High-concept ’cue: Pappardelle with smoked goat ragu at Fatty ’Cue in New York. (Paul Wagtouicz)

The once-sleepy Southern comfort food is now an American culinary juggernaut. Scads of new restaurants have opened, the competition circuit continues to grow and sales of backyard grills show no sign of slowing down.

Gas ovens are ubiquitous. Chain restaurants dot the landscape. Expensive grills that can do everything but pilot you to the moon are all the rage.

Looking ahead, Smoke Signals believes there are more changes to come. One is the continued internationalization of barbecue, whether on menus, such as the experimentation at Fatty ’Cue in New York, or the opening of barbecue restaurants overseas, such as White Smoke, which opened last year in Japan.

Smoke Signals asked some of the leading barbecue writers for their predicted trends for 2012. Their thoughts follow after the jump.

Daniel Vaughn thinks sausage willtrend in 2012. (Nicholas McWhirter)

Ardie A. Davis believes gas grillers will convert to wood and charcoal. (Frank Boyer)

Steven Raichlen predicts Americans will discover Filipino and Peruvian grilling. (Steven Raichlen and Primal Grill)

“Americans will discover Filipino and Peruvian grilling — some of the world’s most vibrant. Filipino marinades go from the sublime — calamansi — to the ridiculous — Sprite — and always include garlic, soy sauce and vinegar. Peru’s iconic barbecue is anticuchos (grilled beef hearts), spiced up with aji amarillo and aji panca (respectively, fiery fruity yellow and red chili paste). In America, we’ll see more socially acceptable anticuchos, like salmon, sweetbread and filet mignon. But many restaurants will serve the traditional beef heart version, too.”

John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed think real barbecue is an endangered cuisine. (Paul Dagy)