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Tailgate Like The Pros

Tailgate Like The Pros

You may not be able to control the outcome of the game, but you can ensure the menu scores major points.

It’s all about the spread when you’re hosting a tailgate. You’ve got to come ready. We know you want to impress on Game Day, so we are here to help. To make sure you can get out of the kitchen and into the game, we’ve broken down the easiest prep steps.

Day Before The Game

First thing’s first, you’ve got to get organized. Make a checklist so you don’t end up at the party without plates. Believe us, it happens. Here is an example of our checklist.



Tailgate Must Haves:

  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Beverages
  • Plates
  • Silverware
  • Cups
  • Napkins
  • Decorations
  • Games
  • Grill/Smoker/Lighter
  • Meats
  • Condiments
  • Serving dishes/Utensils
  • Trash bags
  • Prepared Dishes
  • Tent/Chairs
  • Tickets/Parking Pass


Be creative with your tailgate planning, but keep it simple. Sometimes coming up with a theme makes the menu planning easier. BBQ, Mexican, Cajun, etc. Be sure to factor in the temperature and what will hold up well in the heat of those early games. Dips and desserts can easily be made beforehand and packed up. When it comes to desserts, think hand-held such as cookies, brownies, or dessert bars that require no dishes or silverware. Definitely throw in a couple bags of chips. People will always want to grab a handful.

Having a pot of chili or taco soup is a delicious, hearty, and easy choice, especially when it’s cooler outside. You can also go to the deli store and pick up prepared items such as meat and cheese trays, veggie trays, fruit trays—anything to keep the stress level down. Be sure to also grab beverages the day before (and don’t forget to have kid-friendly options).

Day Of Game:


If you do, everything else is pointless. Now that you’ve covered that, load the vehicle following the checklist you made yesterday. Put your drinks on ice to make sure they’re nice and cold when the fans start showing up. Then pack up your smoker or grill.

Here at Alewel’s, we’re die-hard University of Missouri Tiger fans. Tigers are carnivores, so you can be sure we never host without at least a couple meaty dishes. Beef tri tip, brisket, slab of ribs, brats, burgers. Try a different option for each game of the season.

At The Game:

Set the tone by putting up your team’s flag, laying out some color-coordinated decorations, and setting up any tailgating games. Unpack your prepared appetizers and snacks. Now, it’s time to fire up that grill.

There are two rules of thumb for food at a football gathering: There should be lots of it, and it has to be good. After that, it’s just about enjoying the atmosphere and rooting for your team!