Due to the rampant and still-rising inflation in the United States this year, everything from burgers and hotdogs to steak is still somehow rising in price.

Thanks to the government, your July 4th cookout is going to jump even higher in 2024 than the family cookout did last year, but there is at least one delicious way you can still get your low & slow on without going brisket-broke.

Back in the 1930s, Oklahoma was ground zero for the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. Crops rarely came in, and hundreds of thousands went broke barely staying alive. Meat became as rare as rain. Families didn't have the conditions or economic means to raise their own chickens, hogs, or cattle, so Okies did what they do best... they improvised.

Migrant Family
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Oklahoma's Dust Bowl recipes are some of the most ingenious concoctions the food world has ever seen.

Heard of gelatin ice cream before? Easy to make in the kitchen, cheap on the pocketbook, tastes delicious. The same can be said for working meat back into the family dinner.

While steak, pork, and chicken prices skyrocketed in response to supply and demand, Oklahomans turned to smoking BBQ bologna as their protein. While it may sound disgusting to our modern-day palates, one taste will change your mind forever.

Fried bologna is also ridiculously tasty.


Smoked bologna is one of the Sooner States' signature culinary contributions. It's smokey, tender, easy, tasty, and cheap. Goes great between a few slices of bread and tastes even better stand-alone with a little of Oklahoma's own Head Country Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce on top, but there is a secret to getting the most taste out of your processed loaf of meat...

Anybody who loves BBQ can tell you that the carcinogens is where all the flavor is. Pit-masters call it "the bark," and every person that has ever bitten into it knows that's the good stuff. The mistake most people make when smoking a bologna is leaving it whole, expecting a round tube of meat to evenly bask in the cook. It won't.

Instead, take your bologna loaf and split it right down the middle to make two half-cylinders of meat, then toss it in the smoker to collect all of that delicious bark. Slice it fairly thin, 1/8 of an inch or close to, and serve it up layered like the ideal family Thanksgiving turkey.

Trust me, I'm fat. It's delicious. Get your whole bologna in the deli.

The Top Ten BBQ Joints In Texas

There's so much competition at the top of this list, it'd only be fair if you took a drive to try each and every one.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

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