Is It Called “Grilling” or “Barbecue”? Turns Out, It May Depend on Where You Live > Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
August 25, 2022

Is It Called “Grilling” or “Barbecue”? Turns Out, It May Depend on Where You Live

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Reveals Which States Say “Grilling,”

and Which Declare “Barbecue”

What do you call a backyard cookout? For years, a debate has often flared up: Do you call it “Grilling,” or is it a “Barbecue”?

Turns out, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), it all depends on where you live.

By definition, according to HPBA, “Barbecue” is the act of cooking low and slow over a number of hours, such as a flavor-dripping pork shoulder in your smoker for half a day at 225 degrees. “Grilling” is cooking fast and hot over direct flame. Think burgers and corn on the cob on a gas grill for a neighborhood gathering.

“Despite the definition – like ‘ketchup’ or ‘catsup,’ ‘sweet potatoes’ or ‘yams,’ ‘coke’ or ‘pop’ – people call it what they want,” said Emily McGee, director of communications for HPBA. “However, also like ‘coke’ and ‘pop,’ we wanted to look deeper and find if there are patterns in where the phrases are used.

“Using Google search data, we found the regional differences are as sharp as the sear marks in a perfectly grilled filet mignon,” McGee added.

·       Most of the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states call it “Grilling”

·       In much of the South and Western states, it’s “Barbecue”

·       The Northeast is firmly in the “Grilling” camp

·       Florida flips the script, calling it “Grilling” despite nothing but “Barbecue” states in its region

·       Only Kentucky and Virginia – holding the line among various regions – show up as equally saying “Grilling” or “Barbecue”

Curious where your state lands? Here’s the full list:

 

· Alabama

Barbecue

· Alaska

Grilling

· Arizona

Barbecue

· Arkansas

Barbecue

· California

Barbecue

· Colorado

Grilling

· Connecticut

Grilling

· Delaware

Grilling

· District of Columbia

Grilling

· Florida

Grilling

· Georgia

Barbecue

· Hawaii

Barbecue

· Idaho

Barbecue

· Illinois

Grilling

· Indiana

Grilling

· Iowa

Grilling

· Kansas

Barbecue

· Kentucky

Tie

· Louisiana

Barbecue

· Maine

Grilling

· Maryland

Grilling

· Massachusetts

Grilling

· Michigan

Grilling

· Minnesota

Grilling

· Mississippi

Barbecue

· Missouri

Barbecue

· Montana

Grilling

· Nebraska

Grilling

· Nevada

Barbecue

· New Hampshire

Grilling

· New Jersey

Grilling

· New Mexico

Grilling

· New York

Grilling

· North Carolina

Barbecue

· North Dakota

Grilling

· Ohio

Grilling

· Oklahoma

Barbecue

· Oregon

Barbecue

· Pennsylvania

Grilling

· Rhode Island

Grilling

· South Carolina

Barbecue

· South Dakota

Grilling

· Texas

Barbecue

· Tennessee

Barbecue

· Utah

Grilling

· Vermont

Grilling

· Virginia

Tie

· Washington

Barbecue

· West Virginia

Grilling

· Wisconsin

Grilling

· Wyoming

Grilling

For tips and recipes for your next grilling or barbecue, visit WhyIGrill.org.

About the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of barbecue, patio and hearth appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education.

 

Related Images

  • Is It Called “Grilling” or “Barbecue”? Turns Out, It May Depend on Where You Live
    • Use Us as a Resource for Stories

      Sign up to receive our press releases and other public statements.