It's no wonder consumers are firing up their grills past the summer season and into the cooler holiday months. Whether you choose to fry, smoke or grill a turkey, outdoor cooking options offer superior flavor for holiday meals.
Americans agree that there are many reasons to be thankful for outdoor cooking! In fact, HPBA's 2010 National Poll reveals why consumers are thankful for cooking-out this holiday season - and all year round:
- A New Taste of Tradition: 81% of people agree the leading benefit of outdoor cooking is the taste! Try the superior flavor and crisp texture of grilled, smoked or fried turkey this year.
- Take a Load Off, Dinner's Done!: 67% of Americans say outdoor cooking is number one for its easy preparation and clean up compared to the oven. Cooking outside frees up oven space and food tastes great.
- The Affordable Option for a very Happy Thanksgrilling: Outdoor cooking can minimize cost while maximizing flavor so your holiday celebration won't break the bank. 67% of consumers say that cost savings are key - citing that smoking, grilling and frying provide the full taste satisfaction at lower prices than prepared foods or eating out.
- Holiday Weight Be Gone: Food cooked on the grill can provide healthier meal options compared to oven-cooked preparations (64% of consumers agree, healthier prep is the number one benefit). Try a lean smoking or grilling preparation this holiday and pile on the turkey - guilt free!
- Who Doesn't Love Leftovers?: Leftovers are one of the best parts of the holiday season. Grilling, smoking and frying are easy cooking options to extend the life and taste of leftovers. Check out HPBA recipes to get more from your holiday extras.
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) estimates 46 million turkeys will be cooked this holiday. With grilling, smoking or frying the whole turkey or turkey breast gaining popularity, HPBA and NTF offer tips for a safe and delicious meal:
- 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 - while set-up on a flat, stable surface, preferably on a protective grill pad, and away from any combustible materials.
- Purchase a whole turkey according to the weight recommendations in your grill's, smoker's or fryer's 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 to 170° F in the breast and 175° F to 180° F in the thigh.
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