The good news: Newark was named one of the top cities to grill in the country by food magazine Chef’s Pencil.

The bad news: the entire list is likely wrong.

May is national barbecue month. To celebrate, Chef’s Pencil used Tripadvisor reviews of BBQ areas in the country’s 75 largest cities to create the list. The cities were then ranked according to the average rating of their grill restaurants.

According to the publication, data has been phased out on more than 2,020 grill restaurants with at least five online reviews.

New Orleans was ranked the best barbecue town in the country, and Fort Worth, Texas came last. Newark came in at number 9.

98913. NEWARK, NJ 03/07/2012.  DINOSAUR AMERICA'S TALENT: Grilled dishes made from brisket and ribs, served with turkey neck greens, macaroni and cheese;  shown with sweet tea and lemonade at the Dinosaur BBQ in downtown Newark, next to the Prudential Center.  Carmine Galasso / employee photographer

Removed from the list barbecue superstars such as Kansas City, Memphis and Austin, causing outrage among barbecue enthusiasts. Even Tripadvisor distanced itself from the list.

“Tripadvisor is unrelated to this BBQ study presented by Chef’s Tab. In fact, we have concerns about the use and presentation of Tripadvisor data within the study, including how cities were ranked against each other,” said Elizabeth Monahan, a Tripadvisor Spokeswoman said in a statement to the US TODAY.

Despite the controversy, we would like to take this opportunity to boast about Newark.

Probably contributing to Newark’s high position on the list are restaurants like McWhorter Barbecue, a popular Portuguese churrascaria spot. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which hurls the old school south grill just steps from the Prudential Center; Elm Street Barbecue, a small Portuguese restaurant with bare bones; and Wilson Ave. BBQ, known for its juicy grilled chicken.

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The list can be utter nonsense. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a killer grill in Brick City.

Here are the results from Chef’s Pencil’s list:

Top cities for grilling in the US with rankings

  1. New Orleans, LA: 4.31
  2. Oklahoma City, OK: 4.26
  3. Charlotte, NC: 4.25
  4. Wichita, KS: 4.25
  5. Virginia Beach, VA: 4.25
  6. Columbus, OH: 4.24
  7. Seattle, WA: 4.23
  8. St. Louis, MO: 4.21
  9. Miami, FL: 4.18
  10. Newark, NJ: 4.18

Worst cities for grilling in the US with rankings

  1. Anchorage, AK: 3.60
  2. Plano, TX: 3.82
  3. Boston, MA: 3.82
  4. San Antonio, TX: 3.86
  5. Aurora, CO: 3.90
  6. Jacksonville, FL: 3.92
  7. Houston, TX: 3.93
  8. Philadelphia, PA: 3.93
  9. Omaha, NE: 3.93
  10. Fort Worth, TX: 3.94

Rebecca King is a food writer at If you want to learn more about where to eat and drink, subscribe today and subscribe to our North Jersey Eats newsletter.

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