The Man Blog
More than 50 million Americans tailgate each year, and further north, 1 in every 10 Canadians say they attended a tailgating party last year. It’s a trend that has evolved over the last two decades, with a widely diverse group of fans--from small groups cooking hamburgers or hotdogs around a barrel grill, to full-blown party events, complete with specialized cooking equipment, an assortment of foods and beverages, dining tables, and dozens of guests.
History of Tailgating
Although there is some disagreement on when and where the first tailgater occurred, some say that it was in 1869, at the first American football game between Rutgers and Princeton. However, Yale fans disagree, claiming the first tailgating party was created on that campus, back in 1904. They dubbed their get togethers “parking lot picnics.” Historians claim tailgating actually dates back to the Civil War days. The first was set up by Union Army supporters, who arrived at the Battle of Bull Run in 1861 to cheer on the troops. They brought with them food and drink, sang fight songs, cheered on the soldiers, and took bets on who would win the battle.
Tailgating 2017 Must-Haves
The most important piece of equipment at a tailgater is a grill, and most cooks prefer a portable version that stands on the ground, rather than one that requires a table. But many avid tailgaters have taken outdoor cooking to a whole new level. Portable propane cookers are versatile, lightweight, portable, easy on the wallet, and handle a variety of cooking styles from frying, to sautéing, to stir-frying. This allows a wide array of food preparation, beyond the simple hotdogs or burgers prepared at many tailgate events. These innovative cookers are also popular among hikers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Flavor is key to serving great food at a successful tailgate party. Experienced tailgaters have their own specialty dishes or flavor profiles, and have developed them over time. There are tasty, high-quality seasonings available that will enhance your creations beyond the basic salt-and-pepper seasoning, and achieve unique flavors of your own. Look for smoked paprikas and chili powders, and flavored cracked peppers to add some zing to not only your main meat course, but your side dishes as well.
Coolers are essential. Not only are there ingredients in tailgater fare that require refrigeration, you’ll need a reliable way to store them and keep them cold for hours, and be tough enough to handle the wear-and-tear of repeated loading, unloading, and transporting from one tailgater to the next. Today’s top coolers offer longer ice retention, solid polyurethane construction, UV resistance, and thick high-density, foam filled walls, and come in a variety of sizes, from 22 to 103 quarts that can easily handle all your ice, beverages, and food. Check out our selection of Canyon Coolers.
Trending Gifts for the Tailgater
Maybe you’re not a tailgater, but you know someone who is. With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s not too soon to start thinking about creative gift ideas for men, and tailgater equipment and accessories are a great choice not only for those who are avid tailgater gourmets, but for backyard grill fans, and both experienced and aspiring chefs.
- For beer lovers, keg-style growlers are an on-the-go solution for tailgaters, parties, camping, or to keep in the fridge, filled with a favorite store-bought or home brew. These innovative vessels keep beer fresh, and come with a tap and flexible hose for easy serving, as well as a regulator, which controls CO2, and maintains ideal carbonation. Look for stainless steel options that can stand up to the rigors of transporting, They come in a variety of sizes and price ranges, depending on the features offered. The top-of-the-line ManCan 128, for example, holds up to a gallon of beer, and comes with a party tap and a 2-stage regulator system. The basic ManCan 64 holds a half-gallon of beer, and is small enough to fit in a refrigerator door, yet provides the same quality stainless steel construction and seal qualities to keep beer fresh.
- Solar powered lights provide needed illumination for outdoor events scheduled after dark. LuminAids offer color-changing capabilities, and up to 12 hours of LED light. They’re waterproof, they can float, and they can be re-charged via sunlight or by a micro USB port. Not only are these lights portable, they are fun and affordable, and make a great gift.
- Cooking sauces are a unique gift idea for the tailgater or outdoor cook on your list. Put together an assortment of cooking sauces from Bourbon Barrel, like the Sweet-Smokey-Tangy Barbeque Sauce, made with aged Worcestershire sauce and smoked paprika; the Kentuckyaki Sauce, a teriyaki sauce made with Kentucky bourbon; and a bottle of Henry Bain’s Sauce, perfect for seasoning game and other meats as well. Add an assortment of Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sea Salts, and you’ve created an innovative tailgaters’ gift.
For more tailgating and camping supplies, and a variety of clothing, personal grooming products, and other gift ideas, visit our website.
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