Score a Touchdown with Tailgating Tips from Master BBQ & Grilling Masters


Here are some great tips and recipes from master BBQ & Grilling Pitmasters for tailgating season.


Melissa Cookston, Memphis BBQ 

  • Done with that case of beer? Save the six-pack holders: They make great caddies for hot sauce, condiments or utensil, and napkin holders.
  • Make your own chafing dish with bricks and small cans of Sterno. Top the bricks with a cast iron skillet filled with your famous pulled pork, shredded beef or queso dip.  Everyone will remark how stylish and smart your tailgate spread is!
  • Win the tailgate!  Some team-centric colored tablecloths and placemats will take your tailgate from basic to basically awesome!  Wood cutting boards make great platters for placing snacks, and they are perfect for keeping the tablecloth in place on windy days!
  •  Make cute individual desserts or salads in mason jars!  Salads can be added in layers, and bring the dressing on the side to let everyone add their own and shake, shake, shake!
  •  One of my favorite tips is freezing bottled water. The bottles can be used to help keep food cold, then provide ice-cold water to drink as they melt.

Featured Tailgating Recipe : 

Chipotle BBQ Meatballs by Melissa Cookston

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October 9, 2017


1Set up a grill to cook with an two zone fire, using wood chunks or chips over the main fire to flavor the meatballs.

2Try to maintain temperature in the 300 degree range. Place meatballs in an aluminum pan over the lower heat area.

3Cook for 30-40 minutes (time will greatly depend on the grill you are using,) or until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees.

4Drain any rendered fats, then pour in BBQ sauce and stir meatballs to coat them.

5Return to oven for 10 minutes, or until they reach 165 degrees. Remove and serve.

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

1In a sauce pan, add the oil and onions and cook until the onions are softened and beginning to get translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

2Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.

3Simmer over low heat 20-30 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Allow to cool.

4Sauce may be kept refrigerated for up to a month.


2 lbs ground Smithfield pork

1 tablespoon of your favorite BBQ Seasoning

1 cup Chipotle BBQ Sauce (see recipe), divided

2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce

2 TBS Ketchup

1/3 cup finely diced onions

½ cup finely diced green bell peppers

2 TBS panko bread crumbs

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp granulated garlic

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp seasoned salt

1 large egg

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

1 1/2 cup Ketchup

2 TBS finely diced onions

1 TBS canola or peanut oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup molasses

2 TBS Tabasco Chipotle Sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

2 TBS yellow mustard

¼ cup honey

1 TBS Granulated Garlic

¼ TBS Chili Powder

1 tsp salt, or to taste

½ tsp coarse ground black pepper


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