Tailgate parties can be a lot of fun but they’re also a lot of work. The secret to a successful tailgate experience is keeping in mind the three P’s and ensuring you make the most of your grill. (Think of it as your tailgating quarterback.)
A good tailgate experience is only as good as the work that goes into it up front. It helps if you remember the three P’s – plan, prepare and pack.
Plan: what does your tailgate day look like? Run through menu and activity options and make a checklist of what you’ll need. The kind of food and drinks you’ll be serving will determine what you’ll want to bring for utensils, condiments, sides, etc. While hamburgers and hot dogs are a tailgating favorite, there are a host of other tasty possibilities to consider: steaks, chicken, vegetables, even breakfast (breakfast burritos or pancakes).
Prepare: start pulling your items together. (Hint: give yourself a few days so you’ve got enough time to get everything ready.) Prep as much food as possible the day before to save time on location. Make sure you’ve got enough coolers for both beverages and food (ones with wheels make for easier transport). If the weather’s a bit chilly, use pre-labelled thermoses filled with soup, hot chocolate or apple cider.
Pack: the overarching theme here is portability and convenience. Freeze water bottles to double as ice packs. Use a paper beverage holder to display condiment cups. Fill and label plastic tubs (they’re durable, easy to clean and stack ‘n stow to maximize space). Don’t forget to save some room for extra chairs for seating. If your tailgate party is kid-friendly, what kind of activities do you have planned for them? Leave room for those items. It’s also recommended that you keep a first-aid kit on hand for unexpected burns, cuts or scrapes.
On game day, your grill is your tailgating quarterback. How it performs will affect the outcome of the overall event and your ability to keep your tailgating fans happy. A few grill tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure your propane tanks are full. Have a spare one on hand if you’ve got room.
- Pack accessories like veggie baskets and griddles. You never know when you might need them.
- Keep your grill at least six feet from any vehicle and avoid places where there may be combustibles nearby.
- Maintain a “safe zone” around the grill to keep pets and youngsters away from heat.
Remember the main benefits of using a propane grill are speed, convenience and heat control. Use yours to take full advantage of this: cook on one side and keep things warm on the other or fire up both sides when needed. Your goal during all of this? Keeping fans, friends and families happy, well-fed and looking forward to the next tailgating party.