Football season is back and that means it’s tailgating time. You don’t want to get out there and realize you have 10 bags of pretzels and no bottle opener, so plan ahead with these pro tips for enjoying your pre-game festivities.
- Research the site - Are you allowed to tailgate there? With an open flame?
- Check the time - Find out when the gates open and know when you want to be in your seats to see the game. If you only have a few hours, you’ll want fast grilling items like sausages and kebabs instead of a slow-cooked pork shoulder.
- Finger food always rules - It leaves one hand free and it’s easy to do standing up.
- Don’t cheap out on coolers - You’ll want at least two: one for drinks and one for food, so no one has to dig through bloody bags of meat to grab a beer.
- Don’t be a moocher - Experienced tailgaters know that napkins, extra fuel, lighters, bottle openers, sanitizing wipes, extra ice, and trash bags are essentials.
- Don’t forget basic grilling tools - You’ll need tongs, foil, a spatula, and a silicon brush if you’re using sauces.
- Prep at home - Marinate your kebabs, cut your veggies, make sauces and dips, form your burger patties, and mix up batches of cocktails in advance so you have more time to apply your face paint when you’re tailgating.
- Pack smart - You don’t want watery wings or contaminated side dishes, so use resealable bags and containers for everything and make sure they seal well. If not, wrap plastic wrap around them.
- You can use your cooler as a warmer - If you can’t grill at your site or just don’t want to deal with it, make hot food ahead of time and keep it warm with bricks. Wrap the bricks in foil, warm them in the oven at 300 for 20 minutes, then put them in the bottom of the cooler on top of a towel, add your food and it’ll stay hot for a few hours.
- Don’t forget the most important thing - A beer opener, of course.