I was born and raised in New Orleans. Everything else except consistent Bar-B-Q there. I lived in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, New York and Portland, Maine. Hardly Bar-B-Q haven. Therefore, every time I travel or visit in Bar-B-Q territory ( Carolinas, Tenn. Georgia, Alabama,Arkansas,Miss. Texas etc.) I attempt to get as much as I can hold. Very seldom not pleased. Anyway, I've been reading here for a while and now I have got to ask. What exactly is "REAL" Bar-B-Q? What is "OPEN PIT" Bar-B-q? What is it we do in the backyard with the lid on sometomes and sometimes off? I have tried looking at web sites and never seem to come away with a real answer. Can someone get me straight? I would appreciate any reply. Thank you.