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Outdoor cooking puts a flavorful twist on holiday meals

Outdoor cooking puts a flavorful twist on holiday meals

ARLINGTON—Many people are firing up their grills and other outdoor cooking equipment in chilly weather to prepare holiday menus.

The National Turkey Federation recently reported one in eight grill owners cook out during Thanksgiving, according to a survey conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association.

The HPBA survey revealed cooks’ main reason for grilling out is to boost flavor, followed by tradition and convenience. Popular holiday meats include turkey and ham, and using a smoker was survey respondents’ preferred method. Other practices include using deep fryers, charcoal grills, gas grills and wood pellets. Some seasoned grillers believe freeing up the oven for pies and side dishes is an added benefit.

In addition to meats, many vegetables grown in Virginia are suitable for grilling. Winter squash, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots and broccoli are all available during colder months.

For more details from the HPBA survey, visit