Holiday meals are a time to gather family, friends, and showcase your favorite recipes. If you love pellet grilling and the bbq flavors that come along with it, it is easy to incorporate them into your Christmas or New Years dinner! As with any holiday meal, planning your menu and timing of recipes is key. These tips, ideas, and favorite recipes will allow your holiday dinner to go off without a hitch with the use of your pellet grill.
Write your Menu
This isn’t the time to wing it! Plan what appetizer, side dish, main course and dessert you will be making, and write out your plan. This will help you determine what to prep in the days before your holiday gathering, which recipes can be cooked on the pellet grill the day before, and the timing of cooking foods on your pellet grill the day of your big meal.
Start with an Appetizer
A great way to showcase the great flavors of pellet grilling with low pressure at a big holiday meal is to start with an appetizer. You can fire up your pellet grill before guests arrive, and welcome your guests within a few minutes of arrival with a taste of bbq! Smoked Olives can be made the day before and served cold, along with some crusty bread to dip in the smoked olive oil. Smoked Meatballs can be prepped the day before then given a quick smoke as guests are arriving, and served fresh right from the grill. To make your holiday meal even easier, use a bag of frozen meatballs in your favorite sauce then warm them on the pellet grill.
Planning on cooking a Sirloin Roast or Smoked Butter Turkey? Two smaller roasts or two smaller turkeys will decrease the cook time, will still allowing plenty of delicious bbq meat for your guests. Or go a different route with these delectable Garlic Cream Cheese Stuffed Strip Steak Pinwheels, they can be prepped ahead of time and are ready to be served after an hour long stint on the pellet grill. You’re trying to simplify your holiday meal with the use of the pellet grill, and that includes cook time!
If you are a traditionalist and have an oven baked main course you always serve for the holiday meal, consider adding a smoked side dish or two. These can be made in the pellet grill while your main course is in the oven indoors. Voila, no juggling crockpots and microwaves and stove top items in an attempt to perfectly time your dishes! Smoked Mac and Cheese is a crowd pleaser, and can be cooked on the pellet grill at the same time as Roasted Brussels Sprouts or another side dish. Plan two sides with similar cook times, and you’ll be set!
Dessert, of course!
Pellet grilled desserts are a great way to add a unique flavor to your holiday meal. Especially if you are planning several desserts, make sure one is a pellet grill recipe! This Cheesecake with Bourbon Pecan Topping screams holiday dessert, and the bonus is you can make it the day before whilst prepping the rest of your holiday meal. For a quick, easy dessert hack, take a store bought fruit pie and heat it on the pellet grill as you sit down for your main meal. A low temperature smoke will warm your pie while infusing a touch of smoke flavor.
Purchase your Pellets
Have enough pellets on hand ahead of the day you’re cooking! There is nothing worse than realizing mid-cook you don’t have enough hardwood pellets! We recommend having a variety of flavors for the recipes you want to make. 100% Hickory or Perfect Mix are must haves for your main course if it is a meat entrée, and a lighter pellet such as 100% Black Cherry or Apple Mash will perfectly compliment your appetizers and desserts with a lighter smoke flavor. Buying in bulk with our Bulk Mix and Match will allow you to purchase multiple flavors at one time, and to always have a variety of hardwood pellets on hand to complement your recipe of choice.
With a bit of planning, you can bring delicious pellet grilled bbq flavor to an otherwise traditional holiday meal. You should love the meal you’re making as much as your guests, so find a way to utilize your favorite pellet grilled recipes! Happy Holidays, everyone!