Dallas, Texas (NAPSI) - Tailgaters are a serious crowd, particularly when it comes to their traditions, their team and above all their food.

For many, a key to preparing memorable food—whether it’s for friends and family in the backyard or for a crowd at the stadium—is having the right tools, starting with the right grill.

In fact, according to the 24th annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, grill owners who tailgate say the top must-have item for a proper tailgate party is a grill (82 percent), followed by food (80 percent) and a cooler (80 percent).

Finding The Right Tools

“Today’s tailgate parties have really evolved,” says Kevin Kolman, Grill Master for Weber-Stephen Products LLC, manufacturer of outdoor gas, charcoal and electric grills and grilling accessories. “There is a sense of pride and one-upmanship that seems to prevail among tailgaters—and armed with the right tools and a grilling game plan, anyone can come out looking like a pro.”

His top five tools for tailgating include:

1. Portable Grill and Grill Stand: Many tailgaters place their grill on the ground, or worse, on a stool or a chair. “Forget hunching over or knocking over an unstable grill,” says Kolman. “Invest in a sturdy grill stand and a quality grill.” Kevin recommends a Weber Q 220 portable gas grill with electronic ignition for the ultimate in convenience; or the new Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill that features a compact design but has the grilling capacity of Weber’s stand-up classic charcoal kettle. Both are available with collapsible grill stands (sold separately).

2. Tongs: Kolman says it’s best to have at least two sets of tongs—one for raw food and one for cooked food. He suggests looking for tongs that are spring loaded, long and strong, like Weber’s Stainless Steel Chef’s Tongs that measure 12½ inches and have a locking mechanism to keep tongs closed when not in use.

3. Chimney Starter: Simple and inexpensive, this metal cylinder with a handle on the side is still the best tool for lighting charcoal. Fill the chimney starter with charcoal and set on the grill grates with lit lighter cubes underneath. In approximately 15 minutes, the charcoal will be hot, ashed over and ready to use. Try the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter in either the standard or the new compact size.

4. Grill Brush: A sturdy grill brush with stainless steel bristles is essential when grilling. After the grill is hot, make sure to give the grates a good cleaning before putting on your food.

5. Timer: With so much going on in the parking lot, it’s easy to get distracted. Just set the timer and you’ll be reminded to check the coals or flip the meat. Weber’s Pocket Thermometer fits, well…in your pocket, so hands are free to enjoy your favorite pregame beverage.

For more tailgating tips from Kevin Kolman, visit www.weber.com/blog. To learn more about Weber grills and accessories, visit www.weber.com.