Change up your Holidays with Something Different: Christmas BBQ

If you're anything like us, you are no doubt as passionate about all aspects of cooking, and no doubt consider food to be as crucial to Christmas as it is to gather with friends and family. If you also often find yourself the host or hostess during the holidays, it is natural to try something a little different, something that may not be on the traditional Christmas menu.

You could try the Italian Feast of The Seven Fishes if you wanted, but if your guests are not fond of fish and seafood or have allergies, that means either leaving someone out or cooking extra. There's also Asian cuisine to try, but many of us know that there are several families that will no doubt have the same idea, and the thought of having to wait a long time for delivery and making someone else work on Christmas day doesn't appeal much.

There is another choice, especially if you live in a climate where Christmas doesn't get that cold and snow is extremely rare—or never happens. A food style is all about the family, friends, and feeling good vibes without worrying about formalities. It's a type of food that was created to raise the spirit, celebrate random or purposeful get-togethers, and is considered a genuinely American culinary tradition.

What is it? It's BBQ! Yes, we think a Christmas BBQ is a perfect way to try something different this year while still inspiring the magic of a Christmas eve or day dinner. But what should you make? Is it possible to have a holiday-themed BBQ? It is! And we have some delicious ideas to inspire your Christmas BBQ this season!

Grilled USDA Rib Eye Steaks

Start the holiday season with a gorgeous, perfectly cooked ribeye steak. While steak can be a bit tricky to get tender, juicy, and rare—it is so worth the effort for that delectable, flavor-packed first and last bite. Add garlic butter herb mixture to your grilled steak, and you'll find your guests wanting more.

Feel free to season the steak as much or as little as you like. Salt and pepper, go full-flavored with sea salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, garlic salt, onion powder, turmeric, paprika, chili powder, and a dash of red pepper flakes. Preheat your grill to high heat, or 450-500, and sear your ribeye steaks for 3 minutes per side, leaving the lid open. Then quickly reduce heat to medium-low and cook with the lid closed until the steaks reach your level of doneness. (It's about 130 degrees F for a medium-rare steak.)

Remove your steaks once done and top with one tablespoon of garlic butter and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving them and cutting into them.

Double Smoked Spiral Ham For many families across the USA, a Christmas ham, especially a spiraled ham, is traditional. However, you can put a BBQ twist on this holiday favorite this year by trying a double-smoked spiral ham. With a sweet, sticky glaze with a hint of spicy kick, slow-smoked over rich cherry wood, this ham will knock it out of the park. Since a spiral ham is already cooked, you'll be using your BBQ's smoker or an electric smoker to warm it all up and infuse the cooked ham with a deeper, fragrant flavor. Additionally, this is a straightforward dish to make! Unwrap your spiral ham and place it on a cooking rack, then place the rack on a baking tray. No need for fancy brines, sauces, or extra seasonings for this part as you use the flavorful cherry wood smoke to heat it all and bring it to temperature. Next, heat your smoker to about 275 degrees F, and once up to temp, place your spiral ham in the smoker and let cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, check that the meat is about 140 degrees F with a meat probe and look for good signs like a sheen of moisture on the surface of the ham and a rich caramelization developing.

For the glaze, all you need are two ingredients: apple jelly and raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce. Mix the two together and heat up to liquefy the jelly. About 30 minutes before the ham is ready, open the smoker and brush the glaze thoroughly over the ham and let it smoke another 30 minutes for sweet and spicy perfection!

Other BBQ Christmas Food Ideas

Of course, we can't forget the delicious sides! What could you serve with BBQ Christmas entrées? Why not consider:

  • Grilled asparagus with Cilantro Pepita (pumpkin seed) pesto. All you need is asparagus, olive oil, red onions, and toasted pepitas for the asparagus and garlic, pepitas, salt, jalapeno, chipotle powder, etc., cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil for the pesto. 10 minutes on the grill and liberally pour pesto over and serve!
  • Grilled Vegetables with Melted Eggplant sauce. For this recipe, simply grill a whole eggplant until soft all over and blistered, roughly 8-10 minutes over the open fire of your BBQ. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin and finely chop and mix with lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and olive oil. Next, mix some thyme, crushed garlic, olive oil, and toss with one quartered red pepper, two zucchinis angle slices, two large tomatoes thickly sliced, and one large onion. Then, place a griddle pan on the BBQ and char the veggies until tender. Pile onto a place and drizzle with your eggplant sauce and dot with Kalamata olives.
  • BBQ Corn on the cob. This easy recipe is delicious and perfect for painting with BBQ meats for any season. Mash together butter, honey, ketchup, garlic, and some of your favorite seasoning mix of choice and add it to a bowl, then chill. Next, wrap your corn cobs in a double layer of foil and BBQ, turning, for 30-35 minutes until tender and a little caramelized. Pile onto a plate and let everyone butter their own with your homemade corn butter!

There is something for everyone at your table when it comes to a delectable Christmas BBQ. When it comes to the taste, atmosphere, and family, there's nothing quite like the traditional American BBQ perfect for your holiday menu!