A few years back, Sweet Man and I went to visit my childhood friend Tracy in Juneau, Alaska for her wedding. For the rehearsal dinner we were told that we would be having BBQ or maybe that we would go to a BBQ.
However when we got to said dinner, there we found Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. I don’t think I noticed or had thought much about the menu of this event, but my Southern born and bred country boy husband sure did. “Where’s the BBQ?” he asked, looking around the deck. And then it hit me. BBQ. This was not a BBQ as he understood it. This was a cookout. I was recently reminded of this little regional linguistic snafoo when I saw the commercials for Burger Kings Summer BBQ menu. Only one of their items would qualify as a BBQ dish here where we live. “Scandalous!” I thought. “False Advertising!” I hollered at the television screen. This confusion over what exactly BBQ means could no longer stand. I had to act. And quickly.
So, as a public service announcement I thought I would clarify some terms when it comes to outdoor cooking.
Exhibit A: The Cookout
Hot dogs and hamburgers. The occasional kielbasa.
Low budget, kid friendly, little to no prep work.
By the far the easiest option.
Exhibit B: Grilling
Steak, Shrimp, Chicken, Veggies and Fruit
Whole or kabob style.
May involve a light marinade or seasoning.
More prep work, more expensive cuts of meat.
My personal favorite.
Exhibit C: BBQ
Pork, Beef, Chicken
Coleslaw is a condiment
Most often served as ribs or “pulled” sandwich style.
Sauce and fat are essential
Slow cooked in a smoker (authentic) or slow cooker (cheating.)
(Click pictures to find source)
So there you have it. A cook-out, grilling and bbq. Not the same things at all, right?
Or maybe that’s just how I see it….
Hahah! Score one for regional dialect!
I am from your region! Bar B Q involves lots of time spent around the pit!
Patti @ Pandoras Box says
Love this post! So true (and I am from up north!)
BBQ is a noun means one thing in NC. Pork. We like to grill out and cook out too.
tracy @mamacreates says
ahem, childhood friend Tracy here, and don't ya'll be makin' fun of our “bbq'ing” 🙂
Ya'll just go drink your “coke” (aka, pop, or soda to us Northerners), and drink your sweet tea, whatever THAT is, but it is apparently NOT the same as iced tea, and we'll just be here drinking our locally brewed beer while eating halibut caught the day before….cooked outdoors on the grill. And no, there won't be any bbq sauce 🙂
All teasing aside, Miss J is quite correct. AND, thanks to my two bff's southern-bred husbands, I DO know the difference between grilling & bbq'ing 😉
But yes, to us, a “barbeque” is an outdoor event…. a gathering, where there will be food cooked on a grill (most likely propane, but those who know better grill with charcoal or wood chips, duh) or on an open fire if said barbeque is at the beach (HA! We have miles of beaches, ARKANSAS!), that may or may not contain some form of meat slathered with a bbq sauce….from a JAR!
Now, to be fair, there are a few Yankees, my brother included, who do know how to do ribs up right….probably because he was taught by Miss J's Sweet Man 🙂
love & miss you, chica!
Ha! I never really thought about what the difference was between a cook out and rilling . . . but I totally know what you meant. I guess I just always thought it was understood being Southern. Kind of reminds me of my friends debating the difference between a swig and a gulp.
Yes, I've noticed it to mean different things in different parts of the US. My California friend says bbq to mean cookout. Bet she's never tried the yummylicious pork version. Yes, bbq is def. a noun, NOT a verb!!
California girl here. A cook-out is only for camping, BBQ involves hamburgers and hotdogs 🙂