Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can come with some stress, especially if it’s your first time in charge of the day’s festivities. Between the planning, cooking, and entertaining, there are a few revolving parts to take into account on the big day. But gone are the days of frantically running around the kitchen trying to figure everything out at the last minute. That’s because we’ve put together the ultimate beginner’s guide to Thanksgiving dinner just for you. These tips are sure to make you the star of the day and will definitely have your friends and family giving thanks to you!
Prepping for a Grilled Thanksgiving Meal
Every great Thanksgiving dinner has a well-thought-out plan in place prior to getting to the thick of things. Whether you’re serving a small group or having the entire family over, it’s important that you figure out logistics ahead of time, and always plan to feed a few extra when you’re grocery shopping. We recommend grilling your Thanksgiving dinner, so you’ll want to find some of your favorite veggies, side dishes, and of course, a turkey small enough for your grill, but large enough to feed everyone. By using your grill, you’ll be able to get a rich, smoky taste in your food. And the grill will allow you to enjoy the company of your friends and family without everyone being cramped up in your kitchen.
Tools and Accessories You’ll Need
One of the most overlooked parts of any cookout, especially a Thanksgiving cookout, are the tools required to make everything run smoothly. Apart from the food itself, these tools could make the difference between a good and great experience for you and your guests. Here are a few items you should consider having at your disposal when preparing your Thanksgiving meal.
Start with the accessories needed to cook the perfect turkey. Consider purchasing a pack of disposable latex gloves to help you clean out your turkey and make carving a little easier. Remember to also invest in a pair of grilling gloves to handle the high heats of your grill and your food.
2. Grill Brush
Having a clean grill is a must. That’s why you need a sturdy grill brush to wipe away all those leftover bits and pieces from your last cookout. Remember, the cleaner the grill, the better your food will taste. Check out these tips on how to tune up your grill!
3. Wood Chips
To get that rich, delicious and smoky flavor from your turkey, there’s no better option than wood chips. Our wood smoking guide gives you plenty of insight into which wood chips work well with various kinds of meats, including turkey. If you decide to go with the wood chips, be sure to remember your smoker box, or create your own smoker pouch.
4. Baking Pans and Aluminum foil
Depending on your recipe and how you like to grill your turkey, you could do with baking pans and aluminum foil. A nice size aluminum baking pan and aluminum foil will help your turkey keep its moisture throughout the long grilling process. Be sure to cover the pan well before placing it on the grill.
5. Meat Thermometer
Rather than using the poke test, invest in a meat thermometer to find out what the true internal temperature of your turkey is. The meat thermometer will be your saving grace from serving an undercooked turkey to a group of your closest friends and family. Consult our internal temperature guide to find out the best temperature to serve your turkey.
Turkey Grilling Tips to Keep In Mind
Now that you’ve taken care of all the prep work and have all your tools and accessories purchased, it’s time to fire up the grill. There are several ways and recipes on how to grill turkey, but the first step in almost all of them begins with thawing the turkey. Like any other meat, it’s hard to work with turkey if it is completely or even partially frozen. The thawing process can take several hours depending on the size of your turkey, so keep that in mind during your preparation. Once thawed, follow along on the directions of your chosen turkey recipe. One of our favorites is this Maple-Brined Turkey with Bacon Gravy. You can knock out two crucial items of the Thanksgiving dinner spread with this recipe and your guests will surely come back for seconds. And with a total cook time of about one to two hours, it’s the perfect recipe to feed the hungriest and most impatient of crowds.
Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without sides and desserts. Here are a few of our favorite spins on the classics.
1. Cheesy Beer Potatoes
||Mashed potatoes are a staple of Thanksgiving, but if you’re looking to switch it up a bit this yea0r, look no further than our Cheesy Beer Potatoes recipe.
2. Pasta Primavera Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
3. BBQ Peach & Blueberry Pie
||Apart from turkey, nothing says Thanksgiving quite like pie, and this BBQ Peach & Blueberry Pie recipe will have everyone smiling from ear to ear once they have a slice or two.
4. Pecan Chocolate Bars
||It may not be pecan pie, but these Pecan Chocolate Bars more than carry their weight at the dinner table. Cut them into bite-sized shareable pieces and everyone will leave the table happy!
Think you’re ready to make a good impression this Thanksgiving? With these tips and recipes, you’ll have plenty to show off when your guests come over. Be sure to have plenty of propane on hand as Thanksgiving dinner on the grill can take a little while to finish. Check out our Propane Finder and visit the closest location carrying Blue Rhino today!