The Ultimate Football Lifehacks: 7 Keys To Next Level Tailgating

Courtesy of Miller Lite, through the month of November, we’ll be showing you how to lifehack your way into better football, whether watching at home or tailgating at the stadium. Which takes us to part one of our series, about cooking in parking lots.

Tailgating has two fundamental problems: Space and efficiency. You’re essentially turning your car into a kitchen, so the properly organized and hacked out tailgate is not only a model of delicious food… it’s a model of proper use of space and tools to maximum, tasty, effect. So, here are seven keys to getting better results while tailgating.


Onions are, of course, a classic condiment and one of only a handful of vegetables that are acceptable at a tailgate party. They’re also incredibly useful for grilling food, for a variety of reasons.

First, they can clean your grill. Cleaning your grate with just oil and a paper towel is A) messy, and B) likely to cause a fire if you do it wrong. Heat up your grill and scrub it with half a raw onion with a little oil on it instead. It removes grit and crud, and gives a nice flavor to your food.

Secondly, if you’re grilling something and need both flavor and a timer, cut the ends off an onion, flat enough that you can sit it on the grill, and then cut it in half. Stick the food between the two halves and start cooking. Once the onion is cooked through on one side, flip. You have well cooked food, and grilled onions to go on top of it.

Improvise A Beer Cooler

Sometimes, you forget the cooler. Sometimes, a friend shows up with warm beer and no way to cool it. Either way, you can solve this problem with hydrophobic coating and the box the beer came in. Hydrophobic coating, if you’re unfamiliar, is essentially a water repellent that comes in spray form, and it’s handy to have around just in general. So, pull out the beer, spray down the inside with the coating, add in beer and ice, and you’re good to go.

Easily Installed, And Removed, Grill Handles

Sick of using tongs on your grill grate? Install handles, which takes five minutes at the hardware store and a wrench. Just get u-bolts, crosspieces, two nuts, two sets of small washers, and two sets of large washers. Make sure everything’s stainless steel and that the large washers are bigger than the gaps between your grill’s bars. Then, bolt the u-bolts to your grill: Crosspiece first, then bolts, then small washers, then large, then the final bolts. Even better? You can locate these handles anywhere on your grill.

Chips, To Start Fires With

Fun fact: Pretty much any chip burns. They’re just essentially things that burn coated in other things that burn, so if for some reason you’ve got no newspaper to start a fire, just shove a few chips in there and light them. It not only solves an annoying problem; it makes a great party trick.

Magnets And Beer Koozies

We all know the cheap, yet indestructible, beer koozie, designed to keep your beer cold while you work. The problem, of course, is putting your beer down while you work. So don’t; glue a magnet to the side of the koozie, and you’ll be able to just stick it to your car when you need both hands free.

Fresh Herbs

Yes, we understand that generally, fresh herbs are reserved for fine cooking, and tailgating is all about flavor and grilling. Don’t worry, you’re going to set them on fire.

Bundle together fresh sage and rosemary, soak it in water for a few minutes… and then while damp, chuck that bundle right onto the coals. It creates a rich, delicious smoke that draws everyone’s attention and makes your food taste better, and as a bonus, it drives away bugs.


Chopsticks are useful for a wide variety of reasons. First of all, they make cheap, simple tongs when you need them, and if you’re fussy about your spices and don’t want to get the chicken flavor on the steak, pairs of chopsticks are easier to store around the grill than tongs. Secondly, if you want to skewer something, you’ve got plenty of them, right there, and it’s one less thing you have to pack. Just remember to soak them first.

So, that’s tailgating. But we’re not done yet: Keep an eye out for our look at next-level lifehacks for football all throughout November.