Let's be honest. The worst part of preparing Thanksgiving dinner is making the turkey.
Brine it? Flip it? Fry it? Cover it in foil? If so, for how long? Also, roasting a turkey takes up all that time in the oven that could be devoted to pies.
Instead of hassling with all that, consider buying a smoked turkey from one a local barbecue joint. Pitmasters know what they’re doing, and every meat tastes better with a little whiff of smoke.
This list isn’t comprehensive, but it does provide some options from both established players and up-and-comers in the barbecue scene. All are guaranteed to satisfy.
The Greenway Plaza barbecue joint has a full menu of Thanksgiving meats and sides. Choose from whole brisket (approximately 7 pounds, $130), turkey breast (approximately 3.5 pounds, $50), pork ribs (whole rack, $40 or half rack, $20) and sausage ($16 per pound, whole links). Sides options — loaded potato salad, braised collard greens, Moroccan-spiced carrots, sweet potato and banana mashers, mac and cheese, or cornbread stuffing — are available as half pan (7 to 10 portions, $30) or full pan (14 to 20 portions, $60). For dessert, consider PB&J chocolate cake, banana cream pie, or rum raisin bread pudding ($40 each). Orders via the restaurant’s website must be placed by Wednesday, November 14.
Ronnie Killen’s acclaimed barbecue joint will once again offer whole smoked turkeys (14 to 16 pounds, $70), whole briskets ($95), and brisket tamales ($20 per dozen). Pair them with signature sides like creamed corn, mac and cheese, or coleslaw for $9 per quart. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
This Briargrove fave, and member of Texas Monthly’s prestigious top 50, offers bone-in hams and whole turkeys for $65 each. All the usual sides are also available for $6.95 per pint or $11.25 per quart. Call the restaurant 713-977-8725 by Wednesday, November 14 to order.
Buck’s Barbeque Co.
Jim Buchanan is offering whole turkey breasts (approximately 4 lbs, $55), whole briskets (approximately 9 pounds, $125), and whole ribeye rolls ($18 per pound, order by weight). Custom cooking is also available. Email orders or inquiries to email@example.com. Orders must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday, November 16th.
The Spring barbecue joint will offer its full menu of whole meats and sides for Thanksgiving pre-orders. Options include brisket (approximately 6 to 8 pounds, $20 per pound), turkey breast (3 to 4 pounds, $16 per pound), pork butt (4 to 6 pounds, $16 per pound), chicken ($12 each) and pork ribs ($26 per whole rack). Sides are available by the quart ($14), half pan (feeds 20 to 25, $45) or whole pan (feeds 75 to 80, $160). Orders via the restaurant’s website are due by Wednesday, November 14. Act fast. They sell out quickly.
Pappa Charlies Barbeque at Cypress Trail Hideout
The Cypress-area barbecue joint offers a variety of protein options for Thanksgiving: whole turkeys fried or smoked (approximately 12 to 14 pounds, $55.95), smoked turkey breast (approximately 5 pounds, $46.95), smoked ham (approximately 7 pounds, $45.95), and whole brisket (approximately 7 pounds, $18.95 per pound). Sides are available for $19.95 per half pan. Opt for packages of a turkey or brisket and two sides ($95) or four sides ($129). Add apple cobbler for $19.95. Order by November 18. Call 281-213-4136.
Henderson & Kane
This modern take on a general store in the Old Sixth Ward has a range of Thanksgiving options. Meat choices include whole turkey breast ($60), individual turkey legs ($7), smoked honey-baked ham ($60), racks of ribs ($35), whole smoked pork shoulder ($75), whole smoked brisket ($125), or half pound links of sausage ($9). Add tamales by the dozen: smoked brisket ($19), smoked pork ($19), smoked green chile and cheese ($17) or refried beans and cheese ($15). Then add sides such as potato salad, coleslaw, or mac and cheese for $35 each. Finish with one of the seven different pie options, including spiced pumpkin, pecan, or apple for $24.95. To order, email firstname.lastname@example.org by November 18.
The Pit Room
The Montrose barbecue joint is offering smoked turkeys (approximately 13 pounds, $85) and whole briskets (6 to 8 pounds, $100) as well as its signature sides by the pint ($6.50), quart ($11.25), or gallon ($40). Call the restaurant at 281-888-1929 by November 19 to order.