Are you ready for tailgating? As football season is here, that means it’s time to light up those grills, grab your friends, and get the party started! However, even if you’ve been tailgating for decades, being well-prepared for the perfect tailgate party is never easy.
As you may be rusty to start out the tailgating season, you’ll be giving it your A-game in no time.
To make your tailgate party one to remember, check out these tips and tricks below:
1. Plan Like a Pro
While some people excel at planning, others aren’t too great at it—that’s a fact of life. But if you want to throw an incredible party, proper planning is essential. If this vital step is overlooked, your guest could be one-and-done on attending your parties this season.
For starters, you need to make sure you have a top-of-the-line tailgate grill. We recommend the highly portable 14" Pit Barrel Junior from Pit Barrel Cooker. This innovative drum smoker allows you to cook your food like a champ. From brisket and burgers to vegetables and ribs, this tailgate grill will blow your friends away!
Before getting your grill and essentials all straightened out, be sure to check the policies of the venue you’re visiting. Give them a call or check on their website, and look for any policies regarding alcohol, grills, glass containers, and more.
Next, you’ll want to plan out the food menu. A fun, convenient idea is to ask everyone to bring their own dish. This potluck-style format works great at tailgate parties as long as you don’t all end up bringing the same thing. Additionally, don’t forget plates, napkins, utensils, and sunscreen. And if alcohol will be consumed, plan how people will get home safely.
Proper planning equals an incredible tailgate party!
2. Consider a Variety of Meat Options
While you can get by with serving the common burgers and hot dogs, it’s better to spice up the food menu. That said, consider grilling or smoking a variety of meats. Some great options include baby back ribs, brisket, bratwurst, and steak. You could even make some awesome kabobs with meat, potatoes, veggies, and more!
3. Choose Your Cooking Style
Before buying your meats and veggies, decide on how everything will be cooked. If you want unbelievable flavor and fall-off-the-bone meats, consider a drum smoker or cooker from Pit Barrel. These exceptional cookers are portable, convenient, and help to create some of the best flavors on the planet! In addition, our smoker grill solutions are more affordable than the other cookers out there. While you can use a charcoal grill, they just won’t produce the same flavorful results.
Once you decide on your preferred cooking style, make sure to plan your times accordingly. For instance, if you’ll be smoking your food in one of our barrel smokers, you’ll need to provide adequate time for everything to cook. This may mean you’ll have to head to the venue much earlier than everyone else. Whatever it takes to have a killer tailgate party!
4. Let the Games Begins
While tailgate parties are ideal for conversation and hanging out with your buddies, involving some games makes the experience that much better. This is especially true if your kids will be attending. Consider playing games that get everyone involved. Whether it’s cornhole, beer pong, or even just a football to throw around, playing some games helps to get the party started. And since you’ll be eating and drinking a few calories, getting the blood pumping will be good for everyone.
5. BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair
As many tailgate parties get people on their feet, having the right seating setup is vital. While it isn’t really feasible to bring a set of 20 plastic chairs, choose folding chairs or camp chairs instead – it’s much easier to sit down and eat all that great food. Or better yet, you could tell everyone to bring their own seating solution. While you would hate to never have enough seating options, make sure you’re well prepared—and maybe bring a few extra chairs. Who knows, you may invite some other tailgaters over to the party!
6. Grab Your Parking Spot
Depending on where you’re tailgating, the area may fill up very quickly. That said, consider heading to the venue early to claim your spot. And you may want to get a friend to come along to claim another spot. But it all depends on how many people will be joining you. The last thing you would want to happen would be to get to the tailgate to find zero spots left.
If you’ll have a large gathering and won’t have enough room for everyone to park. Consider having your friends park down the road and walk over. You could also pick up your tailgate buddies wherever they park. After all, getting all your friends to the party is a must!
7. Get the Grilling Tools Ready
While you can purchase the finest meats and veggies, failing to bring the right grill accessories can result in a poor tailgating experience. Make sure to build a checklist so nothing is forgotten.
Here are some of the grill accessories you’ll probably need:
- Basting brush
- Grill scraper
- Grilling gloves
- Grill Mat
- Cleaning tools
- Grill basket
Depending on what you are grilling, you may need more or fewer accessories. But for the most part, the list above should cover most tailgate parties.
Become an Expert Tailgater with Pit Barrel Cooker!
Pit Barrel Cooker is your one-stop-shop for smokers, grill accessories, and more! We even carry some of the best rubs for smoking your meats to perfection. As we’re the leader in BBQ smoker solutions, we can make your next tailgate party a hit!
To find an incredible barrel smoker for your next tailgate party, check out our barrel cookers today!