Tailgating Tips for Game Day Eats

Grilled hot dogs

We’re now in the heart of tailgating season, which means football fanatics are planning parking lot parties where it’s all about food, drinks and fun. Whether it’s chicken chili, beef burgers or turkey casserole – or sweet tea, keg beer or vino – it’s important to take the right steps to prepare, transport and serve your food and drinks. Luckily there are many handy plastic products that can go from kitchen to tailgate on the way to the kick-off.

Plan Ahead

The key to successful tailgating is preparation. Once you’ve purchase your game day foods, wash and prep your ingredients and store them in airtight plastic bags and containers. You can also look for practical food packaging in grocery aisles that help make prep and serving even easier, such as shredded cheeses in resealable plastic bags and salsas in resealable plastic containers.

Stack the Odds

Thanks to stackable plastic storage containers, you can pack everything from chili to burger patties and chips into lightweight, airtight compartments that are easy to carry to the big game. And parking lot tailgates benefit from the fact that most plastics are shatter resistant, so there’s no worry about broken glass.

Staying Cool

Insulated plastic coolers are useful for keeping food cool on game day. Keeping food (especially uncooked meats) at the correct temperatures is extremely important for food safety and taste. Insulated, plastic lunch bags also are terrific for transporting prepared meals to share with friends and family.

Keep it Light

Resealable plastic bags are great for marinating meats before they hit the grill on game day. Look for bags with sliding plastic zippers to seal in the marinade and help avoid spills so the meat can go right from the bag to the grill.

Bouncing Versus Breaking

Most game day beverages – from soft drinks to beer to juices – now are sold in shatter resistant plastic bottles. Even many wines are available in lightweight plastic bottles. And reusable, insulated plastic beverage dispensers are terrific for carrying juice for the kids or mixers for adults. And since many game venues forbid glass containers, plastics just make sense.

Sanitation Sanity

When serving food and drink in a parking lot or field, sanitation is key. Plastic foodservice cups, plates, bowls and utensils can provide a sanitary way to serve up fun. Because plastic foodservice is hygienic, it’s used in many situations where peace of mind about food safety is critical.  It’s one less worry about whether the dishwasher was working or which kid had the sniffles.

Many plastic products are reusable or recyclable after the party and can go on to live a second life as new products such as t-shirts, game jerseys or park benches! For more info on how to recycle plastics, click here, and to learn what materials are recycled in your community, visit earth911.com.

And check out this video from Martie Knows Parties on creative uses of plastics at a University of Alabama tailgater.