How to Throw a Holiday Grilling Party

grilled turkey
Move your turkey from the oven to the grill this holiday season. See more pictures of Thanksgiving turkeys.

Even though most people host a traditional holiday meal with the roasted turkey and all the trimmings, some people shun tradition in favor of doing something a little different. Others simply don't care for the standard dishes that are usually on the holiday dining table. If this rings true for you, then maybe you should consider abandoning tradition and throw a holiday grilling party. If you live in a warm weather part of the country, this can be a good way to get outside and enjoy your good fortune. If not, you can still brave the cold for a fun, winter wonderland grilling session. Just be sure to invite your guests to stay inside. Here are some tips for throwing a different kind of holiday party that your friends and family will appreciate.

Grilling the Food

If you want to forgo the traditional turkey for your holiday, consider grilling out a nice piece of pork or beef instead. If you're throwing a party, you probably don't want to just throw some chicken breasts on the grill, so a nice beef or pork tenderloin is a good option. Use some holiday spices like thyme and rosemary to stay true to your theme. If you really want to go non-traditional, try making some slow-cooked barbecue ribs. This summertime food makes a great meal all year round. Vegetable and chicken kabobs are always a good choice for any grilling party no matter what the season. Even if it's a chilly night, you can still have a good time with it. Tell your guests you're taking it outside, and stock up on hand warmers. Remind everyone to bring coats, scarves and mittens, and you can always invite them to stand around the grill to keep warm. You may even want to give them some marshmallows on sticks and get started on dessert.


Serve Drinks

Just like with any party, serving some drinks is a good way to make sure your guests are relaxed and having a good time. While you should stock up on some mixers and get a few standard basic liquors to match, you can also create a signature holiday drink to serve. There are hundreds of recipes to choose from on the Internet and in holiday recipe books. A quick search will reveal fun Christmas drinks called "Scroogedriver" or "Peppermint Toddy." For your grilling party, try serving a warm drink to keep your guests toasty in case they venture out to the grill.

Ask for Help from Guests

As with any party, part of the fun is getting your guests involved in the action. Keeping them busy will make them feel like a part of the party, and it will give you some much needed help as you multi-task with cold fingers. A grilled meal means that you'll be spending a lot of time tending to the food, so ask your guests to play bartender or to help get some hors d'oeuvres on the table. The other thing you may need with a grilled meal is an extra set of hands to help with the cooking. Pick a guest who doesn't mind pitching in and appoint him or her as your sous-chef for the evening.


Lots More Information

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  • Chamblin, Tony. "The Hot Toddy. Musings on a Winter Day." The, 2008.
  • "Christmas grilling.", 2009.
  • "Making spirits bright: Holiday drink guide.", 2009.
  • Moss, Mary. "Summer Grilling Party Plan.", January 11, 2007.