Apparently smoking and barbecuing seems to be almost the same thing however if you look at the process then there is very little difference. Both are slow cooking process and provides a woody flavor in the meat which increases the taste too. Let us try to understand both smoking and barbecuing in this small write up.
In the smoking process, the cooking is done at very low heat within the temperature range of 68ᵒto 176ᵒ F and the cooking may continue for 1 hour to as long as couple of weeks, depending upon the food and temperature.
While smoking, one need to have lots of patience to cook the meat. For many people this process may not be a practical option too. If you cook the food on the hot coal covered with wood chips then the outside portion of the meat gets cooked and create a barrier so that its prevents the penetration of smoke inside the meat. That is the reason smoked ribs may take few days or even weeks to get cooked fully. Meat cooked with cold smoke needs to be cured before you eat. Some of them are also grilled or baked before eating.
However, if you are preparing food on hot smoke then there is no need of curing before you eat. For hot smoking the temperature ranges are between 126ᵒ to 176ᵒ F. Hot smoked food can be again cooked or heated however one can also eat them right away. You get more moisture and flavor with hot smoking.
Barbecuing is also done under low heat within the temperature range of 190ᵒ to 300ᵒ F for few hours duration. Usually barbecue is preferred for those kinds of meats which has very tough muscle tissue. That is the reason cow meats are more preferred option for barbecue as compared to pig meat. However, if you heat the meat at lower temperature for a longer time then both taste and flavor of the food is improved. Therefore, the key thing to remember about barbecuing is to cook slow at low heat so that the meat gets fully cooked from inside too and becomes moist and tender.
So, having understood the basic differences between smoking and barbecuing you can decide which one to choose as soon as the weather turns around so that you can plan your outing with your food preparation.