In the South, barbecue is a type of food or way of cooking food "low and slow" that creates tender, moist, and smoky meats. This is the type of food cooked at barbecue competitions and usually includes ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and whole hogs. It is really just another version of indirect grilling with a few twists.
Here is how you accomplish this famous technique using a gas or charcoal grill (not a smoker):
1. Soak several handfuls of wood chips or wood chunks for at least 30 minutes.
2. Set up your grill or smoker for indirect grilling. See our indirect grilling page for help with indirect grilling.
3. Place 1 handful of soaked wood chips or one wood chunk directly on the coals if you have a charcoal grill or in your smokerchip box if you have a gas grill.
4. Put the food on the grill over the part of the grill where there is no heat source/fire.
5. Close the grill lid and adjust the air vents or temperature knobs until the grill temperature is 225-250ºF.
6. Add a handful of wood chips every 1 hour of cooking time or a wood chunk when the old chunk is burned out.
7. If you have a charcoal grill, add ready-to-cook charcoal (glowing with no black charcoal pieces showing) to the fire as necessary.
8. Smoke food until it reaches desired temperature. See our food temperature guide for help with temperatures.
There are several types of smokers and various methods for using those smokers if you want to take your grilling to the next level. FireCraft carries several different types of smokers. Please visit our choosing a smoker guide to learn more about these versatile grills. These devices produce some mouth-watering barbecue and are what the pros use. When using these smokers, the basic smoking principles are the same but some of the instructions are smoker-specific. We recommend thoroughly reviewing the instructions that come with your smoker.