Stepping Up Your Tailgating Game

It’s not a stretch to say that Texans are crazy about tailgating—it just comes with the territory. We’re home to Friday night lights, some of the best college football rivalries and the most delicious brisket you’ve ever tasted.

We play by our own rules, especially when it comes to tailgating. We set up early and stay well after the game is over. And when it comes to the food? Let’s just say we’ve been known to go all out.

But whether you’re celebrating graduates or a planning football-themed work event, sometimes the most experienced tailgaters feel the need to step up their game. Throwing an upscale tailgate is easier than you think, and we’re here to show you how. From kicking off with delicious appetizers to scoring the game-winning touchdown with grilled entrees and desserts, here are some expert tips and recipes that’ll make your Texas tailgate a winner!

Grilling Greatness

Grilling is usually a must at tailgates, but a lot of folks only think about burgers and steaks. Fancy up your event by grilling cuts like Tri Tip, Tenderloin Steaks or Sirloin to serve on flatbread, chips or as crostini. Get recipe inspiration here.

Know Your Way Around The Smoker

There’s nothing more impressive than serving upscale dishes that have been smoked to perfection—especially at a Texas tailgate. Check out our Beef Loving Texans guide to smoking beef!

Save The Red Solo Cups For Beer Pong

One of the biggest parts of throwing an upscale tailgate (besides the food, of course) is decorations. There’s nothing wrong with using your favorite team colors, flags, tents, etc. But hosting the ultimate party can be taken to the next level by throwing in some key decoration elements.

  • Use fancier plastic plates and utensils
  • Provide more decorative glasses for drinks
  • Serve drinks, straws snacks, etc. in aluminum buckets or straw baskets
  • Use cake plates or cupcake stands for desserts, chips, etc.
  • Set tables with table clothes, burlap accents and center pieces

For more tips, check out this list by Southern Living!

Beef Loving Texans-Approved Menu:

Grilled Tri-Tip Flatbread with Caramelized Onions & Blue Cheese Crumbles

Brisket Queso

Smoked Tenderloin with Boursin Cheese, Arugula, Shaved Parmesan & Balsamic Drizzle

Roasted Potato Salad with Arugula & Shaved Parmesan

Citrus Cole Slaw

Photo courtesy of Will Swetnam.

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