Throw Your Best Tailgate Yet with 6 Tips from Top Grillmasters

When the temperatures fall and the days become shorter, it can only mean one thing: football season has arrived. With football season comes the true meaning of sportsmanship, otherwise known as tailgating. Tailgating has been a part of football tradition, whether it be high school football or the pros, for decades. There's nothing like a group of likeminded sports fans getting together and showcasing their undying love for the team.

When it's time to get your closest group of friends (and then some) together, it's best to have some sort of method to your madness here. What makes a good tailgate? All the right food and the tastiest of drinks, of course! After all, what good is game day without eats and adult beverage treats? Nothing shows team spirit like a solid commitment to winning game day, and nothing wins game day like a well thought out and prepared tailgate. So sit back, grab a pen and paper, and take notes! This is how you tailgate like a pro.

1. Prep to save time.

Will lemon cookies break the 11 year losing streak? We shall try. #GatorHaterWeek #VFL #Tailgateprep

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First, make sure to prep anything you can ahead of time. This allows you to spend time with friends, old and new, while leaving little to worry about when it comes to cooking.

2. Arrive early, stay late.

6am was really early #sleepy #earlytailgate Boomer Sooner!

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Secondly, arrive to your designated tailgate station 4-5 hours prior to the game to ensure there's enough time for all of the grillin' that's about to commence. Hey, it's better to be safe than hungry!

3. Don't forget the legendary seasoning blend.

Another day, more ribs to smoke and flavor 🐷🔥

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Now, when it comes to the grilling of your precious meats and other poultry, Chef Michael Senich, Executive Chef for Longhorn Steakhouse, recommends you go bold or go home. In other words, don't be shy with your seasoning!

If you're unfamiliar with seasoning, Chef Senich recommends the Big Four: salt, pepper, granulated onion powder, and garlic powder.  Make sure you coat both sides well!

4. Remember fire safety.

After you've grilled your protein to perfection, don't forget to turn the grill off! This seems like a no-brainer step, but you'd be surprised to hear the countess horror stories relative to this step precisely.

5. Zone your grill.

When it comes to creating the prefect fire on the grill for your tailgating needs, Bush's BBQ bootcamp Grillmaster Steven Raichlen suggests using a three-zone technique where you have a hot zone, a medium zone and a cooling zone for safety.

6. Choosing the cuts.

In the case of picking out the best meats, Raichlen suggests looking for cuts labeled "organic" and "free range", as they're held to a higher standard,  thus creating the ultimate experience of deliciousness.

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