Perfect your spring baseball tailgate

41 Tailgating Tips That Are Borderline Genius

This week’s tips are for masters of the tailgate—those pickup-owning friends or relatives who have devoted their time, energy and resources to throwing the best pre-game event the ballpark parking lot ever saw. This week we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite tips, tricks and hacks to rock your next tailgate party.

1. Pump up the flavor: Marinate all meats the night before. Skewer kabobs, lay them into a recyclable aluminum dish and baste them up with sauce a good 12 hours in advance of the party. This also saves time once you’re ready to grill.

2. Prep your burgers ahead: Flatten out burger patties between wax paper the night before the game and pack them into a foil container. Also, chop up onions, clean and prep lettuce and slice tomatoes before packing these toppings into a container so that they’re ready to go when the burgers are cooked.

3. Pack the dirty dishes: Some things you’ll just have to bring back home to clean, like tongs, cups, maybe a few plates. By taking along an empty plastic tub that’s large enough to pack them all away, you’ll have a place to put them and keep cleanup easy.

4. Wash your hands: Sooner or later, you’ll have messy hands to clean up. Take along an old cooler for just hand washing, or clean out and reuse a large laundry detergent dispenser (the kind with a spigot) as a hand-washing station.

5. Can your hot coals: Get a metal bucket to store the ashes and hot coals after the grilling is over.

6. Wow with desserts: Deep freeze a tub of ice cream and take it along with plenty of Mother Rucker’s Chocolate Chippies to make ice cream sandwiches. Bring enough Brownies and Blondies too, so everyone has just what they want.

7. Be a good citizen: Bring contractor-size trash bags for all the disposables and leave nothing behind. Recycle glass bottles and aluminum, too.

8. Skip the napkins: Rolls of paper towels are easier to keep from blowing away.

9. Don’t forget to drink water: Colas, beer and iced tea all dehydrate the body and set you up for heat fatigue, or even worse, heat stroke. Freeze bottles of water ahead of time and use them as ice in an ice chest. Once they melt, you’ll have even more cool water on hand.

10. Relax and enjoy: Don’t get too into the hosting part of the day. Enjoy the party too, and let others lend a helping hand.