Repeat: Barbeque season is not over. Barbeque season is not over. If we say it enough times, will it come true? Of course it will. It’s no secret that we adore all things grilled—from the perfectly seared steak to the crispiest pizza. And now, as Thanksgiving approaches, we’re still at it. Oh yes, we are out there in the fall sunshine, finding new and better ways to cook up the old faves on the grill, and this year, it’s—wait for it!—turkey dinner with all the fixins.
Of course, we already know how to cook a juicy bird in the oven, which wines are best to serve with it, and how make the spiciest cranberry sauce around. We also know which sweet potato marshmallow side dish will make everyone’s night. But maybe, just maybe, we want to escape the kitchen heat and take the party outdoors for a change.
How can you cook Thanksgiving dinner on the grill?
Just follow this pointers from Stephen Schroeter, Senior Vice President of Napoleon, North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of quality wood and gas fireplaces, and gourmet gas and charcoal grills.
HOW TO MAKE THANKSGIVING DINNER ON THE GRILL
The Main Course: Grilled Turkey
1. Start by preparing your grill for indirect cooking. Place a drip pan with water above the unlit burners, but below the cooking grate, leaving a space between the cooking grates where you can fit a baster.
2. As the grill heats—aim for a steady temperature of 350°F—get your bird ready. Stuff it with your preferred mixture, season the skin by rubbing the outside of the turkey with butter and then liberally sprinkling with coarse salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh thyme, sage and rosemary from your herb garden, truss the legs and, place it on the heated grill.
3. Check and baste every hour. Cook until it reaches the desired internal temperature—165°F, or about 20 minutes of cooking time per pound. Let it rest after your remove it from the heat but don’t turn your grill off yet.
Insider Tip: To bring new flavours to your turkey, fill a smoker tube with apple wood chips and place on one of the lit burners. The natural smokey flavour is something you simply can’t replicate in your oven. If you can’t access the drip tray with your baster, try making a basting liquid with melted butter and white wine.
The Side Dish: Grilled Potatoes
Save the stress on your stove top by doing the potatoes on your barbeque.
1. Wrap your chopped potatoes in tin foil, with a liberal amount of butter or olive oil (or both!), fresh chopped chives and a minced clove or two of garlic.
2. Place the foil packet on the top shelf and leave it for about an hour, flipping it once.
3. Serve as is or to mash them up with some butter, cream cheese and milk.
The Veggies: Grilled Medley
The barbeque brings a whole new flavour experience to seasonal harvest vegetables. Brushed with olive oil and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, the charred, smokey flavours are unlike anything you can do on your stove.
1. Place them directly over low to medium heat, or use a grill top wok to cook up a medley of peppers, zucchini and carrots.
2. Do you have a side burner? Use it to boil corn on the cob. Or grill the corn in its husks.
The Gravy: Grilled Drippings
The concoction of the turkey drippings (be careful when removing the drip tray from the grill, as it will be hot!) and the white wine-and-butter basting liquid is an excellent base for an incredible turkey gravy.
1. Once the turkey is removed from the grill and is resting, turn on all the burners and place the drip tray on top.
2. As it comes to a gentle boil, whisk together some flour and chicken stock until all the lumps are gone, then whisk that into the drippings.
3. Keep stirring until it is smooth, skim off the fat and pour into your gravyboat.