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16 Essentials for Your Game Day Party

You've got the menu for this year's game-day party down. (Nachos? Check. Chili? Check.) You've even got a few team-themed snacks, just because. But you don't even have to know who's playing to know that one of the best parts of football season is a little peek at summer cookouts—grilling! cold beer! people lingering, hanging out for the sake of lingering!—in the middle of winter.

Stock up on game-day essentials—from a cap-collecting bottle opener to a burger press (crispy, caramelized edges guaranteed)—that'll work hard and look good to boot from now until preseason. 

1. Range Smart iPhone/iPad Thermometer

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This thermometer is heatproof to 450° F—and communicates with your phone, so you don't have to tear yourself away from the game, or the Bloody Mary bar unnecessarily (and you'll make it to the steak at just the right moment). 

2. Magnetic Bottle Opener


This bottle opener is a Food52 team favorite. Some say the cap collection looks like modern art; some like the satisfying clack of caps hitting the magnetized wood. 

3. Star-Spangled Spatula


Nothing says America like burgers. Nothing says America!! like eating the burgers you flipped with a a sturdy, walnut-handled, American-made flag spatula while watching football. 

4. Wood Six Pack Holder


Transport (or just store) your six-pack in style in this carrier, made from reclaimed redwood. 

5. Compostable Wooden Hot Dog & Sausage Tray


It's easier to eat a hot dog out of these tray than it would be from a paper plate—and they're compostable. We also like them for small, easy-to-pass portions of chips, olives, or mixed nuts.

6. Steel Butterfly Chair


Steady-feeling and built at just the right angle for watching the game, this canvas-and-steel chair is the best seat in the house.  

7. Wholegrain Mustard


Our favorite mustard—this one!—is grainy, punchy with vinegar, and made in Brooklyn. (And just as good on a corn dog as something a little fancier.)

8. GrowlTap


If you're drinking with a crowd, a growler's the way to go—but don't let the leftovers go flat. GrowlTap pressurizes the beer, keeping it steadily bubbly for weeks.

 9. Soapstone Burger Grill Press


This soapstone burger press holds the heat of your grill, which helps your burgers get the perfect sear—a must if you're all about crispy-edged, super-caramelized burgers.

10. Hibachi Grill


This carbon steel hibachi grill heats up quickly—but it doesn't take up much space (a neat 18 inches long!), which makes it easy to pull out when want to feed a small army (and fast).

11. Jersey Tomato Ketchup


Stock up on mustard's best friend: This ketchup tastes like the superlative ketchup—rich and tomatoey without being too vinegary (or too sweet).

12. Quilted Throw Blanket


Cozy up in front of the game with this quilted throw (that, once it's a little warmer out, will travel well for outdoor games and picnics alike).

13. Slip Cast Grigri Growler


Fill up one of these ceramic growlers at the brewery and clamp down the lid to keep your IPAs cold and crisp for days.

14. Reversible Can & Bottle Koozie


You know what they say: Cold hands, warm beer. Prevent that with a koozie. These ones are cotton and Velcro, so you can fold them up and keep them in a drawer once you've finished your drink.

15. Hand-Forged Skewers


Spear kebabs on these hand-forged steel skewers every time you fire up the grill from now through Labor Day. (We're getting a head start.)

16. Habanero Escobar Beef Jerky


You don't have to make all the snacks for your game-watching party. This smoky, spicy jerky, named for the notorious felon Pablo Escobar, is so good that it probably should be illegal.


Photos by James Ransom and Mark Weinberg

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