How to Save Time for Your Tailgating Event

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It’s Playoff Time Again

Now that the football playoffs are here, you will want to up your GAME. You want to take your flavor profile for  tailgating to the next level but are unsure how. I will try to give you some tips that will make you a hero of those who partake of your grilling expertise. Hopefully this will save time for your tailgating event and allow you more time to enjoy friends, family and those who stopped by to compare recipes.

Your Flavor Profile Will Tell on You

The taste of pulled pork may be what you prefer but if this is for tailgating, you may have a problem. Do you like hot dogs and hamburgers when tailgating? Do you often grill vegetables for those who do not eat meat on a regular basis but will eat all the grilled vegetables you have if you turn your back? Do you prefer fish or shrimp tacos? 

How often are you asked for a bratwurst to be boiled in beer before putting them on the grill? There are so many variations of what is grilled at playoff games that you will need to decide ahead of time which you will grill.

You can smell and taste the delicious flavors of all that goodness as it is being grilled in front of you. You can feel the texture of the bread and the meat. That zingy flavor that always come through for you.

Make a List of What to Chill for Transporting

One of the things I have learned over the years is to MAKE A LIST! Make a list and be Santa, check it twice. Invariably, you will find that you had forgotten something that was vital to having a good tailgating experience. Some of these are:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Meat
  3. Propane
  4. Charcoal
  5. Grill
  6. Napkins
  7. Cutlery
  8. Drinks
  9. Tablecloth
  10. Canopy
  11. Trash bags
  12. Collapsable Table(folds in half).

As you pack your inventory in your vehicle, check each item off in a deliberate manner. Do not hurry the process. That only leads to leaving something behind.

Separate Containers for Food to Be Grilled

 How to Save Time for Your Tailgating Event
Savory Spices for Great Taste

I normally will put my meats and vegetables in plastic containers for easy transport. The reason for putting your meats in a separate container is so if you are marinating your meat then it will not change the flavor of your vegetables in a way you don’t want.

Whenever I grill vegetables I always have a particular flavor profile that I want to achieve. I like to have my rub already on them so they can absorb the flavor before putting them on the grill. I also like to have just a bit of olive oil on them to help lock the flavor in and to help keep them from sticking on the grill.

I have a small locking rack that I put my spices in so they are easily found and have not spilled out into my cooler. Depending upon what I am grilling these are some of my favorite spices to put in my carrier are salt, pepper, cumin, chipotle chile powder, garlic powder, ginger and mustard.

You have your own secret stash that makes everyone want to be there to find out your secret. You have that one spice that no one can figure out and this adds to you awesome skills as a pit master or a grill master.

Arrival at the Stadium

Once you get to the stadium, you will already have your pass or be directed to where you get your pass for tailgating. Once you have your pass and proceed to the area to which you have been assigned, the work of unloading begins. Since you have already categorized everything this should not take long. 

You may want to stretch a bit before you tackle the unloading. It may have been a long drive followed by heavy traffic.

If you thought to load your canopy last then this will be great for you. You can just pop it up in no time flat. After that, unload your chairs, table, coolers and grill(if you are using a portable grill). By having an organized way of packing and unpacking, you will have.

You want it when?

Most people when they are tailgating before a football playoff game want something that is easy to grill. By having your food already sorted and in separate containers you are able to conquer people asking when to expect your food to be ready. 

Some items take a while to cook so it is always good to have some smaller things to grill that only take a few minutes to prepare. 

If I am there early I like to make myself and family a quick breakfast burrito. It only takes a couple of minutes to prepare and is great right off the grill with the tortilla still warm from the grill.

I generally grill some diced peppers, onions and hashbrown potatoes together before I put them in a cast iron skillet or on a griddle. Great way to start the day and be able to concentrate on the really good meal before going in to watch the game.

Fire it Up For Flavor 

Now that you have done your unpacking and have eaten a quick snack, you can concentrate on your grilling. Remember all those containers you had with everything laid out for grilling, now is the time to get the grill hot and start grilling. 

Whatever you have that is going to take the longest get it onto the grill once it reaches the right temperature. Propane grills will reach the desired temperature quickly.

Charcoal grills(if allowed) take a bit longer to heat up and cool down but still are great to use.

Some people like to have some of their favorite items such as pulled pork already cooked and ready to be warmed up. You may want to grill hot dogs, hamburgers or vegetables at this time. 

You can grill a great deal of food with the proper organization. Having everything separated out in different containers gives you the opportunity to socialize more but more importantly have your grilling done in less time since you have already done your prep ahead of time.

There is no shame in this as it will give you more time to socialize with other people. 

What Taste Do You Prefer

By learning about spices and which ones work best together, you can save yourself a lot of indigestion. Sweet and Sour work well together. Sweet and savory work well together.

You get the idea, there will have to be some experimenting in order to find which spices you and your family(or friends) like together. The taste that keeps them coming back for more.

You have brought your spices with you in your spice rack. This allows you to choose the right spice for the right food in just a flash.

You had already made your decision about your flavor profile ahead of time and now you will show others how well and which spices work together for the best flavor.

Will You Marinade

If you decide to marinade some of your foods ahead of time, you will be grateful for having your marinade going since the day or night before.

This gives your food time to absorb the flavors and be ready to put on the grill as soon as it reaches the right temperature.

Since some vegetables only need an hour or two before putting on the grill, you may want to wait until you are at the stadium before putting the marinade or rub on the vegetables. This way you can almost guarantee to have the best flavor.

Meat on the other hand takes longer for the marinade to penetrate deeply into the tissue for the best flavor. I would recommend that you place the meat in the marinade the night before for best results with the exception of seafood(especially shrimp).

What Types of Beverages Are Allowed

Different beverages are allowed but you must be certain that if there is alcohol involved that it stays out of the hands of minors. You can have a variety of drinks but make sure that there is water and drinks for the kiddos, this helps you stay in good standing with any law officers that may be patrolling. 

If you know that someone has had too much to drink then try to switch them to something else so everyone can enjoy the tailgate. There is nothing worse or more embarrassing than to have to be asked to leave because someone had too much to drink.

You will need to keep some drinks available that are non-alcoholic and do not have sugar. The reason for this is quite simple. You do not want to become dehydrated from lack of proper hydration. Alcohol causes you to urinate more often leading to the possibility of dehydration. 

Sugary drinks have a tendency to make you even thirstier than other drinks, even fruit juices. Also, you don’t want children to have a sugar rush and then a sugar crash, they will either be cranky or go to sleep and miss the fun.

Now the Hard Part

This is what most people call the hard part. Cleanup after the game is over. This does not have to be difficult.

I have taken a clothes hanger and used it to keep a trash bag open while attaching it to the frame of my canopy. Just throw it away when cleanup is done.

Another thing you can do is use a collapsible clothes hamper, put the trash bag in it and change it out whenever necessary. This saves a great deal of time and frustration. Some stadiums are beginning to try to recycle so pay attention to their policies.

Parting Ways

I hope I have given you some tips and ideas on how you can have a GREAT  tailgating and grilling event. This list of tips is not all inclusive. You may have a system that works great for you. Having a method of planning and putting in place various techniques you can spend less time grilling and more time with family and friends.

Finding Your Way to the Playoffs at Home

You want to go to the playoffs but unfortunately you can’t. I have just the thing for you. Now you have been looking for a new grill that will allow you to have a great tailgate experience from home.

The Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker will be a good fit for grilling and smoking for the playoffs and super bowl seasons. Knowing you can find it on Amazon should take a great worry off your mind.

There are accessories as well on Amazon for your grilling needs. Amazon also has the pellets and other accessories you will need for great grilling and smoking for years to come.

Please leave you comments below:

This post contains affiliate links.

20 thoughts on “How to Save Time for Your Tailgating Event”

  1. In my hometown in Denver, before Broncos plays, the atmosphere outside the stadium is always in full swing. Entire families come to take a place to park, tailgating and have time to prepare everything, eat, spend some time with the family and even bring instruments to entertain. And of course, enter the stadium to see the Broncos win! By reading your suggestions I even learned a couple of things we will implement in our next tailgating.

    • Abel,

      It sounds as if you may have done some tailgating yourself. It is a wonderful time for all. Not only do families participate but at times they form a caravan of 4 or 5 vehicles and just dominate the area. These are mostly fans from the home team. You can spot them from all the swag they have on or attached to their canopies.

      Some fans that don’t bring their own instruments will have a satellite hookup for either pregame broadcast or from SIRIUSXM. This way they can keep up with both and have a great atmosphere for everyone who is tailgating.

  2. What is tailgating? According to your article, it is something that you might want to do with your friends but could you please explain it further. I will be sure to share this article with my friends. I am sure that it will be of interest to them so thank you for this. 

    • Aubin, 

      I am not sure what part of the world you live in but in the United States, before college and professional football games in the parking area there are places setup for fans to grill food. Sometimes they share, some sell it and others stay to themselves. 

      You will know when you get to the stadium because you can smell the food cooking(grilling). It is almost unheard of for the to not be any tailgating going on. If you are going to an event check and see if they allow grilling, if so get some friends together along with a grill for some tailgating fun. You will be amazed at how excited people are to participate in an event like this. You can grill an amazing amount of food in just a little time.


  3. We will be tailgating at the house LOL.  But you have so many good ideas for the party.  Things I would not have though of.  I’m hoping it’s going to be the Tampa Bay Bucs in the super bowl or possibly the Dallas Cowboys (I know a long shot).  I will settle for either one to make it a great party!

    • Tailgating at home can be one of the best places to grill. You have everything right there at your fingertips and have the opportunity to have someone get that item that was missed.

      Whoever your favorite team is, you can have a great experience since you can share the expense with others in order for everyone to have a great time. You also have the option of limiting the alcohol intake so everyone makes it home safely. May you team of choice be victorious.


  4. Hello Jerry,

    Tailgating is a popular pastime for many people. It is a great way to have fun with friends and family while also enjoying the game. Tailgating can be a lot of work, but there are many ways to make it easier.

    Planning for a tailgating event can be hectic. You need to get your food, drinks, and other supplies. You need to find a parking spot close enough to the stadium. And you need to find the perfect outfit for the occasion. Now, imagine doing all of that without having to deal with traffic or crowds or any of the other hassles that come with hosting an event that’s popular with thousands of people!

    The solution is simple and I use this option: use an online tailgating event planner to save time and make my next tailgating experience easier than ever before.

    Guess what? Tailgate America is one such company that offers this service – they’ll help anyone plan everything from the menu and drink options down to what games will be played onsite so you can enjoy your time. In this way, you will save ALL TIME for YOU. lol

    Take your tailgating event to next level, Jerry

    • I agree that tailgating can be a great deal of fun. Some people have a budget they operate on and try to stay within that budget. When shopping for a tailgating event, you have control over the quality of the food that is to be prepared. Most people who grill want that control in order to have the best event possible. 

      There is nothing wrong with hiring someone to do all the setup for you, IF YOU CAN AFFORD THE PRICE. One of the limits to a company like Tailgate America is they do not always have the quality of food that you are wanting to grill. They may have quality but it does not meet your particular criteria.

      Tailgating is an event where you can meet new friends, see old friends and exchange recipes to find that next great flavor for your family.


  5. Well, thanks for sharing this very interesting and intruiging article. I have to say that this has never relly been a Topic of great interest to me muchbefore, but still an interesting read all the same. In the UK Football is what you guys would callSoccer. But im not really a team games sporty person. but i gues you could apply these things to any foorm of physical execise huh



    • To me any sporting event that allows grilling and sharing with other fans is always a big hit. I don’t know if football in the U.K. allows tailgating before games but it would certainly have the fans ready for the event. There is nothing better than to share your recipes with another fan to encourage more and better participation from all. 

      Tailgating(grilling) is one social experience that compares to no other. Most fans like to participate in a manner that brings out the best in the other fans. There will always be some fans that are more interested in the alcohol consumption more than the grilling. That is a loss for all to have a great experience.


  6. Hello Jerry,

    Your article reminds me way back in my life like 20 years. Before we wanted to go to the stadium, my father grilled a Persian style of meat we called Kebab and the taste of that is still by me after 10 years leaving my country to Germany.

    Gathering around the barbeque and laughing together is one the best memories I have from the grills moments, especially before my best club match. 

    It was a pleasure to read your article and I really enjoyed the way you explained step by step, especially the sweet and sour taste part 🙂

    As a tip, please take care of your blog header to make a more eye-catching blog.


    • You can still grill at home and if allowed at the stadium. You may have to find your father’s recipe for kebabs. Kebabs are one of the most grilled items for most grillers. You can have meat, vegetables, shrimp and so many other things that grill easily.

      You can still have that great time with family and friends around the grill, in the house or in the courtyard of where you live.

      Thanks for the tip about my logo, I will work on it.


  7. You sure are serious about grilling! I remember once in the army a friend and I got put on a job and had to grill for a giant event. We were both on the phones with our dads trying to figure out what the heck to do! Once we got the basics down it was pretty fun though. I like your idea of making a list, lists always help, your other ideas are very practical too. You really explained everything in this article I would ever need to know about doing a tailgate event, I better bookmark this page to refer back too.  I can tell you are a true grill-master!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I do enjoy grilling. I feel it is the most natural way of cooking. You can cook just more on the grill. People have found several different ways to grill. You can use different types of cast iron for making stews and soups with to even making biscuits and cornbread. In India that have developed a type of wood burning oven for making naan bread. In Italy they use brick lined ovens that are wood fired for pizza. There are so many was of grilling the world over that it will take me time to learn them all.

      I am sure that your dads gave you some great advice on what to do and you learned from them.


  8. Hanging the trash bags with clothes hangers is such a great idea! I haven’t thought of that one, but will definitely steal it when we camp out. Heck, I can use that one at home sometimes too. Your breakfast burritos sound delicious with the warm tortillas. Happy tailgating my friend! Thanks for sharing your secrets.

    • Theresa, 

      I found out from not having a receptacle that by using a trash bag kept open with a wire hanger attached to my canopy worked great. My wife had her reservations about using the hanger because she thought it would tear the trash bag and was surprised at how well it worked. You can also use a collapsible  clothes hamper works well in place of a trash can. 

      I must confess that making breakfast burritos is a weakness of mine. It puts some protein in me to get the rest of the day sorted. There is nothing pleasant about being hungry while you are trying to get everything set up for tailgating. This way you have something quick to eat that if done right doesn’t make a mess and off you go to having a great event.


  9. I’ve never gone tailgating but always wanted to. They always look like so much fun. I love bbq but I never thought it took so much planning and getting ready ahead of time for a tailgate party. I love your ideas about always making a list to make sure you don’t forget something. 

    Another great idea you have that I love is how you say to experiment with spices, I think that’s a great tip. You sound like you’re an expert bbq’er and tailgater.

    • Virginia,

      Tailgating is a wonderful social event. At most tailgates before football games, grillers love to share what the ‘special’ of the day is. In other words they like second opinions about their mastery of grilling. You can make new friends and learn different methods of grilling as well as new recipes.


  10. I like all the foods you have mentioned in your article, and they are even nicer when they come from a BBQ. I especially like bratwurst because I was born in Germany. 

    I also have to make a list every time I go shopping otherwise I came home and forget the very thing I went to the shop for, annoying.  

    I think that tailgating is essentially when going to a football game you can spend a whole day in good company and it makes the game an event to remember.

    I learned a lot from your article and it all makes sense to be organised.


    • Brats on the grill are wonderful. I enjoy them as much as I can, I put sauerkraut on mine with spicy mustard for the best flavor. Tailgating can be enjoyed year round. Some people just do it during football season, I feel they are missing out. You can do it for any sporting event as long as the stadium allows it.

      I have found over the years that having a list reminds me what I need. It helps me cut down on what I don’t need and helps me focus on what the event is supposed to be about. It saves me money in the long run.



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