I’m a big fan of using wood while barbecuing. Wood chips and grilling planks are great for BBQs because while they have their own individual flavours, you still get that beautiful smokey taste (which is kind of the point of smoking anything IMO).
Napoleon recently brought in their full range of wood chips and grilling planks into Singapore, and here’s our take on the flavour pairings:
Aptly nicknamed the “King of Smoking Woods”, Hickory wood chips are the most commonly used wood for smoking. With its sweet to strong, heavy bacon taste, this wood chips flavour goes perfectly with all meats – pork in particular. The bold flavour that it produces is often linked to Southern BBQ.
This flavour does tend to get bitter, so I recommend soaking it for longer than the other woods; 1 – 2 hours should suffice. Soak it in beer, bourbon, and even Coke.
The bold, sweet and earthy flavour of mesquite is in line with the tastes of the southwest. This wood comes from the south of USA and Mexico, and its flavour is a little lighter than hickory. Pair this wood with meats like beef, pork, duck or lamb.
Made from recycled whiskey barrels, the whiskey barrel wood chips have a hint of aged whiskey when smoking. While it is bold, it is also not too strong at the same time. It is perfect for meats like beef and lamb. Soak these wood chips in juices like grape or orange, or even merlot and sauvignon.
Apple wood chips have the strongest flavour out of all the fruit wood chips. It has a mild fruity flavour that’s a little bit sweet. While very versatile with pairings, it is best used with seafood (especially fatty fish like salmon) and pork. You can also use it to smoke fruits and vegetables too. Soak them for a minimum of 30 minutes in water, wine, or even juice. Great to serve with a side of apple chutney.
Said to be the best wood for smoking, the mild and fruity flavour of the cherry wood chips are best for smoking most meats like beef, venison, pork and poultry. It also pairs well with fruits and vegetables. It is also one of the best woods for mixing with other woods.
The flavour is a little sour and acidic, and sometimes can even be bitter. But overall light and fruity, and works well when soaked in cider, apple or pineapple juice, or wine.
Made from the sugar maple tree, this unique flavour is a little sweet and great for mixing with other wood flavours, in particular, hickory and apple. It is great for smoking a pork roast, ham and bacon, and cheese and vegetables because of its light and balanced flavour.
After soaking your wood chips, remove them from the liquid and insert them in the Napoleon smoker pipe. Place pipe directly on the sear plates of your gas grill. When the wood chips start to smoke, place the food on the grill and shut the hood. Then keep the hood closed to keep the smoke inside, this helps give the food the best smokey flavour.
Napoleon Grilling Planks come in two flavours – cedar and maple. They are sold as individual pieces, so at $12.50, instead of in pairs like other brands (such as Axtschlag). They are also thicker, so they tend to last longer. These planks are great with salmon and chicken wings. I allow the edges to catch fire a little before shifting them to the side of the grill that hasn’t been lit. It’ll start to smoke, and I’ll close the hood and keep it smoking for about 15- 20 minutes.
All wood chips, smoker pipes and grilling planks are available from $12.50. Purchase them from Liberty Patio or from Napoleon Dealers (do call them before you go down to check if they have stock):
10 Jln Serene, 258748
tel: 6875 1657
Level 3 (at the Outdoor Furniture/BBQ section)
1 Venture Ave, 608521