Grilling tips & essentials for a perfect tailgating party

High school and college football season kicks off this weekend. While football fans are excited for tailgate parties before the big game, tailgating doesn't just happen; there's a lot of prep work, planning and organization that must go into it.

Chad Beuter, a Meijer Test Kitchen Chef, demonstrates how to make grilled steak sandwiches, and crunchy cole slaw with barbecue sauce. He also shares some tips on how to prepare for a tailgate cookout.

Know how many people are coming.

It's not going to be a good time if you run out of food before all the guest arrive. It's a good idea to bring a little bit extra in case there are any unexpected party-goers.

Make a plan for the coolers.

If you’re arranging a tailgate party in summer then you are always going to need more than one cooler. You may need an extra cooler just for ice. Alternatively, in the food cooler, you can place your food items so that they may not get mixed with one another.

Own duplicates of critical grilling equipment.

It's important to own duplicates of items like tongs, grill gloves, chimney starters, and other items you personally use on the grill often. This way, you don't have to cannibalize your home collection every time you host an off-site tailgate party. To stay even more organized, store them in a multi-drawer toolbox or clear plastic bin.

Bring more fuel than you think you'll need.

Whether you're burning charcoal or propane, bring enough fuel so the cooking isn't put to a halt. Also be prepared to douse and safe dispose of the ashes to prevent unnecessary fires.

Find all the tailgating essentials at

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