How to Tailgate Like a Pro

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.   

flank steak tailgate meal
Here's a handy checklist for your next tailgating, camping or other offsite, outdoor barbecue party. read more
tailgater
Reviews of Tailgate, Camping, Small, Lightweight and Portable Grills for the balcony, beach, tailgate party, hiking, cattle drive, Winnebago, or yacht. read more
brats from the grill
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
smoked and grilled buffalo chicken wings
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
smoked miso wings
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
Grilled Jalapeno Poppers Recipe
If you're searching for the perfect BBQ and grilling appetizer then you're sure to love this tested recipe for grilled bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers. Known in certain BBQ circles as atomic buffalo turds, or ABTs, these cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapenos are certain to disappear as soon as you serve them. read more
Moink Balls Recipe
We'll bet you can't stop at just one of these tasty smoked MOINK balls. This tested recipe is the perfect appetizer for any tailgating, couchgating, or backyard bash. The best part is that they are simple to make, featuring frozen beef (moo) meatballs wrapped in bacon (oink) then smoked before being sauced and served. read more
Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Burger
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. read more
Tailgate scene at University of Alabama football game
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! read more
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
The word sausage covers a wide range of foods, typically they are ground meats with spices and seasonings, often stuffed into a casing and shaped like a cylinder. Make the sausage and shape it any way you like, with or without the casings! No matter what shape it takes, the taste will be amazing! read more
What parent hasn't thrown up their hands at a child's reluctance to eat vegetables. Brussels sprouts, lima beans, broccoli, even asparagus all experience the same rejection. But sometimes, a simple change in cooking technique can quickly elevate their status at the dinner table and turn those frowns upside-down. read more
street vendor roasting chestnuts on the street
Sweet? Hot? Crunchy? Savory? Name your poison. What do you reach for when you have a snack craving? We've got some killer recipes that will make your mouth water and wow your guests. read more
peach blueberry crisp on the grill
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. But how do you make dessert on a grill? We've got just the right things to put a crown on a great meal. read more
Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
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. read more
Grilled Guacamole Recipe
Add a delicious smokiness to your favorite party dip with this recipe for grilled guacamole. Grilled avocados, grilled limes, and grilled onion take ordinary guacamole and make it extraordinary for any backyard cookout, tailgating party, or couchgating gathering. Grilled guacamole is a perfect dip or burger topping. read more

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