Great Tailgate Party Ideas: The Top 5 Tailgating Trends Survey

Arguably (and hey, I am not going to contend this), Weber is the über-alles of the grill. And when they start looking into what the latest tailgating trends are then we can all benefit! Looking at the results from the 24th annual Weber GrillWatch™ survey it looks like a great source for the latest and greatest Tailgate Party ideas and accessories! So check out the survey for some interesting observations and admissions from human grillers! Mental note: this is a committee I should be on.

Weber Jumbo Joe Gold Charcoal Grill

Weber Jumbo Joe Gold Charcoal Grill

The Top 5 Essential Items For The Tailgate Party

The top essential items among grill owners for a proper tailgating party are:

  1. A grill (…Duh…) (82 %)
  2. Food (80 %
  3. A cooler (80 %).
  4. Chairs (76 %)
  5. Alcoholic beverages (66 %)

And here’s the stinger:  Only 50% of grill owners believe tickets to the game are must-have items.

65% of respondents opted for a portable BBQ and 29% decide to bring their full-size grill to their tailgating events.

22% of people rank Tailgate Parties as most popular location to grill away from home  (4th most popular grill location) but predictably, Camping gets top spot (44 %), followed by the park (37 %) and the beach (23 %).

Nearly one-half (48 %) of grill owners report they stand their grill on the ground when tailgating or grilling away from home. Nearly one-third (32 %) of respondents bring a table to use as a grill stand, and 17 % use their truck beds.  Note: Health requirements demand minimum 6” above the ground for food, so bear that in mind and invest in an appropriate stand.

According to the survey, tailgating is up this year from 14% of grill owners to 20% and 67% of those party animals say that grilling is always a party activity.

Want to know the top grill food?

  1. Hamburgers = 71%
  2. Hot Dogs = 47%
  3. Brats = 40%
  4. Chicken  = 29%
  5. Steak = 25%.

Tofu ….. errrrrrr.  I couldn’t find the stats on that.

The average budget is $122 for the food and booze at a tailgate party.

Attending the game is secondary to many tailgaters, with 57 % admitting they have attended a tailgate in the past 12 months without going into the game. This number jumped 13 percent from last year. Well heck, given that games involving red cups and beer don’t happen in the bleachers, this is no surprise.

Of course, the survey was conducted by Toluna for Weber – makers of a new range of portable grills and all the accessories to go with them. including the Portable Charcoal Table and the Compact RapidFire® Chimney Starter. Check out these awesome must-have grilling accessories for the Tailgate Party.

Portable Charcoal Table

Weber Portable Charcoal Table

Weber Portable Charcoal Table

Compact RapidFire® Chimney Starter

Weber Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Weber Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter

For the full survey on the latest tailgating trends with more results and a list of great ideas for the tailgate party, checkout the original survey!

Home Delivered Meat For The Tailgate Party

OK, so you can’t have a great tailgate party without buying appropriate food.  Ribs, patties, steaks, mmmmmmmmmdrool!  But do I hear you say you hate spending time hanging around supermarkets checking out those meat fridges?  Home delivered meat is now down to a fine art and so easy.  There are all kinds of options, some are really expensive and high end and I can’t see the value But many are really appealing deals and the savings on gas and time alone make them worthwhile and the quality control of the product is usually high.  Of course, you need to be sure that anything you buy on line has a 100% guarantee of quality and money back if it doesn’t live up to expectations.  Better than that is to know that the product will be excellent and worthy of putting on your tailgate party menu and your BBQ.

Wellness Meats

Wellness Meats Steak – Home Delivered Meat

I’ve spent time looking around for some top quality meats that can be delivered to your door, have this guarantee, and taste great.  Sure you can go to the local supermarket and buy some Manager’s Specials and transform these into burgers and ribs.  I’m all for that when I have tons of time and am in the mood to do that hard work.  Cheap, poor meat cuts require longer, slower cooking than you can allow in the parking lot.  BBQing does need good meat.  Besides, some sports occasions, such as the Superbowl, deserve a top quality approach and that’s when you pull out the organic beef and so on. You can go really high and buy the grass-fed organic beef from someone like California’s wonderful Novy Beef (local farmers’ markets are the best outlets for this particular brand) or you can save yourself the bother and have a product you know is excellent delivered right to your door whenever you feel the need to party.

Omaha Steaks is the biggest meat supplier in the USA shipping to all states.

1. Omaha Steaks 12 x 4 oz Steak Burgers

Omaha Steaks 12 x 4 oz Steak Burgers

Omaha Steaks Steak Burgers

You often see the Omaha Steaks boxes being home delivered and they have a roaring trade all over this great land.  At least to the contiguous states.  They supply packs of patties in many different quantities, suited to tailgate party BBQing, mid-price range and pre-made into standard ground beef sizes. You can order 24 to a pack, 12, 6, 8  or 4 to a pack. So when you get to checkout, be sure to specify how many items you want to purchase.

These are pretty much patties tailored to hamburgers so add to these your buns, salad items, condiments and so on.

2. Omaha Steaks Gourmet Variety Packs

Omaha Steaks The Complete Treat

Omaha Steaks The Complete Treat

If you want something that is a bit more upmarket than a BBQ burger, you will find something in Omaha Steaks’ broad selections.  They are 100% guaranteed and the packs come in different sizes in many configurations of meat cuts, vegetable accompaniments and sizes.  You can get steaks, sausages, patties, even potatoes, corn, pork and different cuts of meat.  There is no minimum order either.  Shipping is added to the cost but you save a lot of gas, time, the food is nicely packed and the variety is quite inspiring to the tailgate party chef.  Ordering through these links can give you a cheaper price than directly from the company website.

US Wellness Meats: quality grassland meat products

I also found and checked out a company, US Wellness Meats, that has become known for their personalized approach. Their products are really top-notch as their animals are all certified grass-fed which gives them a distinct taste.  Delicious!  Last tailgate party I attended, I took a box of their patties with me and sizzled them on the BBQ.  There was no dryness and the center was juicy and a great partner food for my ice cold beer.

US Wellness Meats has a $75 minimum for shipping as it is sent to you in a special cooler box for maximum freshness and to avoid spoiling.  It is labeled clearly as perishable so the mailman/woman won’t leave it to spoil on the stoop.  If you are ordering for a weekend tailgate party, be sure to allow enough time for a guaranteed arrival.  The shipping box is reusable and will keep food cool for a day just with normal ice and longer with dry ice.

The company specializes in beef but that’s just the start of things.  They sell all kinds of meat, poultry, fish and even game.  Well, if you’re tailgating at the game, maybe game is what you should eat.

3. Ground Bison – 1 Pound Package

Ground Buffalo

Ground Buffalo – Home Delivered Meat

For America’s Game (and I am not talking ‘Wheel of Fortune’ here)  why not choose a native American animal for your meat?  Bison is the latest eating craze due to its low cholesterol and deliciousness. Healthy, lean, grass-fed bison is now available from U.S. Wellness Meats. Cook for a short time only as the product is very lean and will dry if overcooked.  Makes excellent burgers or meat-loaf wrapped in bacon.

4. 75% Lean Beef Patties – 2 (6 oz) patties

Large Beef Patties

Large Beef Patties – Home Delivered Meat

This takes all the work out of creating the ultimate tailgate party burger!  Just order and keep frozen till the day.  They come in packs of 2 so just make a list or buy a heap and keep them on hand. The patties are juicy and jsut the right balance of lean and fat meat to sizzle on your flat-top.

5. 75% Lean Ground Beef – 1 Lb. package

Meatloaf - Home Delivered

Meatloaf – Home Delivered Meat

Of course, you can make your own patties as long as you have great meat to begin with.  Ground beef is the USA’s most popular meat and is versatile.  Either make your own preferred shaped patties from this meat or make a meat loaf or rissoles.  You’ll appreciate the richness the that grass-fed meat has compared with those battery-raised cattle in this pack. A generous sized beef pattie is around a quarter of a pound so 4 to a pack and so that you will be ready for the tailgate party, make these ahead and freeze them and take them to the parking lot.

6. BBQ Spice Pork Rinds

BBQ Spice Pork Rinds

BBQ Spice Pork Rinds – Home Delivered Meat

Here’s an interesting variety that’s a great gift item or feature these as a snack at your tailgate party.  Really yummy, they are almost like a spicy chicharron, that marvelous Mexican crispy delicacy.  They go down extremely well with beer as a pre-BBQ nibble or you can get creative and crumble them up as a topping on a meat loaf.

7. Tender Grass-fed Barbecue recipe book

Tender Grassfed BBQ

Tender Grassfed BBQ

‘Tender Grass-fed Barbecue’ is a reference for any tailgate party host or cook.  This book contains Traditional, Primal and Paleo recipes that will demonstrate to you a new way to prepare grass-fed meat and pastured pork using traditional barbecue methods adapted for modern times.  All the recipes in this book have been specifically created and designed for barbecuing grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, and pastured pork. There are over 120 step-by-step, easy to use recipes thoughtfully collected in this 225 page book.

The detailed barbecue techniques presented in this book will be new to most people, but are based on the traditional ways grass-fed meat was barbecued throughout history. These timeless and traditional methods are perfect for grass-fed meat, and have been adapted for modern times to be easy, yet full of wonderful, traditional flavor.  Just remember that cattle were never meant to be raised in stalls, unable to exercise or munch on grass.

The recipes use traditional flavors from many nations and cultures, even ancient Rome and ancient China. Also included are rediscovered bastes and marinades from the Native American traditions, the gauchos of Argentina, many European nations, the barbecue masters of Sardinia, and more.

Recipe books are mailed separately from perishable items via USPS media mail service.


8. $50 US Wellness Meats Gift Certificate

$50 Wellness Meats Gift Certificate

$50 Wellness Meats Gift Certificate

Gift certificates make great gifts, and what better gift than items from US Wellness Meats for your best mates?  Ideal for the BBQ cook, tailgate party host, male, female, young and old.  No more agonizing over what to buy for that guy who has everything.  Most tailgaters can’t get enough meat!  The gift certificates start at $50 but I noticed that the orders need to be $75 so 2 certificates make sense.  If your Mom is the chef at your tailgate parties, maybe give her a reward of these great gift cards.


9. Sockeye Salmon Burger

Sockeye Salmon Burger

Sockeye Salmon Burger – Home Delivered Meat

At tailgate parties, it’s actually possible to invite guests who are bacon and beef averse.  Yes, such a creature does exist. I haven’t met anyone who hates bacon but maybe it’s your responsibility as host of your tailgate party to be prepared to cater for someone who does.  I’ve included this great salmon burger, already prepared so you don’t have to do a thing.  It makes a thoughtful gift too. Each pack contains one fully prepared Alaskan Salmon burger, standard size is ¼ pounder and they are all pre-seasoned.

Like all the products from this butcher, this can be ordered online and you will have it delivered to you or your friends ready to slap on the BBQ. A grass-fed meat and caught-in-the-wild fish hamper – what’s not to love about that! Yes, you can cook any of these meats at your tailgate party and you will be delighted with the taste as well as the lack of effort.


For that special person in your life, consider sending them a box of meat instead of tchotchkes at gift time. You really can’t do better than that and food gifts are always welcome, especially if the recipient is as keen on tailgate parties as you are.


Secret Tailgate Recipe: Dave’s Awesomest Buffalo Wings

My buddy Dave makes this recipe every time he hosts the Rose Bowl tailgate party in his man cave, a pretty impressive converted garage behind his house.  He has a BBQ with a huge flat-top as well as a grill area and says that it is the secret to the way his wings are cooked. He takes these on the road as well, but uses a smaller griller.

His secrets are:

  • First marinate well.
  • Cook through on the flat-top
  • Transfer to the grill so that the grease can drip off and the wings get a crispy finish.

He achieves all this awesomeness on his fine Char-Broil Combination Charcoal Grill and Gas Grill with Side Burner.

Char Broil

Char Broil

It can truly cook anything so you never (or rarely) need to step into your actual kitchen.  Combines gas cooking and charcoal cooking so you can cover the full range of smoky tastes.  This has three burners under its sealed lids, perfect for cooking roasts, bakes and smoking.  The charcoal is easily accessed and removed and the whole thing is easy to clean.

Of course, when he is tailgating on the run, he takes his sweet little portable Coleman Roadtrip Grill:

A nice little compact BBQ, it heats up to a surprising level for something so small.  Gas but you can add your smoker chips to it to give food your unique flavor and totally collapsible for travel. Cast iron grates and 285 square inches of cooking space. Operates off the small propane bottles (always take 2 with you as a backup). Super easy to clean!

Coleman Roadtrip Grill

Coleman Roadtrip Grill

Also, Dave’s marinade is high on bourbon, beer, butter, olive oil and other flavors.

The Recipe: Dave’s Awesomest Buffalo Wings.

  • 2 pounds of wings.


  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tiny Ancho chili finely chopped (discard seeds and ribs unless you are crazy about heat). (These are the dried, smoked ones).  Dave snips them with scissors in a cup rather than chops them.
  • A knob of ginger peeled and finely grated
  • The white base of a stalk of lemon grass – finely sliced
  • 1 purple onion finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Some finely chopped bacon fat.
  • Pinch of salt
  • A few shakes of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • A couple of shots of bourbon & a splash of beer.
  • More beer to top up if pre-boiling.


  • Fry the first 5 ingredients in the oil gently stirring and not allowing it to brown.  Add the salt and the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.  Cool until really cold.
  • Drop the wings into the COLD marinade (don’t mix the hot and cold) and make sure they are well coated and then leave overnight.
  • BBQ when you need to and spoon some of the marinade over to keep the moisture and flavor happening.

Now, if you are travelling and your tailgate party is happening in a car park, his trick is to boil the wings in the marinade topped up with some beer to cover: Boil for 5 minutes rapidly, then let them cool in the marinade, put in the fridge overnight and take it to the party.  You will notice it has transformed into a fatty jelly full of wings. With your tongs, pick these out and put on the flat-top, then the grill as above.


NOTE:  Don’t recycle the marinade.  Too risky with chicken.

Further note:

When our BBQ died unexpectedly after years of service, I ended up cooking some of these on the griddle side of Mom’s Panini maker.  Heat it up well with the lid closed then cook with the lid open.  Works well!

Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler

This compact 5-in-1countertop unit works as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle.  It is dishwasher safe so very easy to clean up after the cookout.  The temperature is quite high for an electrical appliance and if you use the side with the grill bars, you get a nice, BBQ appearance.  Very handy for emergencies.  Of course, it’s not portable unless you are going somewhere powered with electricity.

MSRP                         = $185

Amazon price = $89.99

If you have any cast iron sizzle plates, they will also do the job.

Cast Iron Sizzling Steak Plate

Cast Iron Sizzling Steak Plate

Cast Iron Sizzling Steak Plate

Here’s a great tool for when you are tailgating at home.  It’s a sizzle plate that not only lets you cook food at a high temperature but when you serve it, it keeps right on sizzling and stays hot through the whole meal.  A nifty wooden base (pine) for these large sizzle plates means that you won’t melt your plastic table.  It includes a lifter for taking the cast iron part off the heat and putting on the wooden part.

Size is a bit over one serve of a T-bone steak with say a roast potato and onion.  You need to buy a few of these, season them well by oiling them and baking them in the 400 °F oven and you will have them for life and beyond.   Don’t clean them with perfumed detergent ever as they retain the smell.  In fact, I only ever clean them by scraping off any bits then dousing with a nice hot wash and then oil them before air-drying for the next use.  Heat up to 400°F in the oven or on the cooktop until super hot and sizzle those wings on the stove top!

MSRP = $20.50


Tailgate Food: Deviled Eggs – 50 Great Recipes

Eggs are very cheap, super high in protein and low in carbs making them a tailgate food staple. There are infinite things you can do with them and, apart from having a grilled one on top of a burger, one of my favorites is deviled eggs. They make a perfect snack, can be plain or spicy, simple or inventive. In fact, some deviled eggs recipes are so tasty that you could easily eat 10 in one sitting.

Deviled Eggs are definitely one of the most easy and satisfying tailgate recipes you can take to the parking lot. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can make them and even more surprised how quickly they disappear on game day!

For those of you who have never made Deviled Eggs before, here’s a very simple (but delicious) recipe to start you off. Remember that you can be very playful with the recipe and add or subtract things to your liking (like Tabasco Sauce for example).

For those who want to get a little more adventurous with their tailgate food then I highly recommend Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy by Debbie Moose. No stranger to the tailgate lifestyle herself, Debbie has put together 50 great recipes from the classic, to the exotic and to the painful (read: chilies, wasabi and jerk seasoning!).

Oh, and don’t forget to get yourself a good quality Deviled Egg Tray.

Simple Deviled Egg Recipe


See – it’s already looking so simple! Just 5 ingredients so far! And remember, if you want to get inventive you can simply chop and change this recipe. Instead of American mustard, try Dijon. Add some dill or Tabasco sauce. I’m sure you’ve already decided you’re putting bacon bits on top!


  1. Place eggs evenly in a large saucepan and pour enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 9 minutes. When eggs have cooked, cool them by placing them in a bowl of ice-cold water.
  2. When the eggs have cooled, peel them and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and mash them until smooth and then mix in the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, improvise by using a Ziploc Bag and snip the corner out. Squeeze (or ‘pipe’) the yolk mixture into the empty egg white halves where the yolk previously lived.

So simple yet so tasty! If you really want to complicate things a little more then sprinkle a little paprika for garnish. And if you want to go even further, then get your hands on a copy of Debbie’s book Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes! Is this the perfect tailgate food? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below – perhaps you have a favorite take on the recipe that you’d like to share!

Tailgate Food - Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes

Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes

Tailgate Food: 10 Quick & Easy Tailgate Foods For The Lazy

Not everyone wants to be a gourmet Tailgate Party chef. Lucky there are some great tasting, super-quick, pre-made options for those of us who want to focus on the game, the beer and everything other than food preparation! Bring any (or all) of these tailgate foods to the party and you will be a hero. Most of these can be heated in a conventional oven in less than 20 minutes which is perfect for homegating. If you are heading off to a tailgate party then pre-heat the food at home and take them to the game in a quality hot/cold food carrier like the Picnic Plus Entertainer. Alternatively (or as well) a portable 12V stove–like the RoadPro 12-Volt Portable Stove–in the car means you can heat the snacks via the 12v while out at the parking lot.

10 Quick & Easy Tailgate Foods For The Lazy

White Meat Chicken Egg Rolls - Tailgate Food

White Meat Chicken Egg Rolls

1. White Meat Chicken Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce Mmm. Take it from me, these are very tasty. The amount of meat is generous, the egg roll wrappers get really crunchy in the oven and the sweet and sour sauce is delicious.
Conventional Oven–>(1) Preheat oven to 400°F.(2) Place egg rolls on baking sheet.(3) Bake 18 to 20 minutes.

  • RRP = $10.25


Pan-Seared Pork Potstickers with Sweet Soy Sauce

Pan-Seared Pork Potstickers

2. Pan-Seared Pork Potstickers with Sweet Soy Sauce If you’re a fan of potstickers you’ll love these. They’re a generous size and taste great – easily as good if not better than you’ll get at the local Chinese. They recommend you microwave the potstickers but I like to pan fry them for about 10 minutes then throw in some water into the pan to steam them (with the lid on) until the water evaporates. That way the bottom gets really crunchy.
Microwave–>(1) Place un-opened bag of potstickers in microwave on microwave-safe plate.(2) Cook on HIGH (100% power) 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.

  • RRP = $10.25


Crispy Chicken Breast Strips

Crispy Chicken Breast Strips

3. Crispy Chicken Breast Strips Always a staple at my tailgate parties the crispy chicken breast strips are good on their own (with your favorite sauce of course) or cut up into bite sized pieces and mixed with a salad, or in a wrap, bun or two slices of bread. Totally versatile and totally delicious. Do not ever forget to bring crispy chicken strips when you’re looking for great tailgate food!
Conventional Oven–>(1) Preheat oven to 400°F.(2) Place strips on baking sheet.(3) Bake 20 minutes; turn strips over halfway through baking time.

  • RRP = $15.98


Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Tailgate Food

Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza

4. Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza Pizza is great tailgate food. Well, pizza is great food anywhere. But you need to have a tasty one with good meats, quality cheese and a crust that is soft on the inside but crispy on the outside. This one is even nice when it’s cold. Buy a few because you’ll probably need one each.
Conventional Oven–>(1) Preheat oven to 425°F.(2) Remove plastic wrap from pizza.(3) Place pizza on baking sheet on center rack of oven.(4) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown

  • RRP = $4.99


Omaha Steaks Lobster Bisque

Omaha Steaks Lobster Bisque

5. Omaha Steaks Lobster Bisque A great tasting Lobster Bisque that you can water-down to make it go further. Most people don’t think of Lobster Bisque when they’re considering tailgate food but it’s an easy, hearty meal that stays warm and tastes great. The Omaha Steaks Bisque combines the flavors of lobster, onion with a hint of sherry. Simply heat it up, pour it into a good quality Thermos Leak-Proof Food Jar and you’re ready to go!

  • RRP = $34.99 (pack of four x 16oz)


Football Shaped Oreo Cookies

Football Shaped Oreo Cookies

6. Football Shaped Oreo Cookies If you like tailgating and you like football and if you also happen to like oreo cookies… well, then I guess this is the perfect tailgate food for you! Oreos definitely taste better during the football season when they’re shaped like footballs!

  • RRP = $32.01 (pack of 6)


Omaha Steaks Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Omaha Steaks Stuffed Baked Potatoes

7. Omaha Steaks Stuffed Baked Potatoes These are good quality, great tasting baked potatoes from Omaha Steaks. As a tailgate food they work extremely well since they keep longer than other foods post-heating–plus there’s bacon in ’em! Each baked potato shell is delicately filled with whipped potatoes, real sour cream, perfectly aged cheddar cheese, bacon bits and chives. Simply heat and serve.

  • RRP = $14.99


Omaha Steaks Gourmet Burgers

Omaha Steaks Gourmet Burgers

8. Omaha Steaks Gourmet Burgers Ok, so you got yourself a good quality tailgate grill and now you need the best quality meat to cook on it? Look no further than Omaha Streaks Gourmet Burgers. Yes you’ll have to do some cooking and maybe some burger-assembling too. But at least you won’t have to make your mince or press it. And, seriously, a burger is an essential tailgate food for everyone. Probably even vegetarians.

  • RRP = $13 (8 x 4 oz. )


100 Precooked Bacon Slices

100 Precooked Bacon Slices

9. 100 Precooked Bacon Slices This should really have a post all of its own. The importance of the existence of 100 Precooked Bacon Slices cannot be understated. This is basically meat candy. Forget chips. Forget everything. This is 100 slices of precooked bacon! 30 seconds in the microwave or a bit longer in the broiler and you’re done. This is from Omaha Steaks so you know it’s tasty. There’s no chemical taste in these – just pure, unadulterated bacon slices. You will be the most popular person at the tailgate party.

  • RRP = $39.99 (come in smaller packets of 50 and 20 but… you wouldn’t need any less than 100 would you?)


Astronaut Ice Cream Neapolitan

Astronaut Ice Cream

10. Astronaut Ice Cream Neapolitan Who doesn’t like ice-cream?! And who doesn’t want to be an astronaut when they grow up? With Astronaut Ice Cream you can eat like an astronaut. I love taking this to tailgate parties–definitely not your conventional tailgate food but it’s always a hit. So delicious and melts in your mouth (not all over the table, your arms or the dashboard!). Introducing people to Astronaut Ice-cream is the best ice-breaker and usually makes you a friend for life (yes, some people haven’t tried this stuff!)

  • RRP = $22.40 (pack of 10)


Tailgate Food: Sausage, Bean, and Spinach Dip Recipe

Want to find that perfect dip for the tailgate party? Look no further–this recipe, adapted from Southern Living, is a hearty, filling and very tasty dip designed specifically for tailgating. It freezes well and takes around 45 minutes to prepare. Of all the tailgate food, dip is one of my favorites since it’s so easy to prepare and, if you find the right recipe it can be a very satisfying companion to a good beer.

Definitely a nice spin on the old spinach dip and it’s a recipe that you can play with if you prefer more spicy or more sweet.

Tailgating Dip: Sausage, Bean & Spinach Recipe

Tailgate Dip: Sausage Bean & Spinach

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell


  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1-lb hot ground pork sausage
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 6-oz. package fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • crushed red pepper flakes and garlic powder to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cook diced onion, pepper & ground sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until meat crumbles and is no longer pink (around 10 mins). Drain.
  2. Stir in garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid has almost completely evaporated.
  3. Add cream cheese, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until cream cheese is melted.
  4. Stir in spinach and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Gently stir in beans.
  5. Pour mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with corn chips, bell pepper strips, pretzels etc.

There you have it! A hearty, tasty tailgate food with enough zing to satisfy even the most fussy palates. What do you think? Do you have a favorite tailgate food that you always take to the parking lot? Do you have your own tailgating dip and want to share it with fellow tailgaters? Then leave a comment! We’d love to hear what tailgate recipes y’all come up with for game day!

Top 10 Best Tailgate Grills For The Tailgate Party

If you’re the type of man who believes salad is what food eats then this post is for you! Grilling is the soul of a good tailgate party and no tailgater is complete without a good quality, portable grill. So here is a review of the best tailgate grills for your tailgate party.

Remember, no one can get fired up about the game without first having fired up the grill – and eaten enough meat to make our paleolithic ancestors proud.

You can’t just take any grill or BBQ to a tailgate party. When tailgating you need something that’s portable, reliable, robust and, most importantly, grills to perfection. It’s also essential to balance cost since not everyone can afford the latest Weber Q Portable, so this list includes affordable (but still high quality) options for those on a budget.

So here you have, in no particular order,

The Top 10 Best Tailgate Grills For The Tailgate Party.

Coleman Roadtrip Grill

Coleman Roadtrip Grill

1. The Coleman Road Trip LX Grill  Coleman is the most familiar brand at every tailgate party (as well as most outdoor events, picnics, camping sites etc). And there is good reason: it’s a quality brand with products designed specifically for an outdoor American lifestyle. This grill is perfect for tailgating due to its portability (it’s collapsible with detachable side tables) and rugged build. The Coleman Road Trip Grill has two fully adjustable 20,000 BTU burners with an aluminium grate and griddle and has the versatility to allow for mix-and-match cooking surfaces (grill, griddle, stove). I’m a big fan of the hibachi grills but the Coleman will win you over with its clever design and neat features like the side tables, quick setup, independent burners, utensil storage hooks, removable grease pan and easy push button ignition. The grills are porcelain coated with brushed stainless-steel table inserts making it much easier to clean than others. The Coleman Road Trip Grill works with a disposable 16.4 Ounce propane cylinder or 20 pound propane tank and is covered by a 5-year warranty.

  • Cooking Area: 285 Square Inches
  • Burner: 20,000 BTU
  • Pros: Ultra Portable, Folds up Small, Easy Clean, Fast Ignition
  • Cons: Price – you pay for what you get. It’s one of the more expensive tailgating grills
Weber Q Portable Tailgating Grill

Weber Q Portable Tailgating Grill

2. Weber Q 100 Portable Grill It’s hard to fault the Weber Q. It truly is a masterpiece of top quality and super compact design. It’s extremely sturdy, weather resistant, has precision controls and a well balanced cast aluminum grill that cooks to perfection. The burner runs at only 8,500 but the Weber Q works like a pressure cooker when it’s on. The cooking grates are made from porcelain enameled steel, stainless steel and porcelain enameled cast-iron which means it’s durable and easy to clean. The proof really is in the cooking and anyone who has used a Weber BBQ before knows that cooking meat is perfection in one of these beauties. Steaks and chops sear succulently in the Q. For the traditionalist there is always the Jumbo Joe. Comes with a 5-year warranty.

  • Cooking Area: 189 Square Inches
  • Burner: 8,500 BTU
  • Pros: Cooks perfectly, Portable, Robust, Easy to Clean, Fast Ignition
  • Cons: Small Cooking Area relative to other highend grills
Picnic Time Tailgating Grill Set

Picnic Time Tailgating Grill Set

3. Picnic Time Vulcan All-In-One Tailgaiting Cooler/BBQ Set with Trolley This great set-up has everything you need in one convenient tote. It’s not just a BBQ, it’s a cooler, storage bag and trolley. It’s big enough to hold 24 cans of soda and comes with three BBQ tools. The grill itself is nothing fancy but this is all about portability and convenience.

  • Cooking Area: 180 Square Inches
  • Burner: Propane
  • Pros: Very portable, multi-purpose grill and cooler and tote. Super convenient.
  • Cons: Not a great grill but does the trick. Price.
Weber Go Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Weber Go Anywhere Charcoal Grill

4. Weber Go-Anywhere Grill This is the super-affordable, super portable, super convenient, no mess, no fuss option for those wanting something simple, cheap and effective for their tailgate party. Well, it’s not actually ‘no mess’. It’s more like ‘less mess, less fuss’. But the grilling bars are triple nickle-coated while the bowl and lid are porcelain enameled making them easy to clean and the unit itself is so minimal that there isn’t really much to go wrong. The design is for compactness: the nickel-plated legs fold up to lock the lid in place for travel and storage and, when in use, the lid can be fit to the hangers on the side of the grill and acts as a wind barrier. But this is no light-weight. Being a Weber™ it has a well designed grill using patented ‘Flavorizer’ technology which basically means it can cook a good steak. There are both options: propane and charcoal (which is the same grill unit fueled with charcoal or gas).

  • Cooking Area: 160 Square Inches
  • Burner: Disposable 1-pound LP cylinder.
  • Pros: Ultra-compact and portable. Simple. Affordable. Good griller.
  • Cons: Small Cooking Area, Legs can be unsturdy. Sits low to the ground.
Smokey Joe Tailgating Grill

Smokey Joe Tailgating Grill

5. Weber Smokey Joe Silver Charcoal Grill The Smokey Joe might just be one of the greatest inventions ever made! So simple yet so effective it really is ideal for grilling at the tailgate party but should also be the required accessory to any meeting – or, should that be “meating”. It’s small and it grills. And the reason it is such a good griller is the Weber patented design triple nickle-plated grill. All essential parts are porcelain-coated for easy cleaning and weather-proofing, while the handle is glass reinforced nylon to keep it from heating. That’s why the Smokey Joe comes with a 10-year warranty.

  • Cooking Area: 147 Square Inches
  • Burner: Charcoal
  • Pros: Very affordable. Can use anywhere. Grills nice.
  • Cons: Legs a little unsturdy. Small grilling area. Sits low to the ground.
Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal Grill

Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill

6. Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill If ever a grill had “Tailgate Party” written all over it, it was the Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill. It’s rugged, very easy to clean, has no gimmicky parts and grills better than anything on the market. The draft door allows you to regulate heat so the Sportsman’s Grill can be used for heating, grilling as well as frying. But you have to be careful with a grill like this since hibachis get extremely hot. But what’s a few 3rd degrees burns between friends when you’re eating a perfectly seared steak and a couple of kabobs!

  • Cooking Area: 153 Square Inches
  • Burner: Charcoal
  • Pros: Anything cooked on this will be delicious. Easy to clean. Affordable.
  • Cons: Heavy. Takes time to cool. Slightly dangerous. Needs maintenance (oiling) every now and then.
  • RRP: $107.99 – ($69.97 on Amazon.)

Fire Sense Notebook Charcoal Grill

7. Fire Sense Notebook Charcoal Grill A clever idea that saves a lot of space,  the Fire Sense folds up like a notebook for storage down to a width of 1-inch. This is perfect for those with a small car or a motor bike who have limited carriage space. The setup is an extremely simple two-step process and it sits slightly higher than some of the other grills at just over 14-inches. However, the painted steel isn’t as robust as the porcelain coated grills and, because of the patented design, charcoal can fall out the bottom of the grill while barbequing.

  • Cooking Area: Approx 150 Square Inches
  • Burner: Charcoal
  • Pros: Very portable. Great for storage. Quick setup.
  • Cons: Not robust. Charcoal Embers not secure.
Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

8. Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill The GrateLifter is a very high quality, durable charcoal grill from Cuisinart that has some really nifty features that make it stand out from the others. It has a large cooking area which is attached to the porcelain enamel cover and designed to lift up away from the charcoal bed so you can access the charcoal underneath. The base is very sturdy the the ash collection bin handy for easy cleaning. The GrateLifter also has a temperature gauge built into the lid so you can manage the temperature which is regulated by the precision designed air flow system. This is a very capable grill but, unlike a few others, doesn’t come with side tables or a lock. A lock really is essential for portable grills since you need to avoid spillage during transport!

  • Cooking Area: 240 Square Inches.
  • Burner: Charcoal.
  • Pros: Very capable grill. Robust. Quick setup. Sturdy. Looks nice.
  • Cons: No side tables. No lock. Pricey.
Bayou Classic Fold and Go Charcoal Grill

Bayou Classic Fold and Go Charcoal Grill

9. Bayou Classic Fold & Go Grill The Bayou is exactly what its name suggests: A Classic. When you want simple design you can’t get much more simple that this. The Bayou is focused on essentials: portability and large grilling area. It’s decent quality stainless steel grill is 198 square-inches and the body is black powdercoat finished. It’s cheap, compact, heats up fast and grills well. On the downside it isn’t made from top quality materials and won’t last many seasons of hard-core tailgate grilling. It also doesn’t have an efficient safe catchment area for the undercarriage so you wouldn’t want to use this on any flammable areas.

  • Cooking Area: 198 Square Inches.
  • Burner: Charcoal.
  • Pros: Cheap. Portable. Light weight. Simple. Fast set-up.
  • Cons: Not durable. Not weather-proof.
Margaritaville G1000 Tailgating Propane Grill

Margaritaville Tailgating Propane Grill

10. Margaritaville G1000 Ride-Behind Tailgating Propane Grill The G1000 was designed for the Tailgate Party to be used by the Tailgater while Tailgating.

UPDATE: August 2016: The Margaritaville is unfortunately no longer available! We’ll have updates as soon as it’s back on the market, or we find a better alternative tailgating grill.

It has a swing-out travel arm that attaches directly to the back of a standard 2-inch hitch receiver. But it’s not just a gimmick. This grill packs some real punch with 352 square inches of cooking surface it’s enough to grill up to 20 hamburgers or 4 or 5 good sized steaks with room for some corn. The grill is made from heavy-duty porcelain coated steel and the Margaritaville also features 2 resin side tables, fold down front condiment tray, utensil hooks and has integrated legs if you want to put it on a tab-top. Like the Coleman, it has push-button ignition for matchless startup but has a shorter warranty period of 3 years. It is designed for use with a 1-pound propane tank. This is really one very capable grill that won’t take up any space inside your SUV since it hitches to the back.

  • Cooking Area: 352 Square Inches
  • Burner: 20,000 BTU
  • Pros: Ultra Portable (fits to the back of your vehicle); Robust; Easy to Clean; Fast Ignition
  • Cons: Price; can only be used on a flat surface


So that’s the top 10 best grills for your tailgate party. And now for the bonus round!

Here are 4 fantastic little units by Coleman plus 1 from Cuisineart. They aren’t the greatest grills on earth but are really suitable to tailgating because of their small, compact size and clever portable design.

Coleman Roadtrip Tailgate Party Grill

Coleman Roadtrip Tailgate Party Grill

1. Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill A cute little grill designed specifically with tailgating in mind. It uses a small 8,000 BTU burner but the grill is balanced for even cooking via the Perfectflow flame regulator (though it tends to grill hotter in the center like most single burner grills). Like the high-end Coleman grills it has matchless lighting via the InstaStart Ignition and all the components are detachable so you can fold up the unit and pack it away in the carry-bag. Every part of the Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill (except the burners) are dishwasher machine safe which is awesome. It’s not a very sturdy grill but it is easy to set up and very small and portable.

  • Cooking Area: Approx. 120Square Inches
  • Burner: 8,000 BPU
  • Pros: Small. Cheap. Portable. Light Weight.
  • Cons: Unbalanced cooking surface. Not sturdy.
Coleman RoadTrip Sport Charcoal Grill

Coleman RoadTrip Sport Charcoal Grill

2. Coleman RoadTrip Sport Charcoal Grill The smaller cousin to the RoadTrip LX, the Coleman RoadTrip Sport is a decent grill at a decent price and very handy for tailgating. It has a generous 225 Square Inches of grilling area and a porcelain coated grate. It’s lightweight and easy to set up with collapsible legs that improve storage. It does lack the ability to raise or lower the gridiron which means that controlling the temperature is only done by controlling the amount or position of charcoal. The frame is made from durable steel but the handles are plastic.

  • Cooking Area: 225 Square Inches.
  • Burner: Charcoal.
  • Pros: Portable. Fold-up. Easy Setup. Wheels.
  • Cons: Not as robust as more expensive grills.
Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Propane Grill

Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Propane Grill

3. Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Propane Grill A fantastic little grill that is really simple to set up, has a generous grilling area, a quality burner as well as many of the features of the higher-end Coleman grills such as InstaStart matchless lighting, Perfect Flow pressure-control system for consistent cooking performance regardless of the weather or amount of fuel left, Windblock windshield which double up as a side-table, and a grease management system with a removable dishwasher safe tray. The grill plate is good quality die-cast aluminum plated.

  • Cooking Area: 180 Square Inches
  • Burner: 11,000 BTU
  • Pros: Portable. Even cooking. Fast setup. Works when windy.
  • Cons: Difficult to clean. Not designed to cook with lid down.
Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill

Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill

4. Coleman Fold N Go InstaStart Portable Grill The little brother to the Coleman PerfectFlow at the same price but with more compact size and portability but reduced cooking area and burner power. The Fold N Go really is just what the name suggests. At just 11 pounds it’s light enough for pretty much anyone to carry under one arm which still including the patented Coleman InstaStart matchless ignition as well as dishwasher safe removable porcelain-coated stamped-steel grate and water-tray/grease pan. The dome-shaped lid makes it great for “real grill” cooking performance and heating efficiency. A convenient carry handle and secure lid latch make for easy transport; folding metal feet and handle tuck out of the way when not in use, for compact storage. It tends to be good for things like burgers and wieners.

  • Cooking Area: 100 Square Inches
  • Burner: 6,000 BTU
  • Pros: Ultra compact. Well designed for less mess and easy cleanup.
  • Cons: Small grilling area. Low cooking temperature.
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

5. Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill  Said by some to be the perfect grill for the tailgate party, the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet has a great fold up design with a ‘briefcase’ handle and is lockable for safe transport. There’s enough room on the cooking area for 8 burgers, 10 chicken breasts or 4 p0ounds of fish. The aluminum legs fold up and out quickly and are very sturdy plus there is a very effective drip tray and an optional carry-bag (that doubles up as a cover).

  • Cooking Area: 145 Square Inches
  • Burner: 5,500 BTU
  • Pros: Ultra compact. Great, portable design. Generous cooking area. Strong burners.
  • Cons: Not as large as some of the more expensive grills.