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True barbecue (as practiced in Texas and the American South) is a low-heat, indirect method that uses lots of wood smoke to cook and flavor the food. The traditional cooker is a horizontal barrel smoker, or pit, which has a firebox at one end and a cooking or smoking chamber at the other. The food cooks at a low (225° to 250°F) to medium-low (300°F) temperature and slowly (as long as 18 hours for a brisket), with a generous amount of wood smoke (usually oak or hickory). The resulting food has an intense smoky flavor and is generally tender enough to pull apart with your fingers.

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