Tradition May Dictate Where You Dine This Year, But Don’t Expect The Same ol’ Thanksgiving Menu

Char-Broil’s Juicy Secrets Survey Says 40% of Home Chefs Are Looking for New Ways To “WOW” Family and Friends on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving's Juicy Little Secret: Char-Broil's Big Easy Oil-Less Infrared Fryer (Photo: Business Wire)


COLUMBUS, Ga.--()--With only six weeks to prep for the big day, there’s not much mystery about where people will be gathering for Thanksgiving this year: more than a quarter of us eat at the same house and the same time of day each year. What chefs are planning in order to delight their guests, however, is not so easily discerned.

Grill manufacturer Char-Broil ( recently interviewed 1,500 home chefs across America to find out more about the traditions, shortcuts and secret weapons used to make the Thanksgiving meal a success. The 2010 Char-Broil Juicy Secrets Survey uncovered interesting facts and debunked conventional wisdom about how Americans prepare and enjoy their Thanksgiving feasts.

Widely considered one of the most stressful days in the kitchen for cooks, Thanksgiving is also a day of experimentation. While many Americans (40%) serve the same menu that mom created, more than half of all Thanksgiving chefs say they’re open to trying new recipes or techniques to make the meal special -- and a full 10% make it a tradition to do so each Thanksgiving.

Frying the turkey is at the top of that “must try” list, with one in three Americans reporting they’ve eaten fried turkey at Thanksgiving. And the majority (58%) said it was better than traditional oven-baked turkey. The primary reason: it’s juicier. Of the few who didn’t like their turkey fried, more than half said it was because of the grease. Char-Broil has taken that issue off the table with the launch of the first oil-less infrared turkey fryer . A safer and healthier alternative to traditional oil-based fryers, The Big Easy® oil-less fryer by Char-Broil uses natural infrared heat to cook moist, flavorful turkey in significantly less time than a traditional oven.

“Now the idea of ‘frying’ a turkey doesn’t have to mean loads of calories, safety hazards or messy clean-up at Thanksgiving,” said Michelle Zeller, vice president for Char-Broil.

Home chefs may be confident in their ability to try new things on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an arsenal of shortcuts that help make the meal a success. In addition to letting guests bring a side dish, American cooks are using frozen vegetables, serving store-bought desserts and adding dry mix to get the gravy just right.

And even though Mom makes it look easy while the rest of the gang watches football (1 out of 2 households watch the games each year), she’s putting a lot of pressure on herself. Almost 40% of chefs aim to “wow family and friends with the great meal.” Another 30% simply want to get the meal done right! Across America, the head chef will tell you it’s the turkey that causes the most stress.

“The success of Thanksgiving is inextricably linked to the juiciness of the turkey for most home chefs,” said Zeller. “That’s why folks are going to great lengths to keep their turkey moist – using sticks of butter, oven bags, even wrapping the turkey in bacon. And they need to because a traditional oven is a lot like a clothes dryer – it heats up the air in the chamber and pulls out moisture. An easier solution – one that is almost fool-proof – is to use infrared heat, which sears the meat surface to create a nice brown crispy skin and locks in the natural juices. Using The Big Easy could be the start of a whole new Thanksgiving tradition!”

Note to Editors: Char-Broil’s chef is available for interviews. Graphics to support the statistics are also available. Contact Mary Eitel at

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Mary Eitel, 678-733-1535

Release Summary

Char-Broil interviewed 1,500 home chefs across America to find out more about the traditions and secrets that make the Thanksgiving meal a success. Fried turkey is a popular choice this year.


Mary Eitel, 678-733-1535