Tailgating isn’t just a way to make food; it’s also a lifestyle. Everyone who’s ever tailgated outside of a game knows that there is a certain etiquette to the task, and the guy or gal manning the grill is expected to know what he or she are doing. Usually, tailgating is a guy’s kind of event, although a lot of girls are now football fans and you can count on them to fit right in with the fun.
First, Know the Tailgate Rules
Whether you’re looking for a tailgate gas grill, a tailgate charcoal grill, or even an electric grill, the truth is that there are usually rules for tailgate parties to help keep everyone safe. Don’t buy a grill that violates these rules; there’s no point. This usually means no open flames and staying within the perimeter of your parking space. (You are usually afforded a few extra feet behind your truck, but check the rules at your individual stadium or park.) Most stadiums forbid deep fryers or any oil-based cooking or frying is prohibited. This is to prevent grease fires, which can spread quickly and cause a serious hazard. Charcoal grills are permitted as long as they are covered when cooking, and you will need to check the stadium rules for hot coal disposal.
Check the rules of your stadium. There’s no point in buying a grill that is against their rules.
Best Tailgate Grill 2017
Let’s take a look at some of the grilling options on the market. There are many options for gas grills, but the best portable gas grill for tailgating depends on the events you plan to attend. The best portable grills for tailgating in trucks are often the charcoal variety, but really, it’s up to you. Every grill master has his or her preference, and you’ll learn what works for you pretty quickly.
- This portable gas grill comes with different grill types to achieve texture, and it also come in an array of colors to match your team. It’s also well known for being easy to use. Accessories are also another benefit of this grill; you can buy add-on grill textures as well as a stand. However, this particular grill isn’t as authentic as a charcoal grill. The upside of this is that it’s easier to clean up at the end of the party, and helps you get on the road more quickly.
- This grill is another excellent option for your tailgate adventures. This one features 305 square inches of grilling space, which is plenty of room to cook for a decent crowd of friends. It also has a temperature gauge and a tight-fitting lid, both important components of grilling effectively. It weights about 20 pounds, but its legs fold up to make it more portable. Users say they love it because it warms up easily, and cooks up meals like burgers and steak more quickly than the competition. They do worry a bit about the grease tray, so take your time to read other reviews to learn about the pros and cons.
- This grill was built with tailgating in mind, and it’s a solid investment if you’re looking for something sensible and meant for regular use. You can cook up to 12 servings at a time on this grill, yet it’s still relatively light at 16 pounds. The reversible grill makes for easy cleanup once you’re home. You can then pop it in the dishwasher and run it with your regular dishes. It works well as a tailgate griddle, too. Just let it heat up for about 10 minutes before you drop the meat or veggies onto it.
- This grill is a tailgate favorite, and that’s for a lot of reasons. You can also look at it as a powerful tailgate griddle – with enough space to let you cook multiple types of foods – such as corn alongside burgers or hot dogs. Let’s take a look at what it offers: First of all, the grill arrives to you assembled, so you’re not going to mess it up when you put it together for the first time.
- The grill has a cover that fits tightly, making it appropriate for tailgating at most stadiums. Inside the grill, there is a total of 160 square inches of grilling surface. It only weights about 14 pounds, and it has sturdy handles that don’t transfer heat to your fingers. It’s also made from a rust-free material, meaning it will last longer than many of the other outdoor charcoal grills. This makes it an excellent tailgating charcoal grill choice.
- This grill was also created to tailgate, and it offers the classic grill experience, a decent surface size with little fuss. Don’t expect to get 15 hot dogs on this grill; however, it will cook quickly enough that you’ll be able to do another round if you choose. It has a lid that fits securely and helps with temperature control, keeping the coals hot while you add another round of food. Campers are particularly fond of this model, and it holds up well without a lot of rust. If you want to tailgate at a bigger place, such as an arena, however, you may find yourself disappointed. Go for a larger model such as the Weber listed above.
Tailgating Tips for Beginners
Tailgating typically takes place outside of football stadiums, soccer stadiums, concerts and other outdoor events. Many people will tailgate when they go camping. Whichever tailgate even isn’t short may require a different type of grill.
If you’re holding a tailgate in a parking lot or at a picnic spot, it’s important to only bring prepared food if it’s actually good food. This tends to be expensive and kind of messy in the long run. It can go bad if it has mayo or egg in it. It’s not worth the risk and often takes up too much room.
Chips, beer, and condiments are a necessity, but you should also have a portable table with napkins and paper or plastic plates, and plenty of room for people to lean over and fix themselves a hot dog with catsup, relish, and mustard if they want. These are things that you can’t rely on others to do; you must take it upon yourself to equip your friends with the tools to make their meal complete.
Grilling (and usually, beer) is the most important part of the tailgate party. Don’t expect perfection; the party tends to move quickly and it’s more likely that you’ll want to be laid back and make sure everybody has fun. Expect your friends to bring beer and ask them to bring a cooler if they don’t have one.
Always have a very cold cooler to store meat you plan on cooking. It’s a good idea to keep a thermometer in the cooler where you’re storing meat or poultry.
Summing it Up:
Tailgating is meant to be fun! Don’t choose a grill that doesn’t fit your needs – if it’s too heavy or doesn’t have the right surface size, and then move on to another. Only you know how many people you plan to feed and the environment you plan to tailgate within. Pay attention to the small details and you’ll find a grill that can last you a great many seasons of adventures.