The Meat

Real barbecue means meat. I like pork butt or rolled shoulders for Carolina-style pulled pork, but my brother in Houston has opened my eyes to brisket. Whole chickens are good, too. And there are always ribs.

Rub the meat with a spice mixture. Prepared rubs work well, but you can make up your own with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne (go easy), chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and whatever else you like. Put the meat in a large bowl, pour on the rub, and massage.