I tailgated so much in college that if it were a sport I would have been National champ, and not just because of my cooking skills. No it goes quite a bit past cooking! Here are my tips on how to Tailgate Like A Pro
1) Grill it – How can you possibly call yourself a respectable tailgater when you have nothing to cook on?! Grills come in all shapes, sizes and cooking elements. I prefer a classic charcoal grill for tailgating.
2) Trash Bags – If there is one thing on this earth that pisses me off, it has to be trash scattered over an empty parking lot after a football game. PLEASE don’t be one of those, or else Imma slap you and your mama! Pick up a few trash bags and tie it to your car, and I don’t care what kind you buy, BUT THROW YOUR TRASH AWAY!!!
3) Cooler – If you dare bring raw protein to a tailgate and let it sit for a few hours with out keeping it cold then don’t you dare invite me to your tailgate cause I would rather not spend quality time in the bathroom! Plus a cooler will keep your beverages cold as well!
4) ICE – Buy plenty of it to keep your meats, veggies and beverages under dangereous temperature and ice cold! Seriously what is it, 3 bucks a bag? This is a much cheaper price to pay than you having food poisining, trust me it ain’t pretty puling double duty in the bathroom if you get it!
5) Slider Bag It – The best way to stay organized, clean and free of cross contamination is to keep your food in a slider bag! To be honest I slider bag everything at my house, including soups that I freeze!
6) Water – Nothing is worse to me than seeing people take advantage of a few cold ones to the point where they can barely speak English. Bring plenty of water, cause early in the season it’s hot out there and it is essential to stay hydrated.
7) Small Fold-Up Table – Where in the world do you think you are going to put all that cooked food, buns and condiments?! ON THE GROUND?! I know you wouldn’t do that so bring a small table to put it on!
8) Seating – No shame in standing but when you have an 8 pm game and you start tailgating at 8 am you are going to want to sit down! Make sure you bring a few fold up chairs, and you can get some with your favorite teams logo on it!
9) Prep at Home – If you are serving raw food products, do your fellow tailgaters a favor and prep those burgers and side dishes at home. Nothing worse than watching a dude form raw hamburgers then drink a beer and shake some hands with out washing his own… SICK!
10) Sanitizer – I don’t care if you get the liquid pump, bring a water solution bucket with bleach or have those alochol wipes, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY, WASH YOUR HANDS AND KEEP YOUR FOOD SAFE!
11) Bathroom – Guys are cool in this department because let’s face it, nature is our bathroom. For the sake of your grilfriend, wife, daughter, sister, woman friend, find a parking spot near a porta potty. You will thank me for this.
12) It’s a Marathon not a Sprint – Let’s be honest here, tailgating is just another excuse for Americans to get drunk. Just know that this is an all day affair, so no reason to get hammered in the first 30 minutes of setting up. Pace yourself, drink lots of water, and stay sober enough that you can actually remember the experience.