Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can certainly feel like a daunting task and almost invariably seems to add unwelcome levels of stress to the holiday season. No matter your experience level in the kitchen, it involves significant planning and preparation, given the extensive guest lists and a menu chockfull of items that typically are not found in your everyday run-of-the-mill meals.
One great way to make your prep easier while offering a unique twist on Thanksgiving dinner is to prepare the full feast on the grill. Not only will your guests love the additional and distinctive flavors, but it will allow you to spend less time focused on the kitchen and more time catching up with valued friends and family members.
As part of our Thanksgrilling campaign which highlights celebrity chefs and influencers and their recipes for a new traditional feast on the grill. We have also put together 10 additional ideas to help you master Thanksgiving dinner on the grill, from the main entrée to dessert.
The Main Entrée
Grilled Whole Turkey
This one is a no-brainer for traditionalists who feel that no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a juicy turkey at the center of the dining table. Although grilling turkey is not the most common or traditional method of preparation, it is the best method to help ensure it comes out at its most tender and juicy.
Follow the steps outlined in the Allrecipes’ popular grilled turkey recipe to help ensure that you fully deliver on this staple of Thanksgiving dinner
Grilled Turkey Wings
If grilling a whole turkey seems intimidating but you want to make sure that the Thanksgiving bird of choice is featured in your offering, you can try grilling turkey wings, also often referred to as pterodactyl wings. This offers a fun and exciting spin on a traditional entrée from which meal preppers rarely deviate.
Chef Jacques Pepin’s grilled turkey wings recipe in the New York Times outlines how turkey wings can be grilled to great culinary effect.
Grilling turkey burgers affords you the opportunity to incorporate several popular Thanksgiving foods, including cranberry sauce and stuffing, into a single menu item. It also provides what is probably the most convenient and time-effective way of preparing turkey for your Thanksgiving meal.
The Allrecipes Thanksgiving turkey burger recipe demonstrates how the full Thanksgiving flavor profile can be served in a single turkey burger with some tantalizing sides to boot.
While ham is strongly overshadowed by turkey for the lead role on the Thanksgiving dinner table, you will be hard pressed to find anyone complaining about a juicy ham as the fixture of any meal, particularly a nicely grilled ham. Sometimes referred to as double-smoked ham, the smoky flavor profile of a ham is only enhanced when grill-roasted and serves as a standout feature to any meal, even one in which it is not traditionally featured.
Food Network offers a grilled honey ham recipe that is sure to impress your loved ones if you are interested in pursuing this alternative entrée for Thanksgiving.
Grilled Thanksgiving Sides to Include
Flame Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Over recent years, the popularity of Brussels sprouts has grown as culinary experts have experimented with different preparation methods. One often overlooked (and delicious) way of preparing Brussels sprouts is on the grill, which allows them to remain crisp and tender with all the sweet flavors and none of the offensive odor, making them a welcome addition to any Thanksgiving plate.
Check out amazingribs.com’s great grill roasted Brussels sprouts recipe, featuring fennel and prosciutto, to learn how you can easily add this delicious grilled side to your Thanksgiving lineup.
Grilled Bread Stuffing
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a side of stuffing. It’s just not Thanksgiving without it and, although it is a traditional component to a traditional meal, there is no reason why you can’t experiment with different prep methods to get the most texture and flavor as possible out of this popular dish.
One great way to mix it up when it comes to stuffing is grilling your bread, which can help maximize the stuffing’s flavor and texture while retaining all the elements you love about stuffing. How Sweet Eats grilled bread stuffing recipe offers insight into how to best prepare grilled stuffing to wow your Thanksgiving guests.
Grill Roasted Root Vegetables
It is not uncommon to serve root vegetables like carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, or turnips as part of your Thanksgiving dinner. Although these sides rarely stands out as the focal point of any meal, you can make yours an addition to remember by preparing your root vegetables on the grill, which helps add pronounced flavor by caramelizing the natural sugars contained in the vegetables.
Grillocracy’s grill roasted root vegetables recipe serves as an excellent guide to nail this unique treat for your Thanksgiving guests.
Grilled Dessert Ideas to Cap it Off
Grilled Apple Pie
Even your Thanksgiving dessert menu can be fully prepared on the grill. Apple pie – a popular Thanksgiving favorite – is a great example of making an involved and time-consuming dessert a breeze by firing it up on the grill.
Check out Delish’s grilled apple pie recipe for easy-to-follow steps on preparing this Thanksgiving favorite dessert on your grill.
Grilled Apricots with Ice Cream
A great way to turn farm-fresh ingredients into a deliciously sweet dessert right from the grill is serving grilled apricots with ice cream. Add some maple syrup into the mix and you will have a line around the corner for a seat at your next Thanksgiving dinner.
Follow the grilled maple-butter apricots with vanilla ice cream recipe from Epicurious to learn how to effectively serve up a grilled Thanksgiving treat your guest won’t be soon to forget.