March Madness means tailgating season is in high swing and those of us who consider it to be more of a lifestyle than a hobby are looking for ways to make tailgating more fun. Here are ten tips that will bring a creative twist to your tailgating festivities, and maybe make life a little easier too.
1. Keep your tailgate essentials in your car.
Set up a tailgating kit in a toolbox and leave it in your car or whatever vehicle you use to tailgate. This toolbox can contain a variety of things, including:
-Spatulas, bottle openers, baster, and any other kitchen tools you may need.
-Trash bags and paper towels for cleaning up.
-Plastic ziplock bags or tupperware for food storage.
-Wet wipes and hand sanitizer for killing germs.
-Your favorites herbs and spices for seasoning food perfectly.
A toolbox will have multiple trays, compartments, and drawers for keeping all your stuff sorted and organized. You’ll have your tools handy every time you tailgate and will be prepared for anything.
2. Know how to pack food and supplies.
Cut down on space used for supplies just by learning how to pack a car and cooler properly. With a cooler, you can follow a few tips:
-pack food items in watertight containers.
-chill all beverages beforehand, especially beer, and place at the bottom of the cooler where they’ll stay cool the longest..
-add a layer of ice over bottled and canned beverages so it fills gaps.
– add bagged food items and other food containers on top.
-finish with a tightly packed layer of ice, so warm air doesn’t get into the cooler.
3. Do food prep the night before.
Not only will this help you save time, it will help foods taste better by allowing seasonings more time to be absorbed. Kebabs, chicken, and other meats can be skewered and marinated overnight and will taste great the next day.
Burger patties can be shaped ahead of time and packed between sheets of wax paper to retain their form. Burger toppings can be prepped ahead of time too. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cheese can be sliced and packed together in a covered tray for convenience.
4. Make things easier for guests.
Labeling coolers with the names of their contents helps guide guests to their favorite drinks and eliminates confusion. This will also keep drinks colder by cutting down the number of times guests open and close the cooler. Setup a canopy area to help keep your tailgate are cool and dry.
You can also freeze water bottles beforehand to use in place of ice and drink when they melt. Bring along hot sauces and other essential condiments together in a cardboard six pack holder. This keeps everything in one place and makes transporting them easier.
5. Pack a first aid kit.
This doesn’t have to be big. Take the essentials like bandages, disinfectant, cotton balls and ointment, and pack them into an old prescription pill bottle or candy tin. You never know when it could come in handy.
6. Make cleaning up easy.
Bring a large plastic tub to hold dirty dishes. It will be easy to haul them away after the party’s over. You can also create a hand washing station with an old detergent dispenser.
Fill it with water and have liquid soap nearby. A roll of paper towels can be tied to the top with bungee cords to make it more convenient. A paper towel roll can also be hung with bungee cord from the frame of a portable canopy.
7. Stay organized.
Keep supplies in prepacked plastic sets of drawers so they are always ready to go and you’ll never have to search too far for what you need.