Thanksgiving cooking tips from barbecue experts

Adding mayo to your turkey recipe? How to trim a brisket? New side dish to add to your table? Experts at Zavala’s Barbecue & Terry Black’s BBQ have got you covered.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — Here are three Thanksgiving tips from the experts.

ZAVALA’S BARBECUE: USE MAYONNAISE WHEN COOKING TURKEY

Joe Zavala told WFAA that covering a turkey with mayonnaise before putting it on the smoker is a secret his mentor told him many years ago.

“It seems like it’s crazy, but you’re just going to slather (the mayonnaise) on,” Zavala said. “It’s just going to give it that extra protection you need to make sure you have a moist turkey.”

Since turkey is such a lean meat, adding mayo essentially just adds fat to the protein, Zavala added.  

After covering the turkey in mayo and seasonings, smoke the bird at 275-285 degrees for six hours (internal temperature should be 160 degrees).

ZAVALA’S BARBECUE: MAKE CHEESY HOMINY AS NEW SIDE DISH

Tired of your traditional Thanksgiving side dishes? Looking for something different? 

Try Zavala’s (jalapeno) cheese hominy, which is puffy corn.

 “So (the dish) is really some ingredients that you probably already have in your house,” Zavala said.

Plus it only takes about 30 minutes to make!

Directions:

Combine hominy, butter, salt and pepper.Smoke hominy mixture for 15-20 minutes at 275 degreesCover with shredded cheesePut back in smoker for another 15-20 minutes

TERRY BLACK’S BBQ: KEYS TO TRIMMING A BRISKET

“No Texas Thanksgiving is complete without the brisket!” pitmaster Eric Mott said. 

Cut the excess fat off and round off the edges, Mott said. But don’t cut too much of the fat off.

“Just create an aerodynamic brisket so the air can just cook all the edges properly and evenly,” Mott said. “We typically like to leave about a third of an inch of fat on there still because that’ll protect the meat while it cooks as well as provide a lot of moisture and flavor.”

  

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