Top 4 Tailgating Tips for 2022
“It’s going to be Tennessee’s year!” Sure, we say that most years, but in particular, the Vols look great this year. What better way to celebrate the Vols’ victories, especially after our recent win over lifelong rival Florida, than with a good, old-fashioned tailgate? Here are a few tailgating tips to keep in mind as you settle into football season.
1. Know the Rules
First things first – know the stadium’s rules and your tailgating location. Many venues don’t allow grills or open flames, some have restrictions on when you can arrive, and others have limits on vehicle sizes. The best way to avoid any issues is to know and follow the venue’s rules. Don’t cut your tailgating season short by breaking the rules.
2. Create a Tailgate Toolbox
Instead of running around the house at the last minute to track everything down, consider making a toolbox or basket with items from the categories below. It will ensure you aren’t left figuring out how to grill hot dogs without tongs or what items in your car you can use to open a beer bottle. Here are some suggestions of what you may want to gather for your tailgate:
Kitchen utensils: tongs, bottle openers, can opener, basting brush, grilling tools, skewers
Cleaning supplies: trash bags, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towels, ziplock bags
Condiments: ketchup, mustard, relish, ranch, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise
Furniture: chairs, tables, canopy, grill, television, generator
Extras: A mini first aid kit is never a bad idea; games like cornhole or a deck of cards, a football to throw around, or even board games
3. Prep Food Early
Prep food the night before. Consider marinating and skewering kebabs, shaping hamburger patties and placing them between parchment or wax paper, and slicing and portioning out condiments like lettuce, tomato, and onion ahead of time. Also, use disposable foil pans to hold meats and food prep items so you can throw them away when you’re done.
One last tip: bring an empty plastic tub with a lid for dirty dishes that you can easily lug back into the house to wash when ready. It contains all the smells and messes so that you won’t end up with ketchup all over the back of your car or a lingering smell of chili for the foreseeable future.
4. Adapt to Changing Seasons
Give yourself plenty of time for your tailgate – most people typically consider four hours an ideal amount of time, as long as the locations allow for that. But if you’re spending four hours in the sweltering heat of September or those chilly late November games, you have to have a plan for the weather. Beat the heat by freezing water bottles the night before. These not only double as ice packs, but as the day heats up, you still have ice cold water to drink.
As the weather cools down, try bringing a variety of soups in thermoses for a variation on old standbys like chili. Don’t forget blankets and extra scarves, coats, and gloves in case someone inevitably forgets to dress warmly.
Your favorite Dumplin Creek Moonshines make a perfect addition to any tailgate; we’re partial to the Orange Dreamsicle for our Tennessee tailgates. When in doubt, just relax and have fun! Oh yeah, and Go Vols!