Grill space. Regardless of sport or location, the grill is always the franchise player. Make sure you have enough elbow room to work your flame-cooked magic.
Gas or charcoal? This one is all about priorities. If time is no consequence and impressing friends with your skilled flavor profile is the game plan, charcoal wins in a landslide. If your goal is to feed people in a timely fashion and be seated by kickoff, gas it up.
Keep it simple. Hot dogs, brats, and metts are just fine. Maybe some chicken wings if you want to show off. Ribs are messy, steaks are expensive, and anything that requires a knife and fork is in direct defiance of the Tailgating Commandments. (Thou shalt not use eating utensils.)
Go local. Grill up some Queen City Sausage hot metts or JTM burgers—or if you’re feeling particularly bullish, pick your protein at Avril’s, Lehr’s, or any local butcher shop—pour Cincy-style chili over those dogs, or slather Montgomery Inn barbecue sauce on everything as you root, root, root for the home team.
Beer. Brand and container are up to you—though Hudy is a hometown fave. Just make sure there’s plenty to go around.
There is no “I” in team. Don’t be afraid to ask your buddies for a little help with the plates, cups, and side dishes (and by side dishes, we mean chips and pretzels). You’ve been carrying their sorry asses all season. It’s about time they chipped in.