The best American barbecue joints in Singapore
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 its 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 woodchips over — for the art of American barbecue are 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.
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.
In the meantime, Meat Smith’s other concept in Little India offers a vastly different take of 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 their bone marrow with curry.
Meat Smith Little India
This Joo Chiat joint is probably one of the first restaurants to bring in American barbecue to Singapore. Since 2009, Smokey’s 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 their ever-popular St Louis spare ribs as well as their pulled pork and chicken sandwiches. Best enjoyed with a bottle of craft beer.
After spending two years eating at barbecue joints around Kansas City, owner Jan Yeo was inspired to start his own take of at home in Singapore. Red Eye Smokehouse is the result of months of trial-and-error with tons of meat, a smoker and woodchips. The chalkboard menu here revolves around seasonal selections of meat each time, switching between Angus or 365 days grain-fed California Prime Brisket.