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Barbecue or barbeque (informally BBQ or barbie) is a cooking method, a style of food, and a name for a meal or gathering at which this style of food is cooked and served. Barbecuing is done slowly over low, indirect heat and the food is flavored by the smoking process, while grilling, a related process, is generally done quickly over moderate-to-high direct heat that produces little smoke.

Barbecue can refer to the cooking method itself, the meat cooked this way, the cooking apparatus/machine used (the "barbecue grill" or simply "barbecue"), or to a type of social event featuring this type of cooking. Barbecuing is usually done outdoors by smoking the meat over wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large, specially-designed brick or metal ovens. Barbecue is practiced in many areas of the world and there are numerous regional variations.

Barbecuing techniques include smoking, roasting or baking, braising and grilling. The original technique is cooking using smoke at low temperatures and long cooking times (several hours). Baking uses an oven to convection cook with moderate temperatures for an average cooking time of about an hour. Braising combines direct, dry heat charbroiling on a ribbed surface with a broth-filled pot for moist heat. Grilling is done over direct, dry heat, usually over a hot fire for a few minutes.

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