The Campaign for Real Barbecue

Barbecue embodies history and tradition. Since its obscure beginnings, it has been cooked with heat and smoke from burning wood or wood coals.  Wood smoke defines Real Barbecue. Without it, one has merely roast meat – “faux ‘cue.”

These days good barbecue often comes from hybrid cookers that use gas or electricity to supplement the wood and control the temperature. But 100% wood-cooked barbecue, done right, is the standard by which others are judged.

The Campaign for Real Barbecue exists:
1. to celebrate and to promote barbecue’s wood-cooking heritage,  
2. to identify and to honor those who stay true to the traditions of their place and provide the benchmark for Real Barbecue, and

3. to educate eaters about the barbecue tradition and the difference between Real Barbecue and faux ‘cue.

To further these goals, the Campaign has established a program of True ’Cue certifications. These certifications recognize barbecue restaurants that cook the style of barbecue traditional in their area and rely solely on wood for heat. We began the program in North Carolina, and have since expanded to other states.

If you support the Campaign for Real Barbecue, sign The Pledge, visit purveyors of True 'Cue, and drop us a note to tell us about restaurants we should consider for certification (or de-certification).

To read more about Real Barbecue, click here.

To read more about cooking with wood, click here.


Remember, where there’s fire there’s smoke.

Masonry pit with sheet metal cover (North Carolina)