Fall Grilling Tips from the OCG

Fall is one of my favorite seasons in which to grill. My others happen to be winter, spring and summer, but I have to admit I do like fall grilling over the heat of summer. There’s also that football tailgating to be done. I mean, whoever heard of tailgating at a basketball or a baseball game? That would be ridiculous!

Leaf Highlight

To celebrate tailgating in all its glory, Solo has come out with a great line of tailgating products, from football cups to football related plates. They were kind enough to send a variety along to Livefire to try out (read: I got these free), however, they really are great. I’ve always thought Solo cups were the best to use for cold drinks while tailgating, and these are no different, as they’re shaped to make it easy to keep a hold, and the football laces are actually kind of cool. The products aren’t team related, but they do a great job of holding all your tailgating needs!

Solo Products

Football Plate

Football Cup


Field Goal Plate

For fall grilling, I asked the members of the Outdoor Cooking Guild a few questions to provide some tips for readers.  Matt & Erin from Dutch Oven Experiements, Mark from Mark’s Black Spot, Larr Gaian from The BBQ Grail, Chris from Nibble Me This and Gary from Cooking Outdoors all helped out.

Question 1: What ways do you most change your outdoor cooking for fall?

Larry: One of the advantages of California living is that even in the Northern part of the state I don’t have to change much of anything about how I cook outdoors during the Fall.

Gary: I look towards comfort food more. Soups, Stews, Casseroles all in a Dutch oven cooked either on the grill or with coals. I start cooking a lot earlier also.

Chris: Fall weather is mostly enjoyable here, so it doesn’t deter me from coking outside as much or as long (whereas in winter i go for quicker grilling times).  What it does influence is the available fresh ingredients.  I start using less tomatoes, summer squash and fresh herbs.  I start using more fruits (apple, pear, etc) for grilling sauces and compotes.  The first real cooler snap of the fall brings out chili and soup cooked in Dutch ovens, and I cook more roasts.

Matt & Erin: We change in both what we cook (we tend to make lots of apple and/or pumpkin type desserts in the Dutch Ovens) and how we cook.  As temperatures get colder, you must adjust length of cook time and the number of coals used under and on top of the DO.

Mark: I don’t really change my processes that much, since I’m cooking in the dutch ovens.  The fresh ingredients I have are different, and I use more of those in the fall.  That impacts the choices of dishes I do.  You can see those in my links, below.

Question 2: Do you have a tip or three to offer for fall outdoor cooking?

Larry: Take advantage of vegetables that are only available during the Fall and Winter months like squash.

Gary: Grilling takes longer the colder it gets – plan accordingly.  If you don’t’ have any fresh vegetables, try frozen and place them in a foil packet with your fix in’s.  When grilling, using lump charcoal – you’ll get more heat.

Chris: If you live in an area with windy fall weather, try to move your grill to an area that blocks the wind. Use what is fresh in your area. Practice your holiday cooks a month early

Matt & Erin: Our best tip is do as much kitchen prep at home before you leave for the campground (though this is not specific to just fall). With 2 children under 3, this is a must!

Mark: In Dutch oven cooking, you’ll use a little more coals as the weather gets colder, and you have to watch your coals and your heat more. The biggest tip is to not be afraid of it, and don’t curl up and hibernate in your house!

Question 3: Can you share any lines from your site that show off some of your fall cooking?

With that, you should have lots of fall grilling ammo.  Get out there and enjoy the change of seasons!

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.

One comment

  1. I have used these products before. We are from the deep south, so we don’t change when grilling for the fall. As a matter of fact, the weather doesn’t change much either.
    Jeff recently posted..Enameled and Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware ReviewsMy Profile

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