EnlargeCredit: Brenda Weaver
Though the terms are often used interchangeably, what separates barbecuing from grilling is low, slow heat and smoke. While grilling requires contact between food and flame, barbecue relies on indirect cooking—putting distance between the coals and the meat, and allowing radiant heat to cook the meat inside a closed chamber. There are other factors to consider while making barbecue: what cut of meat to use; how to prepare it for cooking; how to tend to it during its hours in the smoke; which wood to use; what kind of vessel to cook it in. These are the elements of barbecue greatness, and the following galleries are your guide to success.