Grilling Tips

Tailgating with A Portable Grill

Master the Art of Tailgating

The air is charged with excitement, the smell of charcoal, and the sizzle of delicious meats – its tailgating season! Whether you’re gearing up for the big game or just enjoying the camaraderie of fellow fans, tailgating is bound to bring people together. Let’s explore the art of tailgating with your Masterbuilt Portable grill, turning your pre-game party into a culinary adventure.

Benefits of Portable Grill for Tailgating

Using a portable grill enhances the tailgating experience by providing a convenient, versatile, and social cooking solution in outdoor settings. Because they are designed to be easy to carry, it makes them convenient for tailgating where you might need to transport your grill to a parking lot or outdoor event space.

The Masterbuilt Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker makes charcoal grilling on the go a quick and easy experience by including a removable QuickCollapse™. Plus, with the two side shelves, you will have extra preparation space along with beverage holders for convenience. 

A Masterbuilt portable grill on a QuickConnect cart with 2 side shelves. The side shelf on the right has cupholders. The grill is open to show the charcoal hopper and a variety of food cooking on the grill.

How to use a Portable Charcoal Grill

Using a portable charcoal grill is a straightforward process that begins with preparing the grill for cooking. Start by placing it on a flat, stable surface away from flammable materials. Open the vents, ignite the charcoal, and spread it evenly on the grate once ashed over. Adjust vents for temperature control, heat the cooking grate, and grill away. With the Masterbuilt portable grill, you can forget manually adjusting the coals to get your grill to the right temperature – easily adjust the SteadyTemp™ dial to maintain desired temperature for up to 4 hours!

Charcoal MiniHopper

Redefine charcoal cooking on the go with the Charcoal MiniHopper that holds 1.5 lbs. of charcoal for up to 4 hours of use.

A Masterbuilt portable grill with the charcoal minihopper open to show smoking charcoal lumps

SteadyTemp Dial

Adjust your cooking temperature with precision by simply turning the SteadyTemp dial.

A man turns the SteadyTemp dial to control the temperature on a Masterbuilt portable control.

Before Tailgating Prep

Start with meticulous planning, checking the game schedule, and understanding tailgating rules of the venue. Collaborate with fellow fans to distribute responsibilities and avoid oversights. Create a detailed checklist covering everything from food and beverages to essential equipment and entertainment. Pack efficiently using disposable or reusable containers, and don't forget the cooler stocked with ice packs for perishables!  

What to look for in a Portable Grill

When selecting a portable grill, several key factors should be considered to ensure a successful tailgating experience. 

  • Portability: Look for a grill that is lightweight, compact, easy to transport, and ideally with folding legs or a carrying handle.
  • Fuel type: Charcoal grills add a distinct smoky flavor to food, enhancing its taste. Additionally, their simple design and operation make them user-friendly, while the high heat potential allows for achieving an excellent sear on food.
  • Cooking surface: Ensure the size meets your needs without sacrificing portability.

Steaks, sausages, kebab skewers, chicken breasts, and corn on the cob cooking on the grill of a Masterbuilt portable grill. The charcoal mini-hopper is just visible on the right.

Safety Tips for Charcoal Grilling on the Go

Prioritizing safety while tailgating is essential. Begin by selecting a flat and stable grilling surface, away from flammable materials and overhanging structures. Before igniting the charcoal, carefully read and follow the manufacturer instructions for your specific grill. Use proper lighting methods to avoid the risk of flare-ups. Follow food safety practices by using separate utensils for raw and cooked items and ensuring that meats are thoroughly cooked.

Cleanup after the Tailgate

Cleaning up after a tailgate is essential to ensure the environment remains enjoyable for everyone. After the festivities, gather all trash, including empty bottles, food wrappers, and disposable plates. Make sure your grill is completely cooled down, and carefully remove any remaining hot coals, disposing of them safely. Proper post-tailgate cleaning ensures that your grill stays in good condition and is ready for the next adventure


Tailgating with a Masterbuilt Portable Grill is more than just a pre-game ritual – it's an opportunity to showcase your culinary skills and connect with fellow fans. With the right equipment, a carefully planned menu, and a commitment to safety, you can transform tailgating into an unforgettable celebration!

A man uses the left side shelf to hold buns for burgers and sausages as he takes them off the grill.