Barbecuing is cooking food slowly with relatively low heat and hardwood smoke. Spices, marinades or brines, and sauces may all be used in the food preparation process. Grilling as a barbecue method is hotly debated in most of the US. In places like North Carolina and Texas where barbecue is part of their history and heritage, they believe grilling is not a barbecue method. Using different select hardwoods will infuse foods with distinct smoky flavors. Gas and electric smokers allow for more temperature control than smokers using charcoal or wood. In North Carolina, pork is traditionally barbecued while in Texas it is beef. However, for the common American, barbecue means pork.
For more information, see Barbecue Tips.