I have a general question about the smokiness of good barbecue. When I go to barbecue restaurants, the food is good but not nearly as smokey as my homemade - it ranges from no perceptible smoke to just mildly smokey. Sometimes I have to concentrate to taste any. My homemade barbecue has pretty assertive smokey flavor, it's right there in the first bite.
So my questions are:
Are these restaurants toning down the smoke because that's how their customers like it, similarly to how budweiser sells a billion mildly-flavored beers? Or is that the way barbecue should be?
How smokey is "competition" level barbecue?
What do others think about smoke level and the right amount for optimal flavor (taking into account individual preference)?
Thanks in advance.