Just because summer is slowly starting to wind down doesn’t mean that grilling season is going with it. In fact, a lot of people would argue that the best time for grilling is just around the corner! The fall season brings cooler weather – perfect for staying close to the grill and soaking up all the beautiful colors that nature offers. However, if we’re being honest, the best reason for grilling in the fall is, of course, tailgating. Preseason football has already started and the regular season is approaching fast. This is the perfect time to get your tailgating plans nailed down! True football fandom knows no age limit! Let’s take a look at a few tailgating and grilling tips and then we’ll show you a super easy grilling recipe that is sure to turn heads at your next tailgating event! Get ready to cheer for those Bulldogs, Buckeyes, Longhorns, Cowboys, Broncos, Packers, etc.!
Grilling Tips: In a typical tailgating environment, you will be using a portable charcoal grill. Starting your fire is very important, not only for safety but for the flavor of your food, as well. Stay away from using lighter fluid or “easy light” charcoal. Not only will your food smell and taste like lighter fluid, but ultra-flammable liquids aren’t exactly the best thing to have in such a public place. Invest in a simple charcoal chimney starter as this will heat the charcoal evenly (for a better cooking experience) and will also keep the starter fire in a controlled vessel, keeping everyone and everything safe. Once all of the coals are burning, simply dump the chimney into the grill and let the cooking begin!
Tailgating Tips: Repeat after me, proper preparation and planning are your BEST friend when planning to cook for large events. Typically, once you’re parked, you can’t just pack up and go back home if you forgot anything. Make one list for all of your cooking materials: grill, charcoal, tongs, cutting boards, etc. Then make a separate, but equally detailed list of ingredients you’ll need. Finally, once you have triple checked your lists, pack your vehicle in such a way that all of your materials come out in the order you need them once you arrive at your destination. In other words, pack your grill and grilling materials after you pack your food in your car. You will need to get all that set up first, so there is no point in lugging all of the food and ingredients out if you don’t have to.
Grilling Recipe: It’s safe to assume that most folks can grill hot dogs and hamburgers. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, as it is a tailgate staple. However, sometimes it’s nice to throw something new at football fans. Why not have a throwback to the summer months and serve watermelon? Grilled watermelon, to be exact. You may be thinking that sounds crazy, and your guests might, as well. However, if you take the time to think about it, it’s a perfect fruit for grilling. You can cut it into thick slices, which is perfect for a grill, and then all of those sugars will caramelize from the heat and create a delicious, refreshing, and unique watermelon treat for all your guests!
- Watermelon (cut into 1.5-2 inch slices)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Canola Oil
- Sea Salt
- Lightly brush watermelon slices with desired oil to coat.
- Place slices directly on clean grill grate over medium heat.
- Allow to cook for five minutes or until desired grill marks are achieved (flip slice over halfway through cooking).
- Take off grill and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
- Serve and enjoy immediately.
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year and with the correct planning, it can be even more fun than the hotter summer months. Enjoy the cooler weather, warmer clothes, and of course, the tailgating!