Are you ready for some football? As fans fire up for another season of America’s favorite sport, they’re switching things up, ditching the typical parking lot tailgate and opting to host “homegating” events in their own backyards. More and more grill owners are taking a timeout from the typical tailgate scene and setting up the ultimate football headquarters right in their backyard, bringing the game-day atmosphere to the comfort of their own home.
“The homegating trend gives football fans the best of both worlds. Fans can fire up their grill and cheer on their favorite team without even having to leave their home,” said Audrey Caldwell, director of communications, HPBA. “Homegating also opens up endless options for grill owners as they’re no longer confined to stadium or venue tailgating restrictions, and they don’t have to choose which grilling accessories to bring along and which to leave at home.”
Strategize your game plan with these tips for hosting a winning homegating event:
You can’t win without a solid defense. Tackle common grilling errors and avoid a homegating penalty by brushing up on your barbecuing safety tips in your pregame warmup.
Don’t drop the ball on making sure your equipment is working properly before the party kicks off. Fuel up with charcoal, wood chips or a propane tank and brush up on the safety guidelines for your grill.
Prep and marinate meat before the crowd arrives. Mix dips, cut up fruit and chop veggies so everything is grill ready for game time.
Score big by offering to bring an extra grill to the party. There are plenty of easy portable options like a tailgate grill that attaches to your vehicle, a portable grill with a push-button ignitor, or a small smoker. You can even make pizzas on the go with an oven tailgater.
Smoked or grilled meat may be the MVP at your homegate party, but to really win big, grill up sides, desserts or veggie kabobs using a grill stone to keep sauces and marinades from slipping through the grates, or use a pizza oven to whip up a few pies for an appetizer that everyone will love.
Before the pros kickoff, rally your teammates for some backyard competition. Toss around a football or play a game of Cornhole. Just make sure all activities take place a safe distance away from the grilling area.
Score the extra point for your party with the ultimate homegating patio accessories. Fire up the patio heater to keep your guests around postgame, or huddle around a fire pit to celebrate a big win with a cold beverage from your bar caddy.
Just as every team relies on its quarterback, every homegate needs a solid grill. Consider upgrading to a new model or adding a new flame to the team with a smoker or charcoal grill before the big day.
Score a touchdown during your homegating party with these fan-favorite recipes from our #WhyIGrill playbook.
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