The Ultimate Football Watching Spread: Couchgating with a Food Stadium

"The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It's part of our culture like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas..."TV journalist Bob Shieffer

Over the past few NFL seasons, one of the hottest trends among fans has been the food stadium, a.k.a. the Snackadium. Filled to the brim with a variety of tasty grab-and-go eats, these stadium shaped centerpieces are certain to make your viewing party the talk of the town.

On any given Sunday, tens of millions of people watch football games from their couch. And each year in February, over 100 million people gather in front of their televisions to watch the biggest winner-take-all showdown in US sports -- the Super Bowl. Some are there to root on their favorite team; some to boo a long hated rival; and some to simply catch the amazing commercials. Regardless of why you are tuning in to watch football, it's the food that will really make game day special. So why not give the food stadium a shot.

Feeling industrious? You can build your own stadium structure similar to the monstrous model I created for Kingsford charcoal.

If, however, you don't want to commit the time and resources necessary to make your own, there are several pre-fabricated stadiums on the market, including this one from Amazon.

What to cook for couchgating

With the structure in place, you only need to fill it with an array of your favorite grilled and smoked foods. We recommend food that doesn't need a knife and fork, and the best choices can be eaten with one hand so the other is free to hold the beer. To get you started on the ultimate game day menu, here are a few of our tried-and-true football food stadium recipes. We also recommend another time-honored tradition: cook the competition by featuring iconic foods from the cities of both teams. Don't forget plenty of napkins. 

 
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Grilling Buffalo wings may sound like blasphemy but the results from this non-deep fried twist are simply amazing. By cooking this All-American Classic on the grill, you avoid the deep frying mess while also adding a deep, smoky flavor. The Buffalo wings start with indirect smoke before being crisped over direct heat. read more
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Bratwurst are the signature food of Wisconsin and here's the recipe for creating perfect Touchdown Tailgate Brats simmered in beer and then grilled. The beauty of this recipe is that you can make the sauce at home, chill everything, and then finish the brats at the game during your next tailgating adventure. read more
Here are step by step instructions for mouthwatering BBQ ribs that are so juicy and tender, just like the competition pitmasters and the best ribjoints do it. Start with our award winning spice rub and end with championship tangy sticky sweet sauce. And you do not need a smoker, you can do it on a grill! read more
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Why wait for the McRib to return when you've got an amazing rib sandwich recipe? Learn more about the fabled McRib sandwich while creating one that takes it over the top. Ribs are smoked to perfection before the meat joins homemade pickles, caramelized onions, and custom BBQ sauce on a buttery brioche bun. read more
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Our growing section on hamburgers will help you understand all the angles in making big fat juicy steakburgers or thin crispy diner burgers, and the techniques are very different! We'll take you on a tour of the regional styles of hamburgers, and even give you the secret sauce recipe. read more
Behold the best smoked BBQ beef brisket recipe ever! Brisket is more than a recipe, it is a concept and a goal. It all begins by selecting the right meat, trimming it, seasoning it, smoking it, slicing it, and more. Follow this easy BBQ brisket guide for mouthwatering results! read more
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A cheesy appetizer with a kick, this easy recipe is sure to please, and the smoked version is better than the fried version. This appetizer is a big hit with people who like a little bit of heat in their food, but you can remove most of the heat to accommodate wimps if you wish. read more
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Yes, Buffalo sauce tastes great on hot wings, but try some Asian flavors on your chicken wings with the deep, savory flavors of miso, sesame oil, and wood smoke. This recipe leans heavily on miso paste, a traditional Japanese ingredient rich in umami, the rich meaty savory flavor. read more
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Everybody loves Chinese restaurant "BBQ" ribs. They have a distinct pork flavor, a glossy sheen that implies the sweet glaze beneath, and a glowing red-pink color that penetrates the surface. Here's a simple recipe for making Chinatown char siu ribs at home on your grill or in the oven featuring a flavorful marinade. read more
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This classic mussels (Moules Mariniere) recipe from France is so easy. And it's finger food. After simmering in a flavor rich white wine, cream, and tomato sauce, the mussels are served, shells and all, into big shallow bowls with plenty of the liquor laden broth and serve with crusty bread or grilled bread. read more
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In Binghamton NY they make spiedies rather than kebabs, and for good reason. They're better. Typically they are marinated and grilled hunks of lamb or beef. These spiedies are not cooked on skewers, but grilled with onions and peppers. Served rare to medium, the marinade flavor is almost as strong as the meat flavor. read more
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Fresh tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, and cilantro are the cornerstones of our addictively delicious recipe for homemade pico de gallo. Add a touch of brightness to tacos, quesadillas, and other Mexican dishes; a bold bite to scrambled eggs and omelets; a vibrant twist to salsa and chips; and so much more. read more
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Put a little south in your mouth with this delicious recipe for a smoked pimento cheese burger. Smoky home made pimento cheese and a reverse seared burger elevates cheeseburgers to new levels and makes it certain to be a hit at your next backyard cookout, tailgating adventure or weeknight family meal. read more
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This simple smoked rib tips recipe makes the perfect snack, appetizer, or main course. The rib tip (a.k.a. brisket, costal cartilage, or break) is the triangular, cartilage-dotted slab of meat attached to the lower end of the sparerib. Seasoned with BBQ rub then slow smoked on the grill, these are a surefire hit. read more
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So you're cooking for a crowd. How much food do you need? Here's how to plan for a party or special occasion, including some basic rules of thumb and tips on how to handle dietary restrictions, how to prep ahead, and how to calculate the right amount of food so no one goes hungry. read more

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Clint Cantwell

Clint Cantwell is AmazingRibs.com's Senior Vice President, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. Cantwell was was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".

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