Summer is a great time for a backyard barbecue (that’s BBQ for short)! It’s an age-old American tradition that’s not only enjoyed in Southern California, but all over the entire country. Every region has their own, unique style. It’s always a huge argument over which is the best or most “authentic” version! Why not travel around the USA and find out what your favorite is? Below you’ll find some useful vocabulary so you can fire up your own grill!
Barbecue: an event, meal, or style of cooking meat or vegetables (and sometimes fruit) over an open fire or grill. It can also be used as a verb.
Flames: the fire that comes from underneath the grill grates, usually from gas.
Charcoal: the small, black pieces of coal lit to start a fire.
Embers: the hot pieces of charcoal that have been left to burn and heat up.
To fire up the grill: to light the fire in the grill so it begins to heat up.
To cook out: to cook or barbecue food outside, typically in your backyard.
Skewer: a long, thin stick, usually metal but sometimes wooden, with which you pierce smalls pieces of meat or vegetables in order to cook them
To marinate: to soak meat or vegetables in a sauce of oil, an acid, and spices to tenderize and flavor it.
To sear: to initially cook meat with very high heat to seal in the juices.
Grill marks: the dark lines on meat and vegetables that result from cooking in contact with the grill grates.
To flip: to turn over a piece of meat, for example a hamburger.
Spatula: a tool used to flip hamburgers
Rare: lightly cooked, cold and red meat in the center, with a very soft texture.
Medium-Rare: center of meat is warm and reddish-pink, slightly firmer than rare.
Medium: center of meat is pink with a medium firm texture.
Medium-Well: center of the meat has a little bit of pink and is mostly firm.
Well Done: The meat is firm with no pink in the center and is a brownish-gray color
Overdone: The meat is very tough and firm without much flavor. It has been cooked too long