Verb with barbecue

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Senior Member
Arabic- Egyptian
What is the verb that collocates with barbecue?

We are going to (make/do/other verb) a barbecue at the beach.

Thank you
  • emanko

    Senior Member
    Arabic- Egyptian
    So, this question came up while one of my students was describing his own picture; in the picture , he was holding a fan made of feathers and was cooking the meat on the barbecue grille. So, I asked him," what were you doing?".
    The answer should be: "Iwas having a barbecue."?


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    That might be a reasonable answer, but it's not particularly specific. "Having a barbecue" means roughly the same thing as "having a dinner;" it means to cook and eat food, while socializing with guests. If you're talking specifically about the cooking process, you can just use the verb "barbecue," as in, "I was barbecuing a steak." Also note that there are some who insist on making a distinction between cooking meat on a grill (or grilling) and barbecuing. When barbecuing, one cooks with low, indirect heat; grilling involves direct, higher heat. If that fan was being used to stoke the fire, it probably wasn't barbecue.


    Senior Member
    I hate to complicate things for you, emanko, but this is a little more complicated than I thought at first, and I am pretty sure there are some significant regional differences.

    For me, at least, "Have a barbecue" doesn't just refer to the method of cooking. For me (and I know I'm not the only one), "a barbecue" is a an event - a party, really - that involves cooking outdoors.

    So if I decided to cook out on the beach with just me, or perhaps just me and my husband, I wouldn't call that "having a barbecue." I'd call that "cooking out on the beach." If we had another couple over for dinner and decided to cook out on the beach, that might qualify as "having a barbecue," and if we had a party out there, that would definitely qualify.

    But if it's just one or two people on the beach (or wherever) and cooking their food outdoors, I wouldn't say "I was having a barbecue." I'd say "I was cooking out on the beach."

    It's also possible to use barbecue as a verb, e.g., "I was barbecuing." I don't say this, but I've heard it fairly often.

    (Cross-posted with Juhasz)
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