San Jose the No. 3 BBQ city in the U.S.? That’s tough to swallow.

When it comes to barbecue, San Jose is no slouch — the Smoking Pig, Blue Rock and Sam’s BBQ come to mind immediately — but the No. 3 barbecue city in the country? That seems like a bit of a stretch, and is sure to get places like Kansas City, Dallas and Memphis fired up.

The dubious distinction comes courtesy of Clever Real Estate, which used data to cook up the list of the top 50 barbecue metros, weighing factors like the number of BBQ restaurants per capita, Yelp reviews, Google searches and cost.

San Antonio topped the list, with Austin coming in second. And then comes San Jose, landing a prime spot that might make people wonder if the tech wizards of Silicon Valley somehow hacked the system. (In Northern California, Sacramento ranked 23rd and San Francisco 30th.)

So why did San Jose get such a highly ranking? Clever gives a shout out to the slow-cooked meats of Smoking Pig BBQ but also says San Jose has a surprising number of barbecue joints, with 5.6 restaurants per 100,000 people. San Jose also ranked fourth in Google search interest for how to barbecue, no doubt due to the seasonable weather that encourages backyard grilling. And it’s apparently a bargain to cook your own in Silicon Valley, the survey says, as buying 4 lbs. of BBQ meat every month for a year costs only 0.21% of a “typical” annual income.

That’s a good thing, too. With everything we spend on housing in San Jose, there’s not much left for BBQ.

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Author: Sal Pizarro