American barbecue is a work of love. All it takes is a hot oven stuffed with fragrant wood chips, and time. Yet, it takes a true expert (aka a pit master) to turn out slabs of meat sporting black rinds and juicy pink centres.
After hours of cooking, secondary cuts of beef and pork, such as brisket and short rib, are rendered to impossibly tender meats that just ‘fall apart’ on the plate. These can be enjoyed on their own, or as part of a sandwich.
It’s not easy to pull off the massive meat-smokers in land-scarce Singapore. But for those that have thrown in extreme dedication — from getting a custom-built oven to importing wood chips over — the art of American barbecue is seeing some pretty delicious results.
Here’s where to head to for pulled pork sandwiches and sticky ribs.
If you’re missing good Texan barbecue, Decker offers a pretty close alternative in Singapore. Meats here are just simply seasoned with salt and pepper. The magic happens in the custom-built smoker, where the brisket and ribs are left to cook for over 16 hours every day. Must-orders include the beef brisket and pulled pork. On weekends, Decker offers a massive 700g beef rib on the bone — perfect for an indulgent brunch. Accompany smoked meats with sides like jalapeno cheddar cornbread and classic potato salad.
Address: 60 Robertson Quay, #01-17, The Quayside, Singapore 238252
Tel: +65 6635 8565
While Burnt Ends deals mostly with Australian BBQ (read: grill), its sister restaurant Meat Smith is a full-on smoky affair. Instead of sticking to one particular type of barbecue, Meath Smith explores styles from other American cities such as Kansas City and North and South Carolina. Here, diners will find house-made sausages, pork ribs and sucking pigs that are smoked over hickory wood.
Address: 167-169 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068620
Tel: +65 6221 2262
meat smith little india
In the meantime, Meat Smith’s other concept in Little India offers a vastly different take on barbecue. American slow-cooking techniques are reinterpreted through the use of tandoori ovens and tons of flavourful Indian spices and rubs. The menu features tender meats with touches of rich, traditional flavours. Go for the smoked suckling pig stuffed with biryani as well as the bone marrow with curry.
Address: 21 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209894
Tel: +65 9625 9056
This Joo Chiat joint was probably one of the first restaurants to bring American barbecue to Singapore. Since 2009, Smokey’s has stayed true to its custom-built smoker along with a recipe of mesquite and hickory wood chips. Don’t waste too much time on the sides. Instead, save stomach space for the eatery’s ever-popular St Louis spare ribs as well as its pulled pork and chicken sandwiches. Best enjoyed with a bottle of craft beer.
Address: 73 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427790
Tel: +65 6345 6914
red eye smokehouse
After spending two years eating at barbecue joints around Kansas City, owner Jan Yeo was inspired to start his own take at home in Singapore. Red Eye Smokehouse is the result of months of trial-and-error with tons of meat, a smoker and wood chips. The chalkboard menu here revolves around seasonal selections of meat each time, switching between Angus or 365 days grain-fed California Prime Brisket.
Address: 1 Cavan Road, Singapore 209842
Tel: +65 6291 0218
This article was originally published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.