Backyard Tailgate Party For Football Playoffs — Pregaming At It’s Finest!

by | Feb 1, 2024


Put together a kick-ass pre-game party for football’s annual swan song!

The pre-game tailgate party is as much a part of football culture as donning a jersey, painting your face and criticizing short-tempered coaches.

Fill a cooler with your favourite beverages, get the music playing, pull out the pigskin, put on your team gear and, perhaps most importantly, fire up your grill during the pregame afternoon for a true Sunday football experience.

“Tailgating is its own subculture, and is as much a part of sporting and entertainment events as the kickoff, first pitch, puck drop or opening act,” says Garry Scott, Vice President of Marketing at Napoleon. “But the tailgate party isn’t restricted to the grounds of the stadium. There is nothing stopping you from having an authentic tailgate party in your backyard at home.”

Central to every tailgate party is the menu. Napoleon offers the following suggestions for your grill and smoker as you settle in to watch the season-ending tournament heading into the Big Game:

Brisket cooking on the grill.

Texas Style Smoked Brisket

By adding a little tex-mex flare to this Texas Style Smoked Brisket Recipe you will have something beautiful and unique to share at your next barbecue party. Friends and family alike will be in awe of the lightly spicy, deeply smoked, juicy and flavorful meat you made.

Check out a beautiful breakdown of this recipe in our WTFCF cookbook!

Sliced brisket.

Cheesy BBQ Bread

A great variation on garlic bread. Turn on one side of your grill for indirect cooking and preheat it to 350°F. Get a round loaf of sourdough bread, and slice it without going all the way through, then turn the bread 90-degrees and do the same, so you have “bread squares” ready to pull apart when it’s done. In a bowl, mix a tablespoon each of fresh-ground pepper and parsley, a clove or two of minced garlic, ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a cup of shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle the mixture into the slices of bread, then pour over a ¼ cup of melted butter. Cook on a pizza stone under a foil tent for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further five to 10 minutes.

Taco Dip

Nachos are almost as iconic as wings when it comes to gameday snacks. For this taco dip, preheat your grill to between 350°F and 400°F and set up for indirect cooking. Brown some ground beef in a skillet with some taco seasoning, drain the fat and let it cool while you get the rest ready. Mix together a block of cream cheese with two cups of shredded cheese – go for a blend of cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack). Spread this mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish, top with the beef, spread a layer of sour cream and jalapeno peppers on top of this, add salsa and cover with two more cups of your shredded cheese. Bake on the grill for about 30 minutes or until the top is looking crispy and the sides are bubbly and hot.

Chicken wings cooking on grill.

Chicken Wings

A tailgating staple, you can be creative when preparing wings on your barbecue. You have the option of going low and slow and smoking the wings for a juicy, tender, and flavourful result. You can toss them in a rotisserie basket for a crispy taste, cook them over indirect heat on a cedar plank, or go simple and old school and grill them directly over medium-high heat.

When planning your gameday party, take the weather into consideration. Across Canada and much of the northern United States, early February temperatures (and possible snow) are not conducive to spending a lot of time out of doors. Patio heaters are fantastic additions to your yard to help stave off the cold and extend the season you can comfortably be outdoors. 
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About Napoleon

Napoleon® is a global operation and North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of quality fireplaces, grills, outdoor living, heating and cooling products.