Who says you can’t fire up the charcoal during the Holiday season?
Probably not as many people that would have never considered using the grill or smoker for cooking a Christmas meal only a few years ago. After all, more and more people have been using smokers, grills, and even fryers to produce tasty Thanksgiving turkeys in place of the kitchen oven.
BBQ ideas for Christmas
When you think about it, there’s a reason that the word “roasted” or “smoked” appears in front of items like ham, lamb, goose, or turkey! Remember Scrooge and that the spirits reminded him about what the Holiday Season was about. Then he instructed the youngster to buy the big goose hanging in the shop window. I don’t think he was planning on bringing back home to bake in his stainless steel gas convection oven with center stove griddle and bread warming compartment.
Nope, that goose was destined to be slow-roasted over flames from wood or charcoal! Heck – if Scrooge can enjoy a grilled goose during Christmas why can’t we enjoy that flavor with our choice of the main dish? There’s no reason why not. The great thing about considering moving from the oven to your grill is that you start to think about charcoal types, the best lighter fluid alternatives, Christmas gifts for grillers, and even the best ways to start your grill.
And, not everyone around the globe sticks to what grilling gurus in the State would consider being a traditional Christmas meal! It may be Ham or Turkey that reigns in the USA and much of North America, but other parts of the world serve up plenty of other tasty dishes.
Ham and Turkey Dominate in the USA
Turkey and ham rule in the states from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Time magazine estimates that Americans purchase over 22 million turkeys and above 318 million pounds of ham during the holiday season. More and more of those birds and hams are destined to be cooked using charcoal in a covered grill or smoker. That means people will be wondering about charcoal types and what works best for their chosen meat.
The good news is that both lump and charcoal briquettes work perfectly for either. And if you are looking for the perfect Christmas gifts for grillers you should consider a better way to light your charcoal that does not involve lighter fluid. The Looft Lighter is the best lighter fluid alternative.
Just point the Looft Lighter at your bed of charcoal and press the button. Once sparks start to fly you slowly back the Looft Lighter away and watch your charcoal start! You’ll have that turkey or ham going in no time! Why wait for an extended period to get your charcoal going when you can do it in seconds? And, there’s no lighter fluid after taste.
Fried Chicken in Japan for Christmas?
One Christmas meal that’s been a tradition in Japan as a result of possibly the greatest marketing campaign in history. Back in the 70s, an American fast chain that is known for its fried chicken ran ads promoting a “bucket” of chicken as the perfect holiday meal. The company was Kentucky Fried Chicken, now simply known as KFC, and it’s been a tradition for many Japanese families ever since. Talk about successful marketing!
According to news sources, orders for KFC fried chicken start coming in several weeks before Christmas! Yes, there are still plenty of other dishes served up during Christmas in Japan but Fried Chicken seems to be locked in. Plus, KFC also offers grilled chicken options from time to time even though it’s not part of their regular menu anymore. They also have plenty of menu items that can be cooked using a covered grill with charcoal.
That opens the door for all kinds of grilled options for a Christmas chicken dinner! You can plan your Japanese holiday chicken-inspired meal to include savory seasoned grilled chicken from whole birds, breast, thighs, wings, drumsticks to tenders. You can also pull from the menu for additional ideas that are perfect for the grill such as corn, potatoes, and even a pan of loaded mac and cheese!
Once again, choosing charcoal is the perfect option for your Japan-inspired Santa meal. Chicken is perfect for grilling as are the sides mentioned above. Your list of perfect Christmas gifts for grillers can also include a wood chip smoker box or smoker box for bonus flavor. Start the charcoal with your Looft Lighter, when ready, simply add the basket or box packed with wood chips or pellets, and the smoke starts bellowing.
Costa Rican Christmas Smoked Banana Leaf Tamales and Pork Leg
Costa Rica takes traditional tamales to new levels during the Christmas Holidays according to costarica.com. The traditional tamales are made using banana leaves as the wrap. These leaves have been slow-smoked a day early to add flavor. Then the meat mixture is prepared using everything from smoked pork to grilled chicken.
The meat is mixed with ingredients such as carrots, potatoes, onions, red belt peppers, green peas, and even green olives. Once ready, the mixture is spooned into a corn-mill-based dough and then wrapped with the smoked banana leaves. The tamales are then boiled until done as the flavor from the smoked banana leaves mixes with the stuffing ingredients and spices!
There are plenty of grilling options with this tamale dish starting with the banana leaves then the pork and chicken. One thing is sure, you don’t want to ruin the flavor of the tamales because your grilled and smoked meat tastes like lighter fluid. That’s where the electric firestarter Looft Lighter, aka the best lighter fluid alternative, steps in. Fire up your charcoal with the Looft Lighter, prepare your banana leaves, pork, and chicken and get your tamales going.
I wonder if Santa would like a plate of tamales instead of cookies?
Australian Christmas Shrimp on the Barbie
Seafood for Christmas? Why not! There are plenty of countries and regions of the world that include seafood as part of their traditional holiday meals. You’ll find dishes that include fish filets of all types, smoked salmon and herring, seafood soups and casseroles, and more served up from Finland to Spain and from New Zealand to the Czech Republic.
The range of flavors is stunning - from delicate filets to hearty stews and even deep-fried carp filets served up with savory potato salad and wood-fired sweet bread. Then – consider how the Aussies serve up seafood during the Christmas holidays! Bring on the classic “Shrimp on the Barbie!”
It’s not just a saying or a menu item at a well-known chain of restaurants. Remember, when it’s snowing and cold in the states, it’s warm and sunny on the beaches of Australia. As it turns out, according to a friend who grew up in Australia, seafood is served alongside ham and turkey slices, roast, and a variety of vegetable side dishes.
Shrimp/Prawns, fish, and oysters are cooked – often grilled and followed up with a sweet meringue-based cake called pavlova. And if you are still wondering about Christmas gifts for grillers then consider an instant-read thermometer. It’s perfect for checking the temperature on everything from your Shrimp on the Barbie to the turkey or ham you have on the grill or smoker.
Taste of the World – without the bad Aftertaste!
This article does not even begin to touch on all of the great dishes that are served up for Christmas from countries and regions around the world. But, the few that are mentioned; turkey, ham, chicken, tamales, and seafood can all be cooked using your grill and charcoal. In addition, some of the accessories mentioned such as the wood chip and pellet baskets for added smoke, the instant-read thermometer, and the electric firestarter Looft Lighter all make for great Christmas gifts for grillers.
Nothing can beat the bonus flavor of wood chips and pellets in a chip box or basket. An instant-read thermometer is a must-have for any kitchen – even the ones in the back yard that have a grill or smoker instead of a stove and oven. The Looft Lighter starts your charcoal in seconds and gets you grilling over hot charcoal faster than ever. Plus, with a Looft Lighter, you’ll have the best alternative to lighter fluid and your food will not have an aftertaste from the residue of lighter fluid.
Enjoy this small slice of flavor ideas for Christmas dishes from around the world. It’s well worth doing some additional research to find if there are any other offerings from your global neighbors that you want to add to your Christmas grilling menu!