Recipes & Cooking
15 Super Bowl Party Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making
If you’re one of the millions of Americans tuning into Super Bowl 51 on February 5, don’t let these Super Bowl mistakes ruin the big game.
You try to show off in the kitchen
A Super Bowl party is not the time to showcase your latest culinary creations. Instead, follow celebrity chef and Food Network star Sunny Anderson’s No.1 rule: KISS, or “Keep It Simple Susan.” “Keep it simple with all the flavors that people are expecting—do not disappoint! Game day is a classic American affair, so let’s do burgers, hot dogs, wings, chili, chips and dips,” she says.
You’re not building a snack stadium
courtesy Mikko Serrano
Game day is incomplete without plenty of different chips and dips to munch on, says Sunny, which is why having a snack stadium centered around—you guessed it—your favorite dip is a touchdown. “The field is always some kind of dip that you’re dragging those dip-ables through. I like to dip simple things like chips and pretzel sticks, and people love to dip vegetables like carrots and broccoli,” she says. Sunny’s go-to, no-effort dips are the premade ones from Heluva Good! “I put out the typical French Onion dip, but they also have a Jalapeno Cheddar and Bacon Horseradish; I love a dip that has flavor so you don’t need to add anything else.” If you have gluten-free guests, try Good Health’s gluten-free pretzels or tortilla chips made of black beans and rice.
You don’t have enough space
There’s nothing worse than sitting elbow to elbow when you’re trying to eat finger foods, balance a beer, and cheer for your favorite team. Move any non-essential furniture and decorative items that may block your guests’ views to a different room, ask friends to bring along folding chairs, and encourage people to embrace that comfy carpet. Put most of the food along one wall or in a neighboring room to save even more space.
You put all the food out at once
“It’s a long game and there’s nothing worse than running out of food,” says Sunny. “I’ve done so many Super Bowl parties and it’s smart to do it in waves. You can’t just put everything out on the buffet and expect people to graze the whole time.” Start off with pre-game bites during the pre-game commentary; this means chips and dip and salty finger foods that are washed down with a cold drink. For the first and second quarter, leave out those dips but bring in items like sandwiches and wings. Halftime is when you bring the “big guns out,” she says; think chili, pizza, whatever’s in the slow-cooker. Once the third and fourth quarters hit, re-introduce snack-able items like more dips, sliders, or pigs in a blanket.
You don’t let guests bring the beer
If your guests want to contribute, let them! “If anyone asks if they can bring something, I never turn that down,” says Sunny. Suggest a case of beer, which are always on sale before the big game, and spend your drink budget on making a beer punch or winter sangria to spice things up. “Making a big batch of a signature drink works. Use inexpensive wine and some in-season fruit like citrus,” she says.
Your TV isn’t big enough
If you’re having people over to watch the game, you should have a television big enough to watch it on. But that doesn’t mean you need to run out and spend a huge chunk of change on a brand new big screen TV. You can often find rental chains that offer large screen televisions for rent, according to mensjournal.com.
You’re too exhausted to enjoy your own party
The Super Bowl is one time where you won’t be judged for not making everything from scratch. Instead of slaving away in the kitchen for days, which can leave you too tired to actually enjoy the night, embrace pre-made items. “Spend time in the freezer section. Get those party corndogs, those pigs in a blanket, taquitos, mini pizzas, anything that’s already made for you. People don’t care if you made the food or not, they just want to eat it,” says Sunny. If you’re having trouble choosing, look for FarmRich frozen products–they pride themselves on using wholesome ingredients and offer classics like boneless chicken bites and loaded potato skins, as well as more unique options like breaded cheese curds and crispy dill pickles. If you’re making your own wings and want a twist on traditional buffalo flavor, Moore’s Marinades and Sauces has you covered with Asian, barbecue, and even a buffalo and blue cheese combo.
You don’t buy enough ice
You can never have too much ice for the big game. “You need to have lots of ice to keep beers cold. We all know as soon as a beer is warm, people get disenchanted and crack another. Nothing kills me more than seeing half full beers around my party!” says Sunny. If you think you’ve got enough ice, buy one more bag, just to be safe.
You try to maintain your diet
If you’re going to have a cheat day, make it Super Bowl Sunday. “Nobody wants to be healthy during the Super Bowl. It’s all about elastic waist pants,” says Sunny. Trying to avoid those crispy wings, salty chips, and creamy dips will only drive your taste buds crazy while everyone else indulges.
You touch the remote during commercials
Super Bowl Sunday is one time when people actually want to watch commercials. Don’t disappoint your guests (or make them miss out on that one commercial everyone’s talking about Monday morning) by muting the screen or channel surfing.
You forget about the dirty side of things
Have plenty of trash cans around or tie heavy duty garbage bags to doorknobs to prevent dirty plates and empty cans from piling up. Also, invest in a plunger. “My girl Katie Lee from The Kitchen [on Food Network] has the best advice for any home party: always have a plunger in the bathroom. Nobody wants to leave the bathroom at a big party and tell the host they made a mess,” says Sunny.
You start the party too early
Starting the festivities too early is not only a good way to run out of food before halftime, it’s also just begging your guests to drink too much too fast. foxsports.com suggests kicking off the celebration about 90 minutes before kick-off.
You put dessert out at the wrong time
“The No.1 question I’m asked is how to get people to go home when the game ends,” says Sunny. “Hold all the sweets until the two-minute warning and put dessert out then. And brew coffee. Something about the smell of coffee and sweets on the table denotes the end of anything, so people get it; the party is over and it’s time to go home.”
Pick a side
Any Super Bowl party is a little more fun when people are cheering for opposing teams. Even if you’re not a big football fan or your team didn’t make it to the big game, choose a side and cheer for it. And this is one match-up when nobody will judge you if you make your choice based on jersey color, team mascot, player crush, or a coin flip.
You make rookie betting mistakes
If you’re betting on the big game in the hopes of scoring some big cash, take some time to do it right. According to madduxsports.com, some of the biggest betting mistakes are choosing your pick based on emotions and paying too much attention to media hype.