If you love a chilly morning where the sun is barely peeking through the clouds and the sound of colorful leaves crunching as you set up your canopy and break out the grill, then you may be a true tailgater. You may meticulously plan your tailgate, marinate your meat to perfection and pride yourself on throwing a good party. If you are looking to step up your tailgate game, you have come to the right place. Giving your tailgate a theme is a great way to make your party stand out above others. It makes the party atmosphere more fun and makes tailgating more of a festive affair. Here are our best tailgate themes:
Deep Fry Tailgate
Deep frying a turkey doesn’t only have to be a Thanksgiving event. A football tailgate is the perfect opportunity to break out the deep turkey fryer. There is nothing more delicious than a well season bird that is deep fried and served with a good beer. To make this tailgate even more amazing is to not stop there. You’d be amazed to find out that almost everything tastes better deep fried. Have one fryer for meats and such and another fryer for desserts. You should also have two different batters: one for sweet stuff and one for meats. Invite your guests to bring treats such as Oreos, stuffed peppers, oatmeal cookie cakes and anything that they can think of that would taste great deep fried. Watch your guests in amazement as the make super delicious deep frying concoctions and take note which items were super delicious so you know to bring those same items for next year.
Seafood Boil Tailgate
This tailgate is best done in the warmer months because no one wants to deal with breaking shells or eating with their hands when it’s cold outside. This is one of the easiest tailgates to do and it is the most impressive. All you need is a large pot to boil water (your turkey fryer pot is perfect for this) and gather all of your yummy ingredients. You will need corn, shrimp, potatoes, crawfish, crab legs, sausages or anything else you can think of. Put it all in a pot to boil with the perfect seafood boil seasoning (Old Bay Seasoning is a favorite). When it is done have a table covered with newspapers and dump the drained food onto the food. Everyone gathers around the table and picks up what they want to eat – easy peasy!
Mexican Fiesta Tailgate
You can really make this tailgate spectacular by including some décor such as a piñata or some fun fiesta flowers. Serve chicken fajitas with all of the yummy toppings or an awesome taco bar. Drinks can all be margaritas or a big favorite is the Corona-Rita (recipe here: http://exhaustedmomdiary.blogspot.com/2011/08/thirsty-thursday-corona-rita.html). Have Mexican beers and limes available as well as some fun Mexican music to set the mood. A large sombrero hat handy wouldn’t hurt either!
Bacon Lovers Only Tailgate
Who doesn’t love bacon? Impress your guests with a bacon inspired tailgate party. All of your food can be bacon wrapped with bacon themed party décor. You can even have bacon dessert. This tailgate is for those who truly love bacon. You will be amazed at how many bacon themed ideas and foods are out there. There are even bacon alcoholic drinks. If you need some inspiring ideas, visit: http://too-much-time.com/2012/11/the-bacon-party-2012.html for some great recipes.
Chili Cook-off Tailgate
When the weather starts to become a bit cold, a chili cook off is a great theme to warm everyone up. Encourage your guests to bring a pot of their homemade chili to enter in your chili cook-off contest. Because this isn’t mandatory, it is good to have a couple of different homemade chilies that you have cooked yourself to make sure you have enough food for everyone. Keep all entries anonymous by assigning them a number and have voting cards ready for people to give their ratings. Make sure you also have a few other foods available for those who don’t want to eat chili all day such as some appetizers and yummy dessert treats. When the voting is done, it is always a good idea to have a really good prize. It makes things more competitive! A good bottle of whiskey or a gift card to a sports shop is always a favorite. Visit this site for more information about hosting an awesome chili cook-off: http://www.chicaandjo.com/2008/11/03/host-a-chili-cook-off-party/
Pizza Bar Tailgate
Pizza Bars at a tailgate is a bit different but they definitely stand out at any tailgate. Easy to prepare, you don’t have too much prep work the night before. All you need to do is make sure you have all of your toppings ready to go in plastic containers. Make sure you have all the fixings you can possibly think of such as pepperonis, peppers, cheese, bacon, pineapples, onions, mushrooms and anything else you can imagine people would love to go on their pizza. This way everyone can choose what type of pizza they would like to make. The easiest way to cook this on site at a tailgate is to have premade French bread that is cut in slices and spread butter or cream cheese on the inside of the bread. This is so the pizza sauce doesn’t soak through the bread. Have everyone put their favorite toppings on and fold the bread together like a sandwich. Wrap it in foil and then just place it on the grill for 15 – 20 minutes. Soon you will have a delicious French bread pizza.