How to Prep your Smoker Grill for Tailgating

barbecueWhile most Americans do their grilling on the Fourth of July, true practitioners in the art of Southern Barbecue know that fall tailgating season is the best time for smoked brisket, slow cooked ribs, and barbecue beef. With that said, bringing out the smoker/grill is a big production, and having your meal come off without a hitch can take some planning. Here are some tips to have some authentic barbecue at your next tailgate without having to miss the party. 

Bring Everything You'd Use at Home

Sure, you'll need your tongs and basting brush, but don't forget drip pans, backup spices, a meat thermometer, matches, and a chimney starter. That's not to mention the plates, silverware, and buns and sauce if you're using them. You can do a practice round at home and make a note of all the equipment you used. 

Make It Portable

This is one of the eternal questions for the serious barbecue artist: to buy the custom trailer, or not to buy? If you're planning to feed a big crowd, or if you're investing in competition smokers, a custom trailer allows you to use your smoker/grill anytime and anywhere. Alternatively, if you want to barbecue for a small group of friends with minimal fuss, look into a portable smoker/grill that fits in your car. This can be a good standby if you're still on the fence about a bbq trailer, or if you don't want to haul out your rig for away games. 


True barbecue is low and slow. If you want to bring out barbecue pork shoulder, you'll have to make sure you have time to get it done before the game starts. Some stadiums let their fans hang out all day, while some have time limits. When in doubt, there's no shame in making chicken or lamb, which only takes about an hour to finish and can feed a crowd. 

You can always talk to your barbecue and smoker supplier if you can't find the rig you're looking for. Don't settle for another year of grilled hot dogs. A high-end retailer can build you a custom model that works well for home and tailgating use.