Is it a cookout or a barbecue? Get it right, people


Everybody’s fired up about al fresco dining. But before you set the patio table, chill the wine and beer and greet guests, take a minute to figure out what you’re actually doing.

Are you having a barbecue or a cookout? Seriously, what? Because although the terms are used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing — a fact that’s hotly debated.

Last year Eater ran this vote, which seemed to make a geographic distinction between BBQ and cook-out. Most places seem to think that all outdoor cooking is a barbecue, except if you’re in South/Texas, where grilling is a cook-out, barbecue is slow-cooked meat.

Some go even further and insist that it’s got to be pork to be barbecue.

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Barbecue means meat that's slow-cooked.

Barbecue means meat that’s slow-cooked.

Roger Mooking of the Cooking Channel’s “Man, Fire, Food” regards the nitpicking as a surefire sign that BBQ is really thriving and have more than just a moment.

“If you look at any robust cultural aspect, nuance becomes more relevant.”

Then again, he added, no matter what you call it barbecue or cookout “it’s all about good food.”

by Joe Dziemianowicz –