TIP 1: PICK FINGER FOODS

TIP 2: DO THE TWO-ZONE

Tailgaters will be eating on and off for about two hours, so remember to maintain a two-zone fire that allows you to cook some items while keeping others warm.

TIP 3: LET IT REST

Some foods (burgers for one) are best enjoyed hot off the grill, but savvy tailgaters also offer up some dishes that stay great after sitting out for a few minutes.

TIP 4: PREP EARLY

When the party's in full swing, don't be that guy forming burger patties all day. Prepare some dishes early, so you'll always have something ready to toss onto the grill.

TIP 5: BRING A SHOW-STOPPER

Every great tailgate has a signature moment – like a grilled drink or a hot desert. Find yours, and create a tailgate everyone remembers.

TIP 6: AVOID THE RUSH

Don't get yourself into a panicky 2-minute drill when that first wave of hungry tailgaters arrives. Have your first round of food ready 90 minutes before game time, and keep 'em fed and happy.

TIP 7: REMEMBER DIPS & SWEETS

After you've got those main courses figured out, be sure to put some thought into your sides, dips and desserts.

TIP 8: DON'T FORGET THE ICE

We know, everyone says "Don't forget the ice." Problem is, someone usually does forget, and the last thing you want is a mid-party run to the convenience store.

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