Fall is a time for pumpkin spice, autumn leaves, cooler temperatures — and football.
Tailgating is one of the many ways Americans celebrate the football season, whether that’s college football or NFL games.
From hot dogs to beer — from soups to nuts — people around the country often spend hours planning the perfect tailgate.
Fox News Digital spoke with two experts for their inside tips on how to throw the best tailgate this season.
First up, celebrity chef Robert Irvine — also known as the host of “Restaurant: Impossible” — shared with Fox News Digital some of his best advice.
Irvine’s Food Network show “Restaurant: Impossible” has been running for 21 seasons.
1. Simple is the way to go
“Whenever possible, keep it simple,” Irvine emphasized.
To this end, the Tampa, Florida-based chef recommended splurging on pre-cut fruits and veggies, pre-marinated meats or bottled marinades.
He also recommended using disposable items such as paper plates, aluminum cooking trays and more to make the clean-up easier.
“The last thing you want to do is have to come home and clean everything after a long day,” he said.
Irvine also said that having others bring items for the tailgate, such as a potluck arrangement, can help take the pressure off.
“When everyone participates, it’s not a huge burden on one person with costs, setup and breakdown or cleanup,” he said.
2. Keep safety top of mind
The chef also emphasized the importance of making sure you’re up-to-date with proper safety precautions and regulations whenever you’re hosting a tailgate party.
For instance, “do not push your hot grill under the car or truck before you go into the game,” he said.
“Leave it out next to the vehicle or detach any fuel,” he added.
He also recommended bringing along a first aid kit to ensure the proper items are around just in case they’re needed.
Irvine also said to be sure there’s a designated driver when alcohol is being consumed.
3. Don’t forget essentials — come prepared
Irvine said the key to good preparation is remembering the small things when packing for the tailgate — such as cords, chargers, a canopy and more.
After that, he recommended bringing “a large portable TV to set up for pre-game, speakers for music, a football to toss around, plus corn hole or a couple other games to play,” he said.
Irvine also suggested bringing a large thermal cup to keep your beverage cool — especially in the hotter months near the beginning of football season.
Bringing utensils for the grill is also something that might slip your mind when packing.
“Make sure to have an apron, so you stay clean for the game [and] some simple tools like a cutting board, knife, tongs and a spatula for burgers,” he said.
Next up, a hosting expert also shared her tips for tailgating season …
4. Pack the cooler properly
Virginia Lane is a 34-year-old content creator from Savannah, Georgia, known for sharing tips and tricks on social media to her over 240,000 Instagram followers.
She told Fox News Digital about her popular hack for keeping food and drinks from becoming soggy and wet in the cooler.
“Use small waste bins inside your cooler [and] place a small amount of ice at the bottom of the bin,” she said.
Lane said to them place the drinks in the bottom, iced section — and the food in the bins to ensure they don’t get soggy from lying in the ice.
Her viral TikTok video about the hack has over 26,000 views on the social media platform.
Lane also shared a tailgating tip for keeping the tailgating space organized amid the chaos of the party …
5. Keep your tailgating space organized
She recommended getting a closet organizer to make a pantry look under the tent — mainly to guarantee guests can see the food options.
“You will be the most popular tent at the game.”
Lane also said to use a collapsible laundry bin to function as a trash can, which can be reused for the next party.
Lastly, the content creator suggested using a garden flag as a paper towel holder for easy access to napkins for guests.
“You will be the most popular tent at the game,” she said.
The American Tailgater Association (ATA) says that approximately 20 to 50 million people tailgate each year.
The Green Bay Packer fans claim they coined the term “tailgating.”
Even so, the first known tailgate event was during the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, according to the ATA.
College football tailgating was thought to have begun in 1869 in a game between Princeton University and Rutgers University.