Outdoor Super Bowl Party! With a patio and a little planning….

Utilize your home outdoors year-round, even in February.

A patio is an extension of you home and your lifestyle that can be enjoyed year-round, even in the dead of winter. Why not throw a Super Bowl party that feels like you’re really at the game? It may not be a temperature controlled luxury skybox, but with easy arrangements it can transport you to a 50-yard-line seat in the stadium, with unlimited refreshments.

Get the best seat outside the house.
In order to enjoy the game on your patio, you have to be able to watch the game on your patio. You could invest in an all-weather television. Units are designed to resist corrosion, rain, dirt, snow and insects. This a great option for those who plan on doing a lot of outdoor entertaining, but with prices starting at $1,500, it may be too expensive for one event. LCD projectors are a popular, inexpensive option, too.

In dry weather, you can simply move your regular television outside. If you are watching the on the west coast before sundown, ensure you set up the television in a shaded area. Use protective plastic to keep the cables and cords dry and safe from spills.

Without the walls of your home to contain and reflect sound, you may notice that your television sounds much quieter on the patio. You can combat this by adding additional speakers to help amplify the audio. Want more information on setting up outdoor audio? This post has a lot of good information.

On the other hand, audio might be less of a consideration. It IS a party and your guests might want to socialize while they watch the game.

Friends around the fire, regardless who’s winning.
Outdoor enthusiasts look for any excuse to build a fire. Why not the Super Bowl?

If you don’t have a built in fireplace, portable fire pits give you lost of options for heat and the fun of a welcoming blaze. Construction material is an important factor. While inexpensive materials like thin-gauge metal or clay (most often used in chimnea-style fire pits) are an affordable option, they will most likely only last one or two years. Copper, cast iron or cast aluminum fire pits are good choices for durability. Need tips on building a fire?

Heaters offer a sophisticated alternative to a smoky fire. Main fuel sources for patio heaters include electric, propane and gas. Because they can operate without cords or connections, propane heaters are probably a better option for your patio. Stand-alone and tabletop varieties are available. Deciding which model works best for you will depend on your needs. Smaller, tabletop varieties work best for small groups, while stand-alone towers last longer and heat a larger area.

Plan for the weather for any upcoming outdoor event using the tried and true Old Farmer's Almanac. See what Super Bowl XLVI will be like in your back yard.

When placing your fire pit or heater, remember to keep the heat source on the brick portion of your patio. Avoid any wood decks or railing to ensure you do not create a fire hazard.

Having blankets on hand is as much a designer choice as a heat source. The best stadium blankets are made of wool. It will insulate your body and keep a pocket of warm air around you. Also, wool is naturally flame resistant – a plus when you’re sitting next to a fire pit. The texture of your blanket is also a factor in keeping you warm. Crocheted afghans or thermal weaves trap warm air and keep your body insulated.

Make sure your invitations say to dress appropriately. But you can be a thoughtful host with inexpensive disposable hand warmers as favors!

Patios are food-friendly.

With hearty fare like this, who cares who wins? (Photo courtesy Carsto, via Wikepedia Commons.)

Super Bowl parties are gastronomically driven. You’re going to have guests who come for the eats, more than the game. And when things get rowdy, hosting outdoors means your carpet gets a break.

Depending on how cold game day is, food storage considerations will vary. For cold weather, skip the cooler and let Mother Nature chill the beverages. Then, use the empty ice chest to keep hot foods insulated and warm. The insulated container will maintain the heat of the food inside. Soups, chilies and warm beverages are best kept in an insulated container or a thermos.

Regardless the temperature, keep basic food safety guidelines in mind (cold foods are stored below 40F and hot foods are served at 140F) and consider chafing dishes for keeping hot food at a proper temperature if it will be served over an extended period. Make sure that there is always enough water in the bottom tray. Fuel packs are usually available in either alcohol or gel packs. If you are concerned about fuel spilling or getting knocked over, select the gel packs. They are more stable and easier to use than the alcohol types.

Need a great game day chili? Try our recipe!

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 cans black beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium chopped green bell pepper
1 finely chopped jalapeno (Add more jalapeno if you like it spicier.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Siracha sauce (if you cannot find Siracha, use your favorite brand of hot sauce)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup beer
1 cup beef stock (preferably unsalted)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the ground beef and pork. Cook until meat is evenly browned. Drain off the excess grease. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables begin to sweat. Add remaining ingredients to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Taste the chili and adjust salt and spice level accordingly.

Chili always taste better the next day, so save some time on game day by making this the night before.

Want to try other recipes? We love this Cincinnati-style chili and this White Chicken Chili.

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