To me, tailgating isn’t just about grilling – it’s a sport. I’ve checked my playbook, made my plans and I’m ready to cook for a crowd. But before I do, I need to stand back and check on a few things that could bring my game to a premature end.

  1. Do I have the right grill? Size matters when you’re cooking for a crowd so maybe this is the year you move up to a larger charcoal grill, or maybe even bring a gas grill to the event. For instance, the Weber® Q® gas grill travels well. It’s easy to set up and feeds your family and friends all at the same time. Want to stick with charcoal? Don’t overlook the Go-Anywhere® grills that come in either charcoal or gas, or move on up to the One-Touch® full-size charcoal grill. Whatever your choice, come prepared.
  2. Extra charcoal? You can have the perfect grill and a cooler full of meat, but if you run out of charcoal or gas, it’ll be a bust. Bring extra charcoal or an extra 1-lb tanks of LP gas. It won’t take up much room and you’ll be glad you did.
  3. Grill tools? Flipping a burger with a tiny plastic fork is tough. You won’t have to if you are prepared with grill tools like a spatula, tongs, basting brush, and meat thermometer. And, of course, the most important tool – your favorite barbecue mitts, and an apron wouldn’t hurt.
  4. Grill inspection? Silly question – you’re packed and ready to go, but did you actually take the time to make sure your grill is ready to go? Remember to inspect it thoroughly, clean it up, and test fire it so you don’t have an unwelcome surprise when you set up.
  5. Has the grill cooled? This is so important, I’m going to say it twice. Make sure you extinguish your grill properly. It should be cool to the touch and the spent charcoal ashes emptied into a metal container brought just for this purpose. Store your LP tank in the car in a secure and upright position.

And here it is again – Make sure you extinguish your grill properly.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of sirloin, so be prepared. Your team may win or lose, but you’ll still be the MVP of your favorite sport.