Morgan County White

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Cahaba Heights): Jack’s Creek Bar-B-Que (west Tennessee style), Alabama White, Sweet Dixie (classic red), Devil’s Nectar (spicy)

Moore’s Marinades and Sauces (Birmingham): They are billed as “wing sauce” but are commonly used to flavor and tenderize grilled beef, pork, and chicken, too. Two, Honey BBQ and Asian Teiryaki, are particularly suited to grilling or smoking.

Pilleteri’s (Mr. P’s Deli in Hoover): BBQ, White

Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ (Homewood, Trussville): Rodney’s (east Carolina), Rodney’s Other (red), Kathy’s (sweet), White

Saw’s BBQ (multiple Birmingham locations): Red (North Carolina)