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Johnsonville Road America Sweepstakes

Posted by Brandon On May - 10 - 2014Comments Off

johnsonville-logoJust a quick post today to let everyone know that our friends at Johnsonville have teamed with Road America to create a new contest specifically aimed at tailgaters.  As you may know Johnsonville sponsors an annual NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America.

Looks like they have 20 prize packs up for grabs, and each includes a portable grill, grilling tool set, and 2 folding tailgating chairs.  Best of all it’s free to enter.  prizePackage

You can read the rules here and you can enter for the contest here. Contest ends June 23rd, and according to the rules you can enter once per day.   Also, for what it’s worth, the race is June 21st and will be televised on ABC.  I’ve tuned in the last couple of years and I think it’s a pretty fun road course race.

Great Plate

Posted by Dave On April - 23 - 2014Comments Off

Great Plate FeaturedOver the years we have tested out a number of “one handed eating” plates. All of them somehow manage to have a plate holding food that also supports your beverage. Now comes the Great Plate to add to the mix.

Great Plate Upside down

Great Plate upside down

As you can see in the above photo, The Great Plate is circular with raised edges resembling a moat that surrounds your drink holder. The center drink holder can accommodate a canned beverage, a bottle or even a plastic party cup. The bottom has a cavity where you can wedge your fingers underneath to hold the Great Plate steady. (See image pictured at right)

The way you use the Great Plate is rather simple. Just load up your food in the circular area, place your drink in the center and now you can eat and drink standing up while out at a tailgate party. Not many people sit down in a chair and enjoy their tailgating grub with their plate of food and drink on a table. So it makes sense to have an all-in-one plate that can hold all of your food and your drink at the same time.

Naturally, we were sent a few samples of the Great Plate in order to test out while tailgating. We found the Great Plate to be a pretty good “one handed eating” type plate but no product is completely perfect. One flaw we did find is that larger food items do not go well with the Great Plate.

Although we tested these plates with brats, a larger food item like a hamburger wouldn’t fit very well on the Great Plate. Because of the curvature of the Great Plate, the surface area where you place food is limited. A hamburger would overlap the edges and could quite possibly fall off the plate. You would need to eat a few bites off your hamburger in order to make it fit and not fear it falling off.

All in all, the Great Plate is good at holding your food and your drink at the same time. Some items may not fit well but things like hot dogs, brats, ribs, etc. would go well on a Great Plate. Considering all the benefits and the price, we found the Great Plate to be “Tailgate Approved”.

The great plate comes in a four-pack in four different colors. You can choose between blue, red, green or yellow. The great plate four-packs will run you less than $15 via Amazon.com. The Great Plate is dishwasher safe and is made in the USA.

For more information, please visit: greatplate.net

Adjustable Bag Buddy

Posted by Dave On April - 21 - 2014Comments Off

Adjustable Bag Buddy Featured
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But when it comes to tailgating, trash for one tailgater is pretty much trash for the rest of us tailgaters. Finding an easy and convenient way to dispose of that trash while tailgating has been the hard part. You really don’t want your tailgating space to resemble North Campus at the University of Georgia after a football tailgate party.

We recently discovered the Adjustable Bag Buddy. The Adjustable Bag Buddy is a wire framed bag holder that raises and lowers to adjust to the height of your trash bag. The side bag holders also extend out and holds open taught the top opening of your trash bag. Take a look at their video.

As you can see in the video, the Adjustable Bag Buddy holds open all different types of trash bags. More than likely you will use it for tailgating with trash bags that range from 25 to 55 gallons size. We took the Adjustable Bag Buddy tailgating to a few college baseball games this season and found it to be very easy to assemble, it broke down quickly and kept our trash bags open and easy to use.

After numerous uses, the Adjustable Bag Buddy has now become our “go to” trash receptacle for tailgating. We have tried other tailgating trash collection systems, and the Adjustable Bag Buddy has now supplanted them all. (For frame of reference, we compared the Adjustable Bag Buddy to: the Bag-Caddy, the Kwickan and the Trash-Ease.)

The main flaws with those other three tailgating trash cans are as follows:

Bag-Caddy: It was lightweight which made it great for transport but it would tend to blow away in the breeze until a substantial amount of trash was in it to weigh it down.

Kwickan: This bag holder also had the same flaw as the Bag-Caddy in that it would blow away if there was no trash in it to weigh it down. Another flaw was that the holder was placed on the inside of the trash bag and would get messy from condiments and food sticking to it which made for a real mess when it came time to pack up.

Trash-Ease: This tailgating trash holder held the bag open but needed a table edge to hang it from in order for it work.

The Adjustable Bag Buddy solves all the problems of the previous trash bag holders. The wire frame is sturdy enough to withstand winds and will not tip over or slide if a gust of wind comes up. The trash bag goes on the inside of the wire racks so there is no chance of any messy food getting on the holder. Finally, the Adjustable Bag Buddy is free standing and does not require a table in order to work.

After thorough testing and comparing it to all others, the Adjustable Bag Buddy is definitely “Tailgate Approved”.

You can buy the adjustable Bag Buddy online at Amazon.com. For more information or to see other versions of the Bag Buddy, visit: bagbuddy.ca


Posted by Brandon On April - 7 - 2014Comments Off

It’s one of those food items that seems to make the world go ’round. In fact it’s among the world’s most traded commodities, and a multi-billion dollar industry many times over. So what does coffee have to do with tailgating? For those of us who have gotten up at the crack of dawn, or even before dawn, to head out to the lot after getting to bed late because you were preparing the next day’s festivities, you might reach for a cup or two (or 10) of Joe. Unfortunately coffee isn’t a true grab and go type of beverage for most of us since it has to be brewed. Sure, you can get up even earlier to brew some, or somewhere stop en route to the stadium, but you’re at the mercy of the person doing the brewing. I’ll be frank. Few things in life bring me down more than crappy java. Not to mention if you’re already running on zero and you’re facing an all day tailgate chances are you’ll need a few pickmeups along the way.


Before I go further I know what some of you are thinking, “Why not just grab a Red Bull or one of the other energy drinks?” Well, I would tend to agree with you that is a easier solution. However you do run into the problem of cost. I don’t know about you but I can put one of those away pretty quickly, and at $2 or more a pop, it adds up very quickly. But it goes beyond cost alone, there is the element of the psychological effects. Our friends in the northern latitudes who find themselves out in the December chill probably wouldn’t mind getting a little comfort and warmth from a hot drink rather than keep downing frosty cold ones. So that’s why I decided to look into coffee options for tailgaters.


The simplest choice for coffee, or any hot beverage for that matter, at your tailgate is probably going to be a thermos or other insulated container. One of significant quality will keep something hot for many hours and will likely be the best option for many tailgaters. The only caveat to this is that you need to have the drink to put in it which means brewing a significantly sized pot at home and filling it up before leaving the house. I’m sure many of you have been doing this for years, and if it’s working for you then by all means keep at it. Further considerations would be capacity, and durability. Some of these products are glass lined, and a significant drop may be all it takes to render it useless. To be fair that’s an unlikely scenario, albeit not far fetched. Among all the options I’ll discuss this is probably the most fool proof and simple to pull off.

If you’re in need of coffee on demand you might find it easy to turn to an instant variety. This method seems simple enough, just heat up some water, pour it in, and in a few minutes you’ve got something hot to sip on. This option is fairly affordable, and doesn’t take rocket science to do. Where this option might fall short is the taste. A lot of instant coffees are produced using inferior beans, and if you’re accustomed to coffee shop quality, you’re probably going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you have no preference, you just want a caffeine kick, this may be the ticket for you.



The next easiest option would be some sort of press pot, or French Press. This is a brew on site type approach, and I’m somewhat biased towards this method as I’ve been using it for a while now. I find it produces a very good result. Basically you add near-boiling water to coffee grounds, steep it for a short amount of time (~4 minutes), and then use the device to “press” out the grounds. What you’re left with is a more authentically brewed, and likely, higher quality beverage. Despite its upside, this method is more involved and requires some special considerations. For starters the most, not all, versions of device are usually made of glass in someway and is at risk much in the same way as the thermos mentioned above. Furthermore the grounds need to be ground differently, that is more coarsely, than you would for a conventional drip brewer. Two of these presses that may be better suited to the rigors of tailgating, and subsequently be of interest to the tailgate community would be the Bodum Young, and the Bodum Columbia. The latter tested quite well with the people over at America’s Test Kitchen, and I trust their rating.  If the price of those turns you off to the idea you might consider the Bodum Brazil which is a no frills, but still very useful and functional option.  There are other manufacturers of these presses, but I personally own two Bodums and I think they’re great.

Obviously if you are lucky enough to have sufficient electrical power available to you, you can entertain the idea of an electric powered brewer. While I don’t have personal experience with this, I have heard and read that many of the “portable” electric brewers are underwhelming performers. If you’ve got enough AC juice then the typical drip maker that you might use at home in your kitchen may be your best bet. Just remember the filters! Oh and make sure you shut it off too…

Any method you choose is going to require it’s own special considerations, and just because I didn’t mention something above it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you.  I should mention that I took the “hot water” component for granted as I assumed that you’d have a way to heat the water. If it was me, I would just use my grill, or some sort of camp stove.  Another key point would be to not overlook that you’ll need some cups capable of handing the hot temperatures. I don’t know how well a red plastic cup would feel in the hand when its full of piping hot coffee, and I really don’t care to try it.   As always we encourage you all to share your Tailgating Ideas with us.  Now where did I leave my mug?

Johnsonville Big Taste Grill

Posted by Brandon On April - 3 - 2014Comments Off

440,000, yes that’s four hundred forty thousand, BTU’s. Thats the amount of propane produced power pumped out by Johnsonville’s Big Taste Grill. Combine that with enough grill space to hold 750 brats at a single time, and you’ve got the recipe for a machine built to spit out 2500 piping hot brats in an hour. This thing is a tailgaters dream. (Although I bet the cost to park a vehicle of this size would be more than I make in a day.) I’ve known about this behemoth for some time, but seeing it in person was something that had alluded me until yesterday when it was parked in Clemmons, NC, not far from where I live. Needless to say I was not going to miss the opportunity to see it. I even managed to snap a few pics between bites of bratwurst.  Unfortunately I arrived a little later that I wanted to so I didn’t get to see the grill in operation, but it’s still pretty cool just the same.


The Big Taste Grill tours all over the country, and Grill Master Tucker informed me that they’ll be on the road for pretty much the rest of the year. In addition to this Johnsonville shares the proceeds from these events with local and national charities. For example yesterday monies went to the March of Dimes, which as an expectant father I had no problem supporting. If you’d like to see the Grill for yourself you can check out it’s touring scheduling at it’s homepage here. You can also read their blog and learn a little more about the grill.




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.

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