Monday, May 31, 2010

Cookout vs. Grilling vs. BBQ

As the summer approaches, outdoor cooking and eating is more prevalent. Recently stated to me, "what the South calls Grilling, the North calls BBQ" made me wonder what exactly each mean. Now, a cookout seems to cover all. The meal is prepared outdoors using heat supplied via gas, charcoal, or wood, followed by consumption outdoors too. 
Grilling adds specifics to the way of cooking, differentiating from open pit and campfire. There are gas grills, charcoal grills, and smoker grills with wood smoke boxes. To me, this isn't a BBQ.
A BBQ is an event, it includes grilling (ribs, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers), eating outdoors, family, friends, music, games, joy and laughter.

Yesterday we had a BBQ.  Hubby grilled several slabs of ribs, sausages, hot dogs, and chicken. Also he prepared his "original" baked beans and BBQ sauce, while I prepared the cole slaw and managed the cleanup as-you-go.  We hung out in the garage where the kids went back and forth from sitting with us and playing games to frequent bike rides.  The garage was convenient for protection from the scattered rain showers we had all day. For some, this may be called a BBQ, but for me, the addition of music tops off the definition.  Music can be live, cd, mp3, or even streamed as we did.  But the significance is how the music was provided.  Hubby ran new speaker wire from his amp to an old speaker, piping the music streamed from Pandora through my phone connected to the amp and the indoor speakers and now outdoor speaker in the garage.  Later in the day, a neighbor and his dog joined us to finish off the day.

Now that is what a BBQ is to me.  What does it mean to you?


  1. You hit it on the head when you said a bbq is an event. Ain't nothing like a good one.

  2. Y'all were doin' it!

    I agree. BBQ is an event. Grilling is a way of cooking food - usually quickly via gas and includes steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers,etc.
    For BBQ as a cooking technique or description of food - you gotta have ribs or other slow cooked meats via smoke from charcoal or wood.

    As an event - BBQ includes the slow-cooked meats. Grilling includes the quick-prepared items. A party, music and socializing are included in all of the above.

    Every chance I get, I try to do one of them.

  3. Yep, a BBQ can be an event where you use gas and charcoal barbeques to GRILL, but the food that results from the grilling can also be called BBQ. Well, it can mean a lot of things, but barbeque is barbeque! It's the most delicious kind of food in the world, and grilling is the best way to cook. My family goes gaga whenever I announce that I'm gonna use our charcoal bbq to cook our next meal. We just love it a lot!


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