Tailgating Gear in Review: May 2010 Edition

Can you hear that? It’s the sound of football season approaching in three months. That means for the lazy and procrastinating tailgater, football season will be here before you know it. But there is a cure out there. It is called the Gear in Review where we recap all the cool tailgating supplies and gear you may have missed this past month. Without further delay, here is what you may have missed:

Gameday Eats Hellfire Habanero Sauce: Back in December 2009 we did a product review on Gameday Eats’ line of sauces. The website, Gamedayeats.com has the most comprehensive library of grilling and tailgating recipes on the web so you know these guys know tailgating food. If you read the product review of their Wing Sauce Especial and BBQ Boss Sauce you know they do not scrimp on the spice and flavor in these sauces. Now comes along Hellfire Habanero Sauce to round out the trio of sauces created by Game Day Eats. True to form, the newest addition did not disappoint nor did it hold back on the spice and kick the other two have.

Sometimes you’ll get a hot sauce that is just trying too hard. We’ve all had them. The chef is trying to impress someone and just throws in as many peppers as he can to prove a point he can smoke out even the most seasoned spice-a-holic. That is not the case with this sauce. It is hot, don’t get me wrong, but in a flavorful way. It doesn’t overpower your food but compliments it. When taste testing it, I was going over in my head all the different types of foods it would compliment. I immediately thought of foods like Cajun jambalaya, red beans and rice, chili, chicken wings, pizza and all the normal “hot sauce” types of foods. I like the taste of Crystal brand Louisiana Hot Sauce but Game Day Eats Hellfire Habanero was better. If you like Tabasco Sauce, you definitely need to try Hellfire Habanero Sauce. I’d be surprised if you bought another bottle of Tabasco again after trying this sauce.

Ono Hawaiian Charcoal BagOno Charcoal – All Natural Kiawe Charcoal: When you think of Hawaii, many things comes to mind. Beautiful beaches, fantastic weather, grass skirts and luaus are just a few. Any great luau has to start with the roasted pig. To get that unique flavor you only get at a Hawaiian luau you need to use the same charcoal the Hawaiians use. Fortunately you don’t have to go to Hawaii to bring that taste to the tailgating lot. I recently discovered Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal. It is 100% natural premium professional-grade lump charcoal that contains no tar, additives, fillers, recycled wood or chemicals.

Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal is made from Kiawe which is a species of mesquite tree originally from the Sonoran Desert. It was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands via Paris, (kind of a long story) and the Hawaiian people realized that Kiawe was also a great source for cooking fuel. Kiawe and Ono Charcoal are the traditional Hawaiian Luau charcoal used at backyard BBQ’s as well as by gourmet chefs around the world. We all know that the type of heat source you use while grilling can greatly affect the way your food tastes. By using Ono Kiawe Charcoal you get the taste of being back on your honeymoon in Maui while out tailgating.

Foods on backpack picnic setFood’s-ON Tailgating Kit: When it comes to tailgating, the outside elements can play havoc on the success and comfort of your tailgate party. If it’s too hot and sunny, we have pop-up tents to keep us cooler and in the shade. Same goes for those rainy or snowy tailgating days at the end of football season. But what about wind? Sidewalls on pop-up canopies can work well but they still do not perform with flying colors when it comes to wind protection. The biggest victim of a windy tailgate is your food table, plates and cups. Tailgate during a nice, windy day and you’ll be spending more time chasing down paper plates and plastic cups that you’ll look more like an extra in the movie “Twister”.

Not only is the Food’s On system wind resistant, they also employ “green” products that are biodegradable and good for the environment. Because your plates and cups won’t be flying away in a windy day, that also cuts down on wasted food and plates, thus helping the environment. The patent pending Food’s-ON system is designed to keep everything on the table, even on the most blustery days. Food’s-ON holds the tablecloth in place and the unique design helps avoid messes and spills because plates and cups stick to the tablecloth. They won’t come off until you move them and no amount of wind will blow them off.

Food’s-ON is a completely self-contained picnic set for six and includes a reusable tablecloth, plates with plate holders and cups with cup holders. They’ve also included napkins, utensils and a biodegradable trash bag. Plus, the backpack includes its own ice chest.

Standard RecycoolerRecycooler: Many times tailgaters will grab those flimsy styrofoam coolers at the market to hold extra ice or drinks on their way to the game. Those coolers not only are fragile and break easily but are non-recyclable. In addition, they are difficult to carry and have that annoying squeaking sound from the lid rubbing on the base of the cooler.

The folks at Recycooler have come up with not only a portable and disposable cooler that is lightweight and portable but a lot more sturdy and is 100% recyclable. The Recycooler is a reusable and recyclable, green/earth friendly cooler made from a minimum 60% post consumer product and printed with soy based ink. The cooler is 100% recyclable so when you are done tailgating, you can pop it into the stadium recycling bin and watch the game guilt free.

The patent pending design of a Recycooler comprises a unique cellulose insulation component that keep drinks and food cold for long periods of time even in the hottest conditions. By using a Recycooler, you are helping the environment by making a smart, environmentally conscious choice over traditional polystyrene coolers. An added benefit of the Recycooler is that it eliminates that annoying squeaking sound associated with Styrofoam coolers. If you take care of your Recycooler it will last for a long time. When you are finished with the product just discard it in a recycling bin and buy a new one.

Drink ‘N’ Plate: Over the years of testing out numerous tailgating products, we’ve come across a few different plates that allow you to hold a plate of food and a beverage with one hand while keeping the other hand free. There’s The Go Plate that is more like a plastic tray that balances on top of your beverage can or cup. There’s also The Snack Palette that is a plastic, disposable plate with condiment cup holders. Although both of these options will work well for a tailgate party, they are missing something. Both are made to be used once and then thrown away. I recently discovered the Drink ‘N’ Plate; a one handed eating system that is dishwasher safe and reusable.


For those fans that like to color coordinate everything at their tailgate party all the way down to the color of cups and plates, the Drink ‘N’ Plate fits in well with those people too. Just choose your color cups and themed plates and place them in the Drink ‘N’ Plate. Almost every team has some sort of white in their uniforms so if you go with the white colored Drink ‘N’ Plates, you are good to go.

Custom Tailgating Grills: This past month tailgaters shared with our readers the different ways they have taken their own Margaritaville Tailgating Grill and customized them to their own team’s colors. In May, Nelson, a Miami Hurricanes fan and Wayne, a Virginia Tech Hokies fan, both customized their grills and emailed in some photos of their handy work. Their creations are below:

University of Miami custom tailgating grillVirginia Tech Tailgating Grill

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