Tailgate Recipes, Tips and Tricks

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The Ultimate Guide to Tailgating: Celebrating the Game Day Culture

Game Day Mastery: Your Comprehensive Guide to Tailgating Excellence

Get ready to dive into the vibrant world of tailgating – a uniquely American tradition where sports, friends, and food come together for an epic celebration. Picture the electric atmosphere, the mouthwatering scent of grills sizzling, and the sea of team colors as fans unite to cheer on their favorite teams.

Tailgating isn't just a pre-game ritual; it's a social extravaganza that embodies camaraderie and pure fun. In this guide, we'll immerse ourselves in this festive culture and discover how the right gear can take your tailgating experience from good to absolutely legendary.

Whether you're a tailgating pro or a newbie, get ready to uncover the joys of tailgating and make every game day an unforgettable one. Find all the essentials for the perfect tailgate at Essential Tailgating Gear, and for more tailgating inspiration and tips, head over to our blog at Tailgating Recipes and Tips.

Choosing the Perfect Location


When it comes to hosting the ultimate tailgate party, choosing the right spot is essential. It can truly make or break the entire experience. So, before you head out to the stadium, take some time to consider a few important factors.

First and foremost, think about the proximity of the stadium to your desired tailgating location. You don't want to be too far away from the action, but you also don't want to be right in the middle of a crowded area. Finding a balance is key.

Next, think about the amenities that the stadium offers. Are there nearby bathrooms for convenience? Is there ample shade to escape the scorching sun? These are all factors that can contribute to the overall comfort of your tailgate party. Do your research in advance to ensure you know what's available and what you might need to bring along.

Arriving early is also crucial for securing the best spot. Tailgating is a popular activity; the prime locations can fill up quickly. By getting to the stadium early, you increase your chances of snagging a spot that meets all your requirements. Plus, being early allows you to set up your tailgate area with ease and gives you plenty of time to mingle with fellow tailgaters.

Lastly, don't forget to check for any specific tailgating policies that the stadium may have. Some stadiums have specific rules and regulations when it comes to tailgating. It's important to be aware of these policies to ensure you comply and to avoid any unnecessary issues. So, before you head out, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the stadium you'll be attending.

For detailed tips on selecting the best location, visit the Tailgate Location Guide.

Don't Forget These Tailgating Lifesavers!

A solid checklist is the backbone of a smooth tailgating experience. It’s not just about the big stuff – food, drinks, grills, and seating – but also those small details that make a big difference.

Remember to pack sunscreen and bug spray to keep comfortable outdoors. Tailgating is all about striking the perfect balance between fun, games, and comfort.

It’s these little comforts and conveniences that transform a good tailgate into a great one. Think of your checklist as your game plan for a winning tailgate experience.

Tailgater Supply Tailgating Checklist


Understanding Tailgating Etiquette

Tailgating is all about good vibes and great times. Keep the party rockin’ by respecting your fellow tailgaters. Space is prime real estate at a tailgate, so be cool with your setup and sound levels. Sharing? That's tailgating gold – it’s how strangers turn into your tailgate crew.

Let's talk clean-up: a clean tailgate is a happy tailgate. Remember, no one wants to step on someone's leftover bratwurst or wade through a sea of empty beer cans. A tidy space is tailgating 101.

Tailgating is the ultimate social scene. Don't shy away from chatting up your tailgate neighbors, especially those from the rival team. You might just find your next tailgate bestie in the lot!

Remember, tailgating is a team sport – it's about fun, respect, and community. Stick to these simple plays, and you're all set for an epic game day. Dive into more good-time guidelines at Tailgating Etiquette Tips.

Choosing the Right Tailgating Gear

Every tailgate party's success hinges on having the right gear. Let's break down the essentials:

  • Tailgate Trekker on Young ManCoolers: In the world of tailgating, a reliable cooler is like your quarterback – essential and game-defining. The Tailgate Trekker and Sidekick coolers are your MVPs here, offering unbeatable portability, durability, and top-notch cooling power.

  • These coolers aren't just about keeping things cold; they're about ensuring your tailgate runs smoothly from start to finish.

  • While we're big fans of our own products, it's worth noting that Yeti, RTIC, and Coleman also offer great options. Choosing the right cooler can make the difference between a good tailgate and an unforgettable one.

  • Grills and Flattops: No tailgate is complete without a grill. Whether you prefer the smoky flavor of a pellet smoker or the convenience of gas, choose a grill that's easy to transport and set up.  Lots of great options here like Traeger, Weber, Green Mountain Grills, and HitchFire (Particularly cool). 

    An exciting option that is growing in popularity every year is the flattop grill.  Check out brands like CampChef and Blackstone.  


  • Comfort Essentials: Comfort is key. Opt for portable chairs and canopies to provide relaxation and shelter. Bonus points for rocking the tent and chairs of the home team.   

    Depending on the time of year a firepit or space heater may be a good idea.  Or in the late summer a fan or mister.  

  • Entertainment: If you can swing it, a TV with satellite coverage of all the other day's games is always clutch and a popular destination in the tailgating lot. 

    As always games like cornhole add a fun dimension to your tailgate. Ensure you have a variety of games to engage everyone.  The options are endless here, but you can find something for everyone in every age group out there.  

    Luke from Tailgating Challenge is more tuned into tailgating games than anyone out there.  Check out what he has to say here: 

For a complete guide on tailgating gear, visit our detailed Tailgating Gear Guide.

The Ultimate Tailgating Cooler Showdown 

Choosing the right cooler can make a significant difference in your tailgating experience. We've compared some of the top contenders in the market: Tailgater Supply Tailgate Trekker, Yeti Hopper M20, RTIC Backpack Cooler, and the Coleman Expand 30 Can Cooler. Our focus is on the features that matter most to tailgaters: capacity, ice retention, durability, portability, extra features, and price range.

Capacity and Ice Retention: Tailgaters need a cooler that can hold enough for their party and keep it cold for the duration. The Tailgate Trekker shines here with its generous capacity and exceptional ice retention, ensuring your beverages stay chilled all game long.

Durability and Portability: Regular tailgating calls for gear that can withstand the test of time and travel. The Tailgate Trekker is built for the rigors of tailgating, offering both durability and ease of transportation with its ergonomic backpack design.

Extra Features and Price Range: We understand that value for money is key. The Tailgate Trekker not only fits within a reasonable price range but also includes unique features like a bottle opener/beer shotgunning tool, setting it apart from its competitors.

Check out our detailed comparison chart to see how these coolers stack up against each other and why the Tailgate Trekker is the go-to choice for serious tailgaters.

Soft Cooler Comparison


In summary, while each cooler has its strengths, the Tailgate Trekker from Tailgater Supply stands out as the ideal choice for serious tailgaters. It balances capacity, durability, and extra features with a competitive price, making it not just a cooler, but a crucial part of your tailgating arsenal. Whether you're gearing up for a big game or a casual outdoor gathering, the Tailgate Trekker is designed to elevate your experience.

Top 5 Easy and Delicious Tailgating Recipes

Elevate your tailgate party with these five easy and crowd-pleasing recipes. They're perfect for cooking on the grill or prepping in advance:

  1. Classic BBQ Ribs: A tailgate favorite. Prep them ahead, then smoke to perfection at the game. This one will take a while but the payoff is worth it so crack a few beers and settle in, the payoff will be well worth it.  One of our favorite recipes is the 3-2-1 ribs made famous by the gals at Hey Grill, Hey! 

  2. Elote (Mexican Street Corn): Honestly I'm a little partial to this one.  When sweet corn is in season, I'm having this twice a week.  With some simple ingredients and a quick turnaround, elote is sure to be a hit at your next tailgate.  Don't knock it until you try it, but a little bit of mayo on your corn is amazing.  The guys from All Things BBQ have a great recipe video here

  3. Tailgater's Chili: It doesn't matter what part of the country you are in once the Late fall and winter chill sets in there are few things better than a warm bowl of chili with some cheddar cheese and sour cream.  While the styles vary across the country (we're looking at you Texas and Cincinnati) one of our favorites comes from none other than Cowboy Kent Rollins.  

  4. Grilled Chicken Wings: A game day must-have. These wings bring the heat and are great with celery and blue cheese dressing on the side.  Malcom Reed from How to BBQ Right has mastered this mouth-watering recipe that will have fans flocking to your grill.  Check it out here

  5. Loaded Nachos: An ultimate crowd-pleaser. Pile high with cheese, beans, and jalapeños, then grill till melty and delicious. Serve with guacamole and salsa for a full-flavor experience.  Bamagrillmaster on YouTube put together an amazing short video for creating the ultimate nachos to feed your crew while tailgating.  Check it out here

For more tasty tailgating recipes and preparation tips, check out our Tailgating Recipes Section.

Fun and Games: Amp Up Your Tailgate Party

A tailgate party is as much about the fun and games as it is about the food. Here are some must-have games and entertainment ideas to keep everyone in high spirits:

  1. Cornhole: A tailgating classic. You'd be hard-pressed to come across a tailgate party and not see a cornhole game going on.  Set up a cornhole board and have a friendly playoff bracket and get the competitive juices flowing.  

  2. Ladder Ball: Another fan favorite. This simple yet addictive game can get highly competitive and is perfect for some pre-game action.

  3. Giant Beer Pong: Put a tailgating spin on traditional beer pong by using twelve trash cans and a volleyball.  Seriously, we've all seen how people crowd around a beer pong table.  Take it to the next level and go Giant. 

  4. Giant Jenga: noticing a theme here???  If you're going to tailgate you gotta do it big.  These can be made simply enough at home with some boards and a saw.  A fun twist on this is adding instructions written onto each block that the player has to perform (Take two drinks, Sing the Fight Song, etc.)

  5. Music and Dance: I mean, this one is a given, right?  Anytime you get people together having a good time there has to be some music.  If there is music, there is likely to be some dancing. 

    Get yourself a playlist going ahead of time, or you like this one on Spotify, it has a little bit of something for everyone as well as all the crowd-pleasing anthems you could ever want.  


  6. Bills Mafia Challenge: Embrace the spirit of the legendary Bills Mafia, known for their passionate and rowdy celebrations. Set up a fun challenge or dare, like a table jump (safety first, of course!), an obstacle course, get doused with ketchup and mustard ala Pinto Ron, and a Buffalo wing eating contest. It’s a great way to add some wild, team-specific fun to your tailgate.

These games and activities are sure to keep your guests entertained and make your tailgate party the talk of the tailgate lot.

Tailgating Responsibly: Safety and Cleanup Tips

A successful tailgate is a safe and clean one. Here’s how you can ensure your tailgate party is enjoyable and responsible:

  • Grill Safety: I cannot stress this enough; you must always know what's going on with your grill.  I'd recommend using gas grills if possible because they are quicker to cool down than a charcoal grill.  When using your grill keep your it in an open area away from crowds and vehicles. Always have someone watching the grill and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. 

    Again - pay attention to your grill......


  • Food Safety: Use coolers like the Tailgate Sidekick to keep perishable items chilled and safe from spoilage. Regularly check temperatures to ensure food safety.

  • Hydration and Sun Protection: Tailgating often involves long hours outdoors. Encourage hydration, provide plenty of water, and remind your guests to reapply sunscreen.

  • Efficient Cleanup Strategy:

    • Keep your tailgating area tidy with designated trash and recycling bags.
    • Be prepared for spills with a kit of paper towels and eco-friendly cleaning supplies.
    • Before leaving, do a final sweep with a post-tailgate checklist to ensure you leave the area as you found it.
  • Environmental Respect: Embrace the ‘Leave No Trace’ principle. Ensure all trash is disposed of properly and your tailgating spot is left clean.

For a comprehensive guide on tailgate safety and environmentally friendly cleanup practices, check out our Tailgate Safety Guide.

Celebrating the Tailgating Spirit: Key Takeaways

As we conclude our Ultimate Guide to Tailgating, let's reflect on the key elements that make tailgating a unique and cherished tradition:

  • The Right Gear Matters: Quality gear like the Tailgate Trekker or the Tailgate Sidekick can elevate your tailgating experience, ensuring convenience and enjoyment.
  • Food is the Heart of Tailgating: Delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes set the tone for a great party.
  • Games and Entertainment are Key: They bring people together and create lasting memories.
  • Safety and Cleanliness are Crucial: Responsible tailgating ensures that these cherished traditions continue safely and enjoyably for everyone.
  • Community and Camaraderie: Above all, tailgating is about the community. It's a time to bond over shared passions and create friendships that last a lifetime.

Remember, tailgating is more than just a pre-game activity; it's a lifestyle that celebrates sports, food, and friendship. So, gear up, gather your friends, and get ready to create unforgettable moments at your next tailgate party.


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Topics:   Tailgate Recipes, Tips and Tricks