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Recipe: Stubb’s Cowboy Burger

Posted by Dave On October - 3 - 2013Comments Off

We were recently sent samples of Stubb’s marinades, sauces and rubs. We have been trying the different recipes that we think would be great for tailgating and will be sharing them here along with photos of how they turned out when we cooked them. First up is a great American tailgating tradition: Hamburgers. This one has a smokey and spicy kick to it.

Stubb's Cowboy Burger

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1/4 cup Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Stubb’s Beef Marinade
  • 1/4 tsp. Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke (optional)
  • 1 tsp Stubb’s Beef Rub
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into slices
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bacon slices, cooked crisp
  • Onion Rolls or Hamburger Buns
  • Toppings of your choice

Cooking Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Bar-B-Q sauce, Stubb’s Beef Marinade, liquid smoke (optional) and Stubb’s Beef Spice Rub. Use your hands to mix well. Once combined, separate the mixture to make six patties. Make a slight indent with your thumb in middle of each patty to keep it from swelling while on the grill.

Prepare your grill for direct medium-heat cooking. Lightly oil the grates and place your burger on the grill, indent side up. Cook burgers for 12-14 minutes or until preferred doneness (160°F) turning once during cooking. While burgers are cooking, add the onion slices to the grill and cook until lightly charred and soft, turning once. Also toast the buns.

To serve, top burgers with Bar-B-Q sauce, bacon, grilled onion and shredded cheese. Add additional toppings to your liking.

PARKING LOT TIP: To cook the bacon for this burger, we would suggest frying the bacon slices on a Sizzle-Q.

Jerry King Tailgating Cartoon #177

Posted by Jerry On October - 2 - 2013Comments Off

Jab Applicant Tailgater

Video: Tailgaters, This Is Why The NFL Hates You Part 2

Posted by Dave On October - 1 - 2013Comments Off

A few years ago, October 12, 2009 to be exact, we posted a video of a drunk Cleveland Browns tailgater on top of a port-a-potty dancing and stripping off his clothes and throwing them down on the other tailgaters. We titled it: Video: Tailgaters, This Is Why The NFL Hates You.

Now comes this past weekend where some San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys fans got into it in the parking lot complete with glass bottles broken upside the combatants’ heads. Take a look:

(Warning: The video does contain swear words, blood and violence. NOT safe for work and best not shown with kids in the room.)

The Qualcomm Stadium parking lot has a strict rule against glass bottles or any glass containers of any sort in the parking lot. Even a glass jar of salsa if left out in the open will get a tailgater a ticket by the San Diego Police patrolling the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. People ask, “why is there such a stupid rule?”. The above video is the great example of why that rule exists.

The above video is also a glaring example of why the NFL and it’s member teams want to curtail tailgating time in the parking lots. The NFL believes that the more time parking lots are open and allow tailgating, the more time tailgaters will take that opportunity to drink and become violent.

It’s up to you tailgaters. If you want your time in the parking lot to get shortened to the point you can only park and head into the game, then keep allowing this boorish behavior to continue in the tailgating parking lots.

Tunz Speaker

Posted by Rob On September - 30 - 2013Comments Off

TUNZ Rechargable Speaker

Tailgating before a concert is a little different than tailgating before a big football game or other sporting event. While it is nice to have some food to grill or some games to play, the only thing you really need for a concert tailgate is music. As long as you have a quality sound system and don’t play the music of the band you are going to see (trust me, don’t be that guy), everything will be fine.

When I say “quality sound system,” I am stressing the ‘quality’ part. You do not want to just turn your car radio on, leave the doors open, and hope that your battery doesn’t die. You also do not want to rely on your cell phone, unless you want everyone to gather around you in silence trying to listen to the thin, tinny sound it produces.

Enter the TUNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker. With its lightweight yet sturdy design and impressive sound quality, these speakers are perfect for tailgating. I recently tested out the speaker system while tailgating before a concert and came away very impressed with the device.

The TUNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker, manufactured by TYLT, is a 12.9 ounce portable wireless speaker that delivers volume levels up to 80 decibels. The device is compatible with Bluetooth Version 3.0, which allows for Wi-Fi quality speed and a more efficient power usage. In fact, the TUNZ speaker can play music for up to 20 hours at 50% volume. If your tailgate is going any longer than that, I think you are going to have bigger problems than running out of music!

Check out their video demonstrating all the features of the UNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker.

Upon arriving at the parking lot, I quickly turned the speaker on, set up my phone’s music player, and rested it on the roof of my car. The TUNZ speaker easily drowned out the music bleeding over from other tailgates, and we were all able to chat, laugh, and enjoy the evening while listening to crisp, high-quality audio.

TUNZ chargingThe speaker can play music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. This came in handy as the tailgate wore on and my friends wanted a chance to play some of their music. We easily switched between devices and kept the party going from rock to rap to pop and back. The sound quality remained consistently great across all genres (the bass was definitely bumping!). The TUNZ speaker can also connect to any device with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, so you can play music from a device that does not have Bluetooth. The back of the speaker has both an AUX input and output, and also a universal USB port for charging external devices, so you don’t have to worry about your phone dying before the night is over.

The TUNZ speaker compares favorably to other, more expensive portable speakers. I have tested other speakers and feel like it is the best value on the market for under $200. At $149.99, you are getting all of the features available in other speakers, with top-level sound quality and a sharp, easy-to-use design. When you start looking at products cheaper than TUNZ (and even some in the same price range or higher), you will notice a definite drop-off in the sound quality.

The sound quality is obviously the most important aspect when it comes to portable speakers, but there are some other features that set the TUNZ speakers apart. The speaker comes with 3 interchangeable vibration-cancelling Silicon Bands. While these bands help with the overall sound, they also add a little personal touch to your speaker (I opted for a red one to match my trusty Corolla).

…If your tailgate party lasts longer than 20 hours, I think you have bigger problems than running out of music…

The speaker also functions as a speakerphone when connected to Bluetooth, with a built-in noise cancelling microphone (there is a Call/Answer button on the top of the device). You can call the last number or answer an incoming call directly from the device – perfect for helping a latecomer find your tailgate. The TUNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker is also NFC Enabled and includes the Tagstand NFC launcher App for Android.

Even though the TUNZ speaker is perfect for outdoor events due to its portable nature, I have found myself using it around the house as well. Whenever I am doing the dishes or folding laundry, I will turn on Pandora on my phone and have it play through the speaker. It really makes a difference hearing your favorite music on a quality speaker. And being able to control what is playing with a few swipes on your phone is very nice. You can also upgrade your TV and movie viewings by connecting the speaker to your TV. The lack of wires allows for a nice uncluttered look, and an action-packed movie or sporting event will sound great with the added boost the speaker provides.

Tunz RedIf you are in the market for an upgrade to your speaker system, the TUNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker is definitely something you will want to consider. The size is compact enough that it will fit in your glove box or center console, yet the sound is clear, rich, and loud. The TUNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker is the perfect mix of high quality audio and portability, and will instantly transform your next tailgate, picnic, or BBQ into a serious party.

The TUNZ Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker retails for $149.99 and includes the speaker, 3 interchangeable vibration-canceling silicon bands, micro-USB charging cable, 3.5 mm AUX cable, carry bag, and user guide.

For more information on TUNZ and other TYLT products, please visit the TYLT website at: www.tylt.com

FiAir Review

Posted by Brandon On September - 29 - 2013Comments Off

When it comes to tailgate grilling most of us fall into 2 camps: Charcoal or Gas.  If you’re in the “Gas” group you probably appreciate the convenience and speed that you gain from that fuel source.  Our friends in the “Charcoal” group are prepared to forgo the ease of use you might get from gas, if it means that they’re able to get the smoky goodness that only burning wood products can produce.   Whichever side you find yourself on, you probably wouldn’t mind a little help with making things go more smoothly.  Unfortunately the bulk of the new grilling products seem to be aimed at gas-grillers, but every once in a while we’ll see a new product for the charcoal crowd.  The FiAir is one of those products.fiair-logo

(Disclaimer: We did receive a sample of the FiAir for free. The fact this sample was 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.)

Quite possibly the biggest hurdle to using a charcoal grill is getting the stuff lit.  There are several options, but I would imagine that the two most widely used options in the tailgating world are going to be lighter fluid or a chimney.  Lighter fluid or those match light briquettes are probably the simplest option, but the smell of the lighter fluid can impact the quality of your food if used improperly, and using too much can cause a very large flame that burns quite large.  Chimney starters are great options in that they can light a large amount of coals without the need for accelerants.  Furthermore the coals are all contained and any flames outside of the chimney are going to be more contained.  But chimneys can take a good while to get going, especially if you pack them full.  That’s where the FiAir comes into play.

We all remember that the 3 ingredients for fire are Fuel, Oxygen (Air), and Ignition.  Just like a clean air filter in your car, the introduction of more air and thus more oxygen will lead to a hotter more intense fire.  The concept of adding more air to a fire is not new.  The earliest examples of this can be found way back in the ancient world, when ancient blacksmiths would stoke their fire with bellows made of leather to allow them to forge their ancient tongs and spatulas. All kidding aside, the FiAir works in much the same way, it uses a battery powered fan to direct a stream of air into a fire.  The claim is a hotter burning, and thus quicker lighting fire.  How quick? They say you can get your coals lit in half the time, which is what we’re going to test.fiair battery door open (480x343)

The FiAir is incredibly simple to operate.  Load 3 AAA batteries into the end, lock on the cap, and press the button.  What you get is a nice steady stream of air.  Not to mention that the nozzle is designed to direct the air where you want it.  From there you aim it at the fire and you should get a hotter burn.  Sounds easy enough, but how does it work?

To test the efficacy of this product it seemed quite prudent to light a chimney using just ambient air, and then to do the same test but adding air to the mix with the FiAir.  The chimney I’m using for this test is the Weber RapidFire Compact Chimney which is roughly half the size of their full size model.  This was done to save on fuel and test time.  Each run of the test consisted of 40 Kingsford “Blue Bag” Charcoal Briquettes, and a wad of paper crumpled under the chimney.  The chimney that will be stoked with the FiAir will be given roughly 3 minutes of burn time before the FiAir will be used to make sure that the lowest coals are sufficiently lit and that the paper has had a chance to burn off a little.  Each test will be conducted in the Weber Smokey Joe Gold model.

fiair-right-shadowThe control run produced white ash on the top most briquettes in roughly 22 minutes.  This may seem fast, but remember we are using a smaller chimney for this test so it’ll naturally be quicker than the standard chimney.  I should mention that the top most briquettes were not completely covered in white ash, but they had some which led me to know they were burning.

The FiAir stoked chimney produced white ash on the top most briquettes in about 17.5 minutes.  Remember that we gave this chimney 3 minutes of initial burn time so the final times could be viewed as (Time – 3 minutes).  It was difficult to measure how “lit” the coals were scientifically, so I based it on appearance.   I did take some pictures just before dumping the coals to show that the 2 test chimneys looked similar.  If anything the FiAir stoked coals were slightly farther along, so you might be able to assume that the coals were ready closer to 17 minutes, so roughly a savings of 5 minutes.  Those 5 minutes translated into pre-heating time mean you are cooking when the next guy is just dumping his coals.  Furthermore if you have a very large grill, looking at you with the 55 gallon drum made into a grill, and you need to light a lot of coals it would undoubtedly aid in accomplishing that faster.

For what it’s worth I decided to try the FiAir on another chimney, and using the product more aggressively I was able to get what I consider a lit chimney at 15.5 minutes.  I was unable to cut my light time in half, but I was able to get them lit in roughly 32% of the time it took without the FiAir.  Photos of all my test runs are below:

How else might the FiAir benefit your grilling?  Well for starters you can raise the heat of your grill pretty easily, and quite quickly. But it’s more than that.  Using the product on lit coals I dumped into the grill, I was able to achieve what I felt to be a very complete combustion of the charcoal, even getting some bluish flame from it. Complete combustion is a crucial element when talking about charcoal grilled foods.  Off flavors can be associated with coals that are not burning well.  And while it is possible that the observed flame may have been a result of binders in the coal burning off, I do believe that the fire was far and away hotter than it would be without the introduction of additional air.  This increase in heat would be perfect for searing applications when you neat a raging hot fire to get a nice brown crust, such as steaks or burgers.  On that 2nd test of FiAir I used the product, quite successfully, to raise the temp of the coals in the grill for searing steaks.

While the obvious time and temperature gains make this product seem like a no-brainer there are several other considerations that need to be made.  Firstly the hotter the fire burns, the more fuel that will be consumed and additional coals may be needed for longer cooks. Secondly the extreme temperatures may necessitate the use of heavy grill gloves, or at least very long tools, to prevent any burns to the hands and wrists.  It is important to remember the FiAir is not a toy, it is a tool.  I do not want to hear about someone getting seriously burned and rushed to the ER because they got carried away with a fire.  I don’t want you to read that as this product is dangerous, it just needs to be used responsibly to be used safely.  Blowing air can cause a fire to act somewhat unpredictably so do not overuse this product or use it in confined spaces. The other aspect of the FiAir that may turn some tailgaters off is that you actually have to be around the fire to use it.  I mentioned above how you could save time, but if you used that chimney time to set up your tailgate site or to prep food, you may find that you aren’t coming out much better.

When used properly I would definitely recommend the FiAir to tailgaters and grillers who use or want to use charcoal, or in other words, it is “Tailgate Approved.”  Despite not reproducing the results they claimed, the time savings make it a more practical option for those who don’t have a lot of extra time to wait for the coals to be ready.  The ability to boost the heat of your fire is also desirable for some direct grill applications, and the price point is seems more than fair at $29.99.  To find out more or to order the FiAir you can visit www.FiAir.net.

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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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