Pro Tailgating Tips for Grilling Enthusiasts
There are many reasons to love fall—tailgating being chief among them! We practice our recipes all summer with an eye on the prize—being a successful warrior on the asphalt. We don’t trot out the silver candelabra, but we ensure we serve the kind of food that satisfies guests and snags the attention of our parking lot neighbors. Below are some of our best tailgating tips. P.S. Don’t forget your tickets or parking pass!
- Before your cookout, make sure you have enough cooking space to accommodate the number of servings you’ll need. Most tailgating or picnic grills can serve 4 to 6. Grill in batches if necessary.
- Bring aluminum foil and an insulated cooler to improvise a holding oven.
- If one is available for your grill model, invest in a stand for it to raise it to a comfortable cooking height. (People will also be less likely to trip over it.)
- Select foods that can be direct grilled in minutes—chicken breasts, hamburgers or sliders, skirt steak, fish fillets, hot dogs or brats, etc. One of our most popular tailgating recipes is Pork Shooters.
- Bring a sturdy side table to accommodate seasonings, sauces, and grilling tools.
- Neither a small gas nor charcoal grill has the space to allow 2-zone cooking. Create a “safety” zone by placing a wire cooling rack next to the grill. Move food there when flare-ups occur.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use separate coolers for food and beverages.
- At home, we always use natural lump charcoal. But for tailgating and picnicking, charcoal briquettes heat more evenly and are more predictable.
- Conserve grill space by bringing a butane-fueled burner to warm barbecue sauce, sauté onions, or reheat side dishes like baked beans.
- Always pack extra fuel, whether using propane or charcoal.
- Do as much prep work as you can at home.
- Make arrangements for the safe disposal of spent charcoal and propane canisters.
Also, sign up for our Up in Smoke newsletter so you don’t miss any blogs and receive some special offers! PLUS get Raichlen’s Burgers! PDF for free!