Whether you’re watching your alma mater and reliving the ol’ college days or rooting on your favorite pro team Sunday night, I think we can all agree that half the fun of a football game is the tailgate party. The perfect tailgate requires a great playlist, some ice cold drinks and flames under the grill. It doesn’t matter if you’re a grill master or a novice…the folks at Valley Smoke have some great ideas to help you win the tailgate (no matter the score of the game).
No reason to reinvent the wheel here. Keep the day easy and stress-free with some simple, juicy burgers. Prepare the seasoned beef patties the night before the party and you’ll impress your friends on game day, not to mention you’ll still have plenty of time for a few rounds of cornhole! This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to supply the buns, condiments, pickles, lettuce, onion, tomato and whatever else you think your guests will prefer on their burgers. A perfectly cooked burger is great, but it’s nothing without the right fixins.
Whether you choose to bring buffalo chicken wings, barbecue chicken breasts or beer can chicken, you’re sure to be a huge hit at the tailgate. No matter how you make your chicken, a strong buffalo sauce and a tangy barbecue sauce will give your friends options and make everyone happy. If you choose to bring wings or chicken breasts, be sure to marinate them the night before.
Corn on the Cob
When tables are occupied by avid flip cup players and every truck’s tailgate is covered in food and party supplies, having food you can eat right out of your hand can be a lifesaver. Unlike what you’re probably accustomed to, there are a variety of ways to season and cook corn on the cob. One easy way to prepare the corn is to remove the husk and rub the kernels in butter, salt, pepper, chili powder and lime. Wrap the freshly seasoned cob in aluminum foil like a tootsie roll, and that’s it, you’re ready to grill! This is a great game day dish because it can be prepared the day before and thrown on the grill when ready. If you’re in the mood for some Mexican flare, simply throw the husk-free cob on the grill and coat the hot corn in mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, lime juice, salt and pepper, and top with feta cheese and chili powder.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Bring the heat on game day with some grilled shrimp skewers. Skewers are easy to prepare and even easier to eat at a laid-back tailgate. Coat the shrimp with salt, olive oil, lemon, parsley and cayenne pepper. If you want to make these skewers even healthier, we recommend adding some roughly chopped veggies, such as onions and bell peppers. The prep work is easy: Marinate your favorite veggies in Italian dressing and soak the skewers in water before adding the meat and vegetables (pro tip: soaking your skewers in water prevents food from sticking to the kebab).
Keep these great foods at the top of your list for your next tailgate and nobody will even remember the score. If you’re really looking to impress your guests and keep the day carefree, then our amazing team has you covered with carry-out options. Here are a couple of our favorite BBQ dishes that transport well and fit perfectly into any tailgating spread:
Smoked Chicken Wings
Wood-Fire Boneless Beef Short Rib
Fire-Spice Pork Belly
Wood-Fire Local Shrimp
Any dish from the Pit