Firing up the backyard smoker is always fun, especially when you’re getting ready to entertain guests for the holiday season. If you’ve got a smoker just waiting to be used in the backyard, you might as well put it to good use during one of the most festive times of the year. Although most holiday meals are cooked in the oven and on the stove top, using a smoker is a great way to set your recipe apart from the crowd with a crisp and satisfying taste that is sure to leave a lasting memory. Now that you’re pumped up about it, check out these top 4 backyard smoker recipes every culinary enthusiast should try for the holidays:

1. Smoked Honey-Glazed Ham

What’s the holidays without a deliciously succulent honey-glazed ham? Most people throw some pineapples and cherries on it, toss it in the oven and call it a day. However, smoking the ham adds an extra flavor dynamic that is preferred by many distinguishes palates. While most people associate smoked BBQ with the summer months, a sweet holiday ham fits the bill perfectly any time from Thanksgiving right through to the New Year’s celebration. This recipe works well in conventional smokers as well as the electric variety like those found at electricsmokercenter.com.

2. Apple Wood Smoked Turkey

This is a less common recipe but easily just as mouth-watering, with a maple syrup and apple cider flavor that blends perfectly with smoked turkey. This recipe is slow smoked, and the dish is accompanied by apples, pomegranates, and pears. It’s a great spin on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and is perfect for anyone looking to put their smoker to good use this holiday season.

3. Smoked Standing Rib Roast

Smoke a standing prime rib for a few hours within its own flavorful juices along with some vegetables and potatoes and you’ve got yourself a wholesome and filling holiday meal that is sure to produce desirable leftovers. Be sure to be generous with the seasonings and pull it out while the meat is still tender. There are many variations of the smoked standing prime rib recipe, so take some time to decide on one that will best suit your taste buds.

4. Fennel-Smoked Salmon

Fennel-smoked salmon is becoming a popular holiday fish dish for both its flavor and simplicity. While grilled salmon often sticks to the grate and makes a mess, this smoked recipe comes off smooth and clean every time. The fennel adds an interesting flavor boost and keeps the bottom of of the salmon from drying out and flaking.

Bringing the Smoked Flavor to Traditional Holiday Dishes

Although the exact recipes aren’t listed here, the ideas above should point you in the right direction. Plus, it’s always good to customize a holiday recipe to your likings – that way you won’t be making the same exact dish as millions of other families. Take the time to consider some of the recipes listed here and don’t be afraid to experiment with your smoker before the big day comes. After all, you don’t want to be attempting a grand holiday meal with minimal smoker experience.