Following along the lines of Grilling vs BBQ, we could also distinguish between Backyard BBQ and Competition BBQ.
Backyard BBQ – This one is the easiest to tackle and can be best described as what ever you want to do or what you like. Who cares what others think…you are making it your bbq! There is no right or wrong. Make it however you want, as salty or spicy as you want. If you and your family want to eat it, go for it. Don’t be sucked into what we refer to as “bbq tv” — seeing recipes or techniques on tv or online and thinking that is the way bbq should be. Not that you can’t follow some of that stuff..but make it your own. I call it “BBQ R&D”…great barbeque will take some research and development…and maybe a couple extra jars of bbq sauce when you burn something up or it doesn’t taste quite right! Employ the “KISS” method – Keep It Simple, Stupid! Your bbq may be better off!
Competition BBQ – This is making bbq for someone else. You don’t know what they want to eat or what they like. You are spending a lot of money practicing and cooking competitions to develop a profile that works well with the judging panel. Many of the things I do for my competition bbq I would not do for my own backyard bbq. In the competition world we run on the understanding that a judge is going to take one bite, so we will do everything possible to make that the best “one bite” of bbq they will have. After all, we may be competing for $10,000 or more…so it better be good! This adds time, stress and more steps to the preparation and cooking process. While I tend to employ some of the same cooking techniques in my backyard bbq to make it the best I can, I tend to lay off a little bit of the flavor enhancement for my general bbq and just enjoy the time, smells and occasional beverage.