From Grill to Table, Reinvent Thanksgiving Classics Outdoors
Year-round outdoor cooking is on the rise as consumers are becoming more adventurous chefs, forgoing the oven or stove-top and opting for turkey and trimmings cooked on the grill, smoker or fryer. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) 2011 State of the Barbecue Industry report, 62 percent of consumers are cooking outdoors year-round and 15 percent are cooking part of their Thanksgiving meals outside, up 9 percent from 2009. Whether it’s for the convenience, minimal cleanup or crisp fresh air, consumers are willing to prepare the entire Thanksgiving meal – from the turkey to desserts – outdoors.
“As the popularity of year-round outdoor cooking continues to grow, so does our appetite to try new techniques, gadgets and recipes – even for Thanksgiving,” said Leslie Wheeler, HPBA communications director. “This holiday season, be adventurous and try cooking your turkey and classic side dishes outside for a convenient, flavorful and healthy way to prepare your holiday feast.”
Along with new techniques, gadgets and recipes, Americans agree that there are many reasons they are cooking outdoors this holiday season – and all year round – according to new State of the Barbecue Industry report findings. Consumers say they’ll cook outdoors for:
- More flavorful food preparation (58%),
- Cost savings compared to eating out (47%),
- Healthier preparation (38%),
- Less cooking time compared to oven recipes (24%)
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) agrees: “With an estimated 46 million turkeys being cooked this holiday season, Americans are continuously looking for ways to reinvent their Thanksgiving feasts,” said Sherrie Rosenblatt, NTF vice president of marketing and communications. “Turkeys can be fried, smoked or even grilled to add a new twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey.”
HPBA and NTF offer the following preparation and cooking tips to ensure a safe and delicious meal:
- Purchase a whole turkey according to the weight recommendations in your grill, smoker or fryer owner’s manual.
- Thaw the turkey completely and pat it dry. Cook the bird un-stuffed.
- Brine the turkey for increased flavor and moisture.
- Outdoor cooking times depend on many factors: the size and shape of the turkey, the distance from the heat and the outside air temperature. Allow more time on cold or windy days and at high altitudes. Allow less time in very hot weather.
- Have a food thermometer handy to measure the internal temperature of the bird; the temperature should be 165° F, but most people prefer it to reach 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh.
- Check to make sure the grill, smoker or fryer is in working order.
- Be sure to read the owner’s manual for safety precautions.
- Stock up on enough charcoal, propane, oil or wood chips needed to cook the meal.
- Be sure to use the grill, smoker or fryer outside only – never indoors – and make sure that it’s set-up on a flat, stable surface, preferably on a protective grill pad, and away from any combustible materials.
Savory Grilled Turkey: The Ultimate Grilled Turkey
Delight holiday guests’ taste buds with a new take on the holiday bird. The savory and rich flavor profile the grill adds to the turkey will keep your recipe in the books for seasons to come.
1 (12 pound) whole turkey
1 Cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 Cup cider vinegar
1/2 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon A.1. steak sauce
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
1. Remove giblets from turkey (discard or save for another use).
2. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan in the center. Skewer turkey openings closed.
3. When the grill temperature has reached about 350° F, place turkey on the grill rack, directly over the drip pan. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Set aside and cover 2/3 cup for serving.
5. Continue to grill turkey 1 hour-2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 175° F in the thigh, basting frequently with remaining sauce.
6. Cover turkey and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with reserved sauce.
*Recipe courtesy of NTF
For more recipes and tips on grilling, smoking and frying turkey, visit HPBA at www.hpba.org, www.facebook.com/TheBBQSource, www.twitter.com/TheBBQSource and NTF at www.eatturkey.com, www.facebook.com/NationalTurkeyFederation, or www.twitter.com/TurkeyGal.
About Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
The 2,800-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, barbecue and patio appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising, and consumer education.
About the National Turkey Federation
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the $14 billion turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members' products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products.