17 Best Christmas BBQ Ideas & Recipes (Grilling, Smoking & More)

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The Christmas meal is one of the biggest of the year, and while we all have instant classics we all fall back on, there’s also a lot of room for experimentation and new ideas.

The BBQ grill is one of the best places to start. You might think of it as just a tool for the summer, but it can work all year round and make food that’s far superior than your kitchen indoors.

Ditch the oven and let’s get grilling with these 17 Christmas grilling ideas for you to try this year.

Want more holiday BBQ ideas? Check out our guide to the best Thanksgiving BBQ recipes and ideas.

1. Grilled Prime Rib Roast

Grilled Prime Rib Roast

Where better to start than with a beautiful cut of beef?

Prime rib can be tricky because you need to get just on the right side of tender and rare but, oh boy, is it worth the effort.

And with this garlic butter herb take on the meat, it’s easy to see why.

Alyssa’s recipe calls for oven roasting it for an hour, but if you want to smoke it then I recommend 3-4 hours at 225°F (107°C) for the best results.

Whichever way you decide to go, you’ll end up with a delicious and tender cut of prime beef.

Check it out

2. Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

No list of grilled or smoked Christmas recipes would be complete without a glazed ham on it.

Prepared with a sweet and spicy rub, the natural flavors of the ham are elevated to a whole new level.

Smoked at 250°F for 4 hours over apple wood, the ham is slowly brought to temperature while resting in its juices. Mouth wateringly delicious.

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3. Seitan Negimaki

Seitan Negimaki

Now for something completely different.

This vegan finger food is the perfect appetizer for the season, even for people who don’t live the most meat-free of lifestyles.

Seitain wrapped around scallions makes this simple, easy, but oh so delicious.

Topped with hoisin and sriracha, they’re packed full with flavor.

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4. Grilled Asparagus Plate & Cilantro Pepita Pesto

Grilled Asparagus Plate & Cilantro Pepita Pesto

If you’ve ever felt like vegetables around the holidays are dull then look no further than this grilled asparagus plate.

Grilled over medium heat for under 10 minutes, they’re rustled up in no time before then being topped with a beautiful cilantro pepita pesto.

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5. Grilled Corn & Cheddar Quinoa

Grilled Corn & Cheddar Quino

This is much more than just your obligatory grilled corn side dish. Served with quinoa and white cheese, this is a dish that offers crunch and cream all in good measure.

It’s made with just a handful of ingredients, but packs in so much more flavor than your standard corn fare.

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6. Rotisserie Turkey

Rotisserie Turkey

Rotisserie add-ons are a great way to open up low and slow cooking on gas grills, making it much easier to replicate the fun that charcoal or smoker users get to have.

This smoked turkey is stuffed with apple and garlic, marinated in herb butter, and then cooked on the rotisserie for three hours.

A herb-infused, slow-roasted grilled turkey that’s worthy of any Christmas table.

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7. Apple Pecan Smoked Turkey Breast

Apple Pecan Smoked Turkey Breast

Pecan and apple are two of the best woods for smoking turkey, so it should come as no surprise to see their flavors mixed together in this beautiful sauce.

This recipe uses a beautiful maple syrup and brown sugar brine to prepare the turkey, before coating it in a paprika and mustard rub. It’s then smoked for 12 hours to slowly bring it to temperature.

It’s a lot of work, but I promise that it’s more than worth it.

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8. Spiced Grilled Rack of Lamb

Spiced Grilled Rack of Lamb

There aren’t many grilling cuts of meats that are as underrated as lamb. Whether it’s a grilled leg of lamb or this smoked rack, it’s a unique type of meat.

This recipe uses a spice rub paste to give the meat a bit of a kick, and combines ingredients like mustard, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. It’s a beautiful, rich, earthy blend of flavors.

If you’ve never made a grilled rack of lamb before then Lindsay’s amazing recipe is definitely the right place to start.

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9. Grilled Lobster Tails

Grilled Lobster Tails

Grilled lobster tails might sound daunting, but they’re much easier than they might seem. Not only that, but they’re much cheaper to grill at home than they would be to have out at a restaurant.

These beautiful cuts of lobster tail are juicy, tender, and delicious. Served with a blend of garlic, lemon, butter and a dash of hot sauce, you won’t have had anything like this before.

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10. Pork Crown Roast on the Grill

Pork Crown Roast on the Grill

This pork crown is regal by name and regal by nature. Cut from the pork loin and served with the ribs, the whole thing is arranged into a crown to give you the perfect holiday grilling centerpiece.

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11. Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

It might not be everyone’s go-to cut of pork, but tenderloin is a tender cut of meat that deserves its place at any holiday dinner table.

Pork tenderloin can need between two and three hours to smoke, but the results are more than worth the wait.

This recipe uses a beer and mustard marinade to infuse the pork with the perfect flavor profile before being thrown onto the smoker and turned into juicy and tender pork.

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12. Smoked Prime Rib Roast

Smoked Prime Rib Roast

Served with a rosemary, garlic and salt seasoning, this cut of prime beef is cooked to medium-rare to create the ultimate melt-in-the-mouth tender plate.

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13. Smoked Whole Ham

smoked whole ham resting on parchment paper and wooden countertop

This smoked section of pork leg or thigh is brined overnight before smoked over pecan wood chips for a delicious sweet, smoky flavor.

If that wasn’t enough, it’s served with a honey and butter glaze to cut through the natural saltiness of the pork.

Ready to get going? Here’s how to smoke a raw ham.

14. Smoked Pork Shoulder

Smoked Pork Shoulder

This smoked pork shoulder is great for smoking low and slow over apple wood, before than serving up to be used for your favorite pulled pork dish.

Pro tip: One of the big differences between pork butt and pork shoulder is the low fat content in the latter, which makes it important that you brine your pork shoulder before smoking it.

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15. Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops

Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops

If you’ve ever doubted the power of a good marinade, then this recipe is the perfect example of why you need to start using them today.

Marinated with garlic, rosemary and oregano overnight, this lamb is soaked with flavor before grilled over high heat to give it a beautiful seared finish.

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16. Grilled Ham with Apple Cola Jalapeño Glaze

Grilled Ham apple cola

Nothing screams holiday grilling as much as a glazed smoked ham.

This recipe creates an apple cola jalapeño glaze (trust me, it’s as delicious as it looks!), and is slowly poured over a slow cooked ham that’s practically dripping in flavor.

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17. Smoked Brisket

how to smoke brisket recipe

There aren’t many types of smoked meat that are as iconic as smoked beef brisket.

It requires everything that’s great about barbecue smoking. Proper preparation in cutting and trimming brisket, brining it well, and using a good rub. This is then followed by choosing a good brisket wood, and cooking it low and slow for hours until perfectly smoked through.

There’s nothing quite like it. Learn how to smoke brisket in our guide.


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