Tag Archives: smoker box

BURNING PAPER

As I’ve probably mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I love German brand Axtschlag because of it’s wide selection of artisanal smoking wood and quirky packaging. Most brands offer the basic woodchip varieties – Hickory, cherry, apple and the like. But Axtschlag range extends to more unusual flavours like Plum, Wine, Beer, Walnut, Beech – just to name a few. What’s even more interesting are the kinds of wood products they offer like grilling papers, wood chunks, herb boxes and grilling planks.

Here’s a fun little thing I tried over the weekend – Axtschlag Barbecue Grilling Papers.

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What exactly are Grilling Papers? They’re basically thin pieces of wood that you can wrap your food around and smoke.

Here, you can see that I’ve stretched out some chicken wings and wrapped them neatly in the grilling paper. It’s pretty simple to use.

First, you soak the paper in water for about 30 minutes. While waiting, marinate the wings. I used a little salt and honey. Once the grill papers have softened up enough, you can wrap them around the meat and tie it up with the string provided (you will need scissors for this).

Next, place the food on the grill. On a 3 burner BBQ with 6 wings, I turned on 2 burners at medium heat. These are thin so they catch fire very easily – you’ll have to watch them closely and swap them around the less hot areas of the BBQ to prevent them from getting burnt.IMG_9363

Don’t worry too much about the strings burning off, as the wood will stay in place.

The end result will be something like this:

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As with most smoking, you’ll get a very juicy and tender inside and a lovely flavour of wood infused into the meat. These cook pretty fast, so the flavour of the wood isn’t too intense. Overall, I think my favourite smoking method is still using the grilling planks – it’s a lot easier to handle and the size of the meat that you’re smoking doesn’t matter.

Axtschlag grilling papers are available from Liberty Patio at $18 for a pack of 8 sheet. Available in Cherry, Alder and Western Red Cedar.

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Smoking the Right Flavour

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:

Hickory
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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.

Mesquite
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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.

Whiskey Barrel Oak
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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
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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.
Cherry
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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.


Maple
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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.

Smoker Pipe
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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.

Cedar & Maple Grilling Planks

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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):

Decofix
Level 1
10 Jln Serene, 258748
tel: 6875 1657

Big Box
Level 3 (at the Outdoor Furniture/BBQ section)
1 Venture Ave, 608521
6801 6688

 

 

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What…Using Charcoal in a Gas BBQ?

Labour day weekend came and went in a flash, as to be expected when spent with the best people in the world!

I threw a surprise BBQ party for my best friend’s birthday, and being my best friend, I really pulled out all the stops for this shindig. I used the super awesome 18 piece stainless steel BBQ tool set from Liberty (I call this the James Bond set because it comes in a very conspicuous carrying case LOL), I used wood planks, herb boxes, wood chips… and….and…

Yes. I went out of my comfort zone and did it. I used charcoal!!!
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But… I kind of cheated a little bit. Haha.

How, you ask?

With the help of my trusty charcoal smoker tray that fits nicely over the gas burners of my Napoleon LEX485RSIB.

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As a testament to how well insulated the LEX485RSIB is, charcoal smoker tray doesn’t really require much charcoal. Just 2 hands-full was able to last me about 3 hours of grilling (and it kept going even after I was done!). The flames were really big too, so we had to throw water over it a couple of times to keep it down. When we were done, there was barely any ash to be cleaned up after I was done too. How easy is that!

I placed Axtschlag hickory woodchips, which I has soaked in water for 30 minutes prior, in the triangular slot on the corner of the smoker tray. After which, I fired up 2 burners under the smoker tray and closed the hood of the LEX for about 15 minutes (or until the charcoal catches fire). Once lit, I turn the burners off and as far as the gas BBQ goes, I only used the infrared side burner to sear the steaks before transferring them to the main charcoal section. It’s really such a simple way to have get the charcoal going.

The Charcoal smoker tray only takes up half the BBQ space, which is perfect for me to utilize the other half for smoking with the Axtschlag Herb box and cherry wood planks because they can’t be directly over the fire in order for them to be slow cooked.

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Marinade-wise, the lamb and steaks I served that afternoon were lighted seasoned with pink Himalayan salts, with extra minced garlic for the Lamb. Salt is supposed to bring out the flavour in the food, and I find that my choice of salt does it very well. I also believe in investing in good quality meat – so we taste the natural flavours of the meat and its fat, rather than going overboard with the seasoning. Normally I like a good USDA Prime steak, but this time I used Australian King Island beef which was very well-received by my guests.

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Axtschlag Herb Boxes: $32

Axtschlag Grilling Planks: $32 (set of 3)

Axtschlag Wood Chips: $18 (1KG)

Liberty 18 pc BBQ tool set: $108

Napoleon Charcoal Smoker Tray: $110 (can be used with most Napoleon BBQs)

All available from libertypatio.com

 

 

 

 

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Barbecue Heaven!!

I’ve been away from the keyboard for a while, and with good reason. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been travelling around Europe, and part of that trip included visiting the a fair in Germany… and man, it was like I died and went to BBQ heaven!!

There were barbecues everywhere, of every kind! I was like a little kid running around in a candy store, going “ohhhh look at this! No wait, that one!! That is the coolest barbecue I’ve ever seen!”

Christmas came early at the Weber booth (you can even get BBQ toys for the lil’ ones!):

 

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Soccer Fever – Fooseball BBQ!
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Some sleek in-built modular designs from BBQ brand ONE:

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Beautiful designer electric grills:

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A Jack Daniel’s Kamado-style grill, made in the USA by Primo:

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German-brand Rosle was featuring their electric grill that runs on wood pellets:

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Taste-testing different BBQ sauces by Stubb’s:

 

 

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Off to the Napoleon Booth:

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Featuring reversible wok-style infrared side-burner on the Prestige Pro:

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The Latest Napoleon TravelQ with double U-burners:

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Love these heat resistant gloves – you can literally hold burning charcoal with these gloves!:

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New Products from Napoleon:

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Some Other nifty BBQs like the cooler fridge BBQ and the Giant Smoker Wagon!:

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To round things up – there were sooooo many BBQs and accessories at the fair and it got me really further fuelled (haha- yeah I know) my love for grilling! I wish I could bring in all these BBQs to Singapore to share the love. Unfortunately, space is so limited and you’ll only see a few of these new products in our little island in the near future. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on what’s hot over the next few months. In the meantime, do check out my posts over the next few weeks where I’ll be showing you how to use cedar planks and other woody BBQ accessories to complement your food. Till then!

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Smokin’ Hot!

For Mothers’ Day weekend, I decided to experiment with our new wood chip smoker box.

I tried a spicy pork rib recipe from a Southern cookbook called “Adam’s Ribs”. It’s a dish that takes up to 5 hours to cook.

Despite having owned a barbecue for years, I’ve never actually tried to smoke anything before.

Some things to note from this little experiment:

1. Soak the wood chips in water before putting them into the smoker box. This will help to keep them moist and last longer.

2. I actually turned on 2 burners at first (as the recipe instructed), but the heat proved to be too close to the meats. Some of the meat closer to the burners started to get black really fast. So I turned off the 2nd burner and it was much better.

3. As you can see from the images below, I’ve actually put the ribs on the unlit side. I put the smoker box on the lit side.

4. It’s good to preheat your grill like an oven as it takes a while to heat up. The general idea is to get about 175 degrees Celsius.

5. Baste the ribs every hour for about 2 – 3 hours. On the last hour, baste every 10 minutes.

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Your thoughts: Would you get a smoker? If so, what flavours of wood chips would you like to try?

Wood Chips and Smoker Boxes are available from Liberty Patio.

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