With the kick-off to football season upon us, fans nationwide are preparing their tailgate checklists and equipment for the pre-game festivities. In fact, almost 1 in 6 of all U.S. grill owners tailgated in the past year. If you think you’re ready for some grilling, stick with this advice.

1. Draft the best picks

When picking the right grills, smokers, or accessories, use your first- and second-round draft picks wisely. Always choose quality, premium products to get the best return on your grill team investment.

2. Equipment check

Make sure your equipment is working properly before the party kicks off. Call in the backups and refuel with charcoal, wood chips or a propane tank. Be sure to brush up on the safety guidelines for your grill. 

3. Pre-game prep

Prep and marinate meat before the crowd arrives. Mix dips, cut up fruit and chop veggies so everything is grill-ready by mealtime.

4. Go the extra yard

Score big by offering to bring an extra grill to the party. There are plenty of easy, portable options like a tailgate grill that attaches to your vehicle, a portable grill with a push-button igniter, or a small smoker. You can even make parking lot pizzas with an oven tailgater.

5. Complete the two-point conversion

Smoked or grilled meat may be the MVP, but to score points with all your fans, use a grill stone to grill up sides, desserts or veggie kabobs to keep sauces and marinades from slipping through the grates. Use a pizza oven to whip up a few pies for an appetizer that everyone will love.