We’re all about prepping for homegate parties in advance, But it’s super important to know these fridge rules, so you can be sure your game day eats are fresh and good!

When you’re planning a homegating party (which is basically like a tailgate party but at home in front of the TV instead of in the parking lot), it’s all about timing so that when game day rolls around, you aren’t stuck in the kitchen cooking, chopping, reheating, or plating while your guests enjoy the game without you. No one wants that! Timing is indeed everything—from when you buy your groceries, to when you make your dishes, to how you get them ready to serve on game day.

We here at Hungry Fan are all about prepping in advance. We buy our groceries early and store them in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to cook. Food preparation usually goes down the day before the game, so that your food doesn’t have to sit in the fridge too long before you plan to serve them. And on game day, we advise keeping your cold food and drinks refrigerated until they’re ready to be served. We bring our room temperature food to temp before serving (without letting it sit out too long), and then we heat up our hot dishes in the oven and keep them warming until it’s time to serve.

Although this kind of food preparation doesn’t generally entail the storage of food or drinks for long, we thought it best to share some helpful 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—especially if it’s well in advance—and especially when you’re talking about uncooked meats, such as sausage, fresh poultry, or raw ground beef.

Image from our friends at Kitchen Cabinet Kings.

This guide is useful to anyone who stores food in their home, especially for long periods of time, including after your homegating party (think leftovers and extra groceries you didn’t end up using). If you’re ever doing your spring cleaning and clearing out your pantry, you may realize it’s time to do something about your outdated kitchen. If so, be sure to check out the extensive guides to kitchen design and remodeling ideas from our friends at Kitchen Cabinet Kings.

For more information on keeping food fresh, head here.

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