Sunset Classic Barbecue

Make your own at home
Betsy Reynolds Bateson and Linda Lau Anusasananan

Classic Barbecue

For years the word from the pit was that you couldn't cook classic barbecue at home. After all, what average rib lover has a pit, a smoker, or the supposedly essential 16 hours of cooking time.

We are here to share the happy news that great barbecue can be cooked at home. The secret? Time, yes — but only 4 to 7 hours — and careful tending of the fire. We've devised a two-step process that begins with smoking ribs or brisket for several hours — the charcoal kettle in your backyard will work, as long as it's at least 22 inches wide and has a lid — then wrapping them and continuing to cook at a low temperature until they're fork-tender. You need to feed the fire every 30 minutes with just enough briquets to maintain the temperature, but there is little other work involved.