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Posted by Dave On October - 27 - 2015Comments Off on Kooba

Kooba game

When it comes to tailgating games, most of the new games coming to market are combo games, combining aspects of two or more games into one. We recently discovered Kooba which combines darts and board games into one tailgating game. Take a look at the video to see the set up and game play of Kooba.

We had a chance to test out Kooba and took it with us to the San Diego Chargers vs Cleveland Browns game. Our first concern was, how would we set it up while tailgating? There are no solid walls to hang things while out tailgating and the majority of examples we saw of Kooba being played were indoors hanging from a wall. As you can see in the photo below, we figured out a way to hang it using a bungee cord and the frame of our pop-up tent.

Kooba Featured

The aspects we enjoyed the most about Kooba was the close proximity to the game of darts it resembles but without the dangerous and sharp points that traditional darts bring to the party. The magnentic “aeros” fly off the sticks at the game board but won’t hurt anyone if there is a miss. If you plan on taking Kooba to a tailgate and hanging it up off your tailgating tent, we would suggest hanging it with your vehicle behind it or hanging a tarp “wall”. That way shots completely missing the Kooba game board don’t go flying into someone else’s tailgate or into foot or vehicle traffic.

Kooba is fun to play and is much more different than the regular cornhole or beer pong you see at most tailgate parties. Once you get the feel for the shot off of the Kooba sticks, you can make accurate shots and even play a little defense against opponents. I found my seven year-old son and I playing Kooba because it was a tailgating game we could play underneath the tent. If you are a regular reader of TailgatingIdeas.com and read our review of the Hang N Out Tailgating Bag Holder, you already know the weather in San Diego for that game was very “Un-San Diego-like” with some rain and wind before kick-off. Kooba was a tailgating game we could play underneath the tent whereas other tailgating games like cornhole would have placed us out in the elements.

After thoroughly testing and playing Kooba, it is definitely “Tailgate Approved”. Priced at $69.95 at Amazon, it includes: 2 sticks, 3 Aeros, 4 Markers, Kooba center piece, folding portable board with integrated stick handles and instructions for three different games are included on a hanging card.

For more information or to buy Kooba for your next tailgate, visit: koobagame.com

Tailgating Tavern

Posted by Dave On October - 26 - 2015Comments Off on Tailgating Tavern

Tailgating Tavern Featured
While out tailgating, you want to be the life of the parking lot. You want your party to be flawless and have everything you need within arm’s reach. We recently discovered Tailgaterz, which is a new brand of tailgating equipment that has a number of products designed to improve your tailgating experience. Take a look at their company video.

As you saw in the video, there is a really cool party station called the Tailgating Tavern and we had the opportunity to test that product out while tailgating. (Disclaimer: We received a sample of The Tailgating Tavern free of charge. The fact this sample was provided to us for free in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

The images show you that it is a portable bar that comes complete with side trays for ice and cup holders. The back has a utility shelf and spaces for bottles much like a wine rack. The bottom has space to place a cooler in there for even more cold storage all organized in one easy to locate area. The top has a hard surface where you can mix and serve drinks and the whole unit is tall like a bar so you can hang out and belly up just like you were at your favorite watering hole. The best part is the Tailgating Tavern sets up quickly and folds down just as fast when it is time to go into the event. The whole thing fits into a carrying bag and fits into any size tailgating vehicle. If you can set up and fold down a quad chair, you can set up and break down the Tailgating Tavern.

Some of the main features of the Tailgating Tavern include:

  • Simple design sets up in seconds
  • Sturdy prep and serving surface resists heat up to 200 degrees
  • Integrated cup holders
  • Built-in hanging organizers for cups, extra bottles, food and accessories
  • Cooler garage provides shelter for most 36-quart coolers (not included)
  • Interior shelf for plates and dry goods
  • Removable insulated side trays offer easy access to beverages and ice
  • Light and compact for easy travel

As we mentioned, we had the opportunity to test out the tailgating Tavern a few weeks while tailgating at the Cleveland Browns vs San Diego Chargers game. The set up was simple and quick and breaking it down was just as easy. Everyone that saw us set it up was curious as to what it was and once they realized it was a portable bar, they started asking how much did it cost and where to buy one.

Although the Tailgating Tavern is designed more for the drinking crowd with the removable ice trays and bottle storage in the back, Tailgaterz also makes a product called the Gameday Buffet which is quite similar to the tailgating Tavern. The Gameday Buffet folds up into a briefcase size and pops up and is ready in seconds as well. If you are not having “that kind of tailgate” where you are serving drinks and need a portable bar, the Gameday Buffet might be what you have been looking for. Check out their video demonstration of the Gameday Buffet.

The Gameday Buffet runs in the neighborhood of $80 while the Tailgating Tavern will cost around $90. After taking the Tailgating Tavern to the parking lot and thoroughly testing it, the Tailgating Tavern is “Tailgate Approved”. We also had the opportunity to test out and review the Cool-N-Carry, also made by Tailgaterz, and will be publishing our review on that product a bit later.

To learn more about products from  or to buy a Tailgating Tavern for your next tailgate party, visit: tailgaterzgear.com.

Video: Seahawks Beast Bus

Posted by Dave On October - 22 - 2015Comments Off on Video: Seahawks Beast Bus

Hang N Out Tailgating Bag Holder

Posted by Dave On October - 21 - 20151 COMMENT

Hang N Out Tailgating Bag Holder
NOTE: Please read the entire article to find out ways to receive a Hang N Out for free.

Trash. It’s just one of those things we as tailgaters have to deal with. Keeping your tailgating space clean and tidy is tough because the normal trash collecting devices designed for tailgating take up valuable tailgating space.

We recently discovered the Hang N Out. It’s a trash bag holder that affixes to your vehicle tire in seconds and keeps trash out of sight and keeps your trash bag open. Take a look at their video to see how it works.

As you saw in the video, the Hang N Out has two pieces and fits 8″ to 13″ (203 mm – 330 mm) tires. The spring collapses easily in your hands to adjust to the size of your tire and when released, holds tightly to the tire. The bag hoop ring attaches quickly once you have the bag opening stretched across the circumference of the hoop.

We were sent a sample of the Hang N Out and promptly took it to the San Diego Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns game. As you can see from the photo gallery, it was raining that day and did not affect our ability to test and use the Hang N Out. (Disclaimer: We received a sample of Hang N Out free of charge. The fact this sample was provided to us for free in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

Before receiving the sample of the Hang N Out, my main concern was that the bag was loosely attached to the hoop ring and with increased weight if a heavy plate of food was dropped in there, the edges of the bag would come off. After testing it while tailgating, I am happy to say that the bag stayed attached and did not come off. Even though the weather in San Diego was not ideal and we had some wind and rain that day, neither the wind nor the rain water that collected in the bag made the bag come off of the hoop.

My other concern was that the section of the Hang N Out was sticking out into the area where trash was being thrown away. If that part was hit by a plate with baked beans or some other sticky substance, it would be messy on your hands when it was time to remove the Hang N Out from your tire at the end of the tailgate.

I found that with basic human nature, people tend to avoid the part that sticks out over the bag hole and we were able to remove the Hang N Out when it was time to go into the game with no mess. The section of the spring loaded base does not stick out too much into the bag opening so it is easy to avoid when throwing trash away. Even if an errant plate hits the Hang N Out base, the plastic can be wiped down with a cloth or paper towel and then the piece removed without making your hands messy.

After testing the Hang N Out, it is definitely “Tailgate Approved”. While out tailgating, we received a lot of compliments on the Hang N Out and a number of people asked where they could get one and how much it cost. Many people also remarked that it would be great for not just tailgating but for camping, trips to the beach or park, etc.

Now that you have seen how the Hang N Out works, the folks at Hang N Out have agreed to give away three of them to Tailgating Ideas readers. There are three ways you can receive one for free.

1) Blog Comment – Comment below telling us why you would like to receive a Hang N Out and how it would improve your tailgating. One winner will be randomly selected from those that comment. Comments will be open for a week and after a week has passed, we will randomly select a winner from those who commented on this blog post. make sure when posting your comment to include your email. Your email will not be displayed to other readers but will be the only way we can contact you. We promise to not spam you.

2 Twitter – Tweet us @tailgatingideas and use the hashtag #hangnout. Tell us in your tweet where you would use your Hang N Out. Tweet us as many times as you like to increase your chances of your tweet being selected. The most interesting tweet as chosen by us will receive a free Hang N Out.

3) Facebook – Comment on the Facebook page post HERE. In your comment, let us know where you tailgate and if you like, even include a photo of your tailgating space to show how the Hang N out would improve your tailgating. Have fun with your comment but make sure to comment on the Facebook post promoting this giveaway. Posts to the Tailgating Ideas fan page wall will not be counted. One comment on the Facebook post promoting the Hang N Out will be randomly selected to receive one.

The Hang N Out is $35 and is made in the USA. If you are not selected to receive a free Hang N Out, you can buy one by visiting hangnout.com

Outdoor “Pre” Cooking with Johnsonville

Posted by Brandon On October - 20 - 2015Comments Off on Outdoor “Pre” Cooking with Johnsonville

When I first started accumulating my tailgating provisions, I found the second best place in the store, the first being the beer aisle, for me was the camping section.  Why the camping section you ask?  Well that’s where all the gear for living outdoors is at.  After all, are tailgating and camping really all that different?  Both are outdoor activities, both typically involve being away from the comforts of home, and both usually involve indulging on plenty of food and drink.   Some NASCAR events have “camping” prior to the race which is nothing more than tailgating overnight.  If you ask me they are cut from the same cloth. So why do I draw this comparison between tailgating and camping?  Well as you might have guessed by the Johnsonville logo featured prominently in the post it has something to do with sausage.  Specifically pre-cooked sausage.   Johnsonville Logo Big

Good food safety practices involve lots of things.  Proper refrigeration, cooking food to safe temps, and avoiding cross contamination with raw meat juices are all things that pretty much anyone who has ever learned anything about cooking knows.  Coolers are the obvious solution to the refrigeration conundrum.  A good quality cooler with plenty of ice is a no brainer.  Cooking food to safe temps is also easy to avoid most of the time, especially if you have a good quality instant read thermometer with you.  That is something I recommend  for everyone cooking raw meat, its the best way to stay safe, and to not grossly overcook your food.

The problem that isn’t so easy to pin down is cross contamination, especially in the remote settings that tailgaters and campers alike share.  Sure some people have full sinks and all that in their RV, but for many of us we’re faced with the makings of a bacterial breeding ground.   I have cooked plenty of raw meat at tailgates, it can be done without a doubt, but you know I wonder how many times I touched raw meat and then spread any potential germs to other things.  I haven’t gotten sick, but I may have just gotten lucky so far.  This is where the pre-cooked sausage comes in.  By removing those raw meat juices we greatly reduce the chance of foodborn illness.  That way you can worry about staying away from the hangover and not if you’re going to wind up with food poisoning.

We’ve talked about some of Johnsonville’s pre-cooked offerings before, and we’ve never been let down by any of them.   Now while with one notable and extremely tasty exception, we’ve basically treated all of these products as a sausage in a bun type of thing, part of this article is show that these are versatile products that can work in other applications.

Disclosure: Johnsonville gave us coupons and a gift card to try these products and do some recipe development.

IMG_20151018_132434226 (1)So how can you use these pre-cooked offerings at your next away from home trip?  The first is obvious, use them just as you would any other brat or sausage from Johnsonville.  Grill it, put it in a bun, top it, and scarf.   If you are a brat fanatic, you might focus your attention on the Stadium Style Brats.  They deliver a near identical flavor profile to the standard Johnsonville Brat, and since they’re slightly smaller and more uniform you can fit many more on your grill.  Another upside is that you get 6 in a pack compared to 5 come in the normal pack, which means you can get more pieces in the cooler.   Not to mention they are usually less expensive!  I have a small Weber Smokey Joe Gold in this photo and you can see it holds plenty of sausages for a crowd.  Plus since we’re dealing with pre-cooked we can heat through to at least 140 degrees and serve.  There is no need to get to 160.  In fact the recommended cooking time is basically half of the uncooked brats.  If you often have trouble keeping up with demand these are the answer.

The next is a great dish for tailgaters and campers alike.  The idea of this dish is a staple in many cultures. Rice and Beans.  We decided to utilize the Andouille Split Rope Links to make a Louisiana-esque Red Beans and Rice. Upside to this dish is using only one pot.   Why one pot?  Fewer dishes to clean, and all the flavor stays in one place, no worrying about it being split over multiple vessels.  Using instant rice and canned beans we can knock this out in 30 minutes.  While cook time is always a concern, running a cooker/grill/stove for long periods of time with limited amounts of fuel is something that should be considered whether in the woods or parking lot.  Pot selection isn’t supremely important here, but I am a big fan of cast iron dutch ovens.  They are super versatile and can take a fair amount of abuse.  You can double the recipe if you have a pot of sufficient size, at least 6 qts. 


Red Beans and Rice with Spicy Johnsonville Sausage

Serves: Serves 4-6


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 package Johnsonville Andouille Split Rope (2 links) or New Orleans Spicy Smoked Links (6 links), sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 16oz cans red beans or kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cups of instant rice (Minute Rice)
  • Creole Seasoning


  1. Add the vegetable oil to a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned on one side. 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add onion, green pepper, and celery, cook until onions translucent, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and sprinkle with seasoning blend.  
  4. Add the broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the beans and rice. Turn off heat and cover.
  5. Before serving taste and add more seasoning as necessary.

Another great option is something called a Hobo Pack.  Now many of you who were in scouting are probably familiar with this concept.  The idea is that you wrap things you want to cook in foil and then place it on the fire, coals, grill, etc.   The upside is that after heating let them cool off a bit and you can eat directly from the packet so no plates!  You can use this method for just about anything you want, but I think the Polish Kielbasa Split Rope with potato and onion hits the spot quite nicely.   Also what we’re doing to save some time is pre-cooking the potato since they really have to be cooked thoroughly to be appetizing.  You can leave the potato uncooked if you’d prefer, but keep in mind that will increase cooking time substantially.


Johnsonville Polish Sausage and Potato Hobo Pack

Serves 6


  • 1 package (2 links) Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa Split Rope, sliced into ¼” slices
  • 2 lbs red potatoes cleaned
  • 1 each sweet red and yellow peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ garlic powder


  1. Quarter potatoes by slicing in half, and then each half in half again.  Smaller potatoes may only need to be sliced in half.  Place pieces in bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap
  2. Microwave potatoes for 5- 8 minutes until potatoes are mostly cooked.  Shake halfway throughout.  After cooking carefully remove plastic wrap and drain.
  3. Toss all ingredients in bowl.
  4. Divide the kielbasa, potatoes, peppers and onion among six double thicknesses of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. x 12 in.).   Seal edges of foil tightly to form packet.  Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  5. Place “hobo pack” on grill, over direct heat for 10-15 minutes, turning several times throughout,  until packets are sizzling.  Let cool for a minute or so before serving.  Be careful when opening packet.

It is worth mentioning that the Split Rope sausages come packaged with 2 links, but each link is in it’s own pack.  So if you only wanted to use one you can just open that, the other remains sealed in it’s own packaging.   Also worth noting, is that many other packages of smoked/cooked links come in resealable zipper packaging.  So if you are out and about and only use a couple out of a package you can seal them back up and use them at a later time without worrying about them becoming water logged from sitting in the cooler.  Those are little things, but no one likes to waste food, and ultimately money if they don’t have to.

To summarize, whether it’s tailgating, camping, or cooking outdoors for any other reason give the pre-cooked line a look for several reasons.  Faster “cooking” time due to the need to heat not cook, no raw meat to cross contaminate, and a wide range of flavors and styles for versatility.

To learn more about where you can find Johnsonville’s extensive pre-cooked product line you can visit their product locator link.  The product line is so expansive that I can’t imagine any one store will carry them all, in fact for this article I had to journey to a couple stores.  While you’re there you can see all the offerings, and take a peek at Johnsonville’s very large recipe database.  Oh and why not enter their camping contest?  Could win some cool prizes!





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.