Fire up the Grill for a Thanksgiving Patio-Palooza

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Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Shares Ideas and Tips for Barbecuing Your Entire Thanksgiving Feast

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While a perfectly bronzed turkey is the centerpiece on most dinner tables, nearly every holiday dish can be prepared on the grill, including vegetables, fruits and desserts.

Whether smoked, grilled or fried, getting the Thanksgiving turkey out of the kitchen and onto the patio is sure to add a little extra flavor to the holiday meal this year.

Year-round grilling is on the rise, and the holidays are no exception. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), 14 percent of grill owners plan to fire up this Thanksgiving to cook all or part of their turkey day meal on the grill.* Grills, smokers and fryers are all popular among consumers when it comes to cooking the perfect turkey and adding a little extra flavor to the holiday feast.

“This Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start a new tradition without having to cut out any of the family favorites,” said Jack Goldman, president & CEO, HPBA. “While a perfectly bronzed turkey is the centerpiece on most dinner tables, nearly every holiday dish can be prepared on the grill, including vegetables, fruits and desserts. Plus the cooler fall temperatures are perfect for outdoor cooking.”

To save on oven space, the association is helping consumers prepare to grill part or all of their holiday meal and host the ultimate Thanksgiving Patio-Palooza with these turkey tips:

1. Check the setup: Barbecue outside only on a flat, stable surface away from all combustible materials. If using a fryer, place it on level dirt or a grassy area at least 10 feet away from any structure or building. Avoid frying on wood decks or concrete that can be stained by the oil.

2. Size up the bird: Whole turkeys that weigh 16 pounds or less are the recommended size for safe barbecuing. Do not stuff the turkey.

3. Plan the thaw: The easiest thawing method is in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of bird weight.

4. Leave the legs alone: Do not tie the legs together when grilling the whole bird. Allowing hot air to circulate to all areas results in more even cooking.

5. Reduce clean up: Placing a pan of water beneath the grilling surface will capture the dripping turkey juices, reducing clean up later.

6. Keep the juices in: For the juiciest meat possible, tent the turkey breast with aluminum foil during the last few hours of cooking to slow down moisture loss. Or use a water smoker at a low temperature to create extra humidity, resulting in perfectly moist meat.

7. On the smoker: Plan to smoke the turkey for 20-30 minutes per pound, with the breast facing up. Make sure the smoker is heated to 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit before placing the turkey on it and that the temperature remains consistent throughout cooking.

8. In the fryer: Plan 3-4 minutes per pound in an oil fryer and 8-10 minutes per pound in an infrared oil-less fryer for whole turkeys. Only use oils with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil, and never allow the oil to exceed 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Save time: “Spatchcock” the turkey by slicing open the turkey, removing the spine and laying the bird flat. It takes far less time to cook this way and creates crispy skin all over.

10. Temperature test: The internal temperature of the turkey should be 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast and 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh.

Want more turkey day tips? Follow along with HPBA’s Thanksgiving Patio-Palooza on Facebook and Twitter for daily tips, recipes and hints (and barbecue prizes) from now until Thanksgiving to help get the most out of the grill this holiday.

*Source: 2015 HPBA Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude Study.

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About Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)

The 2,100-member Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of hearth, patio and barbecue appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, research, government relations, marketing, advertising, and consumer education.

Media Contact: Eric Davis, Harvest PR & Marketing, 612.424.7545, eric(at)harvest-pr.com

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Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
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