Thanksgiving dinner is a cherished tradition, bringing family and friends together to celebrate gratitude and indulge in a bountiful feast. While the classic oven-roasted turkey remains the centrepiece of the table, there’s a smoky twist you can add to your Thanksgiving meal that will leave everyone talking about your culinary skills.
Grilling your Thanksgiving favourites not only imparts an incredible depth of flavour but also frees up precious oven space, allowing for a seamless cooking process. In this article, we’ll explore some fantastic Thanksgiving grilling ideas that include cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, turkey recipe, green bean casserole, and more, to make your holiday season even more special.
What things can you grill this Thanksgiving?
Grilled Whole Turkey
The best way to infuse a smoky flavour into your Thanksgiving dinner is by grilling the whole turkey. Start by preparing your turkey with a dry brine of salt, pepper, and your favourite fresh herbs. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, ensuring tender meat and crispy skin when grilled.
Set up your charcoal or gas grill for indirect heat. Place a drip pan filled with turkey stock and aromatics like onions and garlic on one side of the grill. Add wood chips for that distinct smokiness. Grill your turkey over the other side, ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Baste it with a mixture of butter, herbs, and white wine for the juiciest bird you’ve ever tasted.
Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
For those looking to save time or cater to smaller gatherings, a smoked turkey breast is a great option. This recipe is a perfect blend of simplicity and flavor. Marinate the turkey breast with a mixture of maple syrup, black pepper, and your favorite herbs.
Fire up your pellet grill and set it to the desired temperature. Add wood chips for that extra flavor kick. Place the turkey breast on the grill grates and let it smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. The result? A juicy and tender turkey breast with a smoky twist.
Thanksgiving turkey may be the star of the show, but if you want to add something unique and delicious to the celebrations, try grilling turkey wings as an appetiser or snack to impress your guests and whet their appetite before the main course arrives.
To create the ultimate grilled turkey wings, start by marinating them for at least an hour in a mixture of olive oil, garlic cloves, paprika and fresh herbs. Preheat your grill over medium-high heat during this process.
Place the marinated wings onto a grill grate and cook until they’re both crispy on the outside and tender within, usually taking 20-25 minutes depending on their size. Baste with your favourite barbecue sauce for added flavour! Serve your grilled turkey wings with cranberry sauce as an elegant Thanksgiving touch and watch as your guests devour their succulent flavour!
Thanksgiving burgers are an innovative and delectable way to reuse holiday leftovers after Thanksgiving Day. Create deliciously satisfying burgers using leftover turkey from this year’s celebration and be thankful all over again for what Thanksgiving means to you.
To make Thanksgiving burgers, finely chop or shred your leftover turkey meat and combine it with mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Form this mixture into patties before seasoning them with any of your preferred Thanksgiving herbs and spices.
Fire up the grill and cook your patties until they’re fully heated through, with an appealing char on their outer surfaces. Toast some burger buns on it to enhance flavor!
Serve Thanksgiving burgers as the ultimate comfort food and take advantage of your Thanksgiving leftovers in a different and exciting way with these delectable bites. A dollop of gravy and some crispy fried onions add an extra festive flair, making these comfort foods irresistibly delicious!
Beginning by selecting a high-quality spiral-cut or bone-in ham, prepare a glaze from ingredients such as brown sugar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup and cloves for that classic holiday taste. Score the surface to allow the glaze to penetrate properly before generously coating it over.
Preheat your grill to medium heat and prepare it for indirect cooking, placing the ham on it away from direct flames. Use wood chips for an additional smoky aroma that will lend its distinctive flavour to this delectable treat.
Grill the ham until it has reached an ideal balance between sweetness and smokiness, and is thoroughly heated through. Baste with the glaze throughout cooking for maximum caramelised results.
Grilled ham is a fantastic alternative or addition to your Thanksgiving table, offering a delicious departure from the traditional turkey. Your guests will appreciate the juicy, smoky, and beautifully glazed ham that takes centre stage at your holiday feast.
Grilled Side Dishes to enjoy at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving isn’t just about the turkey; it’s also about the sides. Green beans, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts can all be prepared on the grill to enhance their flavors.
For green beans, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill them in a grill basket over direct heat until they’re tender with a slight char. Top with parmesan cheese for an irresistible finish.
Sweet potato casserole takes on a new dimension when grilled. Grill slices of sweet potatoes until they’re caramelized and tender, then layer them in a cast iron skillet with a brown sugar and pecan topping. Finish off on the grill for a smoky, sweet masterpiece.
Brussels sprouts can be skewered and grilled until they’re charred and tender. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for an unforgettable side dish.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Grilled sweet potatoes are the ideal starchy vegetables to include in a barbecue meal. Cut potato slices in a circular shapes. It is best to give a cooking jump-start to the potatoes before putting them on the grill. You do so by boiling them for a few minutes in water with a small pinch of salt. Then dry them thoroughly and brush on a little oil and cook on grill. The slices will have great grill marksand the sweet taste will go well with any barbecue meat, seafood, or poultry.
Cheesy Corn (Grilled)
Give a beautiful and tasty twist to the corn on the cob. After grilling the corn, roll them in your choice of grated cheese and chopped herb. Make sure the corn is hot as it’s easier to apply the cheese and herb.
Macaroni And Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate side dish for any barbecue. This too can be cooked on the grill. Prepare and cook the pie in a wrought iron skillet. Make sure to cover this creamy delight with foil while cooking.
Grilled Assorted Vegetables
Bring vibrant colors and different textures to your barbecue by adding veggies like asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant. Bear in mind, that if it’s the thicker type of asparagus, maybe you have cook for a few minutes in microwave oven or blanch so as to spend less time on the grill. Blanching is cooking food quickly in boiling water and then dipping them in a icy bath so as to stop the cooking process and also to retain the natural bright color. These veggies will produce attractive grill marks as well as bringing out the natural sweetness of the veggies.
Incorporate sweetness to your barbecue by adding grilled fruits. These juicy fruits can also be doubled as a side dish as well as dessert. Fruits like peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon slices are excellent on the grill. Make sure to cut watermelon slices in a slab-like form so as to keep their shape on the grill. The sweet/tart flavors from the fruits and the savory/sweet from your choice of meat, poultry or seafood will appeal to your palate in a great way.
Anyone of these side dishes will have your loved ones returning for seconds as they are not only appealing to the eyes but, they are also very flavourful and bold in taste.
This Thanksgiving, consider adding a smoky flair to your holiday meal by incorporating these grilling ideas. Whether you opt for a grilled whole turkey, smoked turkey breast, or charred side dishes, your Thanksgiving feast will be a standout success.
The combination of traditional flavours and the smoky essence of grilling will make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner the best one yet. Happy Thanksgiving, and may your holiday season be filled with warmth, gratitude, and amazing flavour!