Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Fire Up the Grill! English Vocabulary Words for a Barbecue

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 @ 07:05 AM

English Vocabulary for a barbecueSummer is barbecue season in the United States.

Have you been invited to a barbecue?

If so, it's a great idea to take a moment to brush up on your English vocabulary and learn some new words that you can use at the event!

In today's lesson, you will learn everything you need to know to have a good time with your friends around the grill.


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1) Barbecue: An event, meal, or get together with family or friends.  Meat (usually fish, hamburger or steak) is cooked on an open fire or a portable grill.

My friends are having a barbecue next weekend. You should come!


2) Flames: A large eruption of fire that is usually created with gas on the grill.friends having a barbecue

When Joe put sauce on the meat, the flames erupted from the grill.


3) To marinate: To soak meat in a sauce of oil and spices before putting it on the grill in order to give the meat more flavor.

We should marinate the steak to make it taste better before we cook it.


4) To fire up the grill: To start the grill (outdoor stove)

Why don't you come over this weekend and we'll fire up the grill?!


5) To grill out, to cook out, to have a cookout: To have a barbecue with friends or family

We had a cookout last weekend on the beach.


6) Skewer: Pieces of meat and vegetable, held together with a metal stick, seasoned with spices and sauces and cooked on the barbecue

We put the vegetables and tofu on a skewer, soaked them in olive oil and threw them on the grill.


7) Meat temperature: English vocabulary words for meat temperature

  • Rare= Cooked lightly, cold and red in the center and soft
  • Medium Rare=Slightly firmer than rare, center is warm and red
  • Well Done= Meat is firm, color is brownish grey
  • Overcooked=Meat is has been burnt, color is black


8) Burnt to a crisp: Overcooked food on the grill. This expression could also be used when someone gets a bad sunburn.

We left the hamburgers on the grill and went to play baseball. When we came back, they were burnt to a crisp.



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Photo credits:mk30, Siddhartha Varshney Blank Faces, Tom Spaulding

Topics: English Lessons, Daily Life in the US, Vocabulary Workshop

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