Gear Reviews

Tailgate Grilling Guide

Tailgate Grilling Guide from PECOS Outdoor

Football offseason is fast approaching. But as we get a break from football season our passion does not rest. So what better way to spend our time than preparing for next season’s tailgating? An integral part of game day, tailgating in the parking lot has become just as tradition-filled as the game itself. If you’re gearing up to host the perfect tailgate next season with top-notch grilling, then you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the tailgate grilling guide brought to you by PECOS Outdoor.

Today, we are going to walk you through what it takes to convert your available parking space into a tailgate haven. Whether you are an experienced tailgater or just getting your first tailgate permit, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know to ensure you’re the fan favorite on game day. 

We’ll be covering all you need to know about tailgating. Starting with selecting the best location for your tailgate party, the rules and regulations you need to bear in mind in any parking area, and of course, some grilling tips. Our goal is to ensure your tailgate setup will be the pride and joy of the pregame. With everyone huddled around the grill, you don’t want to drop the ball.

Getting Ready for The Tailgate 

As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. You’ve committed to hosting a tailgate this football season, and now the real work begins. Let’s dive right into the pre-game preparation that will set the stage for your tailgate party. 

Nailing Down the Location

First off, it’s all about location, location, location. You’ll want to make the most of your allocated parking space. It is crucial to pick the right spot early to secure a prime tailgate location. This means getting a valid parking pass or tailgate permit if necessary and familiarizing yourself with the rules governing the parking lot or parking area you’ll be using. 

Part of securing that prime spot involves getting to know the parking area rules. This can include regulations about pedestrian traffic, the use of golf carts, and even restrictions around glass containers, which are often prohibited at tailgate parties. Be aware of the rules for different parking decks or spaces within a parking garage. Make sure to review and adhere to these regulations to keep your tailgate running smoothly.

What You Need

Next, let’s get equipped. Frankly, it’s just not a tailgate without a grill. The question is, what kind of grill should you get? Charcoal grilled foods have a distinct, smoky flavor that’s hard to replicate on a propane grill. But propane is undeniably more convenient. We recommend you do a good bit of research into what grill you want to use, but if you want the best on the market we suggest you check out the cookers from Mill Scale Metalworks.

Don’t forget a strong portable table either. You’re going to need somewhere to set out your condiments, plate up those juicy burgers, place your drinks, and showcase your hot dogs fresh off the grill. The badass table from PECOS Outdoor is easy to assemble, remarkably sturdy, and designed to fit perfectly in your tailgate area. With the right table, you have one less thing to worry about when football season rolls around. And that’s not all it is good for, you can get plenty of use of your PECOS Workstation year-round in all your adventures.

Tailgate Grilling 101 from PECOS Outdoor

Grilling and tailgating go hand in hand, just like the fall and football games. The sound of sizzling steaks, burgers, and dogs on the grill, combined with the chatter of fellow fans, makes for an amazing game-day atmosphere. Let’s get the charcoal glowing on the grill as we turn our parking space into the ultimate tailgate cookout. 

Set Up Your Grill

To start, you should be aware of your grill setup. Whether it’s a portable grill, charcoal grill, or propane grill the setup process is an essential pre-step that ensures successful grilling. For gas grills, always double-check connections using a soapy water solution (the solution will bubble when dabbed onto a gas leak). And for our charcoal fans, make sure your coals are evenly spread and glowing red before grilling. With the portable and easy-to-use PECOS Table, grill setup can be a breeze.

What Should You Make?

Here’s our ultimate secret to great tailgate grilling – keep it simple. When you’re preparing for a multitude of hungry football fans, focus on dishes that you can make in scale with little fuss. It is always a good play to stick to favorites like hot dogs and hamburgers. Another option that we are a proponent of down here in Texas is smoking brisket overnight. You then have your grilling out of the way and have plenty of top-quality meat to feed your guests. These options are easy, and you can never go wrong with the classics. 

Tailgate Grilling Safety

We want to reiterate that safety is a critical aspect of tailgating. With a propane tank or open flame involved, be aware of your surroundings. Always have a fire extinguisher on hand and maintain a safe distance from cars, pedestrian traffic, and crowds when setting up your grill. Remember, safety should never be compromised. 

Importantly, a good tailgate host keeps the grill and grilling area clean. Keep trash bags close by and regularly clear away any waste materials (Pro Tip: PECOS Trash Bag Ring makes the cleanup easy). After each use, clean your grill to ensure its longevity and preserve its high performance. It’s also a good idea to have a separate portable table or space where you can place cooked food to avoid cross-contamination (Eh-em… PECOS Table). 

Enjoying the Tailgate Party 

Having set the stage and fired up the grill, it’s time to delve into the fun part – enjoying the tailgate atmosphere and the camaraderie that comes with game day.

How to Bring the Stadium Atmosphere to Your Grilling

The heart and soul of a tailgate party is the community it brings together. United in love for your favorite team, fans sporting their team’s colors, huddled around grills, become part of an extended family. We suggest you buy in and decorate your tailgate space in the colors of your team, play your team’s favorite tunes, and even incorporate team spirit into your grilling. You can cook themed foods based on the mascot of the enemy team or use a branded grill spatula to sear your meat with your team’s logo.

Whether you’re grilling hot dogs, flipping burgers, or serving the perfect Bloody Mary, the secret to a good tailgate lies in creating foods that satisfy a range of tastes. The key is balancing your menu between classic staples, like hot dogs and burgers, and introducing some interesting options. And since a great tailgate party is also about sharing, make sure your portable table is laden with food to feed your guests.

Don’t Forget About the Games

Remember, the tailgate area is more than just a place to eat and fuel up before the big game. It’s a bustling hub, teeming with energy and excitement. Participating in pre-game festivities such as a friendly cornhole game, or a game of two-hand touch football will elevate your tailgating experience. Having a few games and activities ready to rock will get everyone in the competitive spirit.

As the host, make sure that the time leading up to the game is fun and engaging for everyone. It is all about creating lasting memories beyond the football game’s final score.

The Cleanup & How PECOS Can Help

With kickoff around the corner and the gameday atmosphere in full swing, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that your epic tailgate party won’t go on forever. As you’ve been a great host – grilling up classics and fueling the fun – it’s essential to finish strong with responsible cleanup.

Being the host of the party also puts you in charge of maintaining the tailgate space. At the end of the festivities, it’s not just about packing up your grill, folding up your badass PECOS Table, and heading off to the game, you also need to make sure you’re leaving your area just as clean as it was before you got there. 

Make a conscious effort to clean up all trash in your parking area, using the trash bags you have hanging handily from your PECOS Table. Remember to fully extinguish your charcoal grill, disconnect your propane tank, and secure your portable grill for transport. An idle, still-hot grill could lead to a disastrous fire. Not only does this make you a responsible tailgate host, but it demonstrates respect for the university property. 

So, who’s ready for next season to get underway? With a little help from PECOS Outdoor, you are well on your way to becoming a local tailgating legend.