The Game Changers prepare chicken, burgers and ribs during a recent demonstration. (Staff Photo: Jason Braverman)
Grilling and Smoking Tips for Fourth of July
Terrence Spires, a member of the Game Changers Tailgating Crew, offers some suggestions for grilling and smoking meats.
Game Changers grilling
The Game Changers Tailgating Crew, known for its Smoked Dirty Bird, shares tips on grilling and smoking.
When it comes to smoking and grilling meats, members of the Game Changers Tailgating Crew have become pros at what they do.
There’s Bill Wetter, owner of the company Team Management, who’s considered the grill master.
Jimmy Don Murray, a wildlife biologist with Team Pest USA of Lawrenceville, is the guy who mans the smoker.
Billy Gray, owner of Gray Contracting, makes an award-winning burger.
Brian Thomas, a professional chef and owner of the catering restaurant Open Kitchen, takes care of the sides, including macaroni and cheese, baked beans and more.
Craig Sears, owner of Sears Pool Management, is working on a signature drink for the crew.
And bringing the team together are Terrence Spires, VP of operations for Team Pest USA, and Brandon Pelfrey, Team Pest USA’s CEO.
Tailgating at every Atlanta Falcons home game, the Game Changers’ mission is to feed their guests good food while growing the reach of their respective businesses that serve the metro Atlanta area. The combination of food and marketing has worked well for these guys, who, in addition to being expert grillers and smokers, are tailgating pros. The crew recently won the award for outstanding overall tailgate at the second annual Grill with the Falcons event held June 14 in Gwinnett.
It was there that Gray took home the award for best burger for his 50 Yard Liner, a burger made with half ground beef and half ground bacon.
“One of my main tips is definitely cook (your burger) on charcoal or wood,” Gray said. “You definitely don’t want to try to cook your burgers on gas, or any kind of meat.”
The key to grilling?
“It all starts off with the choices of meat that you use,” Gray said. “Me and you could sit here and cook on the same Green Egg and cook it the same way, but if your piece of meat is not as good as mine then it ain’t going to taste as good.”
Gray said he typically uses organic, high quality meats.
“That’s the main starting point is the food itself,” Gray said. “Just getting the right pieces of meat when you start from there, you should be good.”
Wetter said one key to grilling or smoking meats is finding the type of meat you like. Another? Figuring out how you like it cooked.
“It really is in the type of meat you like,” he said. “You can brine it, you can inject it, you can rub it, some people don’t rub at all, sometimes they’ll just baste their meat. You’ve just got to figure out which kind of meat you like.”