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Mastering the Art of Tailgating Grilling: Expert Tips & Techniques

There’s just something about football season and tailgating. Maybe it’s the camaraderie. Maybe it’s the thrill of the gridiron. Or maybe it’s just because it’s a fall excuse to fire up the grill one last time. 

Tailgate grilling is a time-honored tradition that has been passed from football season to football season. Whether executed from a flatbed or standing grill, parking lot or backyard, and day or night, a perfect tailgate has a few key components: 

  • Friends and family, 
  • The open air, and 
  • Perfectly grilled meats. 

4 Top-notch Tailgating Tips

If you’re like us, you want to ensure your tailgating grilling is perfectly executed. Your hungry friends and family are watching, after all! Here are some essential tips and tricks to help you host a tailgate your guests are sure to remember. 

1. Master Your Timing

No one likes half of their food to be mouth-incinerating while the other half is ice cold. As with a home-cooked meal, timing is everything. 

Consider food density and cook time when trying to time out your tailgate grilling. This will ensure the food you serve is ready. Really plan your prep work ahead of time, or use a food cooking calculator when prepping your grill. This will ensure you have a game plan for what needs to cook first and what can marinade a little longer. 

2. Stay Fueled Up

Your gas grill or charcoal grill is only going to be as hot as you allow it to be. Ample fuel is the key to consistent, even heat. 

If you plan to host a good tailgate for lots of guests, avoid running out of fuel by keeping extra fuel on hand. This way, everyone gets served by the grilling master and no one goes home hungry. 

3. Offer Interesting Cuts

Anyone and everyone can serve up hot dogs and hamburgers during the big game. For some reason, greasy meats and gametime go together like peanut butter and jelly. But have you considered elevating your meat game? 

Consider cooking higher-end cuts of beef, such as:  

  • Ribeye 
  • Filet Mignon 
  • Porterhouse 

You could even make your tailgate truly special with rare cuts of beef like Wagyu. This will keep your guests talking long after the final whistle. 

Man with cigar cooking a large piece of meat outdoors on a HALO pellet grill

For non-beef grills, ditch the ho-hum hotdog in favor of interesting sausages, including:  

  • Bratwurst 
  • Chorizo 
  • Salsiccia 
  • And more 

The key here is to surprise and delight. While your neighbor’s tailgate will be perfectly fine, the smells from your grill will be undeniable. With one sniff, even their guests will wonder “What’s up with the tailgating grilling over the fence?” 

4. Trust in Quality Utensils

A man is only as good as his tools. Or so the saying goes. When tailgate grilling, it’s imperative you use high-quality grill accessories that are designed for outdoor cooking. 

Leave your fish spatula, dinner fork, and low-grade tongs inside. To truly tailgate grill like a pro, you will need:  

  • Fortified spatula 
  • Heavyweight tongs 
  • An instant-read thermometer 
  • Silicone basting brush 
  • A heavy gauge grate brush for easy cleanup 
  • And more 

Improper tools will only make your tailgating grilling experience harder. But with high quality tools meant for the tough job at hand, never fear. You’ll get your food to the tailgate grill table well-cooked, on time, and expertly presented. 

Your Next Tailgate, Thanks to HALO

The best tailgate grilling techniques are meaningless when you don’t have the best tailgate grill at your disposal. With HALO griddles, your tailgate grilling techniques can meet a truly best-in-class outdoor grilling appliance. 

Level up your grilling game on game day. Shop our Elite Series Outdoor Griddles.

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