Is the term BBQ or Cookout?

Vote here for which one it should be, and please tell us in the comments WHY and where you live. :wink:

You’re invited to a backyard…

  • BBQ
  • Cookout

0 voters

I have HEARD from people in the south that it’s VERY incorrect to call it a BBQ, as that is a type of food and not an event. Point taken, but I still call it a BBQ, thank you very much. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :rofl: :joy:

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Raised in Iowa, now in Indiana. I use cookout more frequently…but can’t say I never call it a BBQ!!


I know @BethanySmith …people get really fired up about this! For me it’s always BBQ.

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@Liz I didn’t know you were raised in Iowa. So was I! Where in IA?

Wow!!! I grew up in Ames, then moved to Iowa City for college. What a small world! Where are you from?


Crazy!! I went to junior high and high school in west central Iowa in Manning and I went to college at Buena Vista University.

My dad graduated from ISU. He’s a die-hard cyclone. :slight_smile:

My dad taught Physics at ISU for decades! Then my mom went back to college and got her MFA the year I graduated high school, so she taught at ISU, too.

I had to change my allegiance to the Hawkeyes after I left Ames. Love that we found this connection!!

It depends on what your cooking! If your actually Bbqing it’s a BBQ if your cooking maybe hotdogs it’s a cookout! That’s my 2cents !


@Stevesgrillworld I like it, Steve!

I’m in the South, born and raised, and I like Steve’s definition!


I never heard or used cookout to describe a BBQ, in Canada it 100% BBQ


Both terms can be used interchangeably and it’s really depends on where you are from. However, there are some differences really.

BBQ is an all-day event - it takes several hours or the better part of a day to cook. Think 6-8 hours just for the cooking. This does not include the time it takes to eat and enjoy all of the food! And cookouts are not all-day cooking events. The grilling of burgers and hot dogs can take 15-30 minutes.

The cooking method on cookouts involves fast cooking over a direct flame. The food list includes meats like hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs.

And the cooking method on BBQs involves meats being cooked with indirect heat. You cook meats like pork, ribs, brisket, chicken, even fish. By definition, it should be something more than hamburgers or hot dogs.By definition, it should be something more than hamburgers or hot dogs.

I hear both here in New England but cookout is more common. I tend to agree with Steve!

I do get confused when I see people asking for “BBQ” recipes. I wouldn’t share a basic grilling recipe in response to that, but many do.

I did spend 5 years in KY so may be influenced by the Southern terminology here!

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