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Top 10 Posts of 2013

Posted by Dave On December - 30 - 2013

top 10It seems fitting that as the year comes to a close and we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in 2014 that we look back at the 10 most popular posts that were published here at Tailgating Ideas. 2013 was a good year for us as we continued to grow and expand. We saw traffic numbers increase and gained more visitors than in any of our previous years. (We were founded in 2007 and in August 2014 we will celebrate our seventh year blogging.)

2013 was the year of the product review. In recent memory, we can not recall a year where we did more Tailgating Game Reviews and more Tailgating Gear Reviews than we did this year. We counted them up and we did nearly 50 gear and game reviews (48 to be exact) this year alone. It stands to reason that many of our top posts from 2013 come from either of those two categories.

So without any further delay, let’s recap the year that was 2013 and share with you all the top 10 posts from this past year:

Mega Pongo Featured10) MegaPongo – A tailgating game review by Rob, MegaPongo takes beer pong to a new level. The game stands can be set at varying lengths and there are a multitude of cup formations to configure your cups. There are even backboards and a ball collection system for missed shots. Because this new game is so different from the regular beer pong played on a table, it is no wonder this tailgating game review was one of our most popular and most read posts in 2013.

Chill Bit in Ice chest9) Chill Bit – Since our original product review was published, the Chill Bit successfully completed a Kickstarter fund raising campaign that allowed them to redesign the product and bring it to mass production. But before all that success started, we reviewed the 1.0 version. The Chill Bit basically snaps onto a warm can or bottle and spins it in ice using your cordless drill and will chill it down to the same temperature had it been sitting in your cooler for hours. It does this all in about 90 seconds to two minutes and it is safe to open immediately after spinning without fizzing over or exploding. You have to read the review to understand the science behind it but the bottom line is it works and the Chill Bit was our No. 9 most popular entry this year.

Man dreaming about tailgating8) Tailgating Fantasy – Originally written to help promote the Visa #MyFootballFantasy campaign, this was a humor piece written to outline my own football fantasy. With things like the a luxury cruiser, battling celebrity chefs, Isaac the bartender from the Love Boat serving up drinks, piloting an F-18 Hornet for the stadium fly-over and making it rain bacon strips, this was one fantasy that if reality and money were not a factor, would have been epic. But alas it is only a fantasy but at least it is all mine and it was fun to write and share.

Tampon Flasks

Tampon Flasks

7) Tampon Flasks – Smuggling booze inside the stadium or concert venue has been the topic of numerous reviews here on TailgatingIdeas.com over the years. It is no wonder that three of the top 10 posts in 2013 had to do with saving a little bit of money by doing a sneaky BYOB past security. These flasks look like test tubes you used in high school science lab but are designed to bring in liquor wrapped in a tampon wrapper. We all know security guards will not even touch a woman’s purse if he sees some tampons in there and will waive her right through. That is the genius design in these little flasks that hold about an ounce and a half of liquid and are sold in a 5-pack.

Party Barge Social Floater Featured6) Pool Pong Party Barge – Back in 2007 when we started this tailgating blog, we discovered the PortOPong inflatable beer pong table. You knew it was bound to happen that someone would take that basic concept of a floating beer pong table and improve upon it. Hence the Party Barge was born. Not only does it float in water for games of beer pong but it has additional cup holders around the edges to be used for game spectators or to use it as a floating bar. The biggest improvement was the addition of a sunken cooler in the middle that can hold up to 18 canned beverages plus ice. With that added feature you never have to get out of the water to grab another cold one. No wonder this post and product review was our sixth most popular in 2013.

FanMugs Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Bulldogs

5) FanMug – When it comes to tailgating, we sure do love to show our undying support and devotion to our team. From team apparel to hats to face painting, we love to show our support in many different ways. When we discovered the FanMug, an authentic, miniature replica of your favorite football team’s helmet, we knew right away it would be a hit with tailgaters. It can be used as a can or bottle koozie or as a regular mug to hold hot or cold beverages. High quality with extreme attention to detail the FanMug was not only quite popular out in the parking lots but was one of the most popular posts and gear reviews we did in 2013.

Sunscreen Flask4) Sunscreen Flask – The second of three posts that involve a new and genius way to smuggle your booze past security when attending a game or concert. These 8 oz. tubes look identical to a tube of sunscreen but they are made from food grade plastic. Nowhere on the tube except in very fine print on the back does it reveal that it is not a legitimate tube of sunscreen. From a reasonable distance and at close examination it looks exactly like an SPF 30 sunscreen bottle. Why a flask disguised as a sunscreen tube? Quite honestly because all events allow sunscreen in past security. Football games, baseball games, concerts, state fairs, outdoor festivals all have security staff checking bags and backpacks before entering the venue. All of these events allow sunscreen in past the gates and the Sunscreen Flask is so stealth, the security won’t think twice about checking it closely. With the cost of alcohol inside a stadium these days sky high, no wonder this post was our fourth most popular this year.

Hi-Tops Featured3) Hi-Tops – Hi-Tops is a new tailgating game that combines elements of other popular tailgating games like cornhole and beer pong but puts a new twist on it to make it a fun and unique tailgating game. Hi-Tops was invented by two recent University of Central Florida graduates. They came up with the concept of hi-Tops when they were on a road trip, talking about the tailgating and drinking games that are available on the market now. Both agreed there just wasn’t really anything that satisfied everything they would like to see in a game that was also easy and convenient to play while tailgating. We took Hi-Tops tailgating with us to a Monday Night Football game and it was a big hit. Gauging from the amount of people that read the review, making it our No. 3 most popular post in 2003, the readers thought it was a big hit too.

49er fan security pat down

Photo Credit: Associated Press

2) Best ways to smuggle alcohol – With so many different gadgets and techniques to smuggle your booze out there, we decided to compile a list of the best ones . Over the years we have tried out numerous booze smuggling techniques and why not put together a 10 best list for the booze smuggling crowd? We featured such gadgets like the Freedom Flask, the Bootlegger and even The WineRack for women. More sneaky ways to smuggle your booze were featured in this post and it is no wonder why it came in ranked at No. 2 of our most popular post in 2013.

Whizdom on black shoe1) The Whizdom – the Whizdom is a personal urinary device that basically extends the end of your penis to the ground in a self-contained tube so you can urinate without having to go to the port-a-potty. Guys, how many times have we peed on a tree while out camping? Same concept here but you would be doing it more discreetly and in more of a public setting. Just make sure the cops aren’t looking and follow you to the area where you have targeted as your “relief zone”. This post came in at No. 1 for two reasons. The sheer outrageousness of this little device generated some social media buzz and it was shared on Twitter and Facebook quite a bit. The big boost was when we received a link from Sports illustrated that really boosted the number of people that saw this post.

So there you have it. Another year in the books and another successful year for all involved at making TailgatingIdeas.com the best tailgate party lifestyle blog on the web. We did have a few other popular posts that took in a lot of visitors but just didn’t make the top 10. Those honorable mentions include: The Kegster, Ryobi RYI 2200, OYO Sportstoys, CocktailGator and the Flip-Box Iceless Cooler.

Thanks for reading and we expect even bigger things for 2014.

Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula

Posted by Dave On December - 29 - 2013
Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula

Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula

When it comes to grilling, the spatula and tongs are the main tools of the trade. A fireman can not do his job without a hose and water, the spatula and tongs are the two tools a griller has to have for grilling.

Some may ask, “Yeah, we know this. Can’t I just take a spatula from my kitchen and take it tailgating and that will do the job?”. Sure, you could, but why would you want to? You are not just your run of the mill tailgater. Why would you want a run of the mill grilling tool? We recently tested out the Grill Daddy Heat Shield Stainless-Steel Spatula to see if it was worth the upgrade from your regular spatula.

Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula meat thermometer

Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula meat thermometer

The basic spatula has a handle on one end and a flat surface to turn your meats on the other. The Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula has taken that basic concept and made four major improvements.

The first improvement is that the folks at Grill Daddy added a swiveling heat shield that is weighted and always faces down. No matter where your hand is positioned, the heat shield is blocking the heat radiating up from your grill. How many times have you gone to get those last few burgers on the back of the grill grate only to come back with the hairs on your knuckles singed off? The rotating heat shield now prevents that from happening and you don’t have to fear working on a really hot grill.

The second improvement is the spatula adjusts to the size of your grill. For tight spaces, keep the Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula at normal length. For larger grills, the spatula has a telescoping shaft for extended reach and adds 5.5 inches of length of the spatula. Most spatulas do not give you the option of length adjustment. Most are either regular length or a long handled model. The Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula gives you the option of a regular spatula when you want it and a long handled one when you need it.

The third improvement we found with the Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula was the flat spatula end is removable. We found this to be a great feature in that normally this is the only part of the spatula that gets dirty and needs to be placed in the dishwasher. Just remove the stainless steel spatula head from the shaft and place it in the dishwasher. No need to take up a large area in there if you only need one smaller piece to be cleaned. Because the spatula head is removable, there are an array of other attachments you can place in the telescoping shaft including a basting brush, fork, slider flipper and a wider spatula flipper for fish. All you do is push a button to release the attachment and replace it with one of the ones you want to use for whatever grilling application you are doing. Each of the different grilling attachments are sold separately.

The final improvement we found was the Grill Daddy Heat Shield Stainless-Steel Spatula comes with a food thermometer in the handle. Simply pull it out and remove it from the handle to test the temperature of meats you are grilling. Place it back in the handle after sanitizing it for use the next time you need to check your food’s temperature. No more fumbling around in the tailgating kit to find your meat thermometer because this one is right there in the handle.

We took the Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula out tailgating to the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 26th. We grabbed our Sizzle-Q and made some grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids. This was a perfect opportunity to test out the Grill Daddy Heat Shield Spatula in a real tailgating environment. We also cooked some hamburgers and brats on our original Freedom Grill FG-50 to thoroughly test out the spatula.

Cut to the chase, the spatula worked flawlessly. We enjoyed the ergonomic handle and the way the heat shield swiveled to always point down and protect our hand from the heat. The shaft slid in and out easily whenever we needed some extra length to reach those items on the back of the grill. After thoroughly running the Grill Daddy Heat Shield Stainless-Steel Spatula through it’s paces, we are going to definitely deem it “Tailgate Approved”.

The Grill Daddy Heat Shield Stainless-Steel Spatula normally costs about $25 but right now they cost $17.99 at Amazon. I would highly recommend this grilling spatula to any and all tailgaters that are looking to not only get a handle on their parking lot grilling but to protect their hands from burns and to be the king of the grilling space. It may be too late to give this as a gift for Christmas but Father’s Day is about six months away and this would make a perfect gift for the dad that loves to grill.

Trash-Ease

Posted by Dave On December - 27 - 2013

The very nature of tailgating being a temporary party in the parking lot, the speed and convenience of using many disposable items like paper plates, napkins and zipper storage bags produces a lot of refuse. Trash disposal while tailgating is as big of an issue as making sure your cooler has enough ice or you have have found the perfect spot to park. We recently had the opportunity to test out the Trash-Ease: A portable, reusable and adjustable trash bag holder.

Trash Ease Featured

The Trash-Ease is a one-piece wire system that is powder coated to prevent rust and the ends are rubber coated to protect surfaces from scratching. You simply attach the Trash-Ease to the edge of your tailgating table and then hang a 13-galloon drawstring bag off of it. The trash bag is held open and is off the ground. Also, the trash bag is easy to find and people can toss their rubbish in the bag easily without having to bend over and pick up the top opening of the bag that is laying on the ground. Once the tailgate party is over, simply take the bag off of the wires, cinch up the drawstring and carry the bag to the nearest dumpster on your way to the entrance gates. Just as recently as last night we used the Trash-Ease on our GoPong 8′ Football Beer Pong Table while tailgating before the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.

We tested the Trash-Ease on the side of our beer pong table but it also works on those folding utility tables that almost every tailgater seems to have. Before we took it tailgating, we tested it on the counters in our kitchen at home and even on the side of our dinette table at home as well. The Trash-Ease held strong on all different types of ledges and the bag was easy to put on and take off each and every time.

In the interest of fairness, we have tested a number of trash receptacles that were designed for tailgating. The first was the Bag-Caddy which we tested out in 2009. The Bag-Caddy is a stand alone trash bag holder but the one thing we found that was a flaw was that unless it was immediately filled with trash, it tended to tip over in the wind. After adding a few cans and bottles and other trash items that added some weight to the bottom, the Bag-Caddy would not tip if there was a gust of wind.

The other trash receptacle that we most recently tested was the Kwickan. The Kwickan was very similar to the Bag-Caddy and had the same flaw in that it tipped in the wind if it was not weighted down with trash. An additional flaw was the Kwickan went inside the trash bag so sticky and messy garbage could potentially get on the holder and would be a messy clean up in order to get it back in your car.

After thoroughly testing the Trash-Ease and comparing it to the other tailgating trash collection devices, we are going to declare Trash-Ease the winner. Of course that means that Trash-Ease is Tailgating Ideas “Tailgate Approved”.

Of course we tested the trash-Ease in regards to how well it performs while out tailgating. It is small and compact enough to fit into your tailgating kit and you can even use it at home when you are not tailgating. Put it on the side of your coffee table when watching your team play on the road. Throw your peanut shells or my favorite, pistachio shells in there and save yourself the hassle of having to wash a bowl. You can even use it for scrap booking or even for food prep for throwing away the stems and ends of fruits and vegetables. If you have a table or a ledge where trash will be thrown away, Trash-Ease has you covered.

Trash-Ease’s slim, one piece construction allows it to be stored easily away or hung without fear of losing pieces. When you want to use it, it does not require any tools. It just hangs on the underside of your table and you are good to go. The best part? Trash-Ease is 100% Made in the USA.

Trash-Ease is available for purchase online at Camping World and also on Amazon. Camping World is currently running a special on the Trash-Ease, pricing them at $12.99 while Amazon lists them for under $20.

To learn more about Trash-Ease, visit: trashease.com

Stocking Stuffer Ideas 2013

Posted by Dave On December - 17 - 2013


Some say that stocking stuffer ideas are the hardest to find and come up with. Not only do they need to be the perfect gift for that special someone on your list, but stocking stuffers by nature need to be small and compact enough to fit in a stocking. TailgatingIdeas.com to the rescue. Over the course of this past year we have tested and reviewed a ton of tailgating products that would make great gifts. (Make sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide for Tailgaters – 2013 Edition if you still need some gift ideas.) Without further delay or unneccesary introduction, here are the Tailgating Ideas Stocking Stuffer Ideas for 2013.

Beerouette

Beerouette in ice

Beerouette in ice

Remember a while back when we told you about the guys from Spin Chill that successfully surpassed their goal of $10,000 and raised over $40,000 on Kickstarter to develop their Beerouette? Well, it finally made it into mass production and would make a perfect stocking stuffer. It runs on three AA batteries and fits nicely into your pocket and of course slides easily into a stocking. It spins a canned beverage or even a bottled beverage in ice and turns a warm drink to ice cold in under two minutes. Price: $35 plus $6 postage and packaging. Buy two Beerouettes, one for you and one for a friend, and they ship in the same box for $9. Get the Beerouette HERE. Read the rest of this entry »

Steemee Wonder

Posted by Dave On December - 14 - 2013

Steemee Wonder Featured
As a tailgater and a sports fan, it is safe to assume you have eaten a few hot dogs inside the stadium. For some reason and you can’t put your finger on it, they always seem to taste better than the hot dogs you prepare at home or out in the parking lot. Is it because they use special hot dogs and buns you can’t buy at the store? That’s not it. Is it that they just seem to taste better because of the atmosphere you are in and your brain just associates a better tasting hot dog because you are inside the stadium watching a game? That’s not it either.

The reason why hot dogs purchased inside the stadium tend to taste better than the ones you prepare on your own can be summed up in one simple word: Steam.

Hot dogs and their buns are cooked inside the stadium using steam. Trying to replicate that steaming process that the ball parks use at home or at the tailgate has been quite difficult. That is until we discovered a new product called the Steemee Wonder.

The Steemee Wonder takes the process of cooking your hot dogs and steaming the hot dog buns into a simple three step process and produces six delicious ballpark tasting hot dogs in six minutes. The Steemee Wonder is a three pot system with one lid that can be used at home or on the grill out in the parking lot. Here is how it works.

Take the bottom pot of the Steemee Wonder and fill it half way full with water. Place it on your heat source, stove top or grill, and get the water to a rolling boil. While the water is getting hot, place six hot dogs in the second chamber. The second chamber is a pot with numerous holes on the bottom to allow the steaming water below to heat the hot dogs. Once the water is boiling, place the second pot with the hot dogs on top of the boiling water pot and cover. Set the timer for three minutes and while the hot dogs are cooking, place six hot dog buns in the top pot. This pot has four holes in it to allow the steam to get into the buns. Make sure to not cover the holes with the buns so as to avoid the buns from getting soggy and cutting off the flow of steam to the other buns. After the hot dogs have steamed for three minutes, place the pot with the buns on top of the other two pots and let steam for three minutes. After three minutes remove the buns and place the hot dogs in them and allow your guests to top them with the condiments and toppings of their choice.

As you can see in the above gallery, we first tried the Steemee Wonder at home on our stove top. Cut to the chase, these hot dogs tasted identical to the ones you get at the stadium. If you have more than six people who are hungry, the water is already boiling, just place six more hot dogs in the middle pot and do another batch.

The taste of the hot dogs prepared in the Steemee Wonder was uncanny when comparing it to the taste of stadium hot dogs. My girlfriend practically grew up going to Los Angeles Dodgers games and has consumed quite a few Dodgers Dogs in her lifetime. Anyone who has been to Dodger Stadium will probably agree that the Dodger Dog is the end all, be all when it comes to stadium hot dogs. My girlfriend remarked that had she known about the Steemee Wonder years ago, she probably would have save a small fortune by not having to buy a Dodger Dog every time she went to a Dodgers game. Now if that is not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

But of course this is a tailgating blog where we test products and review them in a real tailgating environment. The Steemee Wonder makes six ballpark style hot dogs on the stove at home flawlessly. But how does it perform on a grill in a tailgating parking lot? That remained to be seen.

We tested the Steemee Wonder on a grill to see how it would perform had it been brought tailgating. The same process as we used when testing it on the stove top was used on the grill. We fired up the grill on high and got the water boiling. It took a little longer to the get the water boiling on the grill because it was not directly over the heat source or the flame on the stove. Most grills you need to heat to 500 degrees before putting on your food and the good news is that you only need the grill to get 212 to get the water boiling.

We followed the same process once the water started boiling of placing the hot dogs on for three minutes and then adding the buns for the remaining three minutes. After a total of six minutes on the grill the hot dogs tasted just like we purchased them at the stadium.

After testing the Steemee Wonder both at home and on the grill, we are going to deem the Steemee Wonder “Tailgate Approved”. It is dishwasher safe and if you buy one, a carrying bag and 50 Hotdog wrappers are included. Currently priced at $29.97, the Steemee Wonder is available on Amazon.com. The Steemee Wonder only has four reviews on Amazon but the positive news is all four are five star reviews and all of the reviewers raved about the product.

For more information you can also visit: tvhotdog.com

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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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