"It all starts in the pit room," says Chris Lilly, chef and partner at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurants in Decatur, Alabama and Monroe, North Carolina. Lilly is a legend on the pro barbecue circuit, with multiple championship wins at the prestigious Memphis in May competition. His Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book outlines his signature styleslow cooking over low heat (the purist's way, which produces uniquely tender and smoky meat), followed by a quick sear. It's impossible to reproduce Lilly's barbecue without a pit and at least eight hours to devote to the project, but F&W's Grace Parisi proposes the much simpler and faster "cheater" recipes here, inspired by Lilly's flavors and requiring only a gas grill and a foil packet of wood chips.
Chef Way: At Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Lilly uses a cut called picnic shoulder for his spiced jerk pork, cooking it over low heat for eight hours.
Easy Way: An apricot-based sauce brushed on chicken wings before grilling gives them plenty of flavor; extra sauce is good for dipping.