From safety and faster clean-up tips to the power of Sunday shrimp, these culinary quarterbacks are handing off can’t-miss tips to take your grill game to the next level. Can you handle the heat?

1. Go in with a plan

I am a big fan of letting my meat marinate in plastic bags in my cooler. Once we arrive at the tailgate, the meat has marinated for the perfect amount of time and is ready to cook.

— Tuffy Stone,

2. Save the sauce

Check whether the chicken is cooked by using a white paper towel. Do this before any sauce is applied. If the juice of the cooked chicken is showing a pink tint on the paper towel then, it is not done. If the juice is clear, then the chicken is done.

— Kell Phelps, National Barbecue News

3. Stand out in the crowd

Bring along pre-marinated shrimp to grill onsite to make some new friends at the tailgate. Make the sauce ahead of time and have it handy in a plastic squeeze bottle. Spread the grilled shrimp and sauce into some endive leaves for a great appetizer. 

— Harry Soo, Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

4. Respect the rules

Pay close attention to food safety when you are away from refrigeration and running hot water. (Keep food below 40°F or above 150°F.) Label your coolers so people won't keep opening the meat cooler when they are looking for a beer.

— Meathead,

5. Wind down the grill

Make sure you extinguish your grill properly. It should be cool to the touch and the spent charcoal ashes emptied into a metal container. Store your LP tank in the car in a secure and upright position.

— Kevin J. Kolman, Weber's Grill Master

6. Get double coverage

Freeze water bottles for your cooler. Keep your food and ingredients cold without everything getting soggy. Then after you have done all your cooking you have cold water to drink instead of a cooler full of dirty water.

— Malcom Reed, Killer Hogs

7. Practice sound defense

Prep all of your food ahead of time before the game. Bring plenty of rubber food safe gloves to keep your hands clean while you're loading up the grill. Don't forget to double bag your trash before you head off to the game. You don't need to marinade your floor mats. 

— Mark Lambert, Sweet Swine O' Mine Distributing