The term "barbecue" changes in meaning from one part of the country to another. From Texas to Kansas City and across the Southeast, barbecue means well-seasoned meat, usually pork, cooked "low and slow" over wood. Rib meat should be tender but provide just a bit of resistance to the bite and should not be flabby or mushy.
Memphis barbecue is especially known for its rubs, which come wet or dry. Texas prefers beef for barbecue. And California offers Santa Maria style barbecue, a complete feast centered around tri-tip, a beef cut, cooked over mesquite. Sauces and sides vary widely, too, from tomato based to vinegar and pepper in North Carolina and mustard in South Carolina.