Are you a tailgating pro? If not, here are some simple tips for tailgating success:
Prep work makes perfect
Plan what you are serving ahead of time, gather all groceries and make sure everything is packed in airtight individual containers. Wash and slice your veggies and place in one container. Wrap your meats in plastic wrap and place in a separate container. Use utility totes or reusable grocery bags to pack up any unopened condiments, serving dishes, paper products and utensils. Have everything in one spot for easy loading the day of the big game.
Use multiple coolers
Use one cooler for meats, cheeses and other perishable items. Pack a separate cooler for drinks. Make sure your coolers are packed with plenty of ice and/or frozen water bottles and keep the lids closed to prevent exposure to higher temperatures. Use well-insulated coolers and ice or ice packs to keep food at 40°F.
Avoid cross contamination
It’s easy to get excited about cooking outdoors, but don’t forget that you are dealing with raw meat and other perishable foods. Use clean serving platters and utensils. An easy tip is to use a specific color plate and tongs for handling raw meat and another color for serving cooked foods. This will help keep things organized and safe in the heat of the cooking moment.
Serve food safely
Food should not be left out for more than two hours. For cold items, bring shallow bowls or dishes to fill with ice and place your food on top to keep it chilled. If you have access to electricity or a generator, bring along a few crockpots to keep items warm.
Tailgating is an experience, so be sure to purchase paper products with your team colors, spruce up tables with colorful cloths and bring along balloons and novelties to add to your display. Don’t forget the football and cornhole boards to pass the time before kickoff!
Treating injuries with the RICE method