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Vote: Is This a Barbecue or a Cookout?

Let’s end this debate once and for all, America

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Update: Voting has closed.

If an outdoor event with a grill serves meat, but no barbecue, is it still a barbecue? The answer to that might depend on where you live. In parts of America, the word "barbecue" is used loosely. Many people around the states call any outdoor event with a grill a "barbecue," whether or not barbecue — loosely defined as meat cooked with indirect heat — is actually served. But in the South, where folks take barbecue a bit more seriously, if there's no slow-smoked pork, don't think about calling that event a barbecue — you're looking at a "cookout." In some regions, calling cookouts "barbecues" is disrespectful, insulting to a sacred style of cooking that has strict rules and guidelines — at least, that's how some folks feel about it.

Are they right? Are "cookouts" just a Southern thing? Are barbecue-less barbecues a non-Southern thing? We wanted to see exactly where barbecue vernacular falls in the U.S. by mapping our readers' opinions. Help end this debate once and for all. What do you call a backyard event with a grill? Cast your vote — and rep your region — on the map below:

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