Cue the BBQ: World’s Largest Chicken BBQ Returns This Weekend

by Lauren Boisvert

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is gearing up for their annual chicken BBQ, which just so happens to be the largest in the world. The BBQ kicks off this weekend and supports Long’s Park, 80 acres of lush, green park that Lancaster residents love.

Storms hit the park in May, felling over 80 trees and destroying a pavilion. Funds raised from the BBQ will go to replanting trees, fixing the pavilion, and to general park maintenance.

The chicken BBQ has been going on for 68 years, but the event was dearly missed last year, when the pandemic forced organizers to reschedule. Now the chicken BBQ is back, and residents are prepared.

15,000 chicken halves are prepped, with volunteers spraying the chicken with “special sauce” as they cook. Along with benefiting the park, the funds from the BBQ benefit the Blessings of Hope Food Bank.

BBQ Ribs from the Oven?

Don’t be so skeptical. I know, we have to smoke ribs for hours to get that succulent, fall-off-the-bone flavor and texture, right? How about ribs from the oven? Don’t believe me? Believe home chef Debi Morgan, who perfected the recipe for BBQ ribs in the oven.

Morgan shared her recipe with food blog Quiche My Dish, where she laid out ingredients and gave her insights into oven BBQ. “If you’re like me and don’t have a large smoking device, this oven recipe is for you. Fall off the Bone BBQ Ribs is an alternative way to make your favorite barbecue dinner,” she wrote. “For those who live in an apartment or community that doesn’t allow smokers or grills, this oven method creates ribs that you’ll be proud to serve.”

Morgan also includes a recipe for a dry rub, but says, “As long as you add brown sugar to the mix, a little heat and a good amount of salt & pepper, life will be good.”

The ribs bake at 350 degrees for just 2 hours, and then at 275 for another 2; much quicker than the 12-hour smoker. If you don’t have all day to make ribs, this is a great alternative recipe. With the ribs done, slather on your favorite BBQ sauce and let them sit for 15 minutes to soak up all that smoky, tangy goodness.

Pair with potato salad, mac and cheese, and coleslaw for a classically Southern dinner that will even impress your in-laws. A rib dinner is great for summer and backyard parties, but it’s also great as the weather gets colder. Nothing says winter weather like leftover BBQ rib meat over hot, cheesy grits, you know what I’m saying?