BBQ, also called Barbeque (sometimes spelled Barbeque), is any meat slow-cooked with natural hardwood smoke. BBQ is generally prepared at temperatures between 180 and 300 degree Fahrenheit with cook times from three hours to over twelve hours. The low heat and slow cook time turns otherwise marginal cuts of meat such as ribs and brisket into tasty and tender delicacies.
Some people suggest BBQ is any meat grilled over charcoal and slapped with BBQ sauce but most BBQ connoisseurs agree that it’s not just the sauce. There are regional differences, however, and many U.S. cities claim to have the best BBQ recipe based on spices, sauces, or cuts of meat.
The distinctive taste of smoke is a BBQ trademark. Different woods impart different flavors, with mesquite, oak, hickory, apple, and grapevine all popular choices. Wood chunks are sometimes used solely for smoke generation with charcoal briquettes generating the heat. Another trademark of BBQ is the sauce, but Champion pit masterPaul Kirk says he can beat any sauce with a dry rub.
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