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.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
Our Favorite Backyard Smoker
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period. Click here for our review of this superb smoker
GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.
Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners
The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted
Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.
The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One
The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.
Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.