Thanksgiving Consumer Preparation Tips
Thanksgiving on the Grill: Consumers Bring Holiday Feasts Outside Holiday Outdoor Cooking Tips from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
Year-round outdoor cooking remains popular consumers among home cooks, forgoing the oven or stove-top and opting for turkey and trimmings cooked on the grill, smoker or fryer. According to a 2013 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s (HPBA) survey, when it comes to cooking their Thanksgiving meals, consumers are most likely to cook their turkey outside (53%), followed by vegetables (21%), appetizers (12%), classic sides (11%) and desserts (3%).* 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.
HPBA provides the following tips and know-how for delicious, mouth-watering roasted, smoked or fried turkey this holiday season:
Roasted Taste – from the Grill (Using the Indirect Grilling Procedure)
- Purchase a turkey that is broad and flat to fit underneath the covered grill top.
- Make sure there is at least one-inch of space between the turkey and the grill lid.
- Apply a thin coating of non-stick vegetable cooking oil to the unheated rack and brush the outer surface of the turkey with cooking oil.
- Do not tie the legs together when grilling a whole bird. The turkey will cook more evenly if hot air circulates to all areas of the bird.
- Allow for two to three hours of indirect cooking time for an eight to 12 pound turkey and three to four hours for a 12-16 pound turkey.
Smoked Turkey – for a Different, Flavorful Experience
- Be sure the smoker reaches an internal temperature of 250° F to 300° F before inserting the turkey.
- Place the turkey in the smoker with the breast facing up.
- Allow for at least one inch of space between the turkey and the smoker lid.
- If using charcoal or wood, add fuel often to maintain the 250° F to 300° F temperature necessary to produce the hot smoke that cooks the turkey.
- Smoke the turkey 20 to 30 minutes per pound.
Fried Turkey – a Crisp Alternative
- Thaw the turkey completely and pat it dry. Cook the bird un-stuffed.
- In addition to frying a whole turkey, turkey breasts, legs and thighs are also ideal for frying.
- If using an oil fryer, always use a high smoke point frying oil, such as peanut oil. Never allow the cooking oil to exceed 375° F.
- Always lower the turkey slowly into the hot oil.
- Allow three to four minutes of fry-time per pound for whole turkeys in an oil fryer and eight to ten minutes per pound in an infrared oil-less fryer.
- Allow oil to cool completely before removing from pot.