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How to Cook an Entire Thanksgiving Meal Outdoors

Things can get hectic on Thanksgiving.  Kitchens are crowded and overly warm, sometimes making the cooking process difficult.

One solution to clear the kitchen would be to do all of your cooking outside.  For those with access to a grill and plenty of convenient outdoor space, here are some easy ways you can cook your entire Thanksgiving meal outdoors.

Thanksgiving Day Turkey
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of individuals wishing for a different way to celebrate on Thanksgiving. If you’re one of those people, then here are some ways to spice up your traditional Thanksgiving bird outdoors.

  • Deep fry it:  This cooking method can easily be done with the guidance of someone who has experience in frying turkeys.
  • Smoke it:  Covered and left to sit on the grill, this method may take a while. But, while it may be time consuming, smoking requires hardly any maintenance throughout the day, meaning this method may be very helpful for those planning a big feast.
  • Grill it:  Again, this may not be the quickest way to prepare your entreé, but it is a simple way to cook turkey while also giving you extra room in the oven for side dishes and pies.
Turkey on a grill
Grill your turkey for a unique and flavorful taste.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes
How can you start a new tradition this Thanksgiving?  Consider cooking your side dishes outdoors as well.  Here are some simple ideas:

  • Grill whole ears of corn before putting the kernels in any sort of creamed corn dish or casserole. Grilling adds a nice, smoky flavor, which contrasts well with the sweetness of the corn.
  • Wrap sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes) in aluminum foil, leaving some extra air space for steam. Place the potatoes on the grill—or on a rack inside of it—and let them cook. When you open the tinfoil, you can eat the potatoes as is, or you can use them in a sweet potato casserole (or use regular potatoes as mashed potatoes). Again, an easy switch to one thing can enhance the flavor of your entire Thanksgiving feast.
Roasted corn is a delicious side dish, and it is quite easy to make.
Roasted corn is a delicious side dish, and it is quite easy to make.

Delicious Thanksgiving Desserts
There are not many desserts you would want to prepare outside; however, caramelized apples are delicious when prepared on the grill.

All you need to do is cut an apple in half, core it, and rub sugar on the flat, juicy part. Place it on the grill—though beware of possible flames springing up when sprinkles of sugar meets flames.  After a few seconds, you have delicious caramelized apples. Add vanilla ice cream and top with warm raisins and caramel sauce.

Caramelized apples, cooked on the grill.
Caramelized apples, cooked on the grill.

We would love to see what your Thanksgiving looks like–outdoor cooking or otherwise.  Send us your Thanksgiving photo in this Thanksgiving photo challenge.


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