Photographer: Hector Sanchez

The fun of football always starts before the game, surrounded by friends and family celebrating your favorite team. Tailgating has become an art form, where the food is the masterpiece. What do you do when your gridiron destination is located an hour away? You pre-cook at home of course. We have five ways to keep your food warm during tailgating season.

  1. Grab your cooler. Now your everyday cooler can be used for exactly the opposite. Wrap solid bricks in heavy-duty foil and heat them in your oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. Line the bottom of the cooler with newspaper or brown paper shopping bags and place the bricks so they're lining the bottom. Once your food is stored on the bricks, pack the top with insulation and you'll be eating piping hot food the whole game.
  2. Think small. Any dips, soups, or drinks that require heat can be stored easily in soup canisters. Liquids can stay warm up to 5 hours in the insulated metal, for the ultimate game day snack.
  3. Take advantage of your car. Power inverters can plug right into your car lighter for instant electricity. You'll have the means to plug in anything to keep your food warm.
  4. Cook it slow. Anything cooked in your slow cooker will keep warm for a few hours after unplugging. Many tailgates these days are equipped with power sources, but even without the electricity, chili, soup, and more will stay plenty warm for the beginning of tailgating celebration.
  5. Wrap it up. The easiest way to keep meals hot is with heavy aluminum foil. Wrap up your pre-cooked items to keep them warm and insulated.