It’s almost summertime, and the grillin’ is easy! May kicks off National Barbecue Month, and what better way to celebrate than to cook outdoors and slather on your favorite BBQ sauce? And if you’re not much of a chef, don’t sweat it. Local barbeque joints will be offering a slew of free or reduced-price goodies for the entire month.

Deals and Steals

If you’re in Chicago from May 1-7, then get your napkins ready and sit down for a meal at Porkchop’s West Loop location to get a free quarter slab of ribs. The restaurant will also be giving away a free barbecue pork or pulled chicken slider to every diner throughout the month of May.

You’ll also get a free mason jar of Porkchop’s Chicago style barbecue sauce. And If you’re still hungry, order the barbecue platter with an array of menu items like pulled chicken sliders, ribs and brisket for half-price: just $13 through the end of May.

For Missouri residents, head over to Arcadia Brewing Company in Battle Creek to enjoy a smoked BBQ dinner special every Friday this month starting at 5 p.m. local time. Now that’s sweet!

Not near Missouri or Chicago? Don't fret. 8 MYLES is shipping out a free bottle of its all natural BBQ or buffalo sauce each week for the month of May. In order to be eligible to win one of these delicious concoctions, you must share the Pennsylvania-based company's Facebook status about National Barbecue Month.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

If you’re looking to make your own barbecue sauce, follow this recipe, courtesy of the Neely’s on FoodNetwork. Its sweet tanginess will take any rack of ribs to the next level.


  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon of onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon of ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Homemade Dry Rub

This easy recipe — courtesy of Central BBQ, via FoodNetwork — makes about nine tablespoons of dry rub, which is enough for four servings of ribs.


  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store the dry rub in an airtight container, and pack it on your next rack of ribs.

Other BBQ Recipes

Fire up your grill, smoker or slow-cooker, and try out some of these delicious barbecued meals.

  • This recipe from FoodNetwork’s Tyler Florence for pulled pork BBQ sandwiches is perfect for a summer party.
  • The soy sauce and oyster sauce turn up the flavor in these honey BBQ chicken wings from AllRecipes.
  • You’ll love this classic recipe from the Cooking Channel’s Tiffani Thiessen for smoked brisket.
  • Cook up some barbecued baby back ribs in a pinch with this easy recipe from FoodNetowrk’s Dave Lieberman.
  • For something different, try this quick recipe for BBQ chicken pizzas from Cooking Light.