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FanMugs now available at Fanatics.com

Posted by Dave On September - 29 - 2014ADD COMMENTS
Seattle Seahawk fans tailgating with Seattle Seahawk Fan Mugs

Seattle Seahawk fans tailgating with Seattle Seahawk Fan Mugs

It was around this time last year when we discovered and reviewed the FanMug, a unique can koozie, mug and desk caddy – all in one – in the form of an authentic, miniature replica of your favorite football team’s helmet. The facemask is the handle and the 13.5 oz removable cup is dishwasher safe and BPA-free. It keeps your can, bottle or poured cold drink cold, AND your hot chocolate or coffee hot.

We really like the attention to detail of the FanMug, from the team nickname on the front and back to the clear facemask clips … just like real helmets. You’ll be the talk of your tailgate while supporting your team with the FanMug, which is definitely “Tailgate Approved”.

We just learned two pieces of exciting news about the FanMug that many of you will be fired up to learn. FanMug has added 11 more NFL teams to their line-up of officially licensed products and plans to have all 32 NFL franchises available in the near future. This comes on the heels of having a number of NCAA licensed FanMugs available as well.

The other good news is that FanMugs are now available at Fanatics.com. Priced at $10.95 each, you can afford to pick up a set for you and your tailgating crew.

FanMugs Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Bulldogs

Visit Fanatics.com and grab a few FanMugs and help your tailgate party stand out from the crowd.

FanMug Penn State

Penn State tailgaters

Review: DISH Tailgater

Posted by Dave On September - 25 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Dish Tailgate Featured

For years, tailgaters have upped the ante when it comes to bringing all the creature comforts of home to the tailgating parking lots. Satellite TV is just one of the modern day conveniences we can’t imagine living without while tailgating.

Unfortunately, setting up the satellite dish on a tripod, finding the correct angle and the azimuth, (what the hell is an Azimuth?) and locking in the strongest signal was such a pain. It took too long and frankly, detracted from you doing what you came to do; tailgate. We are tailgaters, not astronomers. Some tailgaters grew frustrated and would leave the satellite TV at home because it was too much of a hassle and took too long to set up. But, technology kept advancing and in 2009, we discovered the VuQube.

DISH Tailgater and VuQube side-by-side

DISH Tailgater and VuQube side-by-side

Thinking the VuQube was the answer to all of our prayers, we raved about it for years and even got one of our own. (We actually purchased a VuQube on our own and it was not sent to us as a sample to review.) We used it religiously while tailgating for years and always thought the small glitches and annoyances were just part of the overall experience.

The only complaints we had were the set-up time would take a little longer than what was advertised depending on our location. Pointing the dish and using the remote to find the strongest signal was time consuming and you would need to be watching the signal bars on your TV to see what was the strongest signal you could get. This sometimes would take 20 minutes because you would get a strong signal and not knowing if it was the strongest, would see if it could go even stronger, and would eventually lose it and have to try and reacquire it. Again, we just thought this was all par for the course if we wanted to have satellite TV at our tailgate, this was just something you dealt with.

DISH Tailgater portable satellite TV antena

DISH Tailgater portable satellite TV antenna

Last year, we heard about the DISH Tailgater and had heard rumors that it was easier to set up and was fully automatic. It looked exactly like the VuQube we had been using for years but we heard it was so much easier to set up.

You mean we no longer had to push buttons up/down and left/right to get the strongest signal? You’re telling me with the DISH Tailgater I just push a few buttons and I can walk away and the strongest TV signal will be found for me? If this is true, then sign me up.

After doing a little research and investigation on the DISH Tailgater, we discovered that it was essentially the same hardware, made my a company called King Controls in Minnesota, but had been improved upon drastically. Since the DISH Tailgater is made by the same company that made the VuQube, that is why it was about the same size and weight. You still powered the Tailgater by the single coax cable and did not require additional power. The main difference was in the set up.

(Disclaimer: We did receive a DISH Tailagater and receiver  for free. The fact these samples were provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

DISH Tailgater on roof of van at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the San Diego Chargers game

DISH Tailgater on roof of van with Seattle Seahawk fans walking by

We thought no better place to test drive the DISH Tailgater than while out tailgating an NFL game. We chose the San Diego Chargers 2014 home opener vs. the defending Super Bowl champions, Seattle Seahawks to test it out. We did what we normally do in that we parked, set up our tailgate gear and started to tailgate. Of course you will need a power source (we use a generator) and set up the DISH Tailgater. We placed the tailgater on top of the TailgatingIdeas.com van to get a clear view of the southern sky. We ran the coax cable to our DISH Network receiver and connected it to our TV. We turned everything on and the first screen we saw was a test screen asking us what part of the United Stated we were located. We selected Southern California and the DISH Tailgater proceeded to run through three tests.

DISH Tailgater on roof of van at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the San Diego Chargers game

DISH Tailgater on roof of van at Qualcomm Stadium prior to the San Diego Chargers game

Keep in mind, once we started the test, we did not have to stand in front of the TV and monitor it to make sure the strongest signal was being pulled. We simply walked away, checked on the grill, grabbed another cold beer and went over and greeted the new people who just pulled in next to us. Within this time, the three tests were completed and I came back to a screen informing me that the DISH Tailgater and receiver were acquiring the satellite signal. After that was completed in a total of about 90 seconds, the next screen said it was downloading the program guide. After the program guide successfully downloaded in a matter of about two minutes, up pops our programming. I picked up the remote, selected the pregame show we wanted to watch before the first set of NFL games started and we were off and running.

NFL Football game shown in the parking lot off of a DISH Tailgater system

NFL Football game shown in the parking lot off of the DISH Tailgater

The picture quality was superb and we were able to watch all the programming we wanted from my DISH Network account. Not that we watched anything else other than the early NFL football games while tailgating but it was good to know we could if we had kids that wanted to watch cartoons or something other than football.

Once it was time to pack up and head inside for the game, break down and storage was a breeze. We simply disconnected the DISH Tailgater from the receiver, wound up all of our cords and cables, took the Tailgater off the roof and packed it securely inside the van. It truly was extremely simple and fast to set up and was just as fast and easy to stow away.

After thoroughly testing out the DISH Tailgater, it’s ease of set-up and excellent picture quality, we are going to label the DISH Tailgater “Tailgate Approved”.

The time you will save by not having to search for a satellite signal will be worth the price alone. How much is 20 minutes of your time while out in the tailgating parking lot? To me, my time while tailgating is priceless, so any piece of equipment that enhances that experience that takes little to no time to set up, I am a believer.

We plan on taking the DISH Tailgater to this Sunday’s San Diego Chargers game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars and for the remainder of the season. The DISH Tailgater will be a regular piece of our tailgating gear no matter where we park.

The DISH Tailgater is available through a wide array of retailers including, Camping World, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart, among others. For a complete list of retailers where you can find and purchase the DISH Tailgater, visit King Controls website HERE.

OmahaSteaks.com, Inc.

Rolling Tailgating Baskets

Posted by Dave On September - 23 - 20141 COMMENT

Rolling tailgating baskets at Chargers tailgate
We can all agree that the invention of the wheel is probably the greatest invention of all time. Sure, sliced bread is pretty cool but when it comes to the overall advancement of society, the wheel wins going away.

When it comes to tailgating, anything that can make transporting your tailgating gear to your tailgating space easier is a winner in our book. Pop-up tents that come in carrying bags with wheels are much better than those that do not. Same thing goes for grills. Give me wheels any day of the week.

When we were contacted by a company called Lulu Monkey that sells small and large, rolling, multi-purpose tailgating baskets, we were interested in checking them out. Personally it made sense to see if their rolling baskets would be a good choice to place all of our tailgating gear odds and ends in them and then we could roll them to where we needed the gear to be set up. First a brief history on the company.

The idea for these baskets came about when the owner of the company took a similar basket to a Clemson football game and was asked constantly where she got it. Thinking it was a possibility to reach out to tailgaters, the idea was sparked and a company was born.

You may have seen these baskets with wheels at your local mini-mart. With the wheels, they are much better than the normal handle baskets you see at the super markets that only hold a few items. Depending on how much tailgating gear you plan on bringing, the two different sizes will fit your needs. The larger size is about the size of a laundry hamper. College students may find these baskets useful for game day Saturdays and then during the week to roll their load of laundry down the hall to the laundry room in the dorms. Also, these baskets could replace those plastic or paper bags at the market. Just bring your rolling basket to the store, load it up with items, pay for them of course, and then after check out, put them back in the basket. Going “green” has never been easier. (Just make sure the eggs and tomatoes go in last and are stacked on top.)

Of course, being the sticklers for always testing out tailgating gear for ourselves, we requested a few samples in order to test them out for ourselves. We needed to find out how well these are made, can they withstand the rigors and demands of a tailgating season and are they big enough to hold all of our tailgating stuff.

(Disclaimer: We did receive samples of the Lulu Monkey Rolling Tailgating Baskets for free. The fact these samples were provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

We received three rolling baskets. Two were the smaller baskets, one pink and one orange with the licensed Clemson tiger paw on it. The other was a dark blue large rolling basket. The specs on the smaller baskets are:

Pink Rolling basket loaded for tailgating

Pink Rolling basket loaded for tailgating

  • Capacity: 45 lbs.
  • Dimensions (inches): 23.5 L x 13.5 W x 14.125 H
  • Volume: 30 liters
  • Wheel Size: 1 inch
  • Handle Length: 20 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs.

In reviewing the small baskets, these would be idea for just a few items that you wold be taking to join someone’s tailgate party. A 12-pack of beverages, small bag of ice, bags of chips, cheese or veggie tray, sleeve of plastic cups, paper plates, etc. Nothing too big and bulky but just enough to bring and contribute if you are unable to park right next to your friends. Small rolling baskets come in multiple colors including: pink, black, light blue, dark blue, green, purple, crimson, orange and red. The smaller rolling baskets have two handles. One handle is in the middle to pick up and carry and the other handle folds back for ease of pushing or pulling the basket when using the wheels.

Blue large rolling basket at Qualcomm Stadium parking lot

Blue large rolling basket at Qualcomm Stadium parking lot

The large rolling basket can hold quite a bit and would be idea for larger items. A bigger bag of ice, a full 30-pack of beer, family sized bags of chips, etc. As we mentioned above, we would compare this size basket to a laundry hamper that can easily roll down the hall or to a tailgate party. Specs on the larger baskets are:

  • Capacity: 65 lbs.
  • Dimensions (inches): 21.63 L x 17 W x 17.75
  • Volume: 66 liters
  • Wheel Size: 2.25 inches
  • Handle Length: 20.75 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs.

Color availability: pink, black, light blue, dark blue, green, purple, crimson, orange and red. The large basket comes with a regular handle for carrying and also a telescoping handle to pull or push the basket to your tailgating spot. The handle telescopes down and out of the way once you have arrived or no longer are in transit.

It should be noted that Lulu Monkey already has licensing for the Clemson Tigers and you can get the large or small rolling baskets in orange with the famous Clemson Tiger paw logo on it.

Small rolling baskets outside of Costco

Small rolling baskets outside of Costco

After thoroughly testing the Lulu Monkey rolling tailgating baskets we are going to deem that they are “Tailgate Approved”. These baskets more than held up to the demands of our tailgating habits and were a great asset to load up all kinds of equipment and transport it easily. Wheels make everyone’s life a whole lot easier. These baskets will make your life in the parking lot a lot easier as well.

For more information and to check out these rolling tailgating baskets for yourself, visit: lulumonkey.com

Dish Tailgater King Controls Banner

Mary Landrieu spotted at an LSU tailgate assisting a Tiger fan with a keg stand

Mary Landrieu spotted at an LSU tailgate assisting a Tiger fan with a keg stand. Photo courtesy of Ellen L. Carmichael Twitter @ellencarmichael

Mid-term elections are about six weeks away and it is a full court press for Congressional members and Senators to go out and campaign as if they are “one of the people”. Apparently that included Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) hitting Baton Rouge on Saturday visiting tailgate parties prior to LSU hosting Mississippi State. Although not dressed like an LSU fan (her shirt looks more like a blue cheetah pattern) she demonstrates that when in Rome, do as Romans do… which includes assisting in pulling off a successful keg stand.

The reaction via Twitter was, as you might expect, pretty funny filled with cheers from supporters and jeers from opponents. Comments like, “That’s what I call a Beer Summit” (referencing the Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy in which President Obama hosted a “Beer Summit” in 2009 at the White House) and “(Keg) Stand with Mary”, were all over Twitter after the photo was tweeted and retweeted.

Just in case you didn’t get enough of the first photo, here is another angle.

Alternative angle of Mary_Landrieu assisting with a keg stand while at LSU tailgate party.

Alternative angle of Mary Landrieu assisting with a keg stand while at an LSU tailgate party. Photo courtesy of Brad Dayspring Twitter ‏@BDayspring

The Oostburger

Posted by Brandon On September - 21 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

You might have seen that they other day was National Cheeseburger day.  Being the carnivorous creature that I am, I made sure to grab one to celebrate.   Which I was chomping away I couldn’t help but think back to another cheeseburger I had a while back.  You see every year the good people of Sheboygan, WI throw a festival to celebrate their state’s official food, the Bratwurst.   Well our friends at Johnsonville invited my wife and I to check out the festival last year and engage in the brat love.  Needless to say we had an absolute blast seeing just how much they embrace the brat and all the cool ways they’re using them in different types of cuisine.  For example we saw brat pizza, chimichangas, tacos, gyros, etc.  For the purists you could also enjoy a single or double brat on a local Sheboygan Hard Roll.  We also took in some of the local lingo such as a brat fry, or fry out, which seems to be the preferred local lingo for a cookout or bbq.  Heck, we even saw a guy eat 20 brats in 10 minutes.  If you have the chance to go next August I highly recommend it.   Side note: I don’t advocate eating 20 brats that quickly, you probably should stop at 10.

johnsonville1

Getting back to the cheeseburger theme, among the foods that we had a chance to try was the Oostburger.  I can only imagine the name for this particular creation is based on the neighboring town of Oostburg.   As I observed at Brat Days the Oostburger is basically not much more than a cheeseburger with a brat on top of it.  Sounds kind of strange, but it really adds a neat dimension to the burger, and it’s such a simple concept. The variation in texture, and the richness of the sausage work together to impart a new burger experience.  I liked it so much that I thought I would try and recreate it, as hard as putting a cylindrical brat on a flat burger is, to share with those outside of us outside Cheese Head territory.Oostburgerwhole

To make your own it’s important to start by finding yourself a nice bun to put this on.  Since I’m unable to find the hard roll that they use in the Sheboygan area, I’m going to use a Kaiser because it’s about the closest thing I can find here in NC.  A typical hamburger bun is probably going to be a little wimpy for what we’re trying to accomplish.   What you want is a bun with a nice crusty outside, but is still plenty soft on the inside.

When you’re at the grill you’ve got to consider that the brat and the burger are in all likelihood not going to be done at the same time.  So what can you do about it? Well you can time things out so they’ll finish about the same time, or even cook one part and then keep it warm while the other finishes. Personally, I like the idea of using a “brat hot tub” which I initially wrote about in my “Brat Test” article.  Basically the brat hot tub is not much more than a warm mixture of beer some butter, onion, and garlic, in a pan.  Cook up your brats and then toss em in to keep em warm and juicy. If you’ve got the real estate on the grill for this technique I would highly recommend it.  I suppose you could use a bratwurst patty for these sort of copying the whole double burger thing, but I think using the link in the casing is more fun.

Since the star of this burger is most definitely the brat you don’t need to go super gourmet and get some Wagyu patties for this, but you don’t want to bring it down by getting the super cheap mystery meat frozen patties either.  I like a fresh 80/20 ground chuck for my “everyday” burgers.  This fat content should ideally keep the meat juicy enough, and lend just the right amount of beef flavor.  However with beef prices being what they are today feel free to use whatever you like, just try to stay away from the super lean stuff unless you need to.IMG_20130920_190235

What I did was to grill my brats to almost done and then move them away from the direct heat, since I was doing these on a smaller grill I had to skip the hot tub.  I threw on my burger patties and then cooked them to my desired doneness.  Once the burgers were just about there I added 2 slices of Wisconsin sharp cheddar to each pattie. When the cheese was melted I pulled all the meat to let it rest for a few.  While the protein was resting I toasted the buns a little.  I think it works well to split the brat, if for no other reason than ease of eating, before placing on the burger but you don’t have to.  Top with a little brown mustard and sliced onion and you’ve got yourself an Oostburger.   Of course you could add whatever you like to yours, but simpler is better.

Here is a more specific recipe:

Ingredients:
1 pound of ground chuck
1 pack good quality Bratwurst (We like Johnsonville obviously)
5 Kaiser Rolls (Or you could use Sheboygan Hard Rolls if you have a source)
10 slices Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar
Salt and Pepper to taste.

1.) Set up a grill for direct heat, and preheat a grill to Medium.IMG_20130920_191215
2.) Form 5 patties from the ground chuck, trying to get the diameter as close to the buns as possible.  They’ll be thin, but that’s what we want. Season with salt and pepper.  I only ended up with 4 because I’m a bone head, but aim for 5 if you can.  It’ll make for a better 1:1 with your brats.
3.) Slice rolls completely in half so you have a top and bottom.
4.) Grill meats until done.  ~15-20 minutes for brats, ~10 for burgers.  When the burger patties are nearly done top with 2 slices cheese.
5.) When meat is cooked pull off heat, and toast buns on grill.  This will go quick, no more than  30 seconds should do.  Remember you can always toast more, but once you’ve gotten to burnt you’re screwed.
6.) Slice brats lengthwise.
7.) Place burger pattie on bun, top with sliced brat.
8.) Add desired condiments
9.) Enjoy

 

 

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About Me

TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.

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