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KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce Mix and Dry Rub

Posted by Brandon On July - 11 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

habaneroEvery so often when we’re contacted about evaluating a product the conversation leads to other review opportunities.  This just so happened to be the case with KC Masterpiece’s new BBQ Sauce Mix and Dry Rub.   Being no stranger to BBQ sauce I was more than willing to give it a try.

Initially I was unsure of how this product worked. I mean in most cases BBQ sauce really isn’t something that you just throw stuff into and out it comes.  BBQ sauce can mean many things, and can be somewhat controversial in the true BBQ world, but for the casual cook we typically associate the term BBQ Sauce with a thick reddish brown/completely brown sauce we find in bottles at the grocer.   While you can make your own somewhat easily it does involve several ingredients and cooking.   This BBQ Sauce Mix eliminates most of the ingredients and the cooking all together.

IMG_20160711_115112757To make a sauce with this all you need to do is add 3/4 of liquid to one of the 2 packets that come in the box.  What kind of liquid? Well that is where this product finds its use.  The mix provides a pretty solid base flavor and the liquids you add are not only going to make the sauce well, liquid, but add those additional flavors you might be interested in.  Like fruit flavors in your sauce?  Just add whatever fruit juice you want.  Really like the tangy acidity that vinegar adds?  Use some vinegar.  You are in the driver’s seat here, its entirely up to you.  Want to crack a can of beer and whip it up in the parking lot?  Should work just fine.  IMG_20160709_193448180

Since we were sent a sample of the Spicy Habanero variety and decided to go with sort of a honey mango type of thing for the test.  So all I had to do was add 1/4 each of mango nectar, honey, and cider vinegar.  What I got was a pretty nice little sauce with not an excessive amount of heat.  I can safely say it wasn’t excessive because my wife who is pretty sensitive to the heat thought it was an acceptable level.  I applied this to some wings I had cooked on the grill as part of another product evaluation and I was  pleased with the results.  It might have been a touch thick for tossing wings in, but I also made it in advance of saucing and per the box the sauce will thicken over time, plus most wings can’t have enough sauce on them.

Full disclosure, we didn’t try the product in the dry rub or marinade capacity.   This wasn’t because I didn’t think it would be good, it was just a result of having grilled meats for pretty much every meal for a week. 

All in all I think its a good product especially if you want to whip up a fresh BBQ sauce in a hurry.   The Spicy Habanero version is gluten free per the box, and I would guess that the others probably are as well.  You can find this product pretty easily in Wal-Mart and the price is pretty right coming in around $3 for a box of 2 pouches of mix.  For more info and recipe ideas you can check out www.kcmasterpiece.com 

 

Tailgating has come to Canada! (Sort of)

Posted by Dave On July - 8 - 2016ADD COMMENTS
Toronto Argos Fan Tailgating

A Toronto Argonauts fan cooks on a grill during a tailgate party ahead of the team’s CFL season opener against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Toronto on Thursday, June 23, 2016. (Photo courtesy The Canadian Press/ Chris Young)

Canadian football fans can rejoice! Tailgating is not only allowed but encouraged at Toronto Argonauts games this season. Before you head to the beer aisle and buy the entire supply of Molson and Labatt Blue in preparation for this, you need to know something.

BYOB tailgating is still not allowed in Canada.

That’s not to say that you can’t have a frosty beverage while tailgating a Toronto Argonauts game – it is just going to cost you. You see, you can buy an overpriced and undersized beer from a BMO Field approved vendor, but bringing your own is not allowed. Leave your cooler at home and make sure to bring your wallet. And a good line of credit if you plan on having more than two.

Traditional American style tailgating in Canada has been non-existent due to the heavy restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in outdoor spaces. The Calgary Stampeders fans have tried to bring tailgating to the Canadian Football League but the fans can not overcome the existing laws across the Great White North. It’s not that you can’t have a tailgate party without alcohol. It’s just the fact that the Canadian government views their adult citizens as children that can’t handle the responsibility of consuming alcohol outside the confines of a bar or restaurant.

David Menzies of Rebel Media in Canada explains the hypocrisy of it all in this video rant:

David Menzies’ take on the situation is a bit more critical than the Canadian “mainstream” media. By going by the Canadian newspapers and blogs, you would think Toronto’s first season with tailgating mirrors that of a Buffalo Bills or Green Bay Packers tailgate.

CP24: Tailgating experience a hit with fans despite home opener loss for Argos
Hamilton News: Burgers, beers and beach chairs: Toronto tailgating experience a hit
York Region: Argos fans enjoy the tailgate experience
CBC: Argonauts fans celebrate start of the season with launch of tailgate parties
TSN: Tailgating coast to coast? Here’s hoping

With all that optimism, is Menzies the only critic? Probably not. But you need to keep in mind those dissenting voices may not be getting much publicity because the Canadian people have been lulled into believing their bureaucrats know better than they do.

I’d compare it to Soviet block countries that never knew what freedom and liberty was. If you only know standing in line to buy toilet paper or being pleasantly surprised when you can buy a ration of coffee, you really don’t know what you are missing. Same thing goes for the Canadians and BYOB tailgating. They will take what they can get but unless they have ventured south to an NFL game or even a college game, they don’t know what they are missing.

I would not be surprised if the Toronto Argos fans took in a Buffalo Bills game at Orchard Park, they would start demanding the bureaucrats start changing their laws.

Until the Canadian government wakes up and starts treating it’s adult citizens, well, like adults, they may have to resort to childish behaviors to get around these oppressive laws. We’d suggest checking out these Beer Can Covers for sale or the wide selection of Sneaky Flasks to disguise your hooch while tailgating up north.

Fatheadz Eyewear

Posted by Dave On June - 29 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

FatHeadz eyewear

Sunglasses. No matter what season you tailgate, a good pair of sunglasses is key. The harsh glare of the sun during those early football season tailgates or the glare from that snow bank in the late season, you’re going to need some sunglasses this coming tailgating season.

A major complaint many tailgaters have is that they have a larger head and traditional, “over the counter”, one-size-fits-all sunglasses don’t fit properly and are uncomfortable. I have that same problem so I definitely feel your pain and frustration. That’s why when the folks at Fatheadz Eyewear contacted us about their line of products, we were pretty stoked to try them out.

Fatheadz prides themselves in being able to fit each person to their needed width of sunglasses. Their sunglasses range from 130 mm – 164 mm width options. Even if you have a head the size of a watermelon in August, they have you covered.

We had a sample of the Fatheadz Big Daddy V2.0 sunglasses sent to us to test out.

(Disclaimer: We received a sample of Fatheadz Eyewear 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.)

My hat size is 7 5/8 which translates to needing a frame width of 145 mm (5.71 in). They arrived professionally packaged with a sturdy carrying case and fit my face like a glove… actually not a glove but just like a great pair of sunglasses should. After having them on for less than five minutes, I was convinced I had found my new pair of sunglasses for the upcoming tailgating season.

Fatheadz The Boss Sunglasses

Fatheadz The Boss Sunglasses

The Big Daddy V2.0 sunglasses cost $99.00 and the available frame colors include: Black, Trans Grey, Trans Brown and Clear. Available lens colors include: Smoke, Brown, Glacier Blue and Volcanic Red.

Fatheadz boasts nearly 10 different frame styles and within each frame style they are available in multiple colors and lens options.

After testing out Fatheadz Eyewear, if you have a larger head and have trouble finding sunglasses that fit, Fatheadz Sunglasses are definitely “Tailgate Approved”.

Fatheadz are available for purchase via Amazon or you can buy directly from their website, fatheadz.com

Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill

Posted by Brandon On June - 16 - 2016Comments Off on Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill

Ever since the birth of my children I find that time that I can use for recreational outdoor activities has become to put it gently, limited.  And even though the resolution is for them to just get a little older, waiting is the hardest part.  In the meantime I’m always searching for those ways to get me a little taste of the things I used to do in those pre-daddy days.  Well as luck would have it, a couple weeks ago I was contacted about a new product from Johnsonville, their Sizzling Sausage Grill.  Anytime someone is willing to send me a sample, especially our friends at Johnsonville, to get my thoughts I am happy to oblige.  

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I think the first thing worth mentioning is that the fact that this is an electrical appliance is a significant departure from Johnsonville’s food only approach before. In all honesty I was admittedly a little skeptical about the item since it appears to be only useful for sausage cooking.  The other thing is that most people have some experience with the electric grill concept, probably with something sold under a famous boxer’s name.  I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the idea, but I can’t really tell you the last time I saw one in use.

So for starters the Sizzling Sausage Grill is a counter-top electric grill which has metal inserts with grooves in the shape of the typical Johnsonville sausage link i.e. a tube with that slight curvature.  In the top plate there is a hole through which a temperature probe is allowed to puncture a sausage and sense when to stop the cooking process.  Each of the cooking plates is removable and are dishwasher safe.  On the exterior of the product there is a removable drip tray and the outer surface is a mixture of black plastic and a brushed metal.   It has a solid feel and slight heft which seems appropriate for its appearance.

Using the grill is pretty simple, you place your desired sausage onto the bottom plate, matching the shape with the groove.  You can do 1-5 sausages at a time, the only caveat is that one sausage must be placed into the middle groove so that the temperature probe can detect the internal temp.  Otherwise you’re free to place any extra sausages in whichever spot you’d like.  From there you close the lid until it latches and press the button.  The claim is that the grill will cook the sausages in 10-15 minutes.  Here is a video describing the process along with graphics showing it:

My test was pretty straightforward, cook a pack of brats and see what happened.  Less than 12 minutes later I had 5 nearly perfected cooked brats hot and ready for dinner.  I say nearly perfectly because a couple didn’t have complete browning, which is a minor criticism.  The vast majority of the surface was a lovely even shade of brown and other than the sausage that received the probe none appeared to be punctured/cracked.  And that cook time?  I don’t think I’ve ever turned out brats that fast except when dealing with the pre-cooked varieties.  Truthfully I was very pleased with how they turned out.  

Indoor sausage cooking usually involves a lot of cleanup, that was not a problem with this.  The plates are easily removed, and even though they are dishwasher safe, a quick wash with a soapy sponge took care of them.

Does that mean that I would recommend this to everyone?  Not really.  It’s not very often that I test a product that delivers on it’s claims that I still have reservations.  When we talk about a product in terms of tailgating there are plenty of variables that need to be factored in.  

Firstly this is an electrical appliance, if you don’t have electricity available to you at your tailgate then you’re out of luck.  Also consider that you can do 5 sausages at a time, if you need to crank out more than 5 every 10-15 minutes you need additional resources. Finally it really only cooks the fresh uncooked sausages, that can mean a wide variety of flavors, but it definitely doesn’t mean a burger or chicken wings. 

One place where I can see a product like this being useful for a tailgater is after the event when you want something to eat while you wait for traffic to clear up or to celebrate your team’s win.  Firing up a more traditional grill is can take time, and cool down usually isn’t instantaneous.  This can mitigate a lot of that.

Also for a lot of people they can’t make it to every game and do a fair amount of “homegating.”  In my situation with the kids the ability to go to the kitchen turn on the grill and then walk away for a bit and come back to cooked food is really appealing.  

I do like this product, and where I think it will be of great use will be in prepping sausage when it isn’t necessarily the main course say for pizza or more typical sandwiches.  

The price seems high, but if you’re considering this product you likely don’t take your sausage consumption lightly.  Currently the product site has the Sizzling Sausage Grill listed at $99.98 + $14.95 S&H which can be broken down into 2 payments.  There is a 2 year limited warranty on the product, and right now they include coupons for 4 packs of sausage with every purchase potentially a $28 value.  

My final take?  Tailgating approved with reservations for the reasons I listed above, but worth it if you’re serious about Johnsonville sausage.  For more info see https://www.sizzlingsausagegrill.com/

 

Drive for Uber & Lyft to supplement your tailgating habit

Posted by Dave On April - 15 - 2016Comments Off on Drive for Uber & Lyft to supplement your tailgating habit

Uber and Lyft logos

By now you are probably familiar with Uber and Lyft; two transportation companies that allow passengers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to drivers who use their own cars essentially as taxis.

What if I told you you can earn some extra money in your spare time driving for Uber and/or Lyft in order to help finance that tailgating habit of yours that can be quite expensive?

If you are unfamiliar with both Uber and Lyft, we’ll let their Wikipedia pages speak to them and what they are all about.

Wikipedia – Uber

Wikipedia – Lyft

If you have never used Uber or Lyft, here are some coupon codes for free rides using either Uber or Lyft.

Lyft rider free $50 credits

Lyft – $50 in free ride credits – Scan the QR code above or click on it or click HERE to claim your $50 in free rides from Lyft.

Uber coupon for free ride up to $15

Uber – Get your first ride free (up to $15 maximum) – Scan the QR code above or click on it or click HERE to get your first ride for free up to $15. (*Free ride value amounts vary by city.)

Both promotions through Uber and Lyft only apply if you are a first time user of Uber and/or Lyft. If you have already requested and taken at least one ride with Uber and/or Lyft, you are not eligible for the free coupons. The good news is if you have friends or family that have never take Uber or Lyft, pass those coupon codes along to them and they can get free rides themselves.

Drive with Uber / Drive with Lyft

Now that we gotten the free ride coupons out of the way, let’s jump to how you can make some money and also provide some hints and tips on earning more on your very first trip.

Right now, Uber is offering a $750 bonus for drivers who sign up and complete 75 rides WITHIN 30 DAYS. 75 rides may seem like a large number but 75 rides is quite easy to achieve. To sign up to drive with Uber, click HERE.

Because I am based in Orange County, Calif., Lyft is offering a $750 bonus to new Orange County drivers who complete 75 rides in their first 30 days. To sign up to drive with Lyft, click HERE.

(The bonus structure for Lyft varies from city to city and they sometimes will adjust it up or down based on driver supply and rider demand. An example is those who want to drive in San Francisco can earn a $1,000 bonus and need to complete 100 rides in 30 days. New drivers in Columbus, Ohio can earn a $150 bonus while only giving 30 rides in 30 days. Check out the Referral Rewards for Lyft Drivers page to see if Lyft is in your city and what the bonus structure and requirements are for your area.)

If you are a tailgater, you probably have your own car. That’s the first step towards driving for Uber and Lyft. Your vehicle needs to have at least four doors and be in good condition. In addition to having your own vehicle, you need to be 21 years of age or older and have a smart phone. Uber and Lyft requests come to drivers via a mobile app so it is recommended to have an iPhone 4s or newer or Android 2013 or newer.

In order to be approved by Uber and Lyft, you will need to have a clean driving record and pass a criminal and personal background check. Your vehicle will also undergo a safety inspection to ensure your vehicle is safe and presentable.

After you are approved, you are ready to hit the road and start earning money.

Lyft driver referral code

Lyft driver referral code

To start driving with Lyft, scan the above QR code with your smart phone or click HERE.

Uber driver referral code

Uber driver referral code

To start driving with Uber, scan the above QR code or click HERE.

Some Uber and Lyft drivers have reported they earn an average of $1,500 per week. This varies based on the number of hours they drive and which days they choose to drive but the opportunity to make some money is out there. Even driving part-time on your schedule, you can earn some extra beer money or money to take a road trip or buy some new tailgating gear.

If you do end up driving for Uber and/or Lyft, here are some hints and tips:

  • You can drive for both companies. With Uber and Lyft, you are an independent contractor and are free to work for both companies. Both companies do not deduct taxes from your payments so it is your responsibility to save a portion of your earnings when filing your taxes. You will be given a 1099 form for tax purposes and therefore you are eligible to work for both companies.
  • Speaking of taxes, you can write off a portion of your gasoline and maintenance costs if you drive for Uber and Lyft. Since gassing up is needed in order to give rides, the IRS views gasoline as a business expense. Same thing goes for oil changes, new tires and even car washes and auto detailing. We are not tax attorneys so we would suggest consulting with someone who has more knowledge than us to know exactly what portion of these costs can be written off your taxes.
  • You can have both apps open at the same time. When a Lyft rider request comes through and you accept it, turn off Uber. Same goes after you accept an Uber request. You want to turn the other app off so that your acceptance rate does not suffer. Both Uber and Lyft encourage their drivers to maintain a rider request acceptance rate at or above 90%. Turning off the other app when on another ride will ensure a request will not come through that you have to ignore and thus affecting your acceptance rate with that company.
  • Lyft allows for passengers to give tips directly within the app. Uber does not have a tipping function within the app. If a Lyft passenger chooses to tip a driver, 100% of that tip amount is passed on to the driver and Lyft does not take a percentage.
  • Keep your car clean both inside and out. Passengers getting into a dirty car are less likely to tip and will probably give you a lower star rating than had your vehicle been clean and presentable.
  • Understand that when accepting a ride request, you will be routed to wherever that passenger is located. It may be at a house or a business and you may have to drive a few minutes to pick them up. You do not earn money on your way to pick up the passenger but the clock starts ticking and you start earning money as soon as you pick them up.
  • Fares are based on total miles and total minutes during a ride. Longer mileage and the more time spent means a higher payout to you. Even if you are sitting in traffic or at a stop light, you are getting paid to give that ride. The mileage and minute rates vary between the companies so make sure you know how much they pay.
  • There are no set hours when driving for Uber and Lyft. You can drive early morning or late at night or anytime in between. It is up to you to determine how much or how little you want to drive. You turn on the app when you want to earn extra money and turn it off when it is not a convenient time. It is truly a job where you set your own hours and are your own boss.
  • When picking up a passenger, you will not know where they are going until you confirm they are picked up. They might be going to the airport which is 90 minutes away or they might be going a half mile from the super market to their home and do not want to walk carrying all their bags. You never know where you are going to end up until the passenger gets in your car. Make sure that if you have an appointment during the day, you budget enough time to be able to get there based on wherever you end up. Turn off your app about an hour prior to your appointment time to ensure you are not too far away and can not make it in time.

There are plenty of other hints and tips to driving with Lyft and Uber but those are the basics to get you started. We are considering doing a “How to be an Uber/Lyft Driver” video in the future. Be on the look out for that.

If you are ready to start earning some extra money with both Uber and Lyft, there is very little stopping you. If you meet the above criteria and you and your vehicle pass all the checks, you can be earning money right away. The get driving with Uber and Lyft and start earning bonuses, click the link below:

Drive with Lyft

Drive with Uber

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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.