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Vanessa Druckman

Vanessa, also known as Chefdruck, is a foodie, writer and mom living in Chicago with her husband and four children. Whether you're planning a holiday dinner party or small impromptu get together with friends, Vanessa has easy menu ideas and helpful tips to minimize your time in the kitchen so you have more time to spend with your friends and family. Vanessa's personal blog can be found at chefdruck.com

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Time Saving Tips and Recipe Ideas for Your Next Tailgate Party

Tailgating season is a whirlwind of fun and team spirit, but without the right organization, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few easy ways you can ease the stress of preparing for a tailgate and keep the focus on the fun stuff: food and friends! 

Tailgating Ideas

Create a Checklist - and never leave home without it

Creating a checklist may seem basic, but it is extremely helpful. I have found it is best to divide the checklist into the categories set up, food and extras. Store your checklist somewhere you can always find it, like in your tailgate cooler, and laminate it to hold up longer. Sticking to your tailgate checklist will help to ease stress and save time.

Whether your tailgate is big or small your tailgate style is unique, so you should create your own personal tailgate checklist. Here are some items from my checklist that you may want to consider including:

Tailgate Party Planning

Prepare Travel-Friendly Recipes

When preparing a tailgate menu, think about how well your food travels. You want to select recipes that are eay to transport, assemble, and eat in a tailgate setting. You will also want to make sure your recipes don't need to be reheated or chilled, since you won't have that ability at most tailgates.

I have found several recipes that meet this criteria and fit perfectly at a tailgate. These recipes do not need to be heated or cooled before serving, and can be made a head of time if you want to prepare a day before. All you have to do set it out and let everyone help themselves!

For even more travel-friendly recipe ideas, check out these Portable Tailgate Recipes.

More Tailgating Tips and Tricks

You'll be amazed by how much time and stress you will save by creating a checklist and selecting portable recipes. Here are a few other tips to help your next tailgate event go smoothly:

  • Leave early. Allow plenty of time before the game to clean up without missing the start of the game.
  • Keep in mind that cooking equipment needs sufficient time to cool off before you can handle them to pack them away.
  • Tailgating is not the time to break out the China. Disposable plates and utensils make for a much quicker clean up.
  • Include covered plastic containers to store leftovers but when in doubt, discard.
  • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
  • Observe the one hour rule: anything that needs to be refrigerated should not be out longer than an hour.
  • Transport coolers in the back seat of your air-conditioned car and keep them closed tight.
  • Keep raw meat well away from all other foods.

Now, go have fun rooting on your favorite team! And, tell us about your favorite tailgate tips by commenting below.

More Fun Fall Tailgating Tips and Recipes

Home Tailgate Ideas

Tips for Tailgating at Home

Tailgate Party Recipes

The Ultimate Fall Tailgate Recipe Collection

New Tailgating Recipes

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