Game Plan for the Perfect Game-Day Tailgate

  • Reading time:3 mins read
  • Post category:Football

This football season, you don’t need tickets to enjoy the hottest grid-iron games with friends, family and food fresh off the charcoal grill. Gather up the home team and fire up the grill for a tailgate party with all the sights, sounds and smells of the stadium in your own backyard with these smart game-day strategies from champion pitmaster Chris Lilly and football analyst Mike Golic.
“Tailgating prior to kickoff is a football tradition in my family,” said Golic, “I’m about as big of a grilling enthusiast as I am a sports fan, so any game day is a great day to be around the grill in my backyard.”
The award-winning pitmaster recommends using a charcoal grill to bring out the best flavor of tailgate fare and shares a few quick tips to make your menu a success.
“Labor Day weekend may be right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put up your grill,” said Lilly. “In fact, nothing says game day like friends and family enjoying the signature smoky aroma and flavors of food prepared on the charcoal grill.”
Score an Early First Down: Chips and dip make great appetizers for any party. Try pairing tortilla chips with a coal-fired pico de gallo for an instant fan favorite. Give tomatoes, peppers and onions a quick turn on the grill before combining with cilantro, garlic, salt, sugar and limejuice to taste.
Home Field Advantage: Combine two game-day traditions at your tailgate party – grilling and pizza. Grilled pizza is a creative alternative to delivery when hosting guests for the big game. Plus, you can fire up another pizza on the grill immediately instead of having to wait for the delivery guy.
Instant Replay: One of the perks to hosting your own tailgate party is enjoying the leftovers. From chicken tacos to Philly cheese steak sandwiches, there are limitless options for what you can fix with the meat your guests don’t finish. Just make sure it gets cooked properly on game day – don’t forget to let it sit or “rest” undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes before serving to allow the temperature to equalize and reabsorb the internal juices.
For more ways to tailgate at home, including additional tips and game day recipes, connect with us at While there, find out how you can prove your college football knowledge for the chance to win a backyard makeover worth more than $10,000 and other weekly prizes (Aug. 4 through Dec. 4, 2010).


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