When it comes to tailgating, the food you’re offering can make or break your experience. Whether you’re new to tailgating or a seasoned veteran looking for some new food to try out, following are five dishes that will make your tailgate the place to be and some extra trips to help out any tailgate.
To be blunt: You can’t go wrong with wings. Whether you’re offering chicken, turkey, or even duck wings, it’s no surprise that by offering wings at your tailgate, yours will be among the talk of the lot. Just make sure to have a bunch of different sauces and plenty of hand cleaners on deck, and you can count on having a bumpin’ time!
A timeless American staple, hotdogs are a surefire way to host a great tailgate. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can even pick up some gourmet hotdogs from your local butcher — but in truth, as long as it’s grilled, any kind of hot dog will do just fine. Just don’t forget the buns and condiments!
If some guests don’t like hotdogs, it’s pretty much a law of tailgating nature that they’ve got to like brats, the German brother of the hotdog. Sometimes favored over hotdogs for their extra flavor and juices, brats are hard to dislike, and they can set your tailgate apart from the rest. When you’re preparing brats though, just make sure not to apply ketchup (unless you really want to, but you may be derided by some) and keep some sauerkraut on deck for the exceedingly Germanic among us!
Nachos are a classic standby. Simply pack up some chips, cheese, and whatever other condiments you’d like (salsa, sour cream, olives, and refried beans are all delicious options), and you’re all set for a plate of delectable nachos at your next tailgate. What’s more is the bona fide fact that everyone loves nachos — you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy a gooey plate of the Mexican snack! One important thing to keep in mind though: Don’t forget the aluminum foil in order to heat them up on the grill!
At tailgating events, barbecuing is pretty much a no-brainer. You don’t even need a fancy-shmancy grill — just pick up a small Webber, a bag of charcoal, a chimney starter, and a lighter, and you’ll be good to go! As long as you have a BBQ and a healthy amount of some accompanying BBQ sauce, it’s hard to cook anything that won’t draw a mouthwatering crowd.
For beverages, it’s important not to neglect bottled water and of course, beer (though will anyone really forget that elixir of the gods?) However, you should also try to pack some soda for the younger tailgaters among the lot as well. And when it comes to setting things up, it’s typically good practice to start getting everything going at least two hours before kick off (and even earlier if you don’t have all your essentials prepped.)
Last but certainly not least, it’s critical that you don’t forget to bring the most forgotten items of all — utensils! Additionally, ice is one crucial component of a quality tailgate that people often overlook. And one final note: It’s better to over pack than under pack, so don’t hesitate to load the cooler to the brim!
Sammy Jo writes for Willie’s Pub and Pool, one of the top pools halls in Columbia, MO, They can also be found serving up wings with their award winning wing sauce when catering tailgates for Missouri Tiger Football games.