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It is hard to disagree, one of the most exciting things about fall is college football season. And my personal favorite part of football season is getting together with friends and grill gating during the game. This weekend we were able to get together with a bunch of friends and enjoy the game while BBQing. It was so fun! Thanks, America, for introducing this Canadian girl to all your fun football traditions.
We took the party outside, fired up the BBQ, roasted hot dogs, cheesy bread bowls and corn. Just as we finished cooking it started POURING rain, so we ended up eating the food inside. What is it with me and rainy BBQ’s?? This totally happened last time I barbecued also. We had been planning to bring the food inside later anyway, to enjoy while we watched the game, so it worked out. Since our party was so simple to plan and turned out to be so much fun, I thought I would share some tips to help you host your own grill-gating party this football season.
How to Host the Perfect Football Grill-Gating Party
1. Get the Essentials
Obviously, first you need your grill and charcoal. Next you need to make sure you have all the right food. Throwing a little football theme into the appetizers definitely adds fun to the day. I got absolutely everything I needed for our party at Walmart. Here is a copy of my shopping list for our recent grill-gating party:
Grill Gating Shopping List
– Kingsford® Charcoal
– Everything for burgers or hotdogs, buns, meat, fixings, etc.
– Dr Pepper® (they have cans with a football design! so perfect for grill-gating)
– Vanilla ice cream
– Mason jars (I will explain why further down, but just trust me, you need them)
– Straws, paper plates, napkins
– RITZ crackers, Hidden Valley® Ranch dressing, rolls, cream cheese, sour cream, grated cheddar, green onions, bacon bits (for a recipe)
– Garbage bags, paper towels, containers and Glad® Press’n Seal for easy clean up
– White icing and chocolate cupcakes (for a recipe)
This is all you need for the perfect game day BBQ! Keep reading to see just how I used everything above to create the perfect grill gating party.
Find these great products and more grill-gating inspiration here.
2. Prepare the Food in Advance
I prepared three simple recipes the night before to save myself some time game day. Each of these recipes took 5-20 minutes. Preparing in advance made game day more fun, and less stressful. The food that I didn’t prepare in advance just needed to be thrown on the grill to BBQ, so food prep game day took no time at all.
Recipe 1: Football Chocolate Cupcakes
1. Grab the icing and the chocolate cupcakes you picked up at Walmart.
2. Use the icing to pipe football marks onto the cupcakes! So simple. I found some football designed cupcake papers to put them in which I think made them even cuter.
Recipe 2: Dr Pepper Floats
1. Grab the mason jars and ice cream.
2. Put one scoop of ice cream in each jar, screw the cap on and put them back in the freezer.
3. On game day pack the jars into your cooler with some ice packs. When you are ready to enjoy, pour the Dr Pepper over the ice cream. I actually drew little footballs on the jars using a white oil based marker as well. I loved that when you pour the Dr Pepper in, the picture comes to life!
Recipe 3: Grilled Cheese Bread Bowls
1. Grab your Hidden Valley® Ranch dressing, rolls, cream cheese, sour cream, grated cheddar, green onions and bacon bits (optional).
2. Cut off the tops of the rolls and hollow out the inside.
3. Mix together 1/2 cup of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup Hidden Valley® Ranch, 1/4 cup chopped green onions and 2tbsp of bacon bits (optional).
4. Put the dip in the bread bowls, sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, recap bun and wrap it in tinfoil. Store in the fridge overnight.
5. On game day throw the mini bread bowls on the grill for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt.
6. Pull out your RITZ crackers and dip them in the bread bowls! Sooooo delicious.
These three recipes, plus your meat and corn, will make more than enough food for game day. And they are SO easy to prepare! All this prep took me about 30 minutes total and we had enough food to feed at least 6-8 people. I am all about easy preparation.
3. Invite all your Friends
Game day is all about getting together with friends! Whether you are cheering on your favorite team together, or rooting for opposite teams, having friends there makes everything better.
4. Get the Grill Going
We always like to start our grill-gating parties a little early so we can BBQ while the kids play outside. Then we can come in later to finish eating and enjoy the game. Zoey definitely isn’t into football (yet), but she looooves that her friends come to play during the game! I absolutely love using Kingsford® Charcoal for our grill-gating needs. It makes BBQinq so easy. Our football parties would not be complete without it.
5. Clean up time!
After eating you may want to do some quick clean up, before settling in to enjoy the game. I always make sure I am stocked up on the cleaning essentials. Garbage bags, paper towels, etc. You also might want to cover up food that you are leaving out. Glad® Press’n Seal is really convenient for protecting the food, so you can come back and enjoy it throughout the game.
This weekend was so much fun, and our grill gating party turned out so cute. I had to share it with you guys! Hope it will inspire you and help you plan your grill gating parties this season. For more football grill gating inspiration, check out these posts from my amazing blogger friends!
Do you love BBQing and getting together with friends for the game? What are your game day grill gating essentials? Share your grill gating photos on Twitter and Instagram with #GrillGatingHero for a chance to be featured on the grill-gating website with Emmitt Smith!
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