Skip to content
FREE OTTAWA / GATINEAU DELIVERY ON ORDERS OVER $699 and FREE SHIPPING OVER $999*
FREE OTTAWA / GATINEAU DELIVERY ON ORDERS OVER $699 and FREE SHIPPING OVER $999*

Thanksgiving BBQ & Smoking Essentials: A Feast Like No Other

By: Capital BBQ 
September 25, 2023

Thanksgiving, with its heartwarming traditions and delectable dishes, holds a special place in our hearts. While many families opt for the classic oven-roasted turkey, there's a growing culinary trend that's captivating taste buds across the nation: BBQing and smoking. Here, we unwrap the essentials needed to create a smoked and grilled Thanksgiving feast that will be remembered for years to come.

1. Picking the Perfect Bird

Before you even light the grill or smoker, it's essential to select the right turkey. Fresh, free-range, and organic options often offer superior taste. However, if you're choosing a frozen turkey, ensure you give it ample time to defrost safely in the refrigerator.

Size and Weight:
The size of your turkey should be based on your guest count. A good rule of thumb is to account for 1 to 1.5 pounds per person. This ensures enough meat for everyone and possibly some leftovers.

Fresh vs. Frozen: Fresh turkeys tend to have a more natural flavor and juiciness. However, frozen turkeys can be just as good if properly thawed. Avoid "quick-thawing" methods that can compromise the meat's texture.

Recommendation: Visit our friends over at Farm Boy for your fresh turkey!

2. Brining for Flavor and Moisture

Brining is a game-changer when smoking or BBQing a turkey. This process not only seasons the bird but also ensures it remains moist during the long cooking process. Consider a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and your choice of herbs and spices. Let the turkey soak overnight for the best results.

Why Brine?:
Brining helps to break down some of the turkey's muscle fibers, ensuring a more tender bird. The salt in the brine allows the meat to retain more moisture, making for juicier results.

Recipe Tips: Enhance your brine with ingredients like citrus slices, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and peppercorns. For a sweet touch, consider adding maple syrup, brown sugar, or apple cider.

Recommended Products: The Briner Bucket up to 15lb or 25lbTraeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner KitMeat Church Bird Baptism Poultry Brine

3. Choose Your Fuel Wisely

Different woods, pellets, charcoal and gas impart distinct flavors. For turkey, woods and pellets like apple, cherry, or hickory are popular choices. They offer a mild, fruity smoke that complements the meat without overpowering it.

Recommended Products: Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner KitTraeger Hickory Wood Pellets 20 lb BagTraeger Cherry Wood Pellets 20 lb BagTraeger Apple Wood Pellets 20 lb BagBGE Premium Kiln Dried Apple Wood Smoking Chips 2.9LXYLO Carbone Charcoal Lumps Signature Canadian Maple 15 lb Bag

4. Mastering Temperature Control

Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial. For smoking, aim for a range between 225°F and 250°F. If you're BBQing, you'll be cooking at higher temperatures. Invest in a good thermometer to monitor your bird's internal temperature, pulling it off the heat once it reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.

Indirect Heat: Especially for larger birds, cooking with indirect heat prevents the outside from burning while the inside remains undercooked. Place your coals or burners on one side and the turkey on the other.

Monitor Regularly: Temperature fluctuations can affect cooking times and results. Regularly monitor both the smoker or grill's temperature and the turkey's internal temperature.

Recommended Products: Thermoworks Thermapen ONETraeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey)Thermoworks ThermoPop

5. Don't Forget the Sides!

While the turkey is the star of the show, smoked or grilled sides can be show-stoppers. Consider grilling vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, or Brussels sprouts. Smoked mac and cheese or cornbread can also be fantastic additions to your Thanksgiving table.

Infusing Smoke: For dishes like smoked mac and cheese or cornbread, consider using a shallow, wide dish that maximizes surface area, allowing more smoke to infuse the dish.

Grilled Veggies: Slice vegetables uniformly to ensure even cooking. Brush with a little oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasonings, and grill until they have a nice char.

Recommended Product: Duck Fat Spray (7oz), Our Premium Sauces and Rubs

6. Let it Rest

After hours of anticipation, you might be tempted to dive right in. However, allowing your turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes will make it juicier and easier to carve.

Why Rest?: Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Cutting into the turkey too soon can cause these juices to spill out, leaving the meat dry.

Cover Lightly: Use a foil tent to cover the turkey while it rests. This retains heat without making the skin soggy.

Recommended Products: Broil King Butcher Paper

7. Pairing with Drinks

While the turkey is the star of the show, smoked or grilled sides can be show-stoppers. Consider grilling vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, or Brussels sprouts. Smoked mac and cheese or cornbread can also be fantastic additions to your Thanksgiving table.

For Smoked Turkey: Consider a wine with smoky undertones, such as a Syrah or a Zinfandel. For beer lovers, a smoked porter or a rich stout can complement the bird beautifully.For

Grilled Sides: Crisp white wines or light beers like pilsners can balance out the charred flavors of grilled vegetables.

Or: Go on full Cocktail mode! There are many seasonal cocktail recipes out there to knock the socks off of some of your guests. Have fun and be creative! 

Recommended Products: Traeger Bloody Mary Cocktail Salt 4 oz.Traeger Smoked Simple Syrup Cocktail Mixer

Check out our friends at Calabogie Brewery and Whitewater Brewing Co.

Conclusion: Enjoy The Family, Friends And Feast!

BBQing and smoking for Thanksgiving might be a departure from the norm, but it's a culinary adventure worth taking. With the right tools and techniques, you can elevate your feast and introduce your loved ones to a whole new world of flavors. This Thanksgiving, may your turkeys be juicy, your sides delectable, and your heart full of gratitude.

Recommended Products

Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086
Napoleon Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel 64008 Accessory Rotisserie 629162640086

Napoleon 64008 Rotisserie Shish Kebab Wheel

$59.99
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket (up to 25 lb turkey or roast) TB1101 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket (up to 25 lb turkey or roast) TB1101 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket (up to 25 lb turkey or roast) TB1101 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket (up to 25 lb turkey or roast) TB1101 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket (up to 25 lb turkey or roast) TB1101 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket (up to 25 lb turkey or roast) TB1101 Accessory Food Prep Tool

The Briner Bucket (up to 25 lb turkey or roast)

$69.99
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Black THS-235-477 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Blue THS-235-457 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Orange THS-235-487 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Green THS-235-437 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Red THS-235-447 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Yellow THS-235-427 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Gray THS-235-407 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 White THS-235-417 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Purple THS-235-507 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Pink THS-235-497 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Black THS-235-477 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Blue THS-235-457 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Orange THS-235-487 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Green THS-235-437 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Red THS-235-447 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Yellow THS-235-427 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Gray THS-235-407 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 White THS-235-417 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Purple THS-235-507 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Pink THS-235-497 Accessory Thermometer Wireless
Thermoworks Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235 Accessory Thermometer Wireless

Thermoworks Thermapen ONE THS-235

$149.99
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket Jr (up tp 15 lb turkey or roast) TB1102 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket Jr (up tp 15 lb turkey or roast) TB1102 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket Jr (up tp 15 lb turkey or roast) TB1102 Accessory Food Prep Tool
Turkey Tom The Briner Bucket Jr (up tp 15 lb turkey or roast) TB1102 Accessory Food Prep Tool

The Briner Bucket Jr (up tp 15 lb turkey or roast)

$42.99
Gospel BBQ Duck Fat Spray (7oz) DUCKSP Sauce & Rub
Gospel BBQ Duck Fat Spray (7oz) DUCKSP Sauce & Rub

Duck Fat Spray (7oz)

$16.99
Napoleon Napoleon 69001 Commercial Quality Rotisserie Forks 69001 Accessory Rotisserie 629162690012
Napoleon Napoleon 69001 Commercial Quality Rotisserie Forks 69001 Accessory Rotisserie 629162690012

Napoleon 69001 Commercial Quality Rotisserie Forks

$37.99
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey)
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825
Traeger Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey) RT1-MT-MP01 Accessory Thermometer Wireless 634868941825

Traeger Meater Plus Wireless Meat Thermometer (Honey)

$149.99
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092
Traeger Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit PEL351 Accessory Smoker Wood Chip & Chunk 634868938092

Traeger Turkey Blend Wood Pellets 18lb (Limited Edition) + Briner Kit

$39.99