Top Tailgating Essentials
For a dedicated group of RV enthusiasts, the prime location for enjoying their traveling home is the parking lots of their favorite college or NFL stadiums. Hours before the kickoff happens, dedicated fans will be setting up their grills, smokers and pop-up tents. You’ll see them starting the fires, trimming their steaks and having the time of their life. For many, they forgo the tickets of the game and stay out in the parking lot eating good food, tossing the ball around and making their parking spots an oasis of outdoor fun.
The keys to making a tailgating event work smoothly are being prepared, having everything in its place, and knowing how to work your outdoor cooking equipment. Companies like Weber, Blackstone, Camp Chef and Pit Barrel Cooker are the cooking equipment of choice for the dedicated tailgater.
Choosing Your Grill
Hands down, charcoal and propane are the kings of the fuel source while tailgating. Using an electric smoker, grill or griddle means powering up the loud generators, and unfortunately, some stadiums will not allow the use of generators in their parking lots. The exception would be a generator system that is integrated into your RV.
Nothing compares to the rich, smoky flavor of a high-quality charcoal grill. Manufacturers like Weber, PK Grill, Kamado and Lodge corner the market with the die-hard tailgaters. They safely deliver simple, portable, easy to clean, secure cooking designs. Grilled steak, chicken wings, shrimp, vegetables and pizzas are just a few options to be had.
If you want the ease of grilling but don’t want, or are not permitted to have, an open fire, then a portable propane grill is exactly what you need. Using a propane fuel source such as those small, green propane bottles, your RV’s propane supply or bringing a 1-gallon portable propane tank will easily get the fire going and keep it good and hot. Companies like Coleman, Weber, Char-Broil and Cuisinart corner this market mainly because of their design, ease of cleanup, and nonstick surfaces. Your kebabs and skewers cook up in a minimal amount of time as well as flank steak, sausages and grilled quesadillas.
Talk about the star of tailgating! There is an absolute dedicated following for anyone who rolls out one of these cooking tools. With cooking surfaces ranging from 17 to 48 inches, anything is possible from burgers, stir-fry and cheesesteak sandwiches, to fajitas, potatoes and blackened shrimp.
The Tailgating Menu
Believe it or not, the most important decision you have to make about tailgating is the cleanup. Are you serving food that needs forks, knives, platters, plates? Or can you create a menu that is focused on delicious mouthwatering finger food? My plan has always been to keep it simple and avoid dishes at all costs because there are not enough trash cans in a stadium parking lot and that means if you pack it in, you pack it out.