What is it that draws thousands of people to stand around on asphalt, sometimes in the bitter cold and rain? Is it the infectious enthusiasm of fans in team colors? The spectacle of hilarious costumes and outlandish vehicles? The warmth of a charcoal fire? The vast array of tables spread with every kind of food imaginable from the chilled to the grilled?
We’ve tailgated at college and pro football games, soccer matches, car races, and even in the parking lots of theme parks and ski resorts. You can tailgate anywhere you’re allowed to park your car, grill food, and enjoy a drink with friends. Tailgating means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about team spirit and getting amped up for the game. For others, it’s pure party time, a chance to eat, drink, and be merry. In the end, it just might be the collective experience of everyone doing it together that makes tailgating so special.
No matter what it means to you, tailgating can be as simple or as fancy as you want it to be. Some folks bring a cooler of prepared food, some drinks, and team colors and call it a day. Others plan for days or weeks ahead of time, drive huge RVs to the game, set up big tents, or drag giant trailer smokers to the parking lot to serve the rabid fans. No matter how it takes shape for you, tailgating is a fantastic American pastime. Here’s your ultimate guide to the gear, the recipes, and the planning tips that will make your next party in the parking lot the best ever.
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.
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.
Tailgating is kind of like car camping, but it's a party! Check out this list of cool tailgate gear you may not have thought of--beyond the grill and the food. Once you bring a wireless speaker to your tailgate party, you'll wonder how you ever got by without it!
Our growing section of burger recipes 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. Plus sloppy joes, Salisbury steaks, and more!
Hot dogs are a type of sausage, which includes a wide range of foods. But hot dogs are specifically ground meat mixed with spices and seasonings stuffed into a casing shaped like a cylinder. From classic New York dogs to Chicago dogs to Cincinnati dogs and more, try our best hot dog recipes!
We need to change the way we think of sausages. Yes, most are tubes of seasoned and flavored ground meats and veggies in a casing, but many are patties. So if you broaden your horizons, this section gives you a lot of freedom. Take these recipes and have fun.
Nothing brings the kids running faster than the aroma of brownies or a fruit-filled pie baking. Dessert maybe the last course but it's the one course that everyone looks forward to. How do you make dessert on a grill? We've got just the right recipes to put a crown on a great meal.
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.
We'll bet you can't stop at just one of these tasty smoked bacon wrapped meatballs, a.k.a MOINK balls. This recipe is the perfect appetizer for any tailgating, couchgating, or backyard bash. The best part is that they are as easy to make as they are to eat!
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.
Cocktail Wienies are great fun for parties. Here's a classic Southern recipe that's quick and easy. Taught to Sandra Aylor by her mother, this recipe has been made by family members at countless parties or pot lucks. Serve them in the slow cooker so they stay warm and guests eat them with a toothpick.
If you're searching for the perfect appetizer then you're sure to love this tested recipe for grilled bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers. Known in certain BBQ circles as ABTs, these cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapenos are certain to disappear as soon as you serve them.
Stuffed with cheese then wrapped in bacon, this grilled hot dog recipe is a sure fire hit at any backyard bash. Inspired by Chicago's famed francheesie, our recipe skips the traditional deep frying in favor of the grill for a crisp bacon shell and deep smoky flavor.
Experience a flavor explosion with this recipe for a sweet and spicy jalapeno bacon cheeseburger. A perfectly grilled burger patty is topped with sharp cheddar cheese, pickled jalapenos, crispy fried onions, thick cut bacon, and homemade balsamic ketchup. Layer it all on a pillowy pretzel bun for pure burger nirvana.
Classic Italian Beef Sandwiches are a popular regional specialty in Chicago and here is the recipe to make easy authentic Italian beef sandwiches at home featuring slow smoked beef, drippings, and peppers.
Boiled lobster is good, but grilled lobster is better and here is the only recipe you need to make it happen! Undiluted by boiling water, the lobster flavor truly shines through when cooked quickly over live fire, not to mention the added smoky depth. Lobster is split in half, grilled, and basted with butter.
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The Undisputed Champion!
The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. The MK4 includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight and rotating display. Don’t accept cheap substitutes. Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review
Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages
This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.
Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater
Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.
Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.
Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff
If you’re using oven mitts at the grill, it’s time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder’s gloves. They’re heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.