Game-Day GearWhether you're a tailgating rookie or a seasoned pro, our guide will prepare you for the ultimate game-day experience.
Once you've decided on your tailgating menu, use our Game-Day Checklist to ensure you have everything you need. If you're a season-ticket holder and tailgate constantly, keep your supplies gathered, packed, and ready to load up for the next weekend.
First Thing's FirstBecause tailgate parties are usually all-day food fests and grilling extravaganzas, they're also a time of increased risk of food poisoning. Before you pack your cooler and head off to the game, remember the following food safety tips.
Say No to LeftoversTake foods in the smallest quantity needed. Pack only the amount of food you think you'll use.
Keep Easy SnacksConsider taking along non-perishable foods and snacks that don't need to be refrigerated.
Cook in ShiftsRemove from the cooler only the amount of raw meat, fish, or poultry that will fit on the grill at one time.
Check Your TempsCook your favorite foods to the right temperature by using a meat thermometer; hamburger to at least 160º F and chicken breasts to at least 160º F.
Keep it CoolPack your food in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or icepacks to keep the temperature below 40º F. Transport the cooler in the back seat of an air-conditioned car (instead of a hot trunk), and keep the cooler closed tight.
- Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Virginia Cravens
Temp TalkKeep hot food hot and keep cold food cold. Don't let food sit out for more than two hours. On a hot day (90º F or higher), reduce this time to one hour.
- Cooking Light
Easy CleaningBring moist towelettes or soap and water to clean your hands and surfaces often. When the tailgate is over, discard all perishable foods if there is no longer sufficient ice in the cooler or if gel packs are no longer frozen.