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Going to a big game often means hosting a gathering at the back of a SUV. Making it look easy means careful planning. Take the pressure off hosting a great tailgating party, especially if it’s your first time to do so, with our easy tips.
Hosting a Great Tailgating Party
Of course you want your tailgate party to be fun, unforgettable, and the envy of all who walk by and see the champion spread you’ve laid out for your guests. All you need to do to host a great game day party out of the back of your van or SUV, is to start with the proper plan.
Timing is Key to a Successful Tailgating
Timing your tailgating is the key to success. Since the start time of your tailgate party is tied to kick off, you need to make sure you plan carefully, and get to your parking spot early enough to set up. It’s best to work backwards from kick off. Make a list of all the tasks involved, and the time you’ll need to accomplish them. Be generous with time; things can take longer than you might think they should. Remember to include often forgotten tasks, like pre-heating the grill and cleaning up.
Things to Bring for Successful Tailgating
A grill that is charcoal or gas can be used, or a propane hotplate. Make sure to bring charcoal or extra fuel.
Do bring your grilling tools. You might need a long handled fork, tongs, and spatula along with a brush for applying BBQ sauce.
Bring plastic cups (two or three per person), plates, knives and forks, serving spoons, and plenty of paper napkins. You can find disposable dishware that can be recycled of is biodegradeable.
You will need at least three coolers: one for meat, one for drinks and one for ice.
Don’t forget garbage bags and paper towels.
Bring fold up tables and nylon camping chairs.
Large bowls and platters for serving.
A couple gallon jugs of water for clean up
Enough food and drink for everyone, plus a few extra.
Tips for Hosting Tailgating for the First Time
Make sure to have plenty of food. Stick to a few basics for your first tailgate party, like hamburgers and hotdogs, steaks, or chicken and shrimp For cold days, think about a crock pot of chili and spiced cider to drink. You never know who may drop by, so bring enough for new friends. You can also share the load by asking some on your guest list to bring a favorite dish. If your guests are arriving while you are still getting the food ready, give them a drink, put out some chips, and ask them to help.
To avoid any unpleasant surprises at the last minute, make sure to check out the stadium’s website for their tailgating rules. Now you’re ready to put on your team’s colors and have a great day!
Easy Tailgating Recipes
If you are hosting for the first time, it’s important to keep it simple. It’s important to remember that tailgating is about having a good time yourself as well as making sure your friends enjoy themselves. So I recommend starting with serving recipes that are relatively simple to make. It’s a good idea to give a new recipe a trial run at home too.
We’ve collected some great tailgating recipes that will help you save time. Many of these come together easily on site, but some have elements that you can prepare ahead of time. We’re all about keeping it simple.
Appetizers and Sides:
- Firecracker Beef Meatballs
- Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Southwestern Jalapeno Poppers
- Gluten-free Tortilla Chips with Guacamole Bites
- 7 Layer Black Bean Dip
- Caramelized Onion Dip
- Macaroni and Cheese Bacon Jalapeno Cupcakes
- Baked Artichoke and Cilantro Pizza Dip
- Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Gochujang Glazed Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Loaded Baked Potato Footballs
- Cajun Shrimp Cups
- Roasted Artichoke and Mozzarella Salad
- Air Fryer Shrimp Skewers
- Homemade Sauerkraut
- Buffalo Chicken Bowtie Pasta
- Super Bowl Chili
- Easy Pork and Beef Stovetop Chili
- Easy Barbecue Grilled Shrimp
- Slow Cooker Whiskey Beef Stew
- Shrimp on the Barbie
- Easy Grilled Hawaiian Steak Skewers
- Quesadilla Burgers
- Easy Meaty Chili in the Pressure Cooker
- Open Faced Grilled Veggie Panini Sandwiches
- Cuban Mojo Pork Tenderloin
- Pork Belly Strips
- Caramel Popcorn Balls
- Easy Football Brownies
- Nutter Butter Football Player Cookies
- Easy Caramel Apple Dip
- Cherry Crumb Bars
- Apple Walnut Bundt Cake
- Caramel Apple Cookies
- Long Island Iced Tea Jello Shots
- Apple Rosemary Whiskey Cocktail
- Skinny Margaritas
- Blackberry Pie Fireball Cocktail
- Spicy Ginger Mule
try it and share!
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