Barbecue vs. Barbeque

Between barbecue and barbeque, the correct standard spelling of the word is “barbecue” – the one spelled with the letter “c.” Barbecue is the only correct and standard spelling, and it’s used as a noun or a verb related to cooking food over an open fire. In contrast, barbeque is only considered a second and acceptable variant of barbecue, alongside bar-b-cue, bar-b-que, and BBQ (abbreviation of “barbecue”).

Additionally, most people, including English writers, use barbecue instead of barbeque. Therefore, use barbecue instead of barbeque, especially in formal writing.

When to Use Barbecue

We use barbecue as a noun or a verb. As a noun, barbecue means a way of cooking where meat is cooked on a metal frame over fire. It’s an outdoor meal, usually a form of social entertainment. The term also refers to the metal grill for cooking such a meal, or the food itself, specifically the strips of meat.

Moreover, barbecue can also refer to a gathering around food cooked this way. The word’s origin comesfrom the Spanish word barbacoa, a word for a wooden structure.

Barbecue as a Noun

A meal or party where meat is cooked on a grill

We had a barbecue for my friend’s birthday celebration.

Amelie wants to have a barbecue with her whole family.

Having a barbecue party is very popular these days.

Meat cooked slowly on a grill

After work, sometimes I invite someone over for beer and barbecue.

I prefer barbecue over pasta.

A metal frame for cooking food

It’s hard to clean the barbecue grill after cooking.

They need some charcoal for the barbecue.

For some reason, they need some cord attached to the barbecue grill.

Barbecue as a Verb

To cook meat on a metal frame over fire

I like to barbecue some burgers and chicken.

When camping, it’s fun to barbecue pork belly.


When to Use Barbeque

Barbeque is a secondary and non-standard spelling of barbecue. It appears especially often in the names of restaurants and products. According to Merriam-Webster, it’s less commonly used compared to barbecue. Other variations include bar-b-cue, bar-b-que, and BBQ. The word barbeque has gained popularity over the last few decades, but overall, it is still far less common than barbecue.

Barbeque is a Variant Spelling

Dickie’s Barbeque Pit is one of the famous barbecue restaurants in Texas.

After a long day at work, the council would like to barbeque some pork and lamb.

Barbecue vs. BBQ

Is “BBQ” wrong? Short answer: no. “BBQ” is just the written abbreviation for the word “barbecue,” according to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. The term is formed from the sounds of the word “barbecue.” While it’s not incorrect, it’s also not a whole word; it’s a shortened version of the word. Therefore, it’s best to stick with barbecue, especially in formal writing.

Barbecue vs. Barbeque: Which One Is Correct?

The correct and only standard spelling of the word is barbecue, not barbeque. While barbeque is not entirely incorrect, it’s only a second and non-standard variation spelling of the correct word, “barbecue.” Other variations such as BBQ, bar-b-cue, and bar-b-que. Therefore, always choose “barbecue” and avoid using “barbeque.”


Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.) Barbecue. In dictionary. Retrieved from

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. (n.d.).  Barbecue. In dictionary. Retrieved from

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. (n.d.). BBQ. In dictionary. Retrieved from

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.).  Barbecue. In dictionary. Retrieved from