In addition to offering a wide variety of dining options, Dining Services offers a number of other programs and services to compliment your dining experience. In cooperation with other departments, Dining Services allows students to put table cards in the dining centers, offer their professors a free lunch, and learn dining etiquette.

Backyard Barbecues

To complement the grills all over campus, we have established a program to allow you to buy food and charcoal (quick light, no fluid needed) from Owens Food Court at Owens Hall with your Flex Dollars. From hamburgers, hot dogs, and condiments, to charcoal and coolers, we've got you covered.

Orders can be placed Monday-Friday from 9a.m. to 5 p.m. by phone, fax, or in person at Owens Food Court by submitting the backyard barbecue order form. Requests must be placed 72 hours in advance.

Outdoor grill areas are located:

  • Prairie Quad - in front of O'Shaughnessy Hall and Pritchard Hall
  • Johnson Volleyball Quad - behind O'Shaughnessy Hall
  • Eggleston Quad - between Owens Dining Hall and Eggleston Hall
  • Slusher Beach - between Slusher Hall and Campbell Hall

Grilling 101

  • Never leave the grill alone when you are cooking food. Flare ups can quickly become a fire, and it's very easy to overcook or burn food on the grill. Once you start, stay there and pay attention!
  • Place a few sheets of crumpled newspaper on the bottom grate.
  • Spread one layer of charcoal on bottom of grill, extending 1-2 inches from where food will be placed.
  • Pyramid charcoal, light the newspaper, and wait for charcoal to catch fire.
  • The charcoal is ready for cooking when about 80% of the coals appear gray with ash. Use the following descriptions to check cooking temperature by observing the coals:
  • Ash coating thickens, red glow less visible = Low
  • Coals covered with light gray ash = Medium
  • Red glow visible through the ash coating = High
  • Once the charcoal is ready, use a long-handle tool to spread them in a single layer across the bottom grate.
  • Sauces containing sugar and fat will cause flare ups and the food may burn. Unless the recipe instructions are different, apply sauces and glazes during the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
  • The most reliable way to test when food is done is by using a thermometer.

Charcoal Safety

  • If you choose to purchase your own cookout supplies off campus, be sure to purchase only the amount of charcoal that you will need for the event. Single use bags are available in the 3-5 lb range.
  • Charcoal or lighter fluid/accelerant cannot be stored in or around the residence halls. If you purchase the "quick light" charcoal version, this means you won't have to use lighter fluid!
  • Never use gasoline as a starter fluid or accelerant for charcoal grills. Never add lighter/starter fluid to hot or even warm coals. An explosion can result.

Cleaning and Safety

  • Grill must be cleaned after use. Clean cooking residue off with a grill brush or scraper pad (wadded-up aluminum foil is a great scrubber).
  • Hot coals should always be disposed of in designated containers. Plenty of water should be poured on coals to completely extinguish the flames and cool the coals. Place ashes in the container marked "ASHES". DO NOT place ashes, even "cooled" ashes, in the trash cans.
  • Remove all trash from the area.
  • After grilling your food, allow others to use the grill.
  • Be sure to practice proper fire safety techniques when grilling. When near campfires and grills, wear snug-fitting, tightly woven, or short sleeved garments.
  • In an emergency, call 911 for assistance and then report any incident to a resident advisor.