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Friday, November 25, 2011

A Smokn' Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for during this wonderful holiday season beginning with a loving and healthy family, amazing friends and neighbors and steady employment.  Around the holidays, I love being home to cook and ever since being married, we've hosted Thanksgiving. I do the cooking and my wife does a lot of the prep work, organizing, cleaning and shopping.  I've definitely got the better end of the deal.  Our family is large and as a result we end up hosting many guests. That being said, as much as I love them all, usually by the time I'm done cooking and plating it all up - in a blink of an eye - the turkey is gone leaving me with nothing but scraps. Over the years, I've learned my lesson saying to myself "Self, not this year!" Aside from the traditional 25lber in the oven stuffed with sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, onions, carrots, celery and lemon quarters, I threw a few turkey breasts and some tips on the smoker just for me. Ha!

(Be sure to click on my photos for a close-up view)

These two biddys are about 7lbs apiece.

After using a wet rub consisting of spicy brown mustard and olive oil, I applied a dry rub that I made.

It saddens me to think that although pork is a staple of the modern day Thanksgiving meal, there is no evidence supporting the colonists had butchered a pig when Thanksgiving had first been proclaimed in 1621. Well, Pig Daddy can't have Thanksgiving without pork and seeing that these breasts would take every bit of 5 hours, I threw these rib tips on as a cook's snack and appetizers for our guests. The colonists didn't know what they were missing. I rubbed them with yellow mustard and seasoned them up with some commercial rub - very simple.

Back to the turkey... I had a hard time keeping the smoker temp even as it fluctuated between 225* and 250*all day. My target range for these birds was 250*. Only during a competition would I care, cause timing is everything. But at home, it doesn't bother me one bit. After about two hours the skin is crisping up nicely. I used hickory chunks for this smoke.

After 3 1/2 hours I started to apply a glaze consisting of butter, maple syrup and honey...

 At 4 hours she's looking simply marvelous...Yeah baby!

Tips are done. I typically don't apply heavy sauce to my Q, but I know that the family likes it that way and I am to please.

These tips came out perfect - tender, juicy, plump, smoky and delicious.  I trimmed them up pretty good before seasoning them so they were not too fatty either. 

After 5 1/2 hours the turkey breasts are done and I took a slice for myself.  Absolutely delicious!  These will make for some good sandwiches tomorrow...

Friday's feast...Italian loaf (which my awesome neighbor dropped off for me as a surprise), green leaf lettuce, a nice plump tomato, avocado, red onion, Hellman's and Bubba's Berk's hickory smoked peppered bacon.

Bubba's bacon is top notch.  It's perfectly seasoned, meaty and for Berkshire hog is amazingly lean. There is no substitute.

Some folks get fancy with their left overs, not me.  BBQ is meant to be simple and after a full day cooking yesterday, I made me this simple sandwich. To compliment my sandwich, I had some Mesquite Flavored Bar-B-Que Krunchers and an ice-cold Sierra Nevada Celebration to wash it all down. The only thing missing was a pickle. Oh well...Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


  1. finished all my berk bacon. have to make a run for more also he customs smokes hams for the holidy

  2. Indeed. I will probably make one more run before winter sets in. I still have some garlic sausage, 2 spares and a butt from some months back, but do not think that will get me through the winter blues.


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