Contributed by: NAPSA
Score A Touchdown With Tailgating Tips From The Pros (NAPSA) - Legends aren't just born on the field of play, they're made in parking lots as well. With the kickoff of tailgating season, rookie and pro grillers everywhere will head to the big game with a shared mission: to grill the best tailgate spread, period.
So before you "suit up," study these tailgating tips from Weber so you'll be in top form for game day. Do your warm-ups. Players don't step on the field cold and neither should you. Make sure to preheat your grill before you cook. After you've lit the fire, shut the lid and let it heat for 10 minutes.
Act like you've been there before. Vince Lombardi said it about the end zone but it applies to the grill zone, too. Be professional. Just like the pros, a great griller should have a "game face." Translation: No crazy flips in either zone. As a general rule, most foods need to be turned just once.
Don't give away the game plan. Some grillers telegraph their plays to the defense by grilling with the lid up. Don't be that guy. Keep the lid down-it reduces the chances of flare-ups and allows your food to cook faster and more evenly. Use your head, son: Every time the lid goes up, heat escapes, meaning you'll have to wait even longer for your food.
Stay hydrated. Remember to coat your food lightly with oil to help it brown more evenly and prevent it from sticking to the cooking grate. Brush or spray the oil directly onto your food, not the cooking grate. You will use less oil and avoid flare-ups.
Keep your equipment clean. Nothing looks messier than a muddy jersey or a greasy grill. Brush off your cooking grate regularly and clean out the drip pan under the grill.
Scrub before you grub. You might not be able to wash your hands with soap and water in the parking lot, but at least use anti-bacterial wipes before you handle food and especially after handling raw meat, poultry or fish. Use a clean pair of tongs to remove food from the grill and never place cooked food on the platter used to carry the uncooked food to the grill.
Have a plan. Finally, create a tailgating checklist in advance to make for easy pregame packing. Here's a handy checklist: anti-bacterial wipes, disposable aluminum pans, vegetable or olive oil, napkins, sturdy paper or plastic plates, plastic cups, eating utensils, tongs, spatulas, grill mitts, an apron, cutting boards, ice, condiments and seasonings, plastic food containers (pack separate ones for raw food and for leftovers), trash bags, water, a folding table and folding chairs. Oh, and a grill, too! Now that you're prepared, get out there and practice-and grill like you mean it.
Ready for the big game? Try this tempting recipe from Weber's Real Grilling cookbook:
Prep time: 10 minutes - Grilling time: 8 to 10 minutes
In a medium bowl, using your hands, gently combine the ground chuck with the ketchup, basil, thyme, salt, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and pepper. Gently shape into 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick.
Grill the patties over Direct High heat until medium, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. During the last minute of grilling, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt, and grill the hamburger buns, cut side down, until toasted. Assemble the cheeseburgers with lettuce, tomato and ketchup and/or mustard, if desired. Serve warm.
For all the tailgating tips, as well as winning recipes for your next tailgate party, visit www.weber.com/tailgating.
Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings
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