There’s some debate about what barbecue is. A noun, a verb? A coveted Southern secret, an al fresco dinner invitation? We sought the answer to this and other queries by quizzing a trio of connoisseurs from Charleston’s veritable Who’s Who of experts on the subject: Aaron Siegel of Home Team BBQ, Billy Quinn of JB’s Smokeshack, and Jimmy Hagood of Food for the Southern Soul. As for what constitutes true ’cue? They agree. It’s all about the smoke—that’s what turns meat into barbecue. “Anything else is just, well… grilled,” says Billy.