Guy's 10 Tailgating Rules

If anyone can pull off a party in a parking lot, it's Guy Fieri. The Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives star is a die-hard football fan.

Photo by: John Lee ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

John Lee, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Rule #1 Excite the crowd! One-up typical tailgating grub like burgers and hot dogs. 

FNM100110Tailgating025.PSD

FNM100110Tailgating025.PSD

Asian Lettuce Cups

Asian Lettuce Cups

Rule #2 Make hand-held food. Guy's goal at a tailgate party: Avoid utensils. He serves food you can hold in one hand, like these Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups.

FNM100110Tailgating008.PSD

FNM100110Tailgating008.PSD

Creole Chicken Wraps

Creole Chicken Wraps

Rule #3 Wrap it up! Wraps are the ultimate tailgating food: They're easy to eat and transport, and kids love them. You can do all the work at home for these Creole Chicken Wraps, then pack them up on game day.

FNM100110Tailgating001.PSD

FNM100110Tailgating001.PSD

Dirty P's Chicken Thighs

Dirty P's Chicken Thighs

Rule #4 Make it a team sport. Don't be shy about putting friends to work: Ask pals to pitch in and bring a signature dish or drink. 

Rule #5 Watch the clock! Coaches don't wait until game time to plan their strategy, and you shouldn't either. One week before: Pick your menu. Decide what you want to cook – and what you want your guests to bring (see Rule No. 4). Two days before: Shop for ingredients and for supplies like disposable plates and utensils. The night before: "Chop, slice, marinate, brine, freeze and blend at home – do anything you can to prep ahead!" Guy says.

Rule #6 Pack like a pro. Guy keeps a box of knives, tongs, cutting boards, plastic bags and aluminum foil ready to go for his next tailgate.

Rule #7 Stay cool. To save room in your cooler, freeze water bottles before the game and use them as ice packs. They'll thaw by the time you're ready to eat, so you'll have ice-cold water for everyone to drink.

Rule #8 Take a time-out. The cook should have fun too, so don't worry about making every single thing from scratch. Guy gave us the go-ahead to put out top-notch corn chips, pita chips and cocktail mixers from the store. And he isn't a big fan of dessert, so he usually picks up cookies from a local bakery on his way to a game.

Rule #9 Fire it up. Skip the lighter fluid (and its funky taste) and use a chimney starter, an aluminum canister sold at hardware stores. Guy fills his with lump charcoal, which ignites faster and burns more cleanly than briquettes.

Rule #10 Clean up your act. Cooking without a sink is messy, so bring disinfecting wipes or, if your spread is huge, make table sanitizer by mixing one tablespoon of bleach into a one-gallon jug of water. Guy also packs collapsible trash cans and a box of trash bags. And plastic containers are great for leftovers – in the rare event that you have any.

Keep Reading

Next Up

12 FN-Approved Spots for Game-Day Eats

Get in the game with great food and unlimited sports at these 12 hot spots across the country.

Duff's Time-Out

Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman takes a break from baking to tailgate with his friends. . .Baltimore-style.

Guy's Big Game Recipes

Get ready for the big game with Guy Fieri's favorite tailgating recipes.

Tailgate Gadgets

Up your tailgating game with these hot gadgets that are ready to party. Check them out--they'll make your tailgate the best spot in the lot.

10 Tips for Last-Minute Party Planning

No time to cook? Try easy recipes for quick meals, holiday dinners and party food from Food Network.

5 Tips for Smarter Tailgating

Sports events are synonymous with greasy food and alcohol, but tailgating doesn’t have to be a calorie disaster.

Stars' Tailgating Favorites

When Food Network stars are in charge of a tailgating spread, you better bet that the menu is a game changer.

Tailgating Cookbooks: A League of Their Own

Whether you’re out braving the cold or hosting a game-day watch party, make any of the three tailgating cookbooks that follow your playbook and you can’t help but win big.
More from:

Game-Day Parties

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cake Wars

11am | 10c

Cake Wars

12pm | 11c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

8pm | 7c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beat Bobby Flay

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

10:30pm | 9:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Beat Bobby Flay

1:30am | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Chopped

3am | 2c

Mystery Diners

4:30am | 3:30c

What's Cooking

Latest Stories