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Rappz Cooler Cover Graphics

Posted by Dave On October - 29 - 2014

Rappz Tailgating Ideas custom cooler cover
More than likely everyone has a Coleman Cooler somewhere in their garage. It very well may be your cooler of choice to take tailgating. And because Coleman Coolers are such a popular brand, there really is no way to help your cooler stand out from the crowd. Sure, you may be a Kentucky fan and have a blue cooler but how many other Wildcats fans have the same size and color of Coleman Cooler? We’re willing to guess, quite a few.

We recently discovered Rapps Cooler Cover Graphics from Victory Corps. What they have essentially done is take a neoprene wrap that is specifically made to slide over and around Coleman Coolers and have colored them with dye sublimated graphics to help make your cooler stand out at your next tailgate party. Instead of that boring red cooler sitting out, you can now order custom graphics to display your tailgating crew’s moto or even show your support for your team. You won’t be able to use officially licensed logos and emblems but there are no copyright laws on using red and black and and having your cooler wrap say, “Go Cards” if you are an Arizona Cardinals fan.

As you can see in the above photos, your Coleman Cooler complete with the Rappz Cooler Cover Graphic is at home at any tailgate party. We contacted Victory Corps and requested a custom Rappz displaying our Tailgating Ideas logo complete with the remainder of the Rappz in the same color scheme. In the above photos you can see it fits our Coleman Cooler like a glove and has holes on the sides to slip over the carrying handles. The Rappz goes over the cooler body and fits snugly and allows for easy access to the lid  without impeding your ability to go back for another cold one.

Keep in mind, even though the Rappz Cooler Cover Graphic is made out of neoprene, the same material used to make can and bottle koozies, it is not designed to insulate or increase the life of your ice. This is not a cooler koozie to keep ice longer. The Rappz is merely a way to quickly and easily decorate your cooler to show off your team spirit or to help promote your business.

Rappz comes in a multitude of sizes and options for all different Coleman Coolers including the 1/2 Gallon Jug, 5 Gallon Jug, 18 quart cooler, 48 quart cooler, 70 quart cooler, 100 quart cooler, 40 quart wheeled cooler and 50 quart wheeled cooler. You can order just the wrap to go over an existing cooler you currently have or you can order the wrap to come complete with a new cooler. Obviously the prices will vary based on the size wrap you choose.

After thoroughly testing the Rappz and taking it tailgating, we are going to declare Rapzz Cooler Cover Graphics “Tailgate Approved”.

To learn more about Rappz Cooler Cover Graphics or to order one of your own, click HERE.

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Slammo

Posted by Dave On October - 28 - 2014
Slammo played on a beach or at a tailgate party

Slammo can be played on a beach, backyard, park or at a tailgate party

It seems as though tailgating games have evolved to include combining two or more games and creating a new one. Add Slammo to the list of tailgating games that takes aspects of one game to make an entirely new game.

Slammo is a two-on-two volleyball style game. Teams have three hits (or less if they choose) to return the ball by bouncing it off a circular net that is ankle high on the ground. Unlike volleyball, instead of hitting the ball over a net, players hit the ball off a trampoline type net. The same player can not hit the ball twice in a row like in volleyball. If the ball hits the ground or one team fails to get the ball back to the net in three hits or less, the team that last hit the net gets a point. Teams can only score when they are the serving team and normally games will play to 21 points. For an abbreviated game, play to 11 points.

In Slammo, there are no out of bounds like in volleyball. This is a complete 360 degree game in that teams do not have to hit the ball off the net in a certain direction. Hit the ball as hard as you like to make it travel further away from the opponent to increase your chances of scoring points. You can use all parts of your body in Slammo to get the ball to your teammate or onto the net as long as the player does not hit the ball twice in a row.

Slammo is similar to the game Spikeball*. One of the main advantages of Slammo is the superior construction materials used for the game. The PVC pipe used for the net frame is stronger and this is better to avoid any gaps or pockets in between the net and the frame. Strong PVC keeps a perfect circle under net tension. Even though the quality of construction materials are a higher quality than the competitors, the price is still lower than the competition.

Slammo vs Competitor

Slammo Carrying Bag Girl

Slammo Carry Case

Slammo includes:

  • 1 – Slammo Target
  • 2 – 9cm Completion Balls
  • 1 – 12cm Training Ball
  • Carrying Case
  • Rules

Because Slammo is a 360 degree game, we suggest if you take it tailgating, to ensure your tailgating space has ample room to move around. If taking this game tailgating, we would also suggest using it on grass because, by the nature of play, some shots encourage people to dive for balls. Not a good idea if your are tailgating on asphalt. If purchasing Slammo for home use, taking it to the park, the beach or even in the backyard would be a perfect location to play Slammo.

Also, keep in mind that this is a more physically demanding game than other traditional tailgating games like cornhole or washers. You may work up a sweat depending on how competitive the game is and how vigorous of competition you participate in. Keep that in mind that if you don’t mind a little work out or working up a little sweat while tailgating, Slammo is an excellent choice.

Based on those warnings, the affordability, the portability and the opportunity to bring a new game to the parking lot, we are going to label Slammo “Tailgate Approved”.

The Slammo game set complete with carrying bag (pictured above) costs $49.99 plus $12 flat rate shipping and handling. You can purchase Slammo HERE.

*Spikeball is a registered trademark of Kankakee Spikeball Inc.

Michael Symon Interview

Posted by Brandon On October - 24 - 2014

So in my last post I mentioned that as part of our review of the Knob Creek whiskey products we had the opportunity to bounce a few questions off of celebrity chef, Michael Symon.  So without further adieu here it is:symonbrats

Tailgating Ideas: I see in your bio you’re from Cleveland.  Are you a Cleveland sports fan, or do you find yourself supporting other clubs?

Michael Symon: Cleveland, all day, everyday. Period. End of conversation.

Tailgating Ideas:  Are you able to tailgate very often?

Michael Symon: I definitely enjoy tailgating with my buddies at the game, but more often than not, I enjoy the game at home with friends and family. While I may not tailgate in a parking lot that often anymore, I definitely like to have my own tailgate at home where I grill some great meats, like wings or rib eye, with easy rubs and marinades made with Knob Creek Bourbon, which really brings out the smoky flavors from the grill.

Tailgating Ideas: What are your favorite foods to prepare for tailgating?

Michael Symon: I like to make simple, yet delicious, recipes that you can prepare right on the grill – no fuss or mess in the kitchen. Cleveland has a huge Eastern European influence, so I enjoy cooking up some bratwurst and sausages in a spicy jalapeño and Knob Creek Bourbon sauce, or I’ll grill some great Korean BBQ-style wings with a Knob Creek Bourbon glaze.

Tailgating Ideas: Do you make changes to your menu based on the weather?  If so what do you like to prepare for hot weather vs. cold weather?

Michael Symon: I’m one of those guys who will never let weather deter him from the grill – if I have to shovel a path from my house to the grill during winter, I’ll do it! I like to bring some of the flavors of the season to my recipes when I cook. For example, if I’m grilling in the summer, I’ll use citrus and fresh herbs in my marinades, along with some Knob Creek Bourbon, to create a fresh marinade that can stand up to the heat of the grill. In the winter, I like to add ingredients that enhance the smoky flavors of the grill, like smoked paprika and coriander, and the spicy flavors of Knob Creek Rye, which combine to really enhance the big full flavor of Knob Creek bourbon.

Tailgating Ideas: What is the most creative food item you’ve seen thus far at a tailgate?

Michael Symon: I think some of the more creative recipes at tailgates right now involve the grill in every aspect, even when it comes to your drink. One of the big grilling trends right now is to add grilled ingredients to your cocktail. For me, I like to add grilled peaches or other fruit to my Knob Creek cocktail. The flavors from the grill really enhance the big, full flavor of Knob Creek Bourbon, and when combined with citrus and sugar, it really makes for a refreshing cocktail that pairs perfectly with whatever meat you might be grilling at your tailgate.

Tailgating Ideas: In one of the videos for Knob Creek you mentioned KISS, or Keep it Simple Symon.  What are simple things that the average tailgater/cook can do to make their life a little easier?

Michael Symon: I think one of the easiest things you can do is to prep your meat ahead of time. Make a brine using Knob Creek Bourbon, some vinegar, a little honey and some fresh herbs and spices, and let your meat marinate in it over night, so once you’re at the game, all you have to do is take it out and grill it.

You can do the same with dry rubs and sauces – make them ahead of time so all of the flavors have a chance to marinate. These recipes are simple and easy to make, but are packed with big, full flavor.

Tailgating Ideas: What are key things to remember when prepping food before heading out to the parking lot?

Michael Symon: I would say to keep in mind how many people you are cooking for, and to do as much as you can before you get to the parking lot, so all you really have to do is throw your food on the grill and serve. Half the fun of tailgating is getting to hang out with your buddies, so do as much of the work as you can beforehand so you can really enjoy yourself. Make your sauces ahead of time, and put a dry rub or brine on your meats the night before, so all you have to do when you get to the parking lot is grill up your food and enjoy yourself.

Tailgating Ideas: Are there any foods that come to mind that should not be prepped beforehand, and that should only be done on site?

Michael Symon: If you’re using fresh fruits or vegetables, I would try to prepare them when you get to your tailgate, or cut them up right before you leave. Since those foods are so fresh, they will start to oxidize and turn brown once they’re out for too long, so prepping those right before you plan to eat them ensures they have as much flavor as the meat you’re cooking up.

Tailgating Ideas: Many tailgaters find themselves using slightly smaller grills that are more easily transported.  What advice do you have for cooking on a smaller grill surface?

Michael Symon: Using a smaller surface can sometimes be a blessing in disguise; it means you have more food coming off the grill throughout the day in smaller batches. To cook on the smaller surface, I make sure not to put too much of the meat on there at one time, so that it all has a chance to cook evenly and absorb the big, full flavor of that Knob Creek Bourbon marinade I like to use. Make sure you keep an eye on the food while it cooks, since it may cook a little

Tailgating Ideas: There’s always a big debate over charcoal vs. gas.  What is your take on the subject?

Michael Symon: Gas and charcoal both have their benefits when it comes to grilling, but I personally like to use a charcoal grill more often than not. I sometimes like to use the indirect heat method of grilling, building up smoked apple wood chips on one side of the grill and then place your meat on the other side and let the heat and smoke come together to make a really flavorful and tender piece of meat.

Tailgating Ideas: Beyond a grill do you think that there are any other cooking apparatuses that a tailgater should try to have on hand?

Michael Symon: Obviously I’m a big fan of grilling, but I also will sometimes use a smoker to smoke the meat before hand, since it makes it tender and packed with great flavor. Its great to slow cook richer meats like a short rib or pork chop.

Tailgating Ideas: Since we got in touch with you due to Knob Creek, let’s talk beverages.  What does a Chef like to sip on when cooking for a crowd?

Michael Symon: I know a lot of people choose to drink beer at a tailgate, but for me, it’s all about a Knob Creek Bourbon cocktail. I always like to enjoy a bourbon cocktail when I’m watching the game. One of my favorites that I like to make at tailgates is the Knob Creek Smoke and Char, which combines grilled peaches, fresh basil, citrus and simple syrup, along with Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon, which creates a delicious cocktail that incorporates the flavors of the grill and pairs nicely with the meat that you’re grilling.

Tailgating Ideas: When creating a cocktail what sorts of flavors would be better suited for Knob Creek Bourbon?  How about the rye?

Michael Symon: Knob Creek Rye is one of my favorite expressions to use when mixing up bourbon cocktails, because the high rye content and spicy flavor can really stand up to the other ingredients in the cocktail. One of my favorite cocktails to make with Knob Creek Rye is the Knob Creek Ginger Twist. It combines Knob Creek Rye, some fresh lemon juice, bitters, Elderflower Liqueur and ginger beer to create a really refreshing cocktail that is both tart and a little spicy.

Tailgating Ideas: Are there any cocktail recipes that are easily scaled up for let’s say a pitcher size quantity?

Michael Symon: The Knob Creek Smoke and Char and the Knob Creek Ginger Twist can both easily be made in large quantities, though I wouldn’t recommend adding ice until you pour in each individual glass, so the ice doesn’t water down the bourbon.

Tailgating Ideas: Last question, which of your Knob Creek recipes (one food, one drink) would you be most excited to find at a tailgate party?

Michael Symon: I think I’d be most excited to see my pork meatballs on skewers recipe. They’re a crowd favorite and so easy to make ahead of time and throughout the day. They taste so fresh with the herbs and fresh lime juice combined with Knob Creek Rye, which mix together to create a sauce that is full of the big, full flavor that Knob Creek Bourbon is known for.

For a cocktail, I’d be happy to see tailgaters mixing up cocktails that incorporate flavors from the grill. Like I said, the Knob Creek Smoke and Char is the perfect cocktail companion to the grill, because it incorporates ingredients straight from the grill.

For more information on Knob Creek and it’s products you can visit their site at www.KnobCreek.com.

 

Knob Creek Whiskey Recipes/Review

Posted by Brandon On October - 18 - 2014

Bourbon. For fans of this particular spirit just seeing the word probably already has you thinking about that aroma. It’s my favorite distilled product because whatever it ends up in just seems better. Pecan pie is good on its own. Throw some bourbon into it and it gets even better. Grilled lemonade is pretty great all by itself. Throw some bourbon in and it becomes your new favorite cocktail. Pretty awesome stuff. Bourbon. For fans of this particular spirit just seeing the word probably already has you thinking about that aroma. It’s my favorite distilled product because whatever it ends up in just seems better. Pecan pie is good on its own. Throw some bourbon into it and it gets even better. Grilled lemonade is pretty great all by itself. Throw some bourbon in and it becomes your new favorite cocktail. Pretty awesome stuff.

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(Disclaimer: We did receive sample bottles of Knob Creek Bourbon and Rye Whiskey. 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.)symonburger

Recently I was contacted about Knob Creek whiskey and some recipes they had developed in conjunction with Chef Michael Symon. They offered up some samples to test a few out and I was happy to give them a whirl. All of the recipes seemed quite appealing, what else would you expect from a big name chef, so I decided to make life a little easier on myself and try just two to start with.  I felt like they, and the whiskey, would give me enough info that I could make a call on all of them. First I tried the Burger With Knob Creek® Caramelized Onions, Gruyere & Horseradish. The video they made for this recipe is here; I really had doubts that the onions would pick up any of that bourbon flavor but much like the things I mentioned above, they only got better. They were super simple to make and would be easy to incorporate into a tailgate party. If burgers frequently find their way onto your menus give these a chance.

I also took the opportunity to try the Bratwurst & Kielbasa in a Knob Creek Rye Jalapeño Beer Broth recipe. Rye whiskey is a spicier so it is really at home with strong flavors like jalapeno and red onion. You would not believe the smell that this recipe puts out. The brats that came out of it were super juicy, a great reason to use a bath/broth, and picked up a little of that flavor. The only thing I thought could be better on the recipe was the measurements, they don’t match what Chef Symon does in the video(he used a whole bottle of beer), and even more specifically the addition of the water to bring the total volume of the liquid up.  For what it’s worth, and I’m going rogue on this one, if you try this recipe I think grilling the sausage before hand might give you a little nicer end product.   It’s a technique that I’ve learned from my work with Johnsonville recipes.  I don’t have real scientific evidence to back it up, but I theorize that the sausage develops very small cracks in the casing when cooking and those cracks would allow some of that super tasty broth liquid inside the sausage while it soaks.

symonbratsDue to time and stomach, I was just plain stuffed, constraints I did not try the other recipes sent to me, but they sound just as good or better and every bit as applicable in the parking lot. They were the Grilled Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey Pork Meatballs on Skewers, Grilled Ribeye with Knob Creek® Bourbon BBQ Sauce, and the Grilled Korean and Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey BBQ-­‐Style Wings.   For space constraints I’ve decided not to pack all the recipes in long form onto this post.  You can get all the info from the end of the videos and many of the recipes, along with a lot more, are also listed on Knob Creek’s site.

Of course it wouldn’t be much of a review without tasting the whiskey by itself, neat. Now I’m really not the sort of guy who can sit there and tell you that there are notes of this and hints of that. What I can tell you is what I like, and I liked these whiskeys. They were exactly what I expected, and in a lot of ways that’s a very solid compliment. If I were to drop money on a bottle labeled bourbon or rye, and it tasted like something else I wouldn’t be too happy.

Normally a review would end here with my assessment on if a particular product has a place at your next tailgate. I’m deeming Knob Creek Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys “Tailgate Approved.”  Luckily I do have one last surprise for you all. Along with the review opportunity I was also able to bounce some questions of Chef Michael Symon himself. Yes that same Michael Symon you’ve seen on “The Chew”, “Iron Chef America”, and all over the airwaves.  However the interview pushed the length of the post way over what we like to do so it will be released soon in a separate post.  I think Chef Symon gave us a few nice little tidbits that you can probably apply to your next tailgate. Stay tuned for that.  Update 10/24/14: The interview with Chef Symon can be found here.

For more information and to see other recipes you can visit Knob Creek directly at www.knobcreek.com.

Tailgating: Old Tech vs New Tech

Posted by Dave On October - 17 - 2014

College Football Tailgating

In looking at the calendar, we just realized that college football season is half way over. Half way!

Now before you start crying and getting the blues knowing that your opportunities to tailgate are slowly dwindling away, fear not. We have a solution that allows you to squeeze out more fun for the last remaining tailgates of the college football season. We recently teamed up with AT&T and will be publishing a three part series regarding #techgating.

What is #techgating? In a nut shell, #techgating is utilizing technology, whether it be on your smart phone, mobile apps, social media or even the newest tech hardware, to enhance your tailgating experience. Whether it is using tech to allow your friends to find your tailgating spot easier or to show the early college football games on your tablet or smart phone, using technology while tailgating has never been easier.

AT&T Techgating LogoIn Part One of our #techgating series, (Part Two will be a virtual tour of the AT&T Fan Zone truck and Part Three will include a big giveaway of a rather large gift card) we would like to show you how “new tech” can easily replace your “old tech”.

Most everyone today has a smart phone in their pocket. Many of you have a smart phone and a tablet. We all take our smart phones tailgating so we can stay in touch with others, take photos, keep up to date on our social media and even track scores of rival schools’ games underway while we are tailgating. An old way of keeping up with the early games was to drag out a portable electric source, more than likely a generator, hooking up cords to a satellite dish, locking in the satellite signal and then transmitting it to your TV you took off the wall of your living room. A few years ago, that was the way to go and you were on the cutting edge. Not anymore with the way technology has advanced.

Nowadays, you can up your game by utilizing something you already have in your pocket; your smart phone. Simply get an HDMI cable that on one end connects to your smart phone and the other end connects to your TV. Many college football games can be streamed onto your phone and with the HDMI cable or even Bluetooth, you can project the game from your phone to your TV screen for everyone at your tailgate to enjoy.

Tailgating SelfieIf bandwidth in order to stream the game is an issue, ask a friend to enable their smart phone to be a mobile hot spot. With AT&T’s Network, you can use the combined strength of the mobile hot spot, never miss a play of the early games while you grill up your tailgating grub for all of your adoring fans.

Taking another page from the #techgating playbook, you can pick up a mini HDMI projector that hooks up to your phone and can project the game onto a vertical flat surface. Grab a white, dry erase board, zip tie it to the frame of your pop-up tent, and you now have a big screen showing the game at your tailgate. That will sure be a crowd pleaser, especially when you can show your rival fumbling away the ball in their own end zone in the fourth quarter.

Lastly, a great way use new tech to enhance your tailgating experience, subscribing to a television service that can be picked up via your mobile device, like AT&T U-Verse, will bring your home TV to the parking lot. This way you can control what is viewed while tailgating right from your parking spot just as if you were on your couch at home. And we’re willing to bet and smell of brats on the grill beats the smell of your roommate’s ramen noodles boiling on the stove any day.

If you have other tailgating ideas on how to replace old tech with new tech while tailgating, leave them in the comments below. If it is a really awesome idea, we would encourage you to leave that suggestion on AT&T’s #techgating website, techgating.att.com. Once you visit there, you can tweet a picture, video or tip and make sure to include the hashtag #techgating for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship. Someone has to win. Why not you?

Stay tuned for more #techgating tips and our Part Two in this three part series next week. We visited the AT&T Fan Zone truck at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas prior to the Oklahoma/Texas Red River Showdown and got a private tour. We will post up the video and let you know what we found out.

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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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