As the holiday season approaches, many families across the United States are gearing up for the beloved Thanksgiving dinner. While the traditional oven-roasted turkey and classic side dishes hold a special place in our hearts, there's a growing trend among food enthusiasts to add a smoky twist to their Thanksgiving feast. By making your grill the star of the show, you can infuse your holiday meal with rich, complex flavors that will leave your taste buds tingling and your guests hurrying back for seconds (or thirds!)
Are you ready to have the best Thanksgiving dinner ever? Read on to discover our favorite grilled Thanksgiving recipes that will help you and your loved ones enjoy the tastiest holiday spread.
Smoked Turkey Extravaganza
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the centerpiece: the turkey. While the conventional oven-roasted turkey has its charm, a smoked turkey takes things to a whole new level. The smoky aroma and flavorful nuances imparted by the grill elevate this Thanksgiving classic. Here are some suggestions:
Smoked Turkey Breast with a Maple Glaze
Start your smoked Thanksgiving journey with a show-stopping Smoked Turkey Breast with Maple Glaze. The combination of the subtle smokiness and the sweet, earthy notes of maple syrup creates a mouthwatering experience. Don't forget to pair it with cranberry sauce! Get the recipe from Vindulge.
Smoked Turkey Legs
Smoked Turkey Legs are slow-cooked on a charcoal grill with wood chips, allowing them to develop a crispy skin on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. They're a perfect treat for those who enjoy a bit of primal indulgence during their Thanksgiving feast. We love this recipe by Hey Grill, Hey.
Thanksgiving Turkey with a Smoky Twist
For a smoky twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, consider using a pellet smoker. The consistent heat and infusion of wood chip flavors result in a turkey that's not only juicy but also carries a hint of smokiness in every bite. Enjoy one of our favorite smoked turkey recipes from The Wooden Skillet.
Grilled Side Dishes and Appetizers
While the turkey may steal the spotlight, the side dishes and appetizers play a crucial supporting role. Here are some grilled and smoked options to complement your Thanksgiving meal.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Olive Oil
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and a touch of spice create the perfect side dish. Cooked to perfection on the grill, these sweet potatoes develop a delightful smokiness that enhances their natural sweetness. You can't go wrong with this recipe from Spend with Pennies.
Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze
Give a classic Thanksgiving side dish a grilled makeover with Grilled Brussels Sprouts by Skinny Taste. Tossed in a balsamic glaze and cooked on the grill, these sprouts develop a delicious char that adds depth to their flavor profile. It's a simple yet elegant twist on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner favorite.
Smoked Turkey Gravy for an Unforgettable Finish
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a generous ladle of gravy, and why not add a smoky touch? Prepare a Smoked Turkey Gravy using the drippings from your smoked turkey. The infusion of smoky flavors adds a unique dimension to this essential component of the Thanksgiving feast.
Grilled Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Who said the grill is only for savory dishes? Bring the warmth of the grill to your Thanksgiving desserts with these delightful grilled dessert ideas.
Grilled Pumpkin Pie with a Gingersnap Crust
Put a spin on the classic pumpkin pie by grilling it to perfection. A Gingersnap Crust adds a spicy kick, while the grill imparts a subtle smokiness that enhances the flavors of the pumpkin filling. Top off your Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie with a dollop of whipped cream for a dessert that will have everyone coming back for more.
Grilled Apple Crisp in a Cast Iron Skillet
Serve up a warm and comforting Grilled Apple Crisp cooked in a cast iron skillet. The grill adds a smoky essence to the sweet and tart apples, while the crisp topping achieves the perfect balance of crunchy and gooey. This dessert is a crowd-pleaser, especially when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Grilled Vegetables for a Vibrant Spread
Elevate your Thanksgiving feast with a colorful array of grilled vegetables that not only add visual appeal to your table but also introduce new flavors and textures.
Grilled Green Bean Bundles
Give the classic green bean casserole a grilled makeover by creating Grilled Green Bean Bundles. The bundles are grilled to perfection, creating a medley of smoky, charred flavors that complement the freshness of the green beans.
Grilled Thanksgiving Spread with a Variety of Vegetables
Create a vibrant and diverse Grilled Thanksgiving Spread with an assortment of vegetables. From grilled asparagus and zucchini to bell peppers and charred corn on the cob, the possibilities are endless. Brushed with olive oil, seasoned with fresh herbs, and cooked on the grill, these vegetables become a flavorful and healthy addition to your Thanksgiving meal that your non-vegan and vegan friends will love.
Tips for a Successful Grilled Thanksgiving
Use Quality Wood Chips
The type of wood chips you use can significantly impact the flavor of your smoked dishes. Experiment with different wood varieties, such as hickory, applewood, or cherry, to find the one that complements your Thanksgiving menu.
Monitor Cooking Temperatures
Invest in a reliable meat thermometer to ensure your turkey and other dishes are cooked to perfection. Consistent temperature monitoring is crucial for achieving that ideal smoky flavor without compromising on safety.
Plan Ahead and Prep Well
Grilling a Thanksgiving meal requires some planning and preparation. Marinate meats the night before, chop vegetables in advance and have all your tools and accessories ready. This will make the actual cooking process smoother and more enjoyable.