BBQ or barbeque or however you spell it, is the art of cooking low and slow with temp as low as 185 deg up to 250 with indirect wood heat, not smoke.
To the point it breaks down the connective tissues to where its ALMOST falling off the bone. ALMOST !
There are many different HARD woods you can use, depends on the cook. I use different ones for different meats and sometimes mix them for different flavors.
BBQ however, is not something cooked on high direct heat that is GRILLING, NOT BBQ !
Usually bbq consist of large piece of meat such as pork butts shown above or bigger. But I also BBQ chicken's split or leg quarters as breast seem to dry.
BBQ is NOT and has nothing to do with sauce,( BBQ sauce is a condiment) it is a method of slow cooking as long as 12-18 hours for brisket and a whole hog can take longer.
As you can see in above picture that the outside of the meat is caramelized, called a "bark" among bbq pit masters.
Southerners might say ,"Y'all come over for a BBQ" and you can bet you'll be chowing down on some juicy ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, with the traditional sides of Cole slaw, banana pudding and sweet tea... They sometimes cook the whole hog and call it a "pig pickin" with the sides, ( cole slaw, buns,bbq sauce )
Northerners use the term "BBQ" for what is considered a "cook out" in the south---hot dogs burgers etc.Not true bbq at all.
A BIT OF HISTORY:
In the US the Spanish introduced pigs to the us back in the 1500's. the pig population took off.
The native Americans of the Caribbean and the coast of Carolina taught the Spanish how to cook pork slowly using smoke. And the African slaves brought the idea of basting the meats as they cook ( now called mopping) or spritzing ! Put these three influences together,The pig the smoke, the basting...wah la sounds like BBQ to me. Still many people misuse the term bbq. It has come to be applied to anything cooked on a grill,or even in the oven if a spicy tomato based sauce is applied. BUT the truth is bbq is not a dish,or a cooking device ,its a method of cooking and an art form.BBQ sauce does not transform something into bbq, it's merely a condiment like ketchup,mustard etc.
A process whereby a large cut of tough meat, indirect heat of a hard wood fire at low temperature: less) for a long period of time..
there are many styles of bbq and sauce's :Carolina style BBQ (usually pork) there are four different kinds of sauce . In the eastern part a thin sauce with a vinegar base and peppers is used both in sauce and mop.In the central part its a light tomato (vinegar based with ketchup added) In the west heavier tomato based sauces predominate. South Carolina: Where Germans settled was a result of mustard based sauce,since mustard is a popular German condiment.
Memphis style : usually pork, ribs wet or dry (meaning wet-with sauce-dry without sauce) Dry rubs are used ( a mix of spices rubbed on meat) slightly sweet thin sauce with spices.TEXAS Style: Beef brisket is a big one here . Was initially brought to the state by slaves . To this day some of the best interpretations of this style come from black owned bbq shacks. Central Texas: Created by butchers from Europe and eastern Europe, here the sauce is an after thought ! High heat smoked with pecan wood. West Texas: Refereed to as "cowboy bbq" meats are cooked over direct heat usually mesquite, meats of choice are beef,goat,mutton.
South Texas: Naturally with a heavy Mexican influence. This type of bbq specializes in tough less desirable cuts of beef (including the head) and cooking them wrapped in moist agave leaves buried in a bed of hot coals, then put into tacos etc.
Kansas City style: They don't focus on one or two meats anything goes here. They are situated on a railroad hub so they had access to all sorts of meats , so they bbq'd everything. Kansas city is a place where all types of bbq are blended together. The wood of choice here is hickory and the sauce? well its a big blend of all of them with a lot of molasses similar to KC masterpiece bbq sauce.
Well a lot of info, but it barely touches the surface.. Just remember next time someone say's "let's have a bbq" and then you can start an argument ! lol
Here is a list of Temperatures to go by......0 to 140 = cold smoking
140 to 185= smoking
185 to 250=Barbecuing
250 to 350 = Roasting
350 to 450 = Cool grilling
450 to 550=Hot grilling
550 to 1,700 = Broiling ( heat source above the food)
1,700 = Temperatures at which most commercial steak house's broil and grill at.