Lobster Tailgate Takeover: How to Host the Best Seafood Tailgating

Tailgate season is officially here, ladies and gentleman. This is the time of year where everybody parties outside the stadium in the parking lots. And for those that didn’t get those coveted tickets, there’s plenty of partying to be had at home in the yard (or yahd, as we say). We have compiled the best tips for hosting the ultimate lobster tailgate party.

Lobster Tails for Tailgating
Butterflied lobster tails make the best tailgate food to grill.

Tailgate Food Ideas

Now that football season has kicked off, it’s highly likely your tailgate grill will feature all the usual suspects: burgers, hot dogs, and maybe even some wings. Why not go big this season? That fourth and down, let’s go for it, big. Quarterback sneak, big!

Switch up the playbook and go beyond burgers this football season! Make it a seafood tailgate!

Tailgating is the best part of the game. Put on your game face and bring the lob-stah! Make it a lobster tailgate — New England style.

What’s the winner for dinner? Why, it’s seafood of course! And, the best part is, you don’t need to go catch it yourself. You can have it freshly delivered right to your home, ready to be prepared for the big game!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro when it comes to tailgating and grilling seafood. We’re here to coach you on how to throw the tailgate party of all tailgate parties that your friends and family will be huge fans of. Game on! Hut!

Homegating with Fresh Seafood

Football tailgating is the best part of the season, but 2021 makes it a little different. In the year of COVID-19, the CDC recommends staying home for the NFL’s 2021 football season. Thus, homegating was born.

Football parties are always fun, but every week, the same ol’ grub gets old. At this time in the season, you are likely already sick of it and looking to switch it up. It’s time to do something different to make your memories absolutely epic. Homegating at home means you have easy access to both your kitchen and your grill. That makes it even more exciting than tailgating in some parking lot.

Tailgate Seafood
Grilled Lobster Tails photo by Joe Pichey, Eggfest National Champion and owner of Go Blue BBQ.

Since you’re at home, you have everything you own at your disposal. That means this year can be the comfiest tailgating experience you have ever had! Bring a space heater outside and enjoy warmth on the comfort of your backyard deck or patio. Sit in your comfortable patio furniture, or toss a football with family and friends in the backyard.

The best part is, you are already home, so sweatpants are welcome attire. To really impress your family and friends, take pictures of your backyard or house decked out in your team’s colors. Since you are not in a parking lot, decorations matter. Make yours stand out, and show off your team spirit to your friends through social media or videochat.

Seafood Tailgate Equipment and Necessities

Summer and fall tailgating is loads of fun, but not all tailgate parties are created equal. If you really want yours to dominate the competition and enter hall of fame territory, you need to stock up on the right gear. So, what should you bring?

First up on deck, you need a grill. If you have one, that’s great! But not all grills are ideal for tailgating. Can you get your behemoth into your truck with ease? If it takes the entire crew, you might want to get a smaller, portable grill for your game day festivities in the parking lot.

Keep your grill in a safe spot (not under your vehicle). Be sure to shut it off or dispose of the coals properly before game time.

Of course, if you’ve got the tailgate party going on at home, your big grill will be perfect. You want either a gas or charcoal style grill. For a small group of friends, a tabletop hibachi style grill or portable Smokey Joe grill can get the job done. The real pros will grill with hardwood wood chips. Rather than using lighter fluid, a chimney starter is the better and safer way to get the coals started. Don’t forget the matches or grill lighter. Allow time to set up your grill and to get the fire at the right temperature. No grill? What are you waiting for, sunshine? Go get one now!

A table top burner is nice to bring so you can heat up food you’ve already prepared at home.

What to Bring to a Tailgate

Grab a pen and paper and make a list. Other stuff you’ll need:

And now with many teams transitioning to mobile or electronic ticketing, you will not have to worry about leaving your game tickets on your kitchen counter.

  • Cutting boards
  • Skewers for kabobs, lobster tails, shrimp and more.
  • Tongs and Spatula for the grill
  • Chef knife and serrated knife
  • Serving platters
  • Plates, bowls and eating utensils
  • Cast iron pan
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Pot for reheating on the grill
  • 2 Coolers, one for your cold drinks and one to keep your seafood cold.
  • Spoons for serving and stirring
  • Church key (bottle opener/can opener)
  • Fresh Lemons
  • Loads of ice to keep your seafood (and beer!) nice and cold
  • Paper plates
  • Plenty of paper towels and napkins if you want to get fancy
  • Fold-able tables (One for prep work and one for serving).
  • Beach, lawn or folding chairs.
  • Zip lock bags for food
  • Trash bags
  • Water, yes water!
  • Fancy lobster napkins
  • Sunscreen, you do not want to get burned!

Make it About the Food, Not Your Rival

Remember, focus on the food and not on outdoing your neighbor with fancier equipment. Things can get hectic on the morning of game day, that’s why you should pack your equipment and supplies the night before. Even better, you do not have to drive anywhere. Take your time cooking and enjoy more time with your family, instead of rushing to a game to get packed like sardines into a parking lot.

Time & Temperature

A must-have tool to bring to the tailgate party is an instant read thermometer, because no one wants seafood that tastes like shoe leather. It is difficult to judge the cooking time of seafood as the heat can vary great depending on the different kinds and sizes of grills. Cooking times can depend on:

  • Temperature of the food
  • How far the grate is from the coals
  • Temperature of the coals
  • Outdoor Temperature
  • Thickness and size of your shellfish or seafood

Seafood on the grill can cook in a blink of the eye. Always err on the side of undercooking. Using a meat thermometer, especially a digital one, provides a precise way of assessing doneness in steak, lobster, and other seafood.

Cooking MeatCooking Lobster TempCooking Scallops TempCooking Shrimp Temp
Medium Rare:130°-135° F
Medium: 135°-140° F
135°-140° F115°115°-120°F

For food safety the FDA recommends longer cooking times. Please review their minimum cooking temperature charts.

MVP Tailgate Menu

Football parties are always fun, but every week, the same ol’ grub gets old. It’s time to do something different to make your memories absolutely epic. So, whether you’re tailgating or watching at home, these major play game day eats will make winners out of you and your crew!

One thing that is critical? Make sure whatever you plan can be eaten with your hands! In fact, just one hand is best, leaving the other hand free for your favorite beverage (like that beer in the cooler!).Don’t overcomplicate things either. No one needs shrimp forks or any of that. Game-day partying should be about simple, fuss-free foods that are big and bold on flavor. Choose a menu of make-ahead dishes and food that can just be heated up or just require simple grilling. Score big points by going handheld with the foods because no one wants dish duty after all is said and done.

Shrimp Tailgating
Jumbo Shrimp on Skewers are perfect for football tailgate food!

While normal tailgating seasons call for make-ahead dishes and food that can just be heated up or grilled, this year is a little different. Homegating means that you are saving time traveling to the games and tailgating lots. Homegating mornings mean that there is more time to prepare dishes the day of, and even include some more extravagant lobster appetizers (insert link to lobster appetizers post) than you would normally bring, since you have full access to your kitchen!

Now, to upgrade your tailgate or homegate menu with fresh-from-the-sea foods, here’s some ideas of what to serve:

  • Grilled Shrimp (or Shrimp Cocktail)
  • Grilled Lobster Tails
  • Super Lobster Rolls
  • Live Lobster (see how to grill lobsters)
  • Scallops (or Scallops Wrapped in Bacon for the win)
  • Grilled oysters or clams on the half shell
  • Grilled vegetables

And the best part? Upscale tailgating does not necessarily mean expensive. 

Chowder Time

The fall weather brings on cooler temperature that are ideal for serving hot New England chowder. Switch the chili for the chowder! Piping hot chowder hits the spot on bitterly cold pre-game days. The traditional and most popular way to cook chowder is in a big cast-iron kettle right on the grill. What could be better than that?

Rolling into Game Time

Follow up that chowder with a winning roll. Lobster rolls of course! They’re always a hit with the fans. You can even make them into lobster sliders or lobster tacos. Or how about you make a super lobster roll? Grab an extra long hoagie roll and overload it with fresh lobster meat for an epic super-sized roll! You can’t go wrong with lobster, so bring back the tastes of summer with this New England classic, or serve them in easy-to-grab sliders. Set out a spread and let the team assemble them into tacos. However you roll with lobster, everyone wins. Get the recipe for lobster rolls!

Lobster Rolls for The Patriots Game
Ordered Lobster rolls for tailgating for Pats game this past Sunday. They were a hit!!! Great quality. On time delivery. Excellent customer service.
Bill Methuen, Massachusetts
Order A Lobster Roll Kit

Make it a Lobster Tail-Gate!

Score the world’s best Maine lobster tails for your next tailgate party. Show off your skills on the grill with our grill-ready lobster tails!  Our tailgate ready lobster tails are fumble-free. There is no prep work needed. There is no need for A lobster cracker, kitchen sheer, or a chef knife is not required since they are aleady split.

Tails are fresh frozen, cut, cracked, cleaned, and butterfly prepared. How easy you ask?

  1. Defrost.
  2. Brush with butter or favorite marinade.
  3. Grill for 5-6 minutes. 
  4. Drink a beer and enjoy!

It couldn’t be easier to cook these babies up on your grill. They take no time at all. Don’t forget to bring along something to melt the butter in on your grill for a winning play!

Grilled Lobster Tails at the Big House
We ordered ready to grill lobster tails and some chowder. Our tailgate guests were blown away by the quality. Great job guys!
Joe Pichey Go Blue BBQ in McKinney, Texas
Order BBQ Lobster Tails

Game Day Sides and Snacks

Round out the game day feast with plenty of side dishes to keep the party going. Chips, salsa and guacamole are always a fan favorite. Baked beans are a tradition and can be done on the grill without a fuss; so can baked potatoes. Grilled vegetables are a an easy side to prepare, like asparagus, squash, zucchini. How about grilled garlic bread or crostini (skewered bread and cheese)?

But if you want more handheld sides people can grab and munch, try some steamers or mussels. See more awesome sides and snacks for your tailgate party!

Cold and Hot Beverages

When you’ve got the big game on at home, cold beer is always refreshing, but changing it up with cool cocktails will always win big. Try some refreshing pairings with lobster libations you’ll love. Make a big pitcher and let everyone refill as needed. See our favorite cocktails for the party!

With lobster and fresh seafood, you will be the among the tailgate gods, the food hero of any party whether it’s outdoors or in your living room. Epic games call for epic game-day eats that will turn you into a winner. Let us help you win! At Lobster Anywhere, we can ship it to you, short and long to level-up your seafood spread. No need to run to the supermarket or the pier. We’ll be there!

No matter what jersey you wear (hey, we all have a favorite), we all love a kickin’ tailgate party and Lobster Anywhere will always be on your team (even if your jerseys aren’t our favorite team’s jerseys).

Happy stomachs can’t lose! It’s Lobster Anywhere for the win!!

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