B&M Suggestions for Tailgate Party – sharing some fun tips and advice for tailgating success.

Now that we have shared the history and some menu ideas for fall tailgate parties in our last post, we thought we would share some hints, tips and suggestions for the best tailgate party ever.  

tailgating ideas and tips -tailgate party

B&M Suggestions for Tailgate Party Success

1. Venue Guidelines:

Most often, a venue allows its entire parking lot to be turned over to tailgating parties. Sometimes, the party is confined to a just few vehicles.  Either way, the real party happens around the “tailgate” (or back) of a pickup truck or another sizable vehicle.  It is really important to check the rules of the intended venue where your party will take place.  You will want to find out about their restrictions, if any, on alcohol, glass containers or kegs.  If alcohol is allowed, plastic cups are the preferred beverage container.  Double-check the venue’s rules about charcoal grills as some may only allow propane gas grills. 

2. Safety: 

Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

freeze bottles for cooler ice

Tip: Freeze your water – place frozen bottles of water in your cooler in place of bags of ice.  In addition to keeping your food nice and cold, your cooler will stay neat and somewhat dryer and then, later in the day, you will have plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Observe the one hour rule: anything that needs to be refrigerated should not be out longer than an hour. 

Always keep the raw meat separated from all other foods.

  • Consider labeling dishes to help those with food allergies or other restrictions identify their ‘safe’ foods.
  • Remember – your cooking equipment will need enough time to cool off before you can pack them away. Charcoal coals can stay hot for hours and they need to be disposed of properly. You might save the aluminum pans that you had the food in to discard the remaining charcoal. Then, you can use the melted ice in the cooler to pour over the coals if they’re still hot. 
tailgating safety - designate a driver

3. Preparing Food and Supplies:


  • Consider using disposable aluminum pans for your charcooal briquettes for quick and easy clean-up after your cook-out. 
  • Make sure the drip pans in the your grill stay relatively clean to prevent a grease fire.
  • Consider the wind direction when you position your grill.


  • When marinating steaks, be sure the marinade isn’t a vinegar based one, the acid will prematurely cook your steaks
  • Marinate steaks (refrigerated) for a day or so in zipper plastic bags. Then place in the freezer until the night before the game. The steaks will thaw but will remain cold for the trip and there’s less danger of meat going bad in the cooler.
  • Mix and form your hamburgers in advance (approximately 3/4 inch). Freeze the patties between sheets of wax paper. You will be able to place these on the grill while they are still frozen and cook 3 to 4 minutes each side.
  • Skewer and marinate kebabs the night before.


  • Label your coolers so that your guest can find things more easily.
  • Keep separate coolers for adult beverages.
  • Dedicate at least one cooler to keeping foods warm.
  • Corn on the cob in a cooler might event be fun
  • You can also turn a cooler into a warming oven using foil and hot bricks.

tailgating - keep a cooler for hot

4. Helpful ideas we found on Pinterest:

Be sure to bring along clothing, flags, blanket and other accessories in your favorite team’s colors

  • Fill a six pack holder with your favorite hot sauces and other condiments.
  • Bring a large plastic tub to haul back dirty dishes.
  • Use an empty laundry detergent dispenser as a hand-washing station.
  • Be prepared with some fun games such as “Cornhole”, 
  • Create a music playlist for the day of the event 
  • If you don’t have tickets to the event and can watch it on TV, go tailgating anyways and bring a generator and TV!
  • Turn a case of beer into a toss-away drink cooler.
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5. Supplies Checklist:

  • spatulas
  • tongs
  • bottle/can openers
  • toothpicks
  • wooden skewers
  • basting brush
  • flashlight
  • trash bags
  • paper towels
  • wet wipes/hand sanitizer
  • sunscreen
  • rain poncho
  • plastic zip bags
  • Sharpie marker
  • masking tape
  • condiments, spices and seasonings.
tailgate party checklist

Last Minute Tips from B&M:

Leave early. Allow plenty of time before the game to clean up without missing the start of the game.


Whatever you do, don’t leave trash, food or bottles laying around when you’re done.

Now – Get out there and have a blast rooting for you favorite team.


Need menu ideas?  Give Amanda or Tim a call at the office. They are our outdoor cooking specialists.