By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Stick to the classics like meat and beer for your Super Bowl cookout
Rule No. 1 from a Gainesville grilling expert, don't overcook it
0128SUPERBOWL 0003
Andrew Flanagan, manager of Green’s Grocery flips chicken — which turns white as its cooks — on the grill at the store off Riverside Drive in Gainesville. Flanagan said one of the most common mistakes in grilling is cooking chicken too long and making the meat tough instead of tender. - photo by Erin O. Smith

For game-day hamburger recipe, click here.

When the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the upcoming Super Bowl XLIX, football fans from across the country will gather to witness the sport’s most important game.

But as any Super Bowl party host knows, what’s on their guests’ plates can be more important than anything that happens on screen.

A classic cookout is the most synonymous with a day spent watching football, and just a few tips can help any Super Bowl steak, ribs or barbecue come off the grill perfectly.

“The most important thing is to not overcook,” said Andrew Flanagan, manager of Green’s Grocery. “When you think it’s going to be five more minutes, that’s usually a good time to pull it off.”

White meats such as chicken or pork can be especially temperamental, and cooks have to get the timing just right.

“You have to remember that it’s going to come up more after you pull it off the grill, so you’ve got like five to 10 degrees left that it’s going to come up,” said Flanagan, who is constantly grilling food and selling it from his store's Riverside Drive location.

While metallic grills tend to be more common, Flanagan recommends a ceramic grill to seal in the juicy flavors.

“Cooking on a Big Green Egg or any other ceramic grill is going to be better because you don’t lose all your heat,” he said.

When Flanagan has a party, he tends to grill items “you don’t have to watch” such as wings and ribs.

When it comes to pairing grilled entrees with beers and ales, Patrick McCormac, manager of Tap It on Thompson Bridge Road, has plenty of suggestions.

“The lighter kind of ales are going to be better if you’re having a bigger meal, like a bunch of ribs or something,” he said. “If you’re making like finger foods for a party, any kind of lighter beer, like a pale ale or a pilsner would be good.”

McCormac recommends pairing steaks with darker ales, such as a stout or a porter. If nontraditional foods are on the menu, Tap It can help.

“If you’re going to go on the spicier end, stay with the IPAs, because they’re going to balance out the heat when you eat them,” McCormac said.

No matter which team pulls through in the end, the most important thing about whipping up some Super Bowl delicacies is enjoying the process as much as the result.

“Just take your time and have fun with it,” Flanagan said. “It’s not really about time, it’s about the time you’re spending with it.”

Regional events