We here at Hungry Fan are all about preparing for our homegate parties in advance. It takes a lot of the pressure off of game day itself. But it's super important to know these fridge rules, so you can be sure your game day eats are both fresh and delicious.
When you're planning a homegating party (which is basically a tailgating party but at home instead of in the parking lot), it's all about timing. No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen prepping all the food while everyone else gets to enjoy the game and the party! Timing is indeed everything—from when you buy your groceries, to when you make your dishes, to how you get them ready to serve.
Our secret? Prepping in advance! We buy our groceries beforehand and store them in the fridge or freezer until it's time to cook. Food prep usually goes down the day before the game so the dishes don't have to sit in the fridge too long before they're served. And on game day, we keep our cold food and drinks refrigerated until we're ready to serve them. We heat room temperature food to temp before we serve it (without letting anything sit out too long unless on a hot plate), and we warm our hot dishes in the oven to keep them warm until it's time to serve.
Although this kind of food prep doesn't generally involve storing food or drinks for long, we thought it was best to provide some reminders of how long food can keep—both in the fridge and the freezer. This is especially relevant if you're doing your grocery shopping in advance—and when you're dealing with uncooked meats, such as sausage, fresh poultry, or raw ground beef.