10 Terrific Tips for Tailgating

An expert’s take on the essentials



We are now fully into the “season.” And no, I’m not talking about the fall foliage season, or the back-to-school season, or the new TV season. I am talking about football season. And where there are football games, there are fans, and where there are fans, there is—Yes!—tailgating.
Not sure how to do it? Enter maven tailgater Joe Streany, 58, from Croton-on-Hudson. Streany has had season tickets to New York Giants games since 1974 (two years before they moved to Giants Stadium)—and has been perfecting his tailgate expertise pretty much since then. Here, in descending order, are…

Joe Streany’s Top 10
Tailgating Essential Items
10. Charcoal or gas grill. “It really doesn’t matter which one you choose, just as long as it is portable,” Steany says. “And, even though charcoal grills might be more flavorful, I use a Weber gas grill because you can regulate how fast you cook your meat.”
9. Chairs. Folding will do, but vinyl chairs are best. “Nobody wants to eat standing up.”
8. Tables for food. Six-foot plastic top folding tables work best. “I’ve struggled with this one for years. I’ve tried everything from heavy wooden tables to card tables. The plastic top ones have worked best. They are lightweight and are easily transportable.”
7. Tent. At least a 10 x 15. “Nothing is worse than having a rainy day without cover.”
6. All cooking utensils. Tongs, spatulas, forks, knives, plates, napkins, bottle opener, even a cutting board for steaks and bread. “These are very overlooked items, but are obviously very needed.”
5. Condiments and spices. “Anyone can put a slab of meat on a grill. Without the condiments, you’re dead in the water.”
4. Matches/lighter. “One time at a Giants game, my matches got wet and were useless. I must have gone to twenty different people at the stadium looking for new ones. Now I make sure I have extras at all times in my car, my wife’s car, and even my kids’ cars.”
3. Cooler full of ice and your favorite beverages. “For me, nothing is better than a couple cold beers at a barbecue. It’s the American dream. Make sure it is a light beer, though. You got to save room for the dessert.”
2. Food. “Whether it’s hot dogs and hamburgers or steak and potatoes, the meal is the cornerstone to tailgating.”
1. Large vehicle. “If you’re going to bring all this stuff, you need a truck big enough to fit it all.”
// Jonathan Quartuccio
 

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