Tailgating is a major feast during the Fall season when parking lots are filled with people cookin’ and grillin’ everywhere. With the football season in full gear, thousands of fans are throwing serious parties to support their teams. And if there’s one staple during this event, it would be the best grill for tailgating. It allows quick cooking without compromising the taste of the food.
|WEBER JUMBO JOE|
|Cooking surface||285 sq. in.||240 sq. in.|
|Overall tailgaters' |
|Price||Check Price on Amazon.com||Check Price on Amazon.com|
The smell of grilled meat is usually a sign that you’re near the tailgating zone. But let’s admit it; putting a tailgating party is a big challenge. It becomes a bigger pain if you have a grill that doesn’t suit the occasion. As much as possible, stick to portable options.
A bigger take on tailgating
For some who haven’t tried tailgating before, it’s nothing but a crowded spot that smells of grilled pork. But if you observe further, it’s actually a competition between the fans of opposing football teams. We gather on the parking lot area to socialize with other fans as well as drink and eat to our hearts’ content.
The first tailgating event was recorded back in 1869 during the first match between Princeton and Rutgers. But zooming in on the present day, at least 20 million fans join these parking lot parties.
The impressive, and rather crazy, thing about tailgating is the effort of the people who join it. Some will be contented to put up a stall at the back of their cars. Others will go another mile of customizing their truck with a built-in grill and beer kegs. Well, these attract tons of goers, but in my case, I don’t think you need a lot to get started. I never go wrong with the best portable grill for tailgating.
So is the food free? Yes and no. Most tailgating participants won’t ask for cash in exchange for their BBQ. But if you don’t want to be that jerk who arrives empty-handed, always bring your fair share. Do you want a taste of my special BBQ recipe? Give me a shot of your fine whiskey. It’s a trade event, my friend.
And if you want to make your tailgating experience more memorable, here are two of the best grills you should get:
Best Deals for Tailgating Grills
—>Coleman Roadtrip Grill<—
Dubbed as the crowd-pleaser, this Coleman Roadtrip Stand up Grill is designed for outdoor use. It’s great for camping and tailgating zones where you can only spare a little space. Since it comes with a stand, you can grill and chug a beer in between. The side tables are excellent for plates and solo cups. Aside from the usual grated surface, you can also swap it with griddle tops that you can buy separately.
I really think that this grill is made with tailgating in mind. It has a foldable stand that you can tuck in your truck. The bottom has wheels too so you can move fast if the tailgating zone starts to get cramped up with fellow grillers. Just fold it and pull it like a suitcase. It fits at the trunk of my sedan!
Cooking is also easier here with the three temperature adjustments. It offers better cooking control too since there are three burners you can play with. There’s also an integrated thermometer to watch over the heat level.
This best grill for tailgating is also less messy since it uses a one-pound propane gas cylinder instead of charcoal. The only caveat here is you won’t achieve the authentic smoke flavor.
What could be done better:
The water tray is a bit shallow and long. If you don’t have a leveled spot in the tailgating zone, the water will spill on the lower part even before the tray gets filled. Also, it’s a bit heavy and can be a two-man job if you’re a little frail.
—>Weber Jumbo Joe Portable Grill<—-
If you’re looking for the classic charcoal flavor, I suggest that you try the Weber Jumbo Joe Portable Grill. It has a dome-like design like the conventional backyard grills we grew up to only a little smaller to fit on the trunk of the car. Take note, though, that this best portable grill for tailgating doesn’t come with a stand.
And before you bring this to your next tailgating, I suggest that you master the art of lighting charcoal. You don’t want to be booed for making a smoky mess in the lot.
The Weber Jumbo Joe doesn’t have a carrying bag, but it has a glass-reinforced nylon handle. There’s also a lid holder that stabilizes well so you won’t have any hassle when cooking.
If you’re looking for a semi-smoker grill, this is the one to be. It has dampers on the lid which allows you to control the heat and smoke production. And if you need to extinguish the charcoal, just close all the vents and dampers. The lid is airtight enough to stop air from entering.
What can be done better:
The only challenge on this grill is to avoid splashing the ash everywhere. As you see, the ash catcher is pretty open and if the parking lot is windy, it’s gonna be a mess. What I did here is wrapping a sheet of foil around the catcher to stop the ashes from swirling around.
What to grill on your tailgating zone?
Based on my experience, you can grill just anything you want. Barbecues and skewers never grow old on tailgaters. You can also cook some sausages and steak. Never prepare and give out deviled eggs, though. Nope. Just don’t do it.
My advice if you want to make tailgating simpler is to grill a large chunk of meat that can feed a lot of people with little tending.
Cajun chicken, briskets, turkey breasts, and so on are safe choices here. This is a good trick especially if the best grill for tailgating you have has a small cooking surface.
If you like ribs, cook a lot of baby backs. You can leave it smoking inside a dome grill like the Weber Jumbo Joe.
Feel free to be creative with your menu. I highly suggest that you make a list of the food you’re planning to cook at the event. Also, you may want to follow my tip here: stick to items you can cook for 1-1.5 hours. That way you can enjoy the drinking and eating instead of being tied on the grill the whole time.
If this is your first time going to a tailgating event, cook only stuff that you’ve tried cooking before. You can’t take chances on first-time chicken breast recipes.
Why join a tailgating event?
If you’re a football fan and your team is on, there’s no reason not to join a tailgating event!
It’s a good way to meet fellow supporters and celebrate the match. This is a nice way to have a good time with friends and family this Fall. Besides, you’ll have a good excuse to get the best portable grill for tailgating.
Remember, you don’t have to be grand on the setup just to join – at least depending on the nature of the event near you. If you’re a newbie and you want a wingman, join a friend and offer something like your grill, stacks of beer, and so on. If you have little to offer, have the initiative the clean, at least. Events like these can turn into a bender with lots of tossed cups, paper plates, and stuff.
A game plan to your first tailgating
You’re joining a tailgating event to support your favorite team. That means you have to come up with a game plan yourself.
Start by picking the right car. Most of the tailgating events I’ve gone to are in parking lots. It can get cramped so I suggest that you stick to a sedan or a small hatchback if you’re not bringing that many things. Hatchbacks are great options since you can use the back door as a roof. There’s also a lot of room to stack things up including your solo cups and beer. If you don’t want your beer stolen, put the cooler at the trunk or use it as a chair.
Also, park beside the friendliest-looking tailgaters. Sometimes, you can see it on their faces and how they move around. Avoid that dude who acts like the bull goose of the event.
Of course, don’t forget the best grill for tailgating. Butane-powered ones are okay but I personally love the idea of lighting up charcoal and playing with fire. There’s a unique rush to it that sets me into the game zone. But to make it easy, always choose lump charcoal. It burns hotter and has less ash compared to briquettes. Not to mention the chemical smell of briquettes, lump charcoal is usually the way to go for grillers.
After that, pack your accessories including tongs, chimney starter, skewers, spatula, thermometer, and so on. Most of all, ensure that the meat and food items are in good condition. You don’t want to piss other people’s stomach before the game. It’s best to make a checklist and place it on your tailgating gear.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring a fire extinguisher if ever things don’t go as planned.
The tailgating etiquette
The golden rule: bring enough to share!
If you’re just there with a can or two of beer and a piece of steak, might as well enjoy it at home. Tailgating is a feast of sharing food, drinks, and experiences. If you want to taste other people’s food, you should have something to offer them. You can bring the best portable grill for tailgating and cook some ribs for the people.
This led me to come up with the socially acceptable ways of joining tailgating. I was once a newbie too and I know that you might feel like a total stranger around football fans. Here are some things to keep in mind:
🔥Control the smoke
When grilling with charcoal, make sure that you know well how to control the smoke. Check where the air is blowing. If it’s on the direction of another tailgater, set your grill on another spot. Although your steaks smell good, it’s not pleasant to blow smoke on someone else’s face.
🔥Opt out of prepared food
Unless it’s the best steak in town, it’s best to grill stuff right at the tailgating event. Besides, you wouldn’t join the feast if you’re just there to eat and share drinks. Also, a lot of tailgaters don’t trust pre-cooked food.
🔥Be careful about bragging your ribs
If you haven’t mastered grilling ribs, don’t brag it around. Tailgating events can be a competition sometimes and you’re bound to lose with your empty air.
🔥Don’t demand people to accommodate your allergies
If you’re allergic to smoke or the smell of beer, don’t go to a tailgating event. This is a free zone and you can’t expect anyone to adjust for you.
🔥Not cooking? Clean up!
If you’re of no help to cooking, start picking the trash around. Don’t get cranky with it, that’s the least you can do. Even if you have lent the best portable grill for tailgating, be decent enough to help with the cleaning.
🔥Dress for the part, but not too much
I know that a lot of us are die-hard fans of our football teams, but for god’s sake, don’t overdo the outfit. You’re not going to grill sausages with that Kanye-like box outfit with Lil Pump. A nice jersey will do here.
🔥Watch out for that canopy
A three-tier beer canopy beside your grill is awesome. But if you can’t fix it yourself, just skip the hype.
🔥Don’t sit just anywhere
If you want to sit on the cooler, don’t be pissed if you have to stand up every 15 minutes when someone wants to get a beer. Also, don’t slump on someone else’s ultimately-regal tailgating chair. Bring your own if you want one.
Have you found the best grill for tailgating? Let us know what you think below!