When you’re hosting game day, you don’t want to be on the sidelines, fussing over food and missing all the big plays. That’s why Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest grilling days of the entire year: Because using your trusty old BBQ lets you cook up a delicious meal way before the coin toss, plus it saves you some precious cleanup time. Here are some tips to help make your cookout a total breeze—and one that will go down in Super Bowl party history.
Super Bowl Grilling Tip No. 1: Get your food and grilling gear ready the night before the game.
One major benefit of grilling on Super Bowl Sunday is that you can prepare all of your food and cooking tools in advance. Start marinating your burgers, steaks and chicken the night before the game, drop them in resealable plastic bags and safely store them in your fridge. All you have to do on the big day is light the fire and throw the food on the rack.
Also check to make sure that you have enough charcoal or propane to last you throughout the day. The last thing you want to do is skip out on the game for a last-minute shopping spree.
Super Bowl Grilling Tip No. 2: To cut down on cleanup, prep your grill before you start cooking.
When the game is over and the guests have gone, your main priority should be to bask in your team’s victory—not sulk in your after-party cleanup duties. A little bit of forward thinking can help you chop off a lot of items from your chore list.
Before you light your propane grill, cover the grates with nonstick cooking spray so you won’t have to deal with any stuck-on bits of food. If you’re using a charcoal grill, line the bottom of the kettle with aluminum foil, which you can quickly toss in the trash after the burnt-out coals have cooled. That way, the only post-game rubbing you have to do is, well, rubbing your big win into the opposing team’s face.
Super Bowl Grilling Tip No. 3: Grill a few easy, simple foods that your guests can customize themselves.
You don’t have to do all the work when it comes to making the perfect game day platter. It can get way too overwhelming, especially if you’re expecting a lot of people with very different tastes. Instead, save time and energy by making your guests meet you halfway.
Barbecue staples like hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs are perfect for Super Bowl parties because, with the right array of fixin’s, you can make any flavor combination you want. Make sure you have plenty of toppings and sauces on hand so your guests can pick their favorites. Grilled sirloin strip slices make it easy for guests to build their own DIY sandwiches. If you have any vegetarians in the crowd, throw in some veggie burgers to accommodate them too. Now everyone can be happy!
Super Bowl Grilling Tip No. 4: Make sure you have enough food for everyone … and then some.
When that doorbell rings, your guests aren’t just going to be excited about the upcoming game; they’re going to be hungry too. Running out of food at a Super Bowl party would simply be a nightmare, and the supermarket is one place you’ll want to avoid like the plague.
Play it safe and stock up on a lot more food than necessary to feed your friends. Don’t worry if you end up with an absurd amount of leftovers; give your guests some to take home, and use the rest to make different leftover dinner recipes the following week. Your friends’ eager bellies will be satisfied, and you’ll be able to kick back and watch the game in peace.
Super Bowl Grilling Tip No. 5: Use the barbie to sear up some fast, delicious appetizers too.
Don’t put out the fire as soon as your main course is ready. Appetizers are the life of the party, so make the most out of your BBQ time and rustle up some side dishes to go along with dinner. Simple sliced veggies—and even some fruit, like pineapple—taste great when they’re fire-roasted. Or you can experiment with different ingredients to make something new: Try grilling peppers that are stuffed with your favorite cheese and wrapped with bacon. No matter what you go for, you’ll have a show stopping appetizer that’s ready to eat within seconds.
Have any foolproof Super Bowl grilling tips of your own? Share them with us!