4 grill-centric, delicious recipes for spicing up the holiday season this year

Oct 6 2021, 3:27 pm

After a chaotic 2020, we can safely say we’re looking forward to spending the holiday season with our favourite people this year. And with festivities fast approaching, we’ve got one thing top of mind: the feasts we’re going to prepare.

While tradition plays a big part in holiday dinners year after year, we know that life is too short to play by the cookbook rules at every turn. So, with that in mind, we’re doing something we’ve never done before; we’re preparing our entire holiday spread on the grill.

The beauty of grilling food is that you can do it at any time of the year and get consistent results, impeccable flavour, and a memorable experience; it’s not something that’s limited to beach days during the summer months. With a Traeger Grill specifically, the aromas and taste are locked in with the perfect smoke that results from all-natural hardwood pellets.

To celebrate the possibilities of grilling — from dinner to dessert (yas!) — this holiday season, we’ve rounded up four BBQ recipes worth trying.

Ultimate Smoked Turkey

Ultimate Smoked Turkey (Traeger)

Since turkey is the star of any holiday meal, it deserves to be smoked just right. The wonderful thing about this recipe? It involves just 20 minutes of prep time. Brined in a signature citrus mix, seasoned with a turkey rub, and smoked over a turkey blend hardwood, it has everything you need to lock in flavour inside and out.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (18 to 20 lb) turkey
  • 1 Traeger Orange Brine and Turkey Rub Kit
  • 1/2 cup Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub
  • 1/2 pound butter, softened

Method: 

The day before, brine the turkey according to the Traeger Turkey Brine Kit package directions. Remove from brine, rinse, and pat dry. Next, season the inside cavity with two tablespoons of Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub, reserving the rest for the exterior.

Prepare the turkey by separating the skin from the breast, creating a pocket to stuff the softened butter in. Then, cover the entire breast with 1/4 inch thickness of butter. Season the exterior of the bird with the remaining rub. Transfer to the fridge and let chill for at least one hour. 

Remove from the fridge, truss the legs and tuck the wing tips back around the bird. When ready to cook, set the Traeger to 225℉ and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal turkey flavour, use Traeger Turkey Pellets if available. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and place directly on the grill grate. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 100 to 110℉.

Increase the temperature on the grill to 350℉ and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160℉ when inserted in the thickest part of the turkey breast (check every 30 minutes after grill temperature is increased). Cook time will be about three to four hours total. The turkey will continue to cook once taken off the grill to reach a final temperature of 165℉ in the breast.

Lastly, remove the bird from the grill and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Baked Pear, Bacon, and Brown Butter Stuffing

Baked Pear, Bacon, and Brown Butter Stuffing (Traeger)

Every year, fare over the holidays is made better with stuffing. But instead of buying the same old pre-made mix at the store, why not try this dreamy side starring sautéed sweet pears, salty bacon, and soft brioche? To make it better, Traeger now has an Apple Watch feature on its app, which basically simplifies the process of cooking even further. Once you set your grill, this mouth-watering dish will be ready in just one hour.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 brioche loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth

Method:

When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 225ËšF and preheat while keeping the lid closed for 15 minutes. Spread the bread out onto a sheet pan and place directly on the grill grate. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the bread is toasted and dried out. Then, transfer the bread to a large bowl.

Place the bacon in a 12-inch skillet and cook on the stovetop over medium heat until the fat is rendered out and the bacon is lightly browned. Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon fat. Add celery, onions, and pears to the bacon skillet and season with salt. Cook until the veggies are soft and aromatic — about eight to 10 minutes. Add rosemary, thyme, and garlic and cook for one or two minutes more. Transfer the veggie mixture to the bowl with the bread.

Add butter to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the butter foams. Stir with a heat-proof spatula and cook until it begins to smell nutty and the milk solids begin to brown. Pour browned butter over the vegetables and bread. Increase the grill temperature to 350ËšF and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes. Add the eggs and chicken broth to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to prevent breaking the bread.

Transfer the mixture to a two-quart casserole dish and cover it with foil. Place the casserole directly on the grill grate and cook for 45 minutes or until cooked through and the top is lightly browned.

BBQ Vegetable Salad with Salsa Verde

BBQ Vegetable Salad with Salsa Verde (Traeger)

Surprise your nearest and dearest (and yourself) with a next-level side dish this holiday season. Featuring wood-fired veggies topped with a herb-loaded salsa verde, this impressive salad requires just 20 minutes of prep time. Once you try it, don’t be surprised if it becomes your new go-to.

Ingredients: 

Salsa Verde 

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 4 whole fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 6 whole gherkins in sweet vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped anchovies
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 tbsp high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Main

  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into rounds
  • 3 whole ears corn
  • 1 whole bell pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup sliced halloumi cheese

Method: 

For the salsa verde: peel the garlic and pick the herb leaves, then finely chop on a large cutting board with the capers, gherkins, and anchovies. Place in a bowl, add the mustard and vinegar, then slowly stir in the oil until you achieve the right consistency. Balance the flavours with black pepper, a bit of sea salt, and a little more vinegar, if needed.

When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 350°F and preheat, keeping the lid closed for 15 minutes. Toss all the vegetables in extra-virgin olive oil and grill for 30 minutes (or until golden and soft). Once cool enough to handle, cut the cheeks off the bell pepper and discard the inner membrane, seeds, and stem. Cut all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

Heat a large skillet on the grill and fry cheese slices for a couple of minutes on each side or until a golden-brown crust is formed. Toss the cheese and veggies together. Serve with salsa verde and enjoy.

Baked Apple Bourbon Crisp

Baked Apple Bourbon Crisp (Traeger)

Dessert completes any holiday meal — every single time. But if, like us, you feel as though you’ve exhausted your options for pumpkin-inspired desserts, we suggest shaking things up with a baked bourbon apple crisp. It’s a contemporary take on a classic with an unparalleled wood-fired flavour. This recipe — among hundreds of others — can be accessed through the WiFIRE technology on your Traeger Grill. How cool is that?

Ingredients:

Main

  • butter
  • ice cream, for serving

Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 tbsp cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Filling

  • 3 pounds granny smith or honey crisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt

Method: 

Generously butter the inside of a well seasoned 12-inch cast-iron skillet and set aside. For the topping: in the bowl of a food processor, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, walnuts, cinnamon, and butter. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly and still clumpy, then set aside.

For the filling: in a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, honey, bourbon, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Stir gently to combine. Pour the fruit mixture into the buttered skillet. Drop the topping evenly over the fruit.

When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 350℉ and preheat, keeping the lid closed for 15 minutes. Bake the apple crisp for about 60 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is hot and bubbling. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before serving with ice cream.


You can find Traeger Grills at participating grill dealers and retailers across the country. To learn more about the brand’s full product lineup or find even more drool-worthy recipes, visit Traegergrills.ca.

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