Nothing adds to the party like amazing food, and when it comes to tailgating, no matter a college game day or a NFL experience, there is no better way to energize your crew with tantalizing tailgate meals! Got a crowd to feed or just looking for bites to enjoy while you wait for the main event, here are some of our favorites.
All of these options require a little power, so don't forget to make sure you have a power supply like a generator or a power station. Let's start with the top choice and work backwards!
1. Tacos-- No secret here. Just grab a pre-seasoned package of carne asada at the store for ease, throw it on the the Traeger and just cook it enough to brown it. Ground beef or bison will require a pan. Make sure you have fresh cut cilantro and limes to go with it. Bring salsa, your favorite tortillas, cook hard shells or just open a pack of soft, and add some Mexican or Spanish rice to add to the plate. Top off this plate with a cold Modelo or Corona or plug that blender into the portable generator and make a few blended margaritas, and you've got the makings of a tailgate party.
2. Dogs And Burgers-- Another no brainer here. Everybody but your one vegan friend will be happy with a quality hot dog (if there is such a thing) or a burger after they've had two or three beers. Try a Hebrew National or Teton Waters Ranch hot dog and it will be noticeable better. Bison hot dogs taste better but if you really want to surprise folks, get Northstar Bison's Elk hot dogs-- they aren't cheap, but well worth the extra coin. Burgers are burgers, but just make sure you cook everything well enough not to poising anyone but don't burn it. Pair these meals with chips, fruit and more beer.
3. Grilled Chicken, Steak, Shrimp-- How well do you know these people? This option can be pricey, but it looks amazing when ever inch of my grill surface is covered with filet, lime cilantro chicken and a few skewers lined with garlic shrimp. I like to keep everything moist by squeezing fresh lemons and limes on the meat as it cooks-- putting a few lime wedges into my beer at the same time. The Trager runs off my Honda 3000W leaving plenty of power for my big screen TV and my blender for the folks that want fancy drinks. Sometimes wine is easier for that crowd too.
4. Bratwurst, Ribs-- By now you've figured out I don't plan many high maintenance cook at home then serve... casseroles or fried foods--- I like to truly tailgate and grill or smoke, not show up to the event like it's a potluck. Also, my top four go-tos are all meat, main courses. Someone is going to bring chips, a salad and dessert, but hold on we'll add at least one dessert by the end and one glass dish offering too.
Bratwurst and Ribs are another good option. Brats can come in a variety of flavors, but the go-tos for this football fan are the beer, cheddar and jalapeno brats. Pick a nice bun to compliment your brat, never use a standard dog bun. Folks will notice you took some time and effort into selecting a top quality hoagie roll, brötchen, or pretzel bun. Serving a brat on a hot dog bun is like serving a nice glass of wine in a sippy cup.
Ribs are self explanatory, just make sure to bring plenty of napkins. Smoking a rack can make for a long day, so it really depends what time kickoff is and what time the facility will let you come in to start the party.
5. Crockpot Mac And Cheese-- Okay, not my first choice as I like to make cooking an event on site-- but my wife makes the best mac and cheese so good in fact, I will not eat mac and cheese anywhere else any more-- just to avoid the disappointment. I'll put her mac and cheese in a crockpot, plug the crockpot into the generator, sit back, crack a beer and watch pregame on the big screen with some friends in the parking lot. Since the crockpot requires very little electricity, you can spin a few daiquiris in the blender and be the hit of the party.
6. Chili-- Okay, chili is a staple at tailgate parties. It's quick and easy, doesn't require too much cooking or much to stay warm, but it can feed an army if you have a big pot. Everybody has a favorite recipe, so I'll leave the rest up to you. Keep it warm on the Traeger or in a crockpot. This dish comes in handy when games in late November, December might see snow etc.
7. Chicken Enchilada Soup-- Here's another hot, thick soupy option to keep you warm and fill you up! It's easy to make at home or on site as like any soup, you throw a bunch of ingredients into a big pot and stir. Allowing it to sit a bit typically thickens it a bit and you can eat with with tortilla chips like a dip. Add more chicken to give it more bulk.
8. Wood-Fired Pizzas-- With the rise in popularity of the smaller, portable wood-fired ovens, pizzas at tailgate parties are more popular than ever. Don't show up to a party with a stack of Little Caesars or Dominoes pizzas in your arms. I'm talking handmade from scratch or at least a premade crust then you throw all the fixings on top. Create your perfect pie with just the right amount of sauce, maybe throw some venison or an artichoke on there? Something like the Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven will do the job when paired with a smaller Generac or Champion.
9. Power Station Blended Drinks- Okay, over the years, I've used car power to inflate a tire, keep stuff cold, listen to music at the river, but if you use too much juice, you could end up with a dead battery or these days, less range to get back to the charger. So, a good alternative to using car power or even a gas generator is a portable power station like the solar options from Goal Zero. I use a Yeti 500 to recharge my phone as well as power my blender and people from other parties end up joining our party when they hear the magical sound of a blender. For single guys, its a great way to break the ice (pun intended).
The ladies love blended mimosas, blood orange margaritas and strawberry daiquiris. Maybe specialize in two drinks like a margarita and a blended mimosa and watch what happens. You'll quickly become the life of the party if you are not already the leader of the pack.
10. Pie Iron Dessert-- I learned this dessert from a backcountry guide while exploring Yellowstone. First you need a pie iron-- a tool you find in a camping supply or army navy surplus store-- or make it simple-- search Rome Pie Iron. It's like a cast iron mold with long handles you hold over the fire.
In my experience, you put a piece of bread over one side of the mold-- add marshmallows, maybe fresh apples (pie filling is easiest)-- you choose the flavor. Then add the second piece of bread on top of the mix, then close the lid, cut off any bread pieces hanging out, then with the long handles, extend the iron over the a fire or grill much like roosting marshmallows. This recipe basically makes a small pie that looks something like a McDonald's Apple Pie-- but you know your cooked it with good ingredients and you know its going to be hot inside after you cook it! You can thank me later.
Proin auctor nibh vitae urna lobortis, in vulputate erat facilisis. Sed lacinia lorem eget orci finibus, et maximus nisi sagittis.
Wherever you may live in the world, a power outage is always a possibility and a concern. During an extended power outage, your home or business...Read more »
Whether you find yourself towing a small pop-up camper or hauling a large 40-foot diesel trailer, you can never have enough options when it comes to...Read more »