As summer comes to a close, it’s time for everyone’s favorite season—football season. So, whether you’re a veteran or a first-time host, use these tips for barbecuing at your tailgate party to ensure everyone is talking about your cooking as much as JuJu’s TikTok dancing.
Know the Headcount
It’s essential to know the headcount so that you can determine how much food you’ll need. There are few things as embarrassing as not having enough meat to feed everyone when you’re hosting a barbecue. This is especially true when the food’s as good as yours. On the other hand, you could end up stuck with a bunch of leftovers if you have too much. Since you’ll most likely attend the game afterward, all of your food will spoil in the car. So you should get an accurate headcount. That way, you don’t have to worry about under- or overspending on groceries.
As people plan for their tailgates, they often want to do too much. Once you get to the site, you’ll want to spend lots of your time hanging out and enjoying your friend’s company, so don’t leave yourself with a bunch of work. Do as much preparation as possible. You’ll have to do some things ahead of time, such as seasoning the meat. Also, when choosing between a dry rub or marinade for your BBQ, you should consider that you can apply a rub on the day of the tailgate party. However, you’ll want to put on a marinade a day ahead of time.
Manage Your Time
Unless you aren’t going into the game, a tailgate is a party with a start and end time; people need enough time to get into the stadium and to their seats before kickoff. So, you’ll need to know precisely how long the cooking time will be, and you’ll want to have the food ready about two hours before game time. Traditional barbeque on a smoker can take up to eight hours, so it most likely won’t work unless cooked ahead of time. However, some recipes online are for hot and fast cooking in egg-shaped grills. You can do these in an hour.
If you choose to use a charcoal grill, you need to factor in the thirty minutes to an hour it can take for your coals to become ready. And if it’s a cold game in December, you’ll need to account for even more time as you battle against the weather.
With these tips for barbecuing at your tailgate party, you don’t have to worry about messing up the cooking, and you can enjoy your Sunday.