There’s more than one way to enjoy Thanksgiving grilling. Free up oven space by moving your side dish preparation to your wood pellet grill. Outdoor cooking makes for great flavors in sides as well as the main dish.
The man behind the BBQ Bible, grilling expert Steven Raichlen, says it best:
“Supporting players make your bird look even better.”
This seasonally correct Cranberry-Walnut Planked Brie is an easy, delicious way Steve suggests you start the festivities and help move some of the crowd out of the kitchen and into the cool autumn air.
“A round of creamy French brie is topped with cranberry jelly or even prepared cranberry sauce, then studded with walnut halves. It combines two distinctly American live fire cooking techniques—planking and smoking. Serve with, what else, grilled bread.”
Visit Steven’s complete Thanksgiving sides article here and drool over grilled corn pudding, bacon-bourbon apple crisp, and more.
Sure, you can grill your turkey, too. If you’d rather cook your holiday bird outside this year, read more about our take on turkey grilling for Thanksgiving.
And find inspiration for some more autumn side dish recipes here.
We’re thankful for everyone who chooses to BBQ with Attitude!
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If there’s food involved in a holiday, that’s an opportunity to grill. On the Mexican Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), festivities revolve around ofrendas, colorful altars that honor the departed and include a spread of favorite foods. Let’s talk just a bit about the origins of the holiday, then dig into some delicious recipes.
A little history
Día de Los Muertos began with Aztecs around 3,000 years ago. After the arrival of the Catholic Church in the Americas, Day of the Dead celebrations coincided with the feasts of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. Then as now, generations come together and visit cemeteries to clean headstones, place decorations, and picnic to the accompaniment of mariachi bands.
In today’s Day of the Dead celebrations, sugar skulls, keepsakes, candles, photos of the departed, flowers and food all adorn the ofrendas. The aromas of mole and tamales waft through the air and mingle with the returning spirits. Scent is a traditional element of the celebrations, including pine incense and fresh marigolds in addition to food. The idea that the invisible spirits are real and present is what inspires all these good fragrant elements of the observances.
Inviting the spirits to dinner
The return of your ancestors from the afterlife qualifies as a special occasion, so somewhat fancy foods seem appropriate. Mole is a holiday favorite in Mexican cuisine; this mole sauce recipe would do justice to your Day of the Dead grilled meats. Tamales are another dish for celebrations; the meat in this red chile and pork tamale filling recipe could easily be prepared on your pellet grill rather than the braising method described here. Then you’d have that extra layer of smoky flavor–and smoke, like the spirits who come back to visit, is wondrous and just a bit mysterious.
Enjoy your festivities and remembrances.
Want more chile pepper flavors? Read about readymade and home-brewed chipotle sauces in the Griller’s Gold burger trends blog post.
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Grilling gifts are the gold standard for the Father’s Day holiday. So as you shop, check out this menu of ideas.
Keep those summer beers cool
Corksicle Chillsner Beer Cooling Sticks come in a 2-pack. Just insert into long-neck beer bottles and, well, chill.
Use steam to clean the grill
The Grill Daddy Pro Grill Brush uses the power of steam to clean baked-on grease and food. And that lets the man relax on his big day. (Thanks to BuzzFeed for showing us those two fun items.)
And how about a couple hot-off-the-wood-grill gourmet treats that help Dad cook up the best burgers ever?
Check out our best burger trends and tips here.
You can also keep it simple and delicious by referring to these recent gift guides from Griller’s Gold.
Want cool grilling gadgets with a touch of tech?
Think you want to go natural – just like Griller’s Gold pellets that are made from one natural ingredient, wood?
All of us at Griller’s Gold wish you a great Father’s Day celebration in your own backyard.
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Lamb or ham? That is the question.
Does your family put a leg of lamb at the center of the Easter table every spring?
Keep up the tradition but update it, too, by grilling your leg of lamb.
Methods of cooking lamb
- Many top chefs strongly encourage boning the leg before grilling. Butterflying is the most common suggestion. Leave it to your butcher to carefully separate the meat from the bone while keeping the main pieces connected. Then the meat is spread out in one piece, like a butterfly opens its wings. Try this recipe here.
- Instead of butterflying a boned leg of lamb and cooking it whole, slightly more ambitious home cooks carefully cut along the four natural muscle separations, which are visible, and pull the four pieces apart. Grilling the lamb this way contributes to the most delicious crust, makes it easier to determine the doneness of pieces of different thickness, and simplifies carving. Try this recipe here.
- For a simpler approach, grill the leg bone-in. Because this cut is so thick, it requires slow cooking over indirect heat – perfect for the wood pellet grill. Try this recipe here.
If your family typically cooks ham for the holiday, this year, try smoking one for yourself.
Learn how at HowToBBQRight.com Here’s what these savvy smokers say:
“You can indeed smoke a ham from scratch. It’s a pretty interesting process, involving brining for 12 to 14 days, among other things. If you want to save the time but want to add your own delicious smoked flavor in your own backyard, start with a pre-cooked ham.”
The site’s Malcolm Reed offers this great recipe (also shown here in video) to get the juices flowing. Malcolm combines a pre-cooked ham, a homemade sweet glaze, and an expedited smoking technique. Yum.
Malcolm adds this tip:
“Since we’re essentially “double-smoking” the ham, you should stay away from using stronger woods like Hickory or Oak. These will easily overpower the natural flavor of the ham. Place the ham on the smoker and check it every hour. If the outside starts to look a little dry, use some of the glaze for basting.”
The entire cooking time should take about 2 ½ – 3 hours.
Whether you choose lamb or ham, enjoy a great grilled holiday.
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Making Valentine’s Day dinner at home, lovingly handcrafting a very special meal, is about as romantic as it gets. Here are some heartwarming choices for the main dish.
If you want steakhouse style, buy high-quality, thick New York strips, with their beautiful marbling, tenderness, and flavor. Remember not to trim the fat; leaving it on contributes to both taste and moisture. Grill them with care and attention, per Peter Jautaikis, author of The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook. Jautaikis recommends steaks 1-1/4” to 1-1/2” thick, cooked 2 to 3 minutes per side on a grill preheated to 450 degrees.
If you have more time to put into your culinary efforts to celebrate your true love, smoke a flavorful tri-tip roast. Marinate overnight, prep the grill, and plan on cooking 2 hours for a 2 ½-3 lb. roast. It’s another great recipe from Jautaikis.
Now, light the candles, set an especially elegant salad out on the table, make sure the chocolate dessert is ready to serve, and pour two glasses of your favorite red wine.* For the BBQ lover, it’s the perfect occasion.
*Want some suggestions for red wine pairings that are as perfectly suited as you and your mate? For grilled strip steak, a robust wine with the tannins, acidity, and alcohol to cut through the meat’s fat is the ideal; look for Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel, according to the blog at wines.com. And Fiona Beckett’s blog, Matching Food & Wine, enthusiastically recommends a lush, ripe Australian Shiraz with smoked beef.
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Barbeque is what happens when the human brain decides to try amazing things with food and fire. Nowadays, we can all enjoy advances in barbecuing with some pretty impressively engineered wood pellet grills. And working in well-designed harmony with those barbecues are cutting-edge accessories. They make perfect gifts for the griller who wants the latest and greatest.
Just in case you haven’t heard, you can shop digitally, too. Like Griller’s Gold Premium BBQ Pellets, these grilling gifts are just a click away on Amazon.
Advanced BBQ Kit
Grilling gloves made of silicon to really, truly protect your hands from heat: check. (One reviewer says “I’ll never use fabric oven gloves again.”) An instant-read digital thermometer that switches between Fahrenheit to Celsius: check. Meat claws that may sound a bit savage, but use precise design and great materials to take the inconvenience and clumsiness out of shredding pork, beef, chicken: check.
Find it here on Amazon
LED Gooseneck Grill Light
Keep cooking outdoors into the evening hours with the right light for grilling. The battery-powered LED light is bright. The long, flexible gooseneck lets you adjust the angle to see what you need on your grill. And oh, that magnetic, heavy aluminum base! It holds firmly, and of course, it’s heat resistant. You can also use the screw clamp to secure the light to either vertical or horizontal surface.
Find it here on Amazon
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling by Meathead Goldwyn
“Goldwyn, whose day job is running the website amazingribs.com, explores the complexity of heat, meat, and smoke in the first half of his book, with a sense of humor sharper than his nickname suggests and a stack of scientific research provided by physicist Greg Blonder. Then he offers more than 100 recipes to take to the grill…[an] excellent guidebook.” —Publishers Weekly. And yes, it’s available in a digital edition as well as hardcover.
Find it here on Amazon
Check out our guide to all-natural grilling goodies, too. And don’t forget to give yourself the gift of great wood pellet grilling with family, friends, and Griller’s Gold this holiday season. Cheers!
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