New Gadgets for Tailgate Party Guys – 2017

New Gadgets for Tailgate Party Guys

The world of new gadgets for tailgate party guys has expanded considerably over the last couple of years.  So I thought it was time to add some of my favorite things.  These are some of the most useful and also many will be a talking point when you whip them out during the grill’n’beer process.  New gadgets are often quite affordable too, so think about these when you are doing your next round of birthday/holiday/random occasion gift shopping.  All are suited to males and it is a nice change to find something that is actually an easy choice for that fella in your life.  Please note that women can use a lot of these gadgets.  Well, OK then.  ALL of these gadgets.

New Gadgets for Tailgate Party Grilling

The Stonebreaker Gloves – Tailgating Gloves

New gadgets for tailgate party guys

New gadgets for tailgate party guys

 

A pair of gloves with a beer opener built in?  Yes please!

These gloves have been specifically designed for tailgate parties as they have a built in aluminum hex bottle cap opener in the pal of the right glove.   Very highly rated, they are made of quality leather and there is stitching a-plenty to keep these bad boys on your hands while you are grilling.  In truth, they are a tough as nails work glove which is a good safety element for the tailgate party.  I like to have a lot of protection on my hands and wrists while grilling so that I avoid burns.  These do the job and when you are not actually grilling, they still get use as the bottle opener.  Super comfy to wear as they are lined with a soft material. You can actually pick up a grill (well,not red-hot, but darn hot) while wearing them.  Previously, it was a hazard to drink and grill but now, it’s a cinch.

Of course, if you are a clumsy (or drunk) tailgater, you may prefer to get a pair of welding gloves with cuffs that come up to your elbows, but hey, I have never required that level of caution.  Better still, get a pair of these extreme burn-proof arm guards and then you can take it off when you are not in extreme danger.

Ironcat 7020 Leather Heat Resistant Sleeve

New Gadgets for Tailgate Party Guys - Ironcat Leather Sleeves

New Gadgets for Tailgate Party Guys – Ironcat Leather Sleeves

I bought two pairs of the red Stonebreaker gloves (One pair of gloves for me and another for Ms. Rawhide and the same large size fits both of us so it’s almost a backup set in case we lose a glove) and a pair of the Ironcat sleeves just in case – which we share.  The Ironcat sleeves snap closed and you can take them off easily when you are not handling hot items.

Stonebreaker’s glove range is awesome and I want to thank them for making these for tailgate party guys!  I’ll be buying all my grillmates a pair for whatever occasion comes up.

Tailgate Mate Portable Party Table

Tailgate Mate Compact Portable Table

Tailgate Mate Compact Portable Table

Here’s something that is way more useful than you would ever think.  It is a table with spaces for cans, mugs or bottles and folds down to fit in the carry bag supplied with it.  We all know that anything that you can fold up to pack is a bonus for the tailgate party and this is a great example.  yet I have never seen them in the stores, just online.  Maybe they haven’t taken it to the Shark Tank yet! The Red Solo cup fits perfectly.   You can pack a few of these useful gadgets for tailgate party guys and distribute them around your spot in the lot and trust me, you will bless the day you bought them.  The vial measurements are 22 x 10 x 11 inches.  Make sure you spread the legs to its extremity so that it stays in place as there is not locking clip.  But I haven’t had one fall apart.  Specify your preferred color and you should be lucky to get one to match your team logo.

EZ Hitch Tailgate Table

Great gadget for Tailgate Party - EZ Hitch Table

Great gadget for Tailgate Party – EZ Hitch Table

The EX Hitch Tailgate Table is the compact, handy invention that puts tailgate parties into their place – on a tailgate.  It’s a brilliant idea as you can slip this one into your vehicle and take it out and click it on in moments and voilà! You have a party.  It literally takes less than a minute to set up and there’s a space for an umbrella to give you that essential shelter.

A free EZ Hitch umbrella is included as is a steel bottle opener that is part of the rig.  The table has many positions so pick the way you want it to suit your site.

It’s high quality made from steel and plastic.  Very new on the market.

The Simp-L-Shade

 

Lonely Guy's Tailgate Party

Lonely Guy’s Tailgate Party

 

Simp-L-Shade Tailgate Party Gadget

Simp-L-Shade Tailgate Party Gadget

Gadgets for Tailgate Party Guys also includes ways to get shade.  This umbrella shade stand (Simp-L-Shade) clicks into any 2″ hitch receiver and one person can mount it in seconds.  The angle of the umbrella is resistant to wind gusts and it anchored to stay.  The umbrella insert is 1-5″ which is OK for a patio umbrella . (Note that you use your own umbrella, what you are buying is this holder which is locally made with precision and very strong unlike some of the flimsy imports).  And unlike the guy in the photo, be sure to firm up the arrangements on the day so your best buds will come to your tailgate party.

Simp-L-Shade easily inserts into any 2″ towing receiver, insert your own patio umbrella, tighten the screw and in seconds you have shade. Simp-L-Shade easily extends up to thirty five inches from vehicle to allow clearance for the tailgate, hatch, swing out doors or for access to the goodies in the back of the vehicle.   Simp-L-Shade also easily adjust to five different angles to accommodate for the sun’s rotation to maximize shade. The Simp-L-Shade’s patented design allows for compact, easy storage when not required. Free limited lifetime warranty.

Portable Football Cooler

OK, so what’s better than a cooler?  A cooler that looks like a football. Themed gadgets for tailgate party guys are fun on the day!

Tailgate Party gadget - football shaped cooler

Tailgate Party gadget – football shaped cooler

It’s very much a practical novelty item but it is well-insulated and stands off the ground so will prevent stooping.  Should be a good item for people with back problems as bending for those beers can be so darn exhausting.  It holds more than 40 cans (that’s my share). It’s a good policy to stash food above the ground (Health bureaucracies insist on a minimum of 6″ off the ground to avoid contamination).   It closes with a zipper, has a carrying case of its own as well as the box it was shipped in.  It is simple to put up and take down.  What more could a football fan want?  20″ x 20″ x 38″.

Make sure you come back to this article regularly because, as I find some quirky items, I’ll add them to this list.  It’s a good stopping off point for gift-shoppers!

 

Happy tailgating !

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Is This the Greatest Tailgate Party Cooler Ever?

I couldn’t wait to tell you all about this incredible piece of equipment for your tailgate party.  It’s a cooler.  No.  It’s a PA system.  No. It’s a bluetooth speaker system.  Oh heck.  It’s ALL of those things!

It’s the Tunes2Go CA-E065A Koolmax Bluetooth 350 watt portable speaker.

KoolMax Bluetooth Cooler Speaker Combo

KoolMax Bluetooth Cooler Speaker Combo

This amazing piece of equipment comes in 4 colors so you can match your team logos and uniforms.  It cuts down the bulk of gear you have to lug to the parking lot.

Holds 48 cans or 28 bottles of beer and is a 40 quart cooler.

When fully charged, you’ll get 16 hours of battery life and it has all the bells and whistles needed for a great central sound system for your tailgate party.  XLR Mic input, bluetooth connection, USB port and so much more.  You can check the specs here.

This link will take you to the best deal at the moment.

Great holiday gift for someone you really love (yourself, maybe?).

Then tailgate party on ! (and everyone will be jealous).

 

Perfect Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer Coolers For Tailgate Parties

The Perfect Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer Cooler for tailgate parties

A few of my readers asked me why I haven’t covered the small but amazing range of perfect portable electric refrigerator-freezer coolers currently on the market.  They make their own ice on site, keep everything very cold and are ideal for keeping salads, perishables, pre-cooked meats and frozen margaritas at the perfect temperature.  Well, I guess I just wasn’t sure there was a market for them.  But I was wrong.  There’s a whole community out there that travels from state to state following games all over the country.  They are not all gray nomads either but diehard fans .and they need somewhere to stash their cream for the morning coffee.  At the tailgate party, these portable electric refrigerator/freezer coolers plug straight into the RV, Silverado  or whatever your ride is.

Anyway, thanks to my buds allowing me access to theirs and sharing their experience, I whittled down the range to the top three options.

Turned out, this was the most popular and while we are looking at the largest size, there are smaller models which we have listed for you.

Dometic CFX – 95DZUS Dual Zone Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer – 94.5 liters.

Dometic portable electric refigrerator/freezer cooler.

Dometic portable electric refrigerator-freezer cooler.

This is a 94.5 liter model and has two compartments, each with its own thermostat (-8F to +50F) covering fridge and freezer independently.  The power source is 120 VAC (wall plug) or 12VDC (cigarette lighter) or 24 VDC current.  It is the model that my pal Seth brings on the back of his Silverado along with his kegerator. It’s especially good when you need to drive to interstate games as you can avoid eating in restaurants and therefore, save your greenbacks for betting on fantasy football or even better, your cornhole games at the tailgate party.

But I digress.

The selling points of the Dometic Electric Portable Refrigerator-Freezer are as follows:

It’s big.  Like a small home fridge but packs a powerful punch being colder than, say, a bar fridge.  It makes real ice.  Speaking of which, a hint to keep it really cold when you are parked and to avoid drawing battery power, keep some bottles of iced water in the ice compartment.  These will keep the unit cold for a day or more. Otherwise, a 12 volt battery will keep the unit running longer.

Be sure to cool food or drink before putting into the freezer/fridge and you will preserve the low temperatures.

It’s absolutely terrific when you are in a remote area away from stores and ice machines as you can make heaps of it in this great freezer.  Fishermen, it’s for you to put your massive catch in as well.

Runs very quietly.

Very solid state.  I would recommend the insulated cover for it just to give it that extra care from dings.  You can then heave it in the back of your truck with a clear conscience.

Tested on ice-cream, popsicles and frozen peas and they stayed frozen for days.  There was no defrosting/re-freezing at all.  Performs well in the desert with high exterior temperatures. So it will work if say, you have to travel to Phoenix or Vegas for a game.  There’s little or no heat given off by the compressor so you can actually pack it quite tightly without the usual refrigerator air gaps required but do leave a space around the fan for the heat to escape.

Weighs 70 pounds.

Dimensions: 38.8 x 21.9 x 19.7 inches.

In conclusion, the owners of any of the range of Dometic portable refrigerator/freezer coolers love them whether for camping or tailgating and for the homegaters, this is a great second fridge as the power drag on your home electricity is very low.

The Dometic portable refrigerator/freezer coolers come in a variety of size options.

26 liters, 35 liters, 38 liters, 46 liters, 61 liters, as well as this one of 94.5 liters so there is one for all uses. Seems to make sense to buy the biggest when you shop at Costco for a heap of pre-made food for those occasions when you are not bothering with the whole BBQ thing.

Dometic CFX-CVR95DZ Insulated Protective Cover (for CFX-95DZUS)

Dometic Insulated Protective cover for portable freezer

Dometic Insulated Protective cover for portable freezer

The cover is sturdy and well manufactured and I really recommend buying one to give your portable electric refrigerator/freezer a longer life. It keeps the dust, dirt and sand out while you are traveling even if you just have it on the back of your pickup truck.  And on that note, it has eyelets so that you can anchor it to your truck for transporting. For tradesmen and engineers, or anyone who has to travel to the wilderness for work, this is a must. Then use it for the tailgate party when there’s a game …

Another popular portable electric refrigerator-freezer cooler

The ARB 10800782 82 quart fridge freezer

This portable electric refrigerator/freezer cooler is solid state – a combo of metal and plastic designed to keep the weight down.  It weighs in at 50 pounds empty.  You should be able to fit 90 beer cans or the equivalent in it.

The ARB features an automatic battery protection system that prevents car battery rundown when your vehicle is stationary.  Set it to when you want it to turn off and it does that automatically.

It runs quietly and again, better if you leave an air gap for the fan to breathe through.

Temperature wise, it is steady and cold and will retain that temperature for hours even when unplugged due to its insulated design.  Excellent for tailgating as its large interior will accommodate a very large array of food and drink.

You can run it on freezer or fridge mode depending on what you want to keep cool.

Advice from users includes getting a lead with 2 pronged 12 V plug rather than the cigarette lighter style plug but this is if you are taking an RV to the tailgate party and using the ARB there.  Otherwise, the cigarette lighter is fine with #8 wire.

It is a little smaller than the  Dometic but for its price it is good value and an efficient and reliable portable refrigerator/freezer cooler.  The other difference is that with the Dometic, you have the two thermostats and can use two temperatures – freeze or cool.

There are several different sizes available – 37 quart, 50 quart, 63 quart, 78 quart and this one, the 82 which is my preference though it really depends on which size portable refrigerator-freezer fits your tailgate party kit and transport.

The ARB 10900015 transit bag for ARB 82 quart portable refrigerator-freezer

 

ARB Portable Refrigerator:Freezer transit bag

ARB Portable Refrigerator-Freezer transit bag

As with the Dometic, there is a transit bag you can use for the protection of your valuable portable electric refrigerator-freezer.  It protects the appliance from the sun’s rays as well so that the battery doesn’t constantly kick in and cool the unit down.  This is designed to be used with ARB tiedowns.

ARB refrigerator tie down system

ARB refrigerator tie down system

These can be used to anchor the fridge onto the back of a pickup or other vehicle to stop it sliding around while being transported.  The canvas version is far nicer than the neoprene version though some users have reported that cleaning it will remove the colors.  My advice is never to scrub canvas and don’t ever use chemicals on it (eg. bleach).
There is also a fridge slider which can be bolted to your pickup but most users for tailgate parties don’t feel that these are necessary.  For 4WD trips, yes! But generally, the tie-downs are more than enough to get you to the parking lot.

Engel MT 80-U1 Dual Voltage 84 quart Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer 12V/24V/110V

Engel Dual Voltage Portable Refrigerator/Freezer

Engel Dual Voltage Portable Refrigerator-Freezer

This is the largest in the Engel portable electric refrigerator-freezer range and is solar compatible as well as being able to run on your auto or an independent battery.  It is top of the range, and a quality product.  Engel is well known to RV and trailer fans and tailgate partiers have been happy to discover this great unit.

Made from well insulated galvanised steel with heavy duty melamine coating, it is tough and marine hardy. Salt water? No problem. Drunken tailgate party dudes? No problem.

100% CFC free as expected, so you can care for the environment at the same time as keeping your booze and tailgate party food cold.

In the prepping movement as well as the tailgate community, this nice large portable electric refrigerator-freezer is highly rated mainly because it is so well constructed and also because of its low power draw.  Come the zombie apocalypse, your tailgate kit should be a lifeline.  Particularly a fridge full of cold beer.

Engel was the first name I ever heard in portable refrigerator/freezer ranges as Paul, our avid camper friend (you know him, the one who owns his own winery and wine labels) bought a second hand one, already 25 years old and he has run it in his trailer for around 8 years since then.  It has never failed.  So the brand alone is excellent and the execution lives up to the promise.

Basically, it holds just a little less than the Dometic reviewed above.  The comparables are around the same – a nice low power draw.  The solar connectivity is a good feature.

All these have a place you can plug in your smartphone for charging and that’s a real comfort. At the rate Wave sucks out power … well, that’s another story.

Anyway, the Engel also comes already equipped with AC and DC power cords and is so strong you can sit on it.

The side handles make it easy to carry but also are for anchoring in your truck so that it doesn’t slide around while in transit.

It does weigh 100 pounds when empty so you need to factor that in to the overall bulk of your tailgate party kit.

Note that at the point of sale, there are many short videos to help you decide what size Engel is best for you.

Finally, there are many lower end electric portable refrigerator-freezers on the market.  In general, these have a disappointing track record.  There are stories of the Engel being run continuously for over 20 years and I am not so sure than the cheaper models are capable of that.  Due to their low power draw, they are not expensive to run, so I am thinking that you will get years of great service from any of these three models outlined above.

Happy tailgating ! (And take them camping, traveling and prepping as well!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Cold Brew Kegerators For Tailgate Parties!

Cold Brew Kegerators: Brew Coffee & More

I bet you thought your kegerator could only do one thing – chill your brewski at your tailgate party. Wrong. In 2016, we now have Cold Brew Kegerators. So, Draft Beer or Draft Coffee?  Both, thanks. Wine, tea, soda  or *shudder* Kombucha and Kimchee? All of the above, you’re welcome.

Let’s start small.

Here’s the revolutionary Fizzics beer dispenser.

Fizzics in use

Fizzics revolutionary Beer Dispenser

Fizzics revolutionary Beer Dispenser

Very fresh on the market, the Fizzics is such a nifty way to serve draft beer that I am tempted to buy 6 of them and fill each with a different brewski.  It runs on batteries (4 x AA) and you don’t need any nitro or other stuff to run it.  Works with most bottles, cans or growlers.  It is very new on the market but is universally loved already.

OK. That’s the small stuff.

Before we progress to the cold brew kegerators, here’s the skinny on beer kegerators in 2016.  From the outside, they don’t seem to have changed all that much since last year apart from some digital enhancements but in fact they have branched out.  There are some big moves afoot.  These chill-meisters are hot, hot, hot! Get used to names such as nitro coffee, javarators, tea-arators, winerators, sodarators, and yes, even those heinous kombucharators and kimchee dispensers.

Edgestar full size kegerator

Edgestar full size kegerator

What this diversity means is prices at the top seem to have dropped considerably.  Initially, some bright spark invented kegerators designed for making cold-brew coffee (especially nitro) and other beverages as well as beer.  Makes sense. Many consumers are resistant to buying single-use appliances and have found ways to broaden the use of kegerators.  Coffee and beer are at the top of the list. Are the two compatible?  Yup.  They are.   And,*shudder*, it’s true that some even can be used for kombucha.  (Please do not bring that dragon’s bile to my tailgate parties especially if you have a neck beard and wear a hipster beanie.) Wine, cider, root beer and soda are forgivable. Did I mention many of the new kegerators dispense these – as well as tea – and of course, beer of all denominations?  There are specialty taps for dark beers too. This new versatility, and the descending price, have made a kegerator the hottest new appliance in a man cave, tailgate party kit or just the kitchen.  Wine cooler, move over. Just make sure the lines are 100% clean in between different beverages so you don’t get any cross-flavors and read up about the CO2 pressure you may need to apply to certain drinks. A side issue is that it was way easier to sell the idea to Ms. Tailgator when I mentioned that we could just as easily make cold-brew nitro coffee for her book club from the new kegerator. Read on for an introduction the best of the best dual purpose beer and cold-brew coffee kegerators.

Size matters:

Jacked Up Compact Cold Brew Coffee Making System

Jacked-Up Cold Press Coffee Making System

 

FYI multi-use Kegerators fall naturally into the category of full sized.  ATM, there’s no compact alternative-use kegerator,  though you can modify some to dispense other drinks. Choose one that is rated OK for homebrew.  Some beer kegerators are classed as portable and others should be installed in place and left alone.  The combo beer + coffee kegerators are all full size as they need to accommodate a nitrogen tank and at least one 5 gallon ball-lock keg.  (Kickstarters and funding sites are still working on finessing compact versions. The highly anticipated Jacked Up cold press coffee maker is cheap, cute and portable though it doesn’t do a proper cascading pour,  so there’s a bit of disappointment in its design.

Pour overs don’t fulfill the promise either as you need that whole nitro technology and cascading pour plus the kegerator system to store the coffee to avoid throwing out the brew at the end of the day.

Note also that some kegerators from our old articles are no longer made and the ones below, you will notice, have either dropped in price or stayed the same for years despite everything else becoming unaffordable. It has to do with popularity driving the prices down.  Some have also been modified and improved as a result of feedback from buyers.  Follow the links and have one sent, pronto, so that you can practice your smooth tailgate party moves before this year’s Super Bowl. Or next year’s.

So, where do you start? I have just put together a representative list.  Of course, outside that, there are quite a few choices in the range and eventually I hope to test and cover many of them.

The specifications of the Edgestar coffee and beer dispenser are pretty much the gold-standard for versatile drinks dispensers.  So I have spelled that one out in detail.  Following that description, there is a list of other recommended kegerators that suit a variety of purposes.

EdgeStar S/S Dual Tap Cold Brew Coffee + Beer Dispenser

Meet the versatile EdgeStar Cold Brew Kegerator which could well be the star of your tailgate party.

Dual tap Edgestar keerator for coffee

Dual Tap Edgestar kegerator for coffee

It’s a way to have all the beer you want and follow that up with all the cold brew coffee you need before you leave the tailgate party.  This is what the EdgeStar Dual Tap Cold Brew Coffee + Beer Dispenser with Digital Display can do for you, combining your two great loves at that other great iconic get-together, the tailgate party. I recommend this one for the man-cave as it is large, professional-looking and will be the centerpiece of your tailgate gate party (well, apart from the 60” TV with the game on it).

You may not want to haul ass this elegant appliance to your parking lot tailgate party.  Yet I do know people who have done exactly that, mounting the kegerator in back of their pickup trucks and running their tailgate party from it as though it’s a food truck.  It may be time to rethink the format and layout of the tailgate party and step it up a-piece. But I digress.

This EdgeStar stainless steel dual tap kegerator has been designed for the progressive office: perfect cold brew coffee in the morning, happy hour beers at 5 pm, then more coffee before heading home.  IMHO, that’s a fine balance for a tailgate party not just life at the office. I think you get the picture.

This model includes a fully insulated draft tower, the coffee faucet – which, by the way, has a ‘*cascading pour feature’ to ensure a top quality crema on your coffee.

PLUS there is the regular beer faucet, a set of classic tap handles which you can switch out to something to suit your taste, 2 Sankey couplers (but I recommend you buy a couple of extras) a dual gauge nitrogen regulator and a CO2 regulator.  Tanks included are 1 x 5lb nitrogen tank (for the coffee) and 1 x 5lb CO2 tank (for the beer).

You can easily check the temperature on this kegerator as it has a digital display.  You can set it and forget it using the touch controls.

So what does it hold?  The cabinet can easily store 2 x sixth barrel kegs (or one of these plus a 5 gallon ball lock keg), gas tanks and all the other equipment required.  If you are running a dual system, you may put your nitro tank outside at the back of the unit. (With some kegerators, you need to run dual lines (two separate beverages), you may need to drill the holes a little larger.  Check that this does not void your warranty. But with the EdgeStar, it’s all there for you.)

This freestanding EdgeStar Cold Brew kegerator, including castors for ease of moving from room to room or location to location, comes in black or stainless steel so when you order, be sure to click on the correct finish wrap for your décor.  It is also amazingly inexpensive at the moment given that it has been designed for stout style beers (such as Guinness or Negro Modelo or your own home brew).  Two refrigerator shelves are included so that it can double as a fridge as required.

The temperature adjusts from 32-50degrees F which is 0-10 degrees C.  These are optimum beverage temperatures and the deep chill mode ensures your beer will be frosty cold with the perfect head.

And it is guaranteed for 1 year (parts) and 90 days (labor).  The company gives great service and follow-up with any questions or issues.

Note that it is on backorder at the moment.  But make contact with the company and they will add you to their waiting list which I hope is being reduced by the day.

Kegco Kombucherator

Kegco Kombucherator

If Kombucha is your thing, then this is made for you.

It has all the parts necessary including a digital display and that makes maintaining that temperature for fermentation a snap.  Looks like a kegerator.  And it is a kegerator.  But there you go!  Versatility personified.  Remember to clean the lines carefully in between uses.

EdgeStar Winerator

Full Size Dual Tap Stainless Steel Wine Dispenser

Edgestar Winerator – Wine Dispenser

No matter if you plan to serve wine by-the-glass or by-the-carafe, this system saves you money by keeping the bulk purchased wine fresh and true to its terroir, is great for the environment in saving bottles and corks.  If you have winos at your tailgate party, this is a great investment.

This is the EdgeStar wine dispenser and an environmentally responsible way to drink wine.  It makes for a great money-saving as well as being green. You can keep beer in one side and wine in the other if you add a CO2 tank for the beer side and an additional regulator.  Price-wise, it’s a huge bargain at the moment. All dispensing components are wine-certified, and that includes the barrier tubing preventing oxygenation and the 304 stainless steel faucets required to avoid any cross-flavors. You just need to find a provider of wine kegs near you or order them through your wine dealer or http://wineberry.com/wine-on-tap/

http://www.kegerator.com/edgestar-wine-keg-dispenser-wine-on-tap-system/WKC2000.html?utm_campaign=cj&utm_medium=aff&aff_id=1002&utm_source=1490881&mtcpromotion=cj

They tell me that this can double as a cigar humidor! That makes it even better value for some folks.

Anyway, if you need to convert it back exclusively to beer dispensing, that’s a cinch.  Just replace the current tank valve or switch the tank itself to a CO2 tank and you are ready to dispense beer.

Sodarator, Meadarator, Ciderator  and more

Kegco Full-Size Digital Homebrew Kegerator Triple Faucet Stainless with Ball Lock Kegs

Triple tap Kegco kegerator full size

Triple tap Kegco kegerator full size

Even though Kegerators were designed for beer, they are also excellent for Cider, Root Beer, Mead, sodas of all kinds.  Having a kids’ party?  Then dispense the sodas from your kegerator.  This triple tap kegerator is ideal and if you need more space for nitro or additional tanks, you can store them behind the appliance.  Beer lines must be cleaned thoroughly before changing beverages.  There is a real accent on sterilising the 0-rings and beer lines. (I advise you to have a few spares of each plus a handy beer line cleaning kit ).

By regularly purging air with CO2, you can remove some of the possible yeast contamination that might be present in your keg.  Yeast could cause your sodas, mead or soda to ferment.  Attach your CO2 gas canister to the keg and pull your safety valve for ten seconds which will  replace the air with CO2.

Then, when it’s all clean, Just fit a keg of a non-alcoholic beverage into one of your kegerator’s taps and make a few easy tweaks to increase the CO2 pressure to dispense sodas such as root beer, cola, ginger ale.

You can buy a dual or triple tap version and vary the drinks.

How to Setup a Kegerator to Serve Nitro Coffee

Generally speaking, you will find instructions in the kit.  But if you don’t like reading instructions here is a quick outline and a link to an easy video.  Some manufacturers or sellers include a link to a video and if you don’t find one of those, check out Youtube inputting your model number.

Assemble the kegerator hardware

Plumb the gas and beverage lines and keep them scrupulously clean in between brews

Mount the supplied draft tower

Install a stout faucet for the cascading pour feature

Connect the gas and liquid lines to the keg

Install the gas to use for nitro coffee

Set the pressure to use when serving nitro coffee

Practice pouring with a stout faucet

Change the taps to ones of your choice if you desire.  The chalkboard ones allow you to describe the contents. Use a wet chalk pen so it doesn’t erase.

A short Glossary of Javarator terms

*Cascading pour regulates the way the beverage is dispensed and ensures full body in every drink.

*Crema is that foam you get on well-brewed pure coffee before the cream or milk arrives.  In quality coffee, you can get a head as great as a cappuccino, yet there’s nothing added.

*Check out this Youtube video showing hints for setup and use. It’s a detailed video which spells it out. You may need to play it a few times.

Here’s a general instructional about putting together your kegerator:

Step-by-Step: Kegerator Assembly Guide

Warning! Warning!  There’s actually a Kimchi kegerator.

Samsung Kimchee refrigerator

Samsung Kimchee refrigerator

Please don’t try to put beer in this one.

Finally, let’s say that as kegerators have moved out of the shadows they have become better engineered and the service from the manufacturing companies is a lot better.  This is by no means a complete list but it should be a good starting point for you to flick through the choices available on line.  No matter what the weather, even if your team loses, even if the BBQ runs out of gas mid-sear, at least you will get the beverages right.  Happy tailgate partying!

 

Best Slow Cookers for Tailgate Parties – Slow Cooker Reviews 2017

Why buy slow cookers?

In a fun few weeks of cooking and eating, we’ve reviewed the best slow cookers for tailgate parties (as well as a few slow cooker accessories too!).

Seems every tailgate party I go to these days, there are slow cookers of all kinds. They come in large to small, to portable and massive, the latter preferred for home-gating. The best slow cooker for your particular need is one of the most efficient accessories for tailgating or home-gating. Luckily for us, there are many awesome slow cookers on the market! It’s almost like the slow cooker was invented just for tailgating. Or, maybe tailgating was invented for slow cookers… If you’re interested in finding the best slow cooker, then read on.

Crockpot Slow Cookers

Crockpot Slow Cookers are awesome

Whatever you call them – the generic ‘slow cooker’ or eponymous ‘Crock Pot Slow Cooker’ is a magical appliance:  it’s definitely labor-saving. You can cook pretty darn good meals on ‘set and forget’ that make beer taste even better at any tailgate party.  While the stews, chilis, gumbo and the like really shine in winter, you can eat slow cooker food all year round.  And easy?  I would concur.  Generally, the cooking process just involves throwing in a heap of stuff.  And there are many awesome recipes that give variations on this randomness.  If you are a fan of pulled-pork and would rather spend time drinking beer at your tailgate party than cooking and cleaning, (and who does not fit that description?) honestly, do yourself a favor and get one of the range of slow cookers. The cold weather is kicking in to the Lower 48 to coincide with the football season. So I have been experimenting with these remarkable machines already.  Slow cookers do so much to make a tailgate party rock that it is crazy.

Is it the best slow cooker for the way you party?

Your ‘best’ slow cooker may not be everybody’s ‘best’ but there are some fundamental aspects to check out with tailgate partying first and foremost in mind.

The first thing to realize is that there are three main levels of slow cooker: small, medium and large.  Pick your size with your requirements in mind and then you can start looking at the levels of programmability that each features.  For starters, here is a checklist of features you need to be looking for.

Capacity:

Shape eg. Round or oval – note that oval slow cookers are designed to take whole poultry and cuts of meat say, for pot roast or pulled pork made from a whole pork butt. The round ones hold any diced meats, fish, stews, rice, curry, dips, you name it.

Programmable control on the body of the slow cooker itself – the ability to cook from scratch in the slow cooker pot with a variety of temperatures.

Temperature that the food can rest at.  This must be over 145°F for Food Handlers’ Health Dept.  standards.

Suitable for frying or baking – some slow cookers cook risotto like a dream and you can even make jam or chutney in them.  Even no-frills slow cookers are very versatile. And then there are really hi-tech models.

Power connection – cable/cord long enough? Too long? Retractable?

Weight of the Unit. You want something manageable for a tailgate party so that it fits in your kit. You may end up buying a small one for dips, a large one for pulled pork.

Price – whatever you want to spend depends on how important your tailgate partying is to you and your buds.

So here’s the skinny on slow cookers, from the smallest to the biggest domestic versions.

Small slow cookers

The Little Dipper

 

Crockpot Little Dipper

Crockpot Little Dipper

Keeping the tailgate party foremost in our planning, let’s start small: the first ones are all around $10 a unit (the Triple Dipper of course, is 3 times that).  What these Slow Cookers have in common is that they are cheap, party friendly and compact.  They are not for the large scale tailgate party unless you have a power source and a few of them.  But as host gifts for the tailgate party go, these are perfect, starting with the baby of them all, the Crock Pot Little Dipper.

Crock-Pot Model 32041-C 16-Ounce Little Dipper, Chrome.

Check out these cute 2-cup units that look are a fab idea for setting up a variety of hot dips as a centerpiece to our tailgate party table.  With the brand ‘Crock-Pot’, you know they invented a  product built to North American Electrical standards. So it’s safe and well-designed.  Despite that, it’s extremely inexpensive and not recognized as top of the range so it is accessible.  You certainly can line up a heap of hot, spicy, cheesy dippers and supply some crusty bread, pretzels and appropriate beers.

Capacity, The Little Dipper slow cookers hold 2 cups. 16 oz. That’s a lot of dip.

Shape. Round, mainly for gravies, sauces, dips, melting chocolate, cheese  etc.. You could cook a Quail, Squab or Cornish hen but nothing larger.

Materials:  The Little Dipper Slow Cooker is finished in Chrome with black food grade plastic.

Programmable control – no. It has one temperature.

Temperature – it holds the food at the temperature that the food can rest at.  Must be over 145°F for Food Handlers’ Health Dept.  standards. This holds the food at 155-170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Can tend to bubble so then you can turn it off.  Don’t let it get lukewarm if it has meat or dairy in the recipe.  Gastro alert!

Suitable for frying or baking – People use these little crock pot cuties for candle making (wax melting) potpourri diffusers and anything else you can think of that needs a constant temperature.  They are really good for the long cook required for making your morning oatmeal.  Won’t burn or boil over.

Weight of the Unit. 1 pound.

Price – cheap.

Pros – excellent for packing.  Great for hot dips. Good for taking to work as well as the tailgate party for a nutritious-delicious desk lunch. Cheap.

Cons: You can’t remove the pot from the unit for easy cleaning.  Cleaning is a bit of a challenge.  The lid is not Pyrex or even glass so you can’t check the progress of the cooking.

Hamilton Beach Party Dipper Food Warmer

 

Hamilton Beach Model 33101 Dipper

Hamilton Beach Food Warmer

Hamilton Beach Food Warmer

Capacity, 2 cups. 16 oz.

Shape. Round, Removable ceramic bowl for easy cleaning. 2 1/2 inches deep and has a 4 inch diameter.

Materials:  finished in Chrome and black food grade plastic. Glass lid. Ceramic interior bowl.

Programmable control – no. You need to use an exterior timer if you need a timing feature.

Temperature – this holds the food at 155-170 degrees Fahrenheit. Reaches 190 degrees. It will retain this heat for an hour or so but after that, be careful as at that point the food will move out of the safety zone.  Discard any food after two hours or put into the fridge/icebox.

Suitable for frying or baking – Good for keeping pre-cooked dips warm safely, chocolate, cheese/jalapeño, wax melting, soap making, potpourri. As well as lining up dips on the table at the tailgate party.

Weight of the Unit. 1 pound.

Pros – Hamilton Beach are very good to deal with.  Exchanges are simple. Very inexpensive and no-frills.  The Hamilton Beach slow cooker range is guaranteed lead free.  It may be alarmist of me, but I just like a declaration of being lead free.  I would recommend the use of a slow cooker liner bag (and that makes cleaning even easier).

Cons: Outside gets really hot.  Has no switch. Just plugs in to the wall. Very short lead.

Crock-Pot Little Triple Dipper, Silver and Black

Chocolate in the Little Triple Dipper Slow Cooker

Chocolate in the Little Triple Dipper Slow Cooker

Crockpot Little Triple Dipper Slow Cooker

Crockpot Little Triple Dipper Slow Cooker

 

The most popular tailgate party table is one with plenty of variety. The Crockpot Little Triple Dipper is a terrific way to cook and transport three separate dishes/dips at a time.  Make three really crowd-pleasing dips or even three styles of mac’n’cheese, pop pre-made dishes into the Little Triple Dipper bowls then into the carry bag and off you go.  They are held at a food-safe temperature for at least an hour. As well, the clean up is a breeze as this model has both the glass lids users love and ceramic, removable dishes.  I have even put all the bowls into the dishwasher with no ill effects.

Capacity, 3 x 16 oz. cookers. That is around 6 cups of food.  Dips, gravies etc..

Shape: each slow cooker segment is round but they fit snugly into a triangular shape.

Programmable control – no, only one temperature.

Temperature – food safe. Rather hot. It can develop a solid surface or skin so give it an occasional stir.

Suitable for frying or baking – no, just keeping pre-made food hot and safe to eat. OK for fondue.  The thing with these is that you have to pre-make the recipe and then hold it at a food safe temperature.

Weight of the Unit. 4.5 pounds.  Ships at 5.9 pounds.

Price – cheap. Includes carry bag.

Pros – 3 dips in the one space.  It is compact and value for money. Has it’s own carry bag.

Cons: You can’t really cook in it apart from fondue. Pre-make your dishes on the day before the tailgate party then hold at food safe in these dishes.  This should get you through a tailgate party appetizer round with ease.

Medium slow cookers:

What is the medium size for a Slow Cooker?  It seems to be somewhere around the 3 quart mark.

Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

 

Cuisinart Slow Cooker

Cuisinart Slow Cooker

Chefs rate this Cuisinart programmable slow cooker really highly.  It is not the latest model and the consensus is that most of the newest range cook at too high a temperature due to FDA upping the food-safe level.  Cuisinart is a good and reliable brand.  I have a few of their products and they are well designed, looking good on the counter as well as being functional.

Capacity, 3 and a half quarts.  This is enough for 2 huge full meals with leftovers.  Or a mac’n’cheese for a small crowd.

Shape: Oval – you can fit a medium chicken or a small turkey in this.  Glass lid, dishwasher safe pot and lid. Easy clean.

Materials – brushed steel, glass lid, ceramic pot – stay-cool handles. BPA free in every part of the slow cooker that comes in contact with food.  Lead free.

Programmable control – 4 cooking modes – high, low, simmer, and warm – with a touchpad control panel and 24 hour LCD countdown timer which means you can set it and forget it even the night before you go to work and then return to a yummy dinner.

Temperature – food safe. Has an automatic keep-warm program.

Suitable for frying or baking –  No.

Weight of the Unit.  9.5 pounds. Ships at 11.3. (Includes recipe book)

Price – average.  A little more than anticipated because it is equipped with time-saving features which make it your slave.

Pros – good for family use.  Will cook rice. This should get you through a tailgate party appetizer round. Fully programmable and can be set the night before and cook long and slow before you leave for the tailgate party.

Cons:  None.

Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker SCVT650-PS, 6.5-Quart, Silver

 

Easy Clean Slow Cooker from Crock-Pot

Easy Clean Slow Cooker from Crock-Pot

Crock-pot Slow Cooker silicon handles

Crock-pot Slow Cooker silicon handles

Crock-pot touchscreen slow cooker

Crock-pot touchscreen slow cooker

Made by Crock Pot, this programmable touchscreen slow cooker ticks many boxes but sacrifices others.

Capacity, 6 and a half quarts.  Not sure whether to class this as medium or large but to my mind the large capacity is over 7 quarts.  Very commodious, plenty of leftovers or food for a big crowd.  Try it on chili and you will see what I mean. You could probably buy two of these – one for the beans and fixings and the other for the meat and it would feed a couple of dozen tailgaters.

Shape: Oval – you can fit a turkey in this slow cooker.  Glass lid, dishwasher safe pot and lid. Easy clean.

Materials – polished stainless steel, glass lid, stoneware pot which makes it a bit heavy but the solidity also means it’s not easily broken which is good for tailgate parties where a bit of rough housing tends to happen – metal handles with stay-cool wraps built in but also take some pot holders as the edges tend to get hot. BPA free in every part of the slow cooker that comes in contact with food.  Lead free.  The stainless steel finish is very easy to clean.  Just protect from dings by maybe investing in an insulated carry bag.

Programmable control – 4 cooking modes – high, low, simmer, and warm – with a touchpad control panel and 24 hour LCD countdown timer which means you can set it and forget it even the night before you go to work and then return to a yummy dinner.

Temperature – food safe. Has an automatic keep-warm program.

Suitable for frying or baking –  Yes.

Weight of the Unit.  15.6 pounds. Stated that it ships at 15.8 which seems a little low. (Includes recipe book)

Price – Inching up to the $100 mark but it is solid state and one of these can feed a dozen of your best buds.

Pros – good for family use as well as tailgate parties so if you want one for the game, this is easy to sneak in.  Will cook rice. Has a warranty.  Stainless steel – love that.  Touchscreen panel makes it easy to program.  Has a bonus cookbook.

Cons: None that I can  see.  So far, this is my fave and perfection is reached at a tailgate party with the Triple Dipper alongside it for variety of sides.

Large slow cookers:

Or you can get a grand size that will feed a heap of hungry buds.

Crock-Pot 6 quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot Cook and Carry slow cooker

Crock-Pot Cook and Carry slow cooker

Capacity- This Crock Pot holds 6 quarts.  This is enough for 7 meals or a 6lb roast.

Crock-Pot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker

Shape: Oval – you can fit a large chicken or a medium turkey in.  Glass lid, dishwasher safe ceramic pot. Easy clean in the dishwasher.

Materials – brushed steel, glass lid, ceramic pot – stay-cool handles. BPA free in every part of the slow cooker that comes in contact with food.

Programmable control – Digital display 4 cooking modes – high, low, simmer, and warm – with a touch-pad control panel and 24 hour LCD countdown timer for set and forget cooking and also with a digital countdown readout to give you the heads-up on how much time you have for preparing accompaniment dishes.

Temperature – food safe. Has an automatic keep-warm program.  If you are not around when the food reaches its cooked state, it automatically switches to a safe cook-warm mode.

Suitable for frying, roasting or baking

Weight of the Unit.  8 pounds. Ships at 13 pounds. (Includes recipe book)

Pros – For your tailgate party, this is one of the ultimate units as you can fit in a whole pork butt to make pulled pork or a ton of chicken wings and you can still fit it in your vehicle. Nice and light.

Cons – An off smell when new.  Treat as above by doing a discarded pre-cook and then it is fine.  Made in China – check this for lead content before you buy.

 

Elite Platinum MST-900R MaxiMatic Stainless Steel Slow Cooker, 8.5-Quart

Elite Platinum 8.5 quart slow cooker

Elite Platinum 8.5 quart slow cooker

This is the grand-daddy of domestic slow cookers and if you have crowds at your tailgate parties, then check out this 8.5 quart capacity large pot. And it even comes in red!  Oh, and it is a very cheap model with no digital capacity but maybe that’s OK.  With the bumping around tailgate party pots can put up with, you can rest assured that after a few dings you can afford to replace it.

Capacity, 8.5 quarts.  You can fit a turkey in it, 2 small chickens, a medium chunk of ham or pork butt.

Shape: Oval –   Glass lid, aluminum interior pot. Easy clean – just wipes right out and is non-stick.

Materials – brushed steel in red, white or stainless, glass lid, ceramic pot – stay-cool handles. BPA free in every part of the slow cooker that comes in contact with food.

Programmable control – Has a knob to indicate the 3 cooking modes – high, low, keep  warm.

Temperature – food safe. The keep warm setting is a little hot but it won’t poison you.  Just make sure to monitor that (through the glass lid) and if it is crusting around the edges, turn it off and restart after 15 minutes.

The Elite is suitable for stews, mac’n’cheese, wings, rice.

Weight of the Unit.  16 pounds. Ships at 18 pounds. (Includes recipe book)

Pros:  For your tailgate party, you can cater for a crowd with chili for around 10 people or as an accompaniment, 20. Very light weight which is good if you need to stash it on a high shelf or transport to your tailgate party in the parking lot  Nice color. This slow cooker has a tight gasket around the lid to prevent spills and boil-overs. Don’t fill more than 2/3.  Food doesn’t stick or burn. Easy to clean. For tailgating the large size is satisfactory to transport and the handles don’t get hot. Transport it in its own travel pack (optional – see below under accessories!)

Cons: When brand new, it smells of plastic and washing does not remove the odor.  I had read this in reviews and for the first cook I did a vanilla spray, then wiped with oil and boiled some water.  Then cooked again using just some meat for the dog.  I figured he wouldn’t mind the off-flavor.  And he didn’t.  I boiled up a chicken and he was happy to wolf that down.  No more smell after.  Keep warm setting is a little hot – in fact almost boiling.  This is tricky as all new slow cookers now must comply with FDA requirements for food safety and hence the higher temp.  Be careful of the dish inside.  Extremes of temperatures may crack it.

The aspirational slow cooker!

KitchenAid KMC4244CA Multi-Cooker with Stir Tower – Candy Apple

KitchenAid slow cooker

KitchenAid slow cooker

OK, I am including this little beauty – the Kitchen Aid Multi Cooker with its buddy, the Stir Tower -because it comes in Ferrari red and also there’s a Porsche black model so that’s got to be worth something.  There are so many teams that feature red and black that these will look like you planned the whole kitchen around your fandom.  But I digress.  It is also genius when it comes to cooking as they do all the standing and stirring for you.

KitchenAid Slow Cooker Stir Tower

KitchenAid Slow Cooker Stir Tower

It doesn’t totally fit the mold of Slow cookers as it is high tech with over 10 cooking methods, 4 step-by-step modes with a stir tower that agitates the food during the process. The temperature is perfect throughout and the food is flipped and stirred to perfection.  What does it do?  It slow cooks at the same time as the stirring process to eliminate the cold spots in your old fashioned crock pot.  You can make risotto without even being in the room.

KitchenAid multicooker slow cooker

KitchenAid multicooker slow cooker

The Kitchenaid Multi Cooker’s  settings are basically risotto, rice, sear, sauté, simmer, soup, yogurt , boil/steam, slow cook high and low, keep warm – all programmable over 24 hours but there are many variants in between.

Capacity, 4 quarts.  This is enough for 4 meals or a 4lb roast.

Shape: round.  Plus the stir tower at one end. Stir tower, roasting rack, steam basket.

Materials –Tempered glass lid. Silicone flip and stir paddle, silicone flex edge blade.

Programmable control – Digital display.

Temperature – food safe. Has an impressive multi-function digital display and is   easy to control and always within food safety range.

Suitable for frying, roasting or baking and deep frying.

Weight of the Unit.  16.5 pounds. Ships at 22.4 pounds. (Includes recipe book). Pot itself is not heavy, just the stirrer.

Pros: Great color.  Sort of Ferrari red. Even though the interior can get up to 450 degrees, the exterior is still cool to the touch.  Ideal for taking to the tailgate party with a mass of chili within its ‘cooking chamber’.  The pot is super easy to clean – just wipe with soapy water and rinse. Makes great custards and ice-cream bases as it does the stirring for you. No more split/curdled mixture. Sears and cooks pot roast in the same pan perfectly.

Cons: Stay tuned.  Let’s see if Ms. Tailgater can find any!  So far she loves it …  It’s a different method of cooking so be sure to read the manual. You can even make *shudder*  …. yoghurt. If yoghurt is here, can quinoa be far behind?  Well, not at my tailgate party. Not sure my buds would agree to that as an accompaniment to beer.  The stirring tower is a bit noisy, but that’s to be expect.  So am I when stirring risotto or mac’n’cheese and that’s just the Blake Shelton repertoire.  While it is supposed to be dishwasher safe, I probably would not.  I don’t put any Teflon type non-stick substances in the dishwasher but hand-wash for longevity and integrity of the coating. No cookbook except an E-cook-book which you only get by contacting Kitchenaid to register the machine.

But that’s not a hard yard.

Slow Cooker Accessories

Crock-Pot Travel Bag for 7-Quart Slow Cookers, Black

 

Crock-Pot slow cooker carry bag

Crock-Pot slow cooker carry bag

Keep your slow cooker looking schmick by transporting it to the tailgate party in this specially designed travel  bag.  The pictured one is designed for the 7 quart, but you will find quite a few different sizes.

The zipper closure keeps the cold air out and it’s made of tough nylon so should give you a few years of service.

Crock Pot leads the way in all these slow cooker accessories and this bag is highly recommended!

 

Make the Slow Cooker experience easy! Use a liner.

Crock Pot Slow Cooker Liners

Crock-Pot liners for slow cookers

Crock-Pot liners for slow cookers

I only recently discovered these great Crock-Pot liners that fit any sized slow cooker from 3 to 7 quarts.  Wow, they save a lot of cleaning!  Note that they are BPA free and will hold anything from soups to roasts and there is no taste imparted to your food during the cooking process.  They don’t melt and will fit either oval or round slow cookers.

Anything that makes the tailgate party experience easier for the host is fine by me.

Pulled Pork Shredder Claws

STRONGEST BBQ MEAT FORKS – Shredding Handling & Carving Food – Claw Handler Set for Pulling Brisket from Grill Smoker or Slow Cooker – BPA Free Barbecue Paws

Pulling that pork with the bear claws

Pulling that pork with the bear claws

These are a really good buy at the moment.  Must be tailgate season!  Or pork season?  Anyway, these make shredding that melt-in-your-mouth pork a breeze instead of the messy chore that you know it can be.  Normal forks don’t do justice to the pork, making the pieces too small.  Tailgate parties don’t do much. These are just right.

Bear claws for pulled pork and more

Bear claws for pulled pork and more

They are bear claw shaped so that you can scrape the pork into soft, melt-in-your-mouth chunks then pick up the shredded meat and serve without dropping it in the parking lot.  BPA free, naturally.

Food safety with your slow cookers

For food safety, consider buying one of these to add to your tailgate party kit.

Temperature probe for slow cooker

Temperature probe for slow cooker

Particularly with the small slow cookers, it’s worth checking the temperature throughout the day.  If the temperature drops below 135 degrees, discard the contents.

And finally, a couple of essential…

Slow cooker recipe ideas

Slow cooker recipe book

Slow cooker recipe book

Make the Slow Cooker experience DELICIOUS.  You can buy many recipe books and here are a couple of classics involving wings and pork.

Buffalo Wings, Slow cooker style.

Ingredients

2 lb wings.

1 cup buffalo wing sauce

1 pkt Ranch seasoning and a pinch of salt, pepper and some chives for garnishing.  Ranch dressing also for serving/dipping.

Directions

Throw chicken wings in a large slow-cooker then mix together buffalo sauce and ranch seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl and pour that mixture over chicken wings stirring to coat.

Put the lid on and cook on high until cooked through, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

After wings are cooked, transport to your tailgate party on baking sheets lined with foil or parchment. Heat the grill. Grill until crispy, 5 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve with ranch dressing as a dip.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas – someone gave me this recipe so apologies to whoever wrote it as there was no source quoted..

Yield: Serves 6-8 as a meal but at a Tailgate Party – up to 20

Ingredients

pounds boneless pork butt roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into large chunks

1 onion, peeled and quartered

3 (2-inch) strips orange zest and lime zest. Do with a veggie peeler and make them large enough to find and remove at the end.

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

5 garlic cloves, finely minced not crushed.

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

2 bay leaves

Directions

Place the pork in the bottom of a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Add everything else and toss the pork pieces so the spices are evenly distributed.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or high for 5 to 7 hours).

Remove the pork from the slow cooker to a 9X13-inch or similar-sized oven-safe dish. Use two forks to shred the pork.

Pour everything (solids and liquid) from the slow cooker into a strainer set over a bowl to catch the liquid. Discard the solids and reserve the liquid.

To crisp the edges of the pork (this is optional but delicious), preheat the broiler to high and position an oven rack about 6-8 inches away from the heating element. Pour about 1 cup of the reserved liquid over the pork in the pan. Broil the pork (watching closely!) for a couple minutes until it is brown and crispy in spots. Give the pork a good stir/turn and broil again until some of the edges crisp up a bit. You still want the pork to be nice and tender so don’t overcook it here – and keep an eye on it as a broiler can take food from beautifully browned to burned in seconds.

Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a serving plate or platter, if desired. Use additional liquid from the slow cooker to moisten the pork as needed. Serve with lime wedges, tortillas, fresh cilantro and other toppings of your choice. At this point it can be covered with foil and transported to the tailgate party in a hot bag. Heat tortillas on your grill flat top and fill with the pork or alternatively, use baguettes cut to size for individuals.

Happy tailgating!

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Tailgate Party Supplies — The Monster List 2017

Tailgate parties are monumental fun.  But they can also be hard work.  For the party planner, the cook, the person who packs and unpacks the vehicle, that is.  We think you, the host,  should be really organized with the food, entertainment, booze, games,  the setup and breakdown.  Best way to do that?  Make a list of everything you ever thought you might need at your tailgate party site.  Now read on for our updated monster list of tailgate party supplies, 2017!

 

Tailgate Party Supplies - Notebook

Tailgate Party Supplies – Notebook

Make a list of tailgate party supplies you need

Make a list. Get a plain old notebook or do it on your Smartphone such as ‘Ultimate to do list’.  Hey, that’s what I am doing.  Follow it as best you can.  It’s not a bad idea to maintain an ongoing tailgate party record from week to week of what you served, any site problems and the best games for your buds and then you can contact us and let us in on your experiences from site to site.

Read up and get some inspiration.

Of course, books such as this Game Day Fan Fare are fun to browse though and you will get some ideas on how to make your tailgate party a success.  Or just read each section here on our site that we have collated for you over the years we have been researching and writing all about awesome tailgating. There are also some good magazines and TV shows that feature tailgate parties.

Game Day Fan Fare inspires tailgate party supplies

Game Day Fan Fare inspires tailgate party supplies

Dress Rehearsal for Tailgate Party Supplies

Set up your tailgate party kit by staging it in a room. Lay out everything you want to take and make sure it fits in your vehicle.  Each year, we seem to gather more and more bits and pieces that are seen as standard equipment.  One year it just didn’t fit so I bought a trailer hitch AND a rack.  Just remember that your space in the parking lot is limited but if you have a small car with a trailer hitch or rack like this 60″ Folding Truck Car Cargo Carrier Basket Luggage Rack Hitch Hauler and you will fit everything more easily. Otherwise, buy a Silverado.

Trailer hitch to cart your tailgate party supplies

Trailer hitch to cart your tailgate party supplies

Contain your tailgate party supplies

Containers: some well-designed, well-sealed pantry containers can hold salads, meat, marinades, pie of course and cream. I don’t buy round or odd shaped ones but hunt out square ones with the straightest sides possible. These Rubbermaid plastic boxes don’t leak and when empty, the modular containers will fit inside each other for the trip home and the lids also clip together. We know they are not just for Tailgate Parties, but they are red and that could easily match a team logo or Solo Cup …

Keep Tailgate Party Supplies boxed

Keep Tailgate Party Supplies boxed

A Kegerator is the foundation of tailgate party supplies

You WILL need a Kegerator: get a nifty portable kegerator for travel (The Avanti Kegerator holds nearly 13 gallons.

Avanti Portable Kegerator

Avanti Portable Kegerator

Then have something like this Edgestar Kegerator full sized at home for the big kegs and home-gating.

Edgestar Ultra Low Temperature Kegerator

Edgestar Ultra Low Temperature Kegerator

Or if you have a large truck and a big party, bring your full sized kegerator too – even a double tap model – but scope out where the source of electricity is, well in advance of the day.  Note that we have examined many kegerators and you can read all about it in an article devoted to just those we felt were tailor made for tailgate party use.
You may need a generator if there is no power on your site. Read our comparison, our ‘dos and don’ts’ in regard to portable power on site. There are rules!

Add some growlers to your tailgate party supplies kit

Growlers are great for some specialty beers and drinks. Hey, the coffee can even go in there, say a nice cold brew.  Or hot.  This one is great for all kinds of drinks at any temperature.  Check out the handsome Hydro Flask.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Hydro Flask Growler.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Hydro Flask Growler.

Note that its multi-use extends to keeping beers chilled and at the right temperature for that excellent 1/2 inch of foam no more no less.  Many users say that a few judiciously filled quality growlers are just a good as a freshly pulled brewski.  I think I need to research that a while lot more. But if space is a problem, then growlers will be a good solution and this comes in black and silver as well. A great looking container, anyway don’t you think? Excellent man gift, too.  Hint! Hint!

Practice your Tailgate Party cooking and packing:

Practice your recipes and pack the food in sections according to when you will need them ie. snacks at the top and bottom, entrees second from top, desserts under that. Beer all the way around or better still, in a dedicated cooler.  Put your marinated meats in ziplocs or in well sealed and cooled containers such as the aforementioned Rubbermaid range.  The heat bags and so on are still the same as last year so stick with the one you already have.

Disposables or reusable dinnerware, beverage containers and silverware? I don’t like disposables and even my red solo cups are reusable.  But that’s because Ms. Rawhide is a fanatical environmentalist and now I am edging that way too.  It’s a bit of effort. On the upside, reusing saves money.  A lot of money. Apparently the average household in the USA throws out more than $1000 worth of plastic and paper each year. That can buy a lot of beer.  Just sayin’.

Tailgate Party Supplies

Reusable, dishwasher safe Red Solo Cup

Looks like the real thing no?  Or is IT the real thing and the plastic ones the fakes?  Not sure.  You be the judge. Yep, these really do go in the dishwasher. Between us, Beer Pong is a tad easier with these. As cheating is quite OK at tailgate parties, you can set up your beer pong game with these,  Actually, the upside is that you spill less beer.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Red Party Cup

Tailgate Party Supplies: Ultimate Red Solo Cup


Don’t forget to pack bottle openers and all the plates, cups etc. you need.

Keep Citrusafe in your Tailgate Party Supplies kit

 

Tailgate parties live or die on the memories and there’s nothing like the longevity of the memory of an attack of Moctezuma’s Curse attributable to a dirty grill. The flames for char grilling aren’t enough to kill all the bacteria.  You have to clean it.  And store it away from dust. I am sure you treat it like the first-born-son that it is and keep it in the best possible condition but if you have missed a day or two, then now is the time to give it a really good scrub. Citrusafe is excellent.  

Citrusafe is essential in your tailgate party supplies kit

Citrusafe is essential in your tailgate party supplies kit

Invest in a strong BBQ grill cleaning set

This terrific grill cleaning brush gets in between the cracks and will make the job easier.  It has a free basting brush and carry bag too.  It’s from USA Kitchen Elite, a BBQ Grill Brush  – 18″- 3 Stainless Steel Brushes in 1 – with bags and free silicone ribs baster.

Tailgate Party supplies perfect brush cleaner set

Tailgate Party supplies: Perfect for Char-Broil, Weber, Porcelain and Infrared Grills

Tailgate Party Supplies – Got Gas?

Got your propane supplies?  I think Walmart presently has the best price on the small bottles (which can change on a daily basis) but most hardware stores or Smart’n’Final have it for around the same price ($2.50 a bottle-ish). Bring a couple of spares.  Or invest in the grab and go large bottle exchange plan at your local gas station.

Tailgate Party Supplies – comfy folding chairs

How are your folding chairs holding up? Do they need replacing or just a good clean?  Check all the joints and make sure there are no splits in the covers. You don’t want anyone falling through …. Though it always gets a laugh.  Otherwise there are bargains galore at the moment.  Choose something like this one from Coleman the camping experts – has a great side table which has enough space for food AND drink.  It folds flat for easy carrying but that supports your beefy buds. But we have done a few articles on chairs so check out the full range.  We love ’em all.

Tailgate Party Supplies - the essential Coleman Portable folding chair

Tailgate Party Supplies – the essential Coleman Portable folding chair

And here’s a nifty bench that can even manage to support my beefy buds.  It’s from Insta-Bench Classic 6-Seater Bench and I think two of these would cover a good sized party while taking minimal space to transport.

Tailgate party supplies - seating

Tailgate Party Supplies: Insta-bench seat which can hold 6 x 250 pound drinking buds!

Freshen up your tailgate supplies with a modern cooler

So … each year I notice that cooler technology improves and improves and I add items to my wish-list.  Consequently, I get cooler coolers (pardon the pun) as often as most Dads get socks and ties.  I have a few ranging from this  complete set and a few even bigger Igloo wheeled industrial coolers that can double as seats.

Tailgate Party Supplies: BBQ Grill Cooler Set

Picnic Time Buccaneer All-In-One Tailgating BBQ Grill/Cooler Set

Tailgate Party Supplies: Cooler

Tailgate Party Supplies: Igloo Cooler

A Money Saver Suggestion for your Tailgate Party Supplies Kit

Ice Maker. Regardless of the naming of the months and seasons, the hot weather hangs on for months. And ice is always welcome.  Here’s  something we have that will eventually pay for itself and save you many trips to the store for overpriced-leaky bag ice.   It’s the Igloo ICE102-Red Compact Ice Maker, and it churns out the ice so fast you can’t help but be impressed.  It’s also bright red.  It’s not super big but you can stockpile the ice in containers or reusable Ziploc bags and save a lot of money.  Ms. Tailgater usually makes up a lot of small bags of ice and pokes them in at various levels of the cooler.

Tailgate supplies money saver iGloo ice maker

Tailgate supplies money saver iGloo ice maker

Fundamentally, tailgate supplies kits require  beer

Beer of course. Hopefully in your kegerator.  So do the rounds of the Bevmo branches and the supermarkets and buy some. Or brew your own. I recently stumbled on some pretty inspiring beer based recipes that will keep the girls happy.  As well, one is called ‘Vitamin C Brew’ which really puts it in the domain of health food which is essential for a good life.  Here’s the recipe:

‘Vitamin C Brew’

Put the following into a pint glass: 2 oz fresh orange juice,1 oz gin, top with Miller High Life and garnish with a slice of citrus.  You can also make these with limes or lemon.  Don’t bother with grapefruit.  It really doesn’t work and a lot of people can’t drink grapefruit juice as it clashes with statins.

Then there’s the ‘Raspberry Snakebite’

1 oz. crème de cassis topped off with raspberry lambic  eg.Lindeman’s Framboise.

OK, that’s my gift to the Ladies.

For me … don’t mess with the beer.

15.  Food – here’s the thing. You can be traditional: burgers, mac’n’cheese, hot dogs, pizza, fried chicken. Or creative.  Ms. Tailgater insists on the latter and I go along with it because she is so darn good at it.  We do all of the above but with a spin on the norm.  Her salads are amazing.  And her mac’n’cheese is also impressive.  So my advice is ‘practice makes perfect’.  Test and eat all the menu items all year and take the stress out of tailgate party life.  It’s not like you’re ever gonna get tired of eating that food!

Here’s a quick and easy starting point but branch out to Food & Wine magazine as well as they are very grill-savvy.  The Tailgater’s Cookbook has some nice, simple ideas.

The Tailgater's Cookbook

The Tailgater’s Cookbook

Bring water.

Water and non-alcoholic drinks. Yes, some people do have ‘em.  Water is essential.

This container

Water Bag Essential in your Tailgate Party Supplies Kit

Water Bag Essential in your Tailgate Party Supplies Kit

Water bag compactly folded is practical as you can shrink it up at the end of the day for the trip home.   You can freeze it too so it doubles as a cooler insert.  Buy a few.  Leave one just with water, use the others in place of ice then drink them. Just don’t over-fill- water expands when it freezes.

My Ma always reminds me …’son,’ she says, ‘alternating your beers with water will stave off the inevitable.’ She’s not wrong about much and hasn’t had a hangover for many years. Tailgate parties are notorious for drunken behavior and hangovers (that’s why we keep coming back for more) but I am thinking that at least the designated driver will need water. The Lifeunion 5 Litres Collapsible Water Container, BPA Free Plastic Water Carrier, Outdoor Folding Water Bag for Tailgate Parties is a great addition to any tailgate party.

Tailgate Party Emergency supplies

Emergency items in the Tailgate Party supplies kit.

Pepto Bismol/Alka Seltzer. Just sayin’.  Chewables – work fast. Very handy. Pack with the food not the 1st Aid Kit.

Tailgate party supplies: Pepto Bismol

Tailgate party supplies: Pepto Bismol

Cleaning up

Roll of paper towels, napkins, tea-towels depending on your environmental awareness. I know we have had to mop up some … well, I won’t go into that.

Trash bags

Tailgate party supplies trash bags

Trash bags

These will never go astray. All tailgate parties generate a heap of mess and it is great to clean up as you go. Get strong bags.  Cut armholes. Improvise a poncho in case of rain. No umbrellas are allowed in most stadiums.

Caffeine  may be essential in your tailgate supplies kit

Yeah someone will ask for it.  We used to maintain a proper coffee/tea station in our tailgate party setup but now, all I do is decant some brewed coffee into thermos flasks and take one with some milk.  Saves messing around and once it is finished, hey, it’s finished and you’ll save a trip to Starbucks.  A few of these great Thermos Flasks can store your coffee and keep it hot/cold for 24 hours.

Take ready brewed coffee in tailgate party supplies kit.

Take ready brewed coffee in tailgate party supplies kit.

Just in case …

First aid kit. BBQ-beer-games-beer-men behaving badly. What could go wrong? Pack a small first aid kit, check it before each party and replenish or customize as required.

Tailgate Party Supplies need the Coleman first aid kit

Your Tailgate Party Supplies box needs the Coleman first aid kit

Don’t get skin cancer out there at the tailgate party – slip slop and slap as they say in Australia. Use SolRX SPF 50. It works for the downunder dudes.

Sunblock

Sunblock

A Fire Extinguisher is essential to the Tailgate Party Supplies box

Maybe you better pack that fire extinguisher as well.  Make sure it is a multi-purpose one that attacks grease fires as well as other fires.  As well, keep a pound of salt on hand. Nothing better for a grease fire than smothering it in salt and a lid.  You certainly want a safe tailgate party.

Tailgate Party Emergency supplies

Tailgate Party Emergency supplies

Gussy up your tailgate party site

Table cloths, decorations, matching napkins in team colors.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Tablecloth

Tailgate Party Supplies: Tablecloth

And maybe that flag pole so your buds can find you in the parking lot just in case they can’t hear that yours is the happiest tailgate party in the lot.  This gadget will anchor your pole and then add the telescoping pole and flag of your choice: patriotic or team spirited.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Pole Stand

Tailgate Party Supplies: Pole Stand

Flag Pole stand - tailgate supplies

Flag Pole wheel stand – tailgate supplies

Tailgate Party Supplies: Flag Pole

Tailgate Party Supplies: Flag Pole

Of course, your guests could always use the GPS on their smartphones but it wouldn’t be as decorative as this flag.

Tailgate party supplies - team flags

Hoist a team flag to direct friends to your tailgate party.

Waze ‘ll do it for you though it may take you on a 5 mile detour to save you 30 seconds. Get the Waze app anyway.

Sundry items for your Tailgate Party Supplies kit

Koozies, cooking implements and so on.

Koozies are essential items in your tailgate party supplies kit

Koozies are essential items in your tailgate party supplies kit

You can theme most objects to your team preference. Yes, even the burger flippers.

NFL themed BBQ tools

NFL themed BBQ tools

Rain gear, a couple of blankets or very large towels.

Tailgate party supplies - team themed blankets are handy

Tailgate party supplies – team themed blankets are handy

A TV so you and your buds can watch the prelims.

TV and if required, some power source. See our articles on power generators and TVs. I am really keen on the Smart TV which you can run wirelessly from your laptop.  The Sharp LC-32LB370U 32-Inch 1080p LED HDTV (2016 Model) is plenty big enough and does everything you want.  32″ is small enough to carry but big enough for you all to see while the party is happening AND cheap enough so you don’t have to wait till Black Friday to buy it. 1080 is essential so you can get a better picture in daylight.

Sharp 32" 1080 TV

Sharp 32″ 1080 TV


Games, games, games!

Now, this is an area that can take pages on its own but the Number One is to bring a football or two and do NOT ask Tom Brady to inflate it for you.

Wilson Composite Football

Wilson Composite Football

We have some articles on games but allow me to add Giant Sized Jenga. (Mega Hi-Tower – Extra Tall 6ft During Play) (Includes Canvas Storage Bag). It is to the 21st century what Twister was to the 20th.  A lot of action-packed craziness while sober so you can imagine how good it is after a couple of doses of malt and hops.  Well worth the bother of transporting it.

Tailgate Party Supplies Giant Jenga

Tailgate Party Supplies Giant 6 foot Jenga

I like the big games but they do fill the truck fast and take some concentration.
The drinking games are sooooo much better.  I guess you knew I would go down that route.

IMHO stick to the traditional washer toss and corn-hole

Tailgate Supplies cornhole game

Tailgate Supplies cornhole game

Or beer pong:

Go Pong Beer Pong Table

Go Pong Beer Pong Table

Tailgate Party Supplies - Ladder Toss Game

Tailgate Party Supplies – Ladder Toss Game

Here’s a new game setup from ‘Kid Agains’ (yes, that is their name) that would cover a few different tailgate party fun times with a few beery rewards added in there.  It’s easy to transport and put together and does double duty as a beach game too.  It is called the Quarterback Touchdown Football Skill Challenge and Toss Game.  Seems like a clear winner for the new generation of tailgate party games.  Sets up and breaks down fast and folds up small for transporting.

Versatile football toss game for tailgate parties and beach

Versatile football toss game for tailgate parties and beach

 

Tailgate Party Supplies gotta have music.

Portable speakers for your music source. (I have a Sirius list specifically for tailgate parties).  You can’t beat the good ol’ Blockrocker though for its output. This one has an extended range to 100feet, long batter life and loud-as, and of course, Bluetooth which will keep your tailgate party hopping.

75 hour battery life Block Rocker with a 100 foot range!

75 hour battery life Block Rocker with a 100 foot range!

But of course, you can just connect your phone to this Football Shaped Bluetooth Portable Speaker:

Handy in the Tailgate Party kit

Handy in the Tailgate Party kit


It’s a bit lacking in oomph, but it could be OK for parking spaces for tailgate parties which are small anyway. And hey, it’s a football!

Rain, hail or shine gimme shelter

You may need an extra shade boost or shelter.  TV for instance, will need some shady space. Some people use full-on canopies and this pretty much gives them a room in their parking space.  This is appealing but then there’s also a shade sail.  The disadvantage of that is that you need to think about how to hang it and that will depend on your site. You need 3 or 4 anchors depending on the shape.  High ones so that you can walk under.  But they are great for keeping shade on that TV screen.  Some people have extended poles at the back of their trucks and, with a neighbor’s assistance, stretch the shade sail between spots.

 

12 foot canopy

12 foot shade sail

 An umbrella may be all you need.   Add in some sand bags to secure it.  The cantilevered design is great for a tailgate party.

10 ft. cantilevered umbrella for your tailgate party

10 ft. cantilevered umbrella for your tailgate party

Just note that many parking lots have restrictions on size and spaces are 10 x 10 ft. – this is for your can PLUS your party.  So unless you take 2 spaces, you will be squeezy.  If you have that second space, then

THE BONUS ROUND!

Portable bar. If you really want to make serving tailgate party food and booze a breeze, add in one of these. Set up your dishes, your drinks and everything you need and the bar becomes the centerpiece of the tailgate party.   You can get them themed to your team. If you already own one and it needs a freshen up, then changing the livery is simple as you can buy that separately from ‘Best of Times’.  We have written a comparison on tailgatepartysite.com.

Best Portable bar from Best of Times

Interchangeable team skirts etc. in full range of logos

Pong Bounce is another great game in the parking lot as it is fun and really only effective to play on a hard surface. Parking lots are a dream for this game.  I won’t even try to explain how to play but be assured it is wacky, loud, crazy and lends itself to beery rewards.

Pong Bounce for parking lot fun

Pong Bounce for parking lot fun

Avoid fines – put these in your tailgate supplies kit

Finally …. Do I have to spell it out? Consider some way of monitoring your booze content before you get into the car, homeward bound. A breathalyzer of some kind is a good idea.  This is the BACtrack S80 Professional Breathalyzer, Portable Breath Alcohol Tester, highly regarded and reviewed.

Bactrack Breathalyzer

Bactrack Breathalyzer

There is, of course, a Smartphone app breathalyzer, also by BAC and these are compact and definitely more ‘2015’ than the last lot of testers.  Check them out as there are a few in the range suited for your phone.  It features bluetooth connectivity, Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology and of course, BACtrack’s police-grade sensor technology which has the highest level of accuracy and consistency professionals rely on.  Of course! After all, I am a professional tailgate partier! This is for me.

Bactrack app on your wearable technology

Bactrack app on your wearable technology

So there you have it, tailgate party dudes!  Stuff you need to think of for your tailgate party so that on the day, all you need to do is check off the items on the list before you leave home and spend the rent of the day with the glorious amber brews, tailgate party food, corn-hole and beer pong, and of course, your best buds! (Oh, and somewhere there’s a game happening.)

Happy tailgating!

 

Best Portable Bars For Tailgate Parties 2017

Portable bars are the stiletto heels of the tailgate party industry.

Best Portable Bars 2016

Ay Caramba! GoPong’s High Top Portable Bar.

Portable bars will pretty up your space and make it sexy. And they are practical steps towards removing a lot of hospitality angst from the host. In fact, it was quite fun revising previous lists of Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties to come up with the 2017 selection. In this list, I have taken the criteria for Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties and isolated specific bars demonstrate that characteristic ‘best’.

Best portable bars for 2017

It’s all about that booze, ‘bout that booze! How do you put out all those drinks and service it without having to wait on the gang hand and foot at your tailgate party? Hire a barman? Nahhh. The only ones who work cheap are underage or illegal. It’s more practical to lay it all out on

a portable bar you set up easily in the parking lot and then most of the work becomes DIY. And picking one from my list of Best Portable Bars will guarantee a great gathering point at a tailgate party. It’s the Will Call for booze. When you’re trawling through the Best Portable Bars list, don’t forget to check out some of the devices you can use to take the stress off the big day. We have lots of ideas on tailgatepartysite.com that will help you have a great party with the minimum of stress.

After all, the host gets to play a bit of beer pong too, no?

Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties updated for 2017

This is an updated collection of the latest and greatest ideas for actually serving up the booze with some style rather than just layin’ a few cans and bottles out on tailgate or in a cooler. It’s never too early to get yourself organized for the peak sports calendar.  I’ve made the task easier by concentrating on the best portable bars – easily affordable for the most part, though some of you may be attracted to the high end ones.

Some houses come equipped with a bar, especially if they were built in the 1960s. Very ‘Mad Men’. But let’s face it, many people don’t really have space for a permanent full service bar in their homes these days unless they’re an NFL star. Hey, even if they do, they may prefer to have one of these portable bars for setting up in the back yard, by the pool or as part of the outdoor kitchen. There are so many occasions for tailgating or home-gating that you can consider one of these a good investment. Anyway, with the east coast weather being as miserable as it has been, it makes perfect sense to have a portable bar, take it outside in summer or non-snow days, take it tailgating with you and leave it set up in the man cave for the rest of the year. Or fold it up and put it right away when you are not drinking. Ha ha. I see a bar never being folded up.

There are very practical, portable bars on the market. And inexpensive compared with the built-in. Oh, and you can embellish them with your team logo and switch them around for other conferences. Some will even customize your bar wraparound skirts and umbrellas.

Let’s start at the top of the range in portable bars. 

Best Portable Bars: Deluxe Metal

Best Portable Bars - Deluxe Metal

Best Portable Bars – Deluxe Metal

15 L x 39 W x 39 H with 2 shelves, this is the bare bones of your portable bar.  You can add team themed skirts or whatever you want. It’s easily collapsible to store and easy to put together and has its own carrying case so that checks all boxes. Price wise it is very good value.

Now let’s hunt around for something even more down-and-dirty, more practical. Something where a collection of beer-bongs won’t look out of place. You can set up your brews, snacks and vittles on your choice of these bars to make a fine centerpiece for your tailgate party. You can choose generic, emblazoned with your team logo and colors, tiki bar, lightweight or solid state. Cheap or expensive. Me, I prefer to go mid-range somewhere but not so high end that, if a new fad comes on the market, that I can’t ditch the one I purchased and upgrade without pangs of guilt.

Here’s an illustrated check-list of Best Portable Bars pre-requisites

Look for the following features, and I will give examples as we go along.

Is it light enough to carry? You may have to walk a little ways carrying your kit. Some models have wheels on their bags. Portable bars range from around 12 pounds to over 100 pounds.  Best portable bars weigh under 20 pounds.
This one – the Trademark Innovations Portable Bar Table with 2 skirts and a carry case – weighs around 9 pounds. (no umbrella).

Best Portable Bar - Trademark Innovations

Best Portable Bar – Trademark Innovations

Is it so light that it won’t support your alcohol and food?  Many are flimsy but have shelves that could maybe be replaced with something less saggy. A quick trip to Home Depot could deluxe up your el cheapo bar in a couple of minutes by adding a panel of MDF to the shelf as they will cut to size.

Can its appearance be customized? The Best of Times Patio Bar’s Team logos and colored skirts can be interchanged to suit your event, even looking like a tropical bar. Comes in umpteen great colors which are fade-proof. Sports wraparounds are a little extra but are worth it for giving your tailgate party a real focus.

Umbrella or no? At least you need a secure space for it. The holder should be able to be made windproof.

Best of Times Patio Bar and Tailgating Center Deluxe Package

Best PortableBar from Best of Times

Best of Times Portable Tailgating Bar waiting for your team colors. Includes the umbrella!

Easy to attach Portable Bar: weights on legs?

Weights to put on legs of the best bars

Weights to put on legs of the best bars


You may find that where you set up is windy. I always recommend that there is some anchor. It could be a sandbag, weights or you can just attach to your coolers. Either way, always have some bungee cords in your kit for this.

Appearance – you want your portable bar to look cool.

Easy to set up/take down. You don’t want to be struggling with hinges and skirts. Just flipping open may seem a good idea, but is that sturdy? Note that at setup time you will be sober. Not so much at taking-that-bar-down time.

Dimensions that make sense to your own particular situation. If you can’t haul a big bag, don’t buy a large bar.  If you won’t have the space in your tailgate party setup (ie. Some lots only allow you one 10 foot wide space and that includes your vehicle) then maybe just serve from the tailgate or flat surface of your vehicle or just pop open a card table!

Matchability with your game set up. If you are going all out for team spirit, then the changeable skirt with team logo is a must. Look for one with an industrial strength Velcro.

Cutting to the chase, here’s a short list of Best Portable Bars:

Best Portable Bar: GoPong

Best Portable Bars 2016

Ay Caramba! GoPong’s High Top Portable Bar.

Here’s an affordable and versatile portable bar that is ‘high top’ which means it is a good bar to stand at for service. Normal bar height, that is. This one is a perennial, nothing much has changed since it was put on the market quite some years back. But it has many uses from parties to trade shows.  More specifically, it is well suited to tailgating and the rigors of the numberless red Solo cups that will be poured on its counter top and the storage beneath for coolers, food or what you will. That’s why I included it in this current list of Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties.  It’s cheap enough to replace should you, in your inebriated state, leave it behind.

Dimensions: 39 x 36 x 15 inches (W x H x D) when open.

There are three front skirts included and you can also get replacement skirts in your team colors and for all the sports you support.

Materials that make it up are tough, easy to clean with a pro-style top and a waterproof MDF surface on the top.

I was surprised to see that this one only weighed 14 pounds including the case. At that rate, you do expect a bit of flimsiness in the shelf area. The frame is aluminum, but the shelf is MDF and it is a little thin. If you intend putting heavy items on that shelf, do what my mate Seth did and go down to home Depot and get a piece of solid MDF cut. Use it as a brace.

At the end of the day, the GoPong Portable Bar folds up and fits inside a handy carrying case that measures 39 by 15 by 3 inches (W x H x D). Very compact and light. (No wheels on the case but not needed as even my Ma can carry this one). The stitching on the case is a bit flimsy and can undo so pay attention to that. A bit of reinforcing would be advised here too, not just the shelf. Your local dry cleaner may have a mending service so keep that as an option should the stitching unravel.

It is easy to erect and take down (they say less that a minute for each process but that’s a bit of a stretch. Still, it is sort of like putting up a card table.

Negatives are that the case is a bit flimsy, the shelf may sag but it has pizzazz and is OK for starters. Maybe use WD-40 to make sure the joints and hinges are easy to open and close. Return to manufacturer if damaged in transit and they will replace it without a fuss. Fulfilled by amazon.com will give you an extra guarantee.

It also has secondary uses – you can use it at markets or trade shows but don’t expect too much solid state. In my book it is OK for the money though and I am all for using bargain-basement items for a tailgate party.  Yes, I have committed that crime of leaving items behind.

Portable bars that are inexpensive

Best Portable Bar: Budweiser Two Shelf with Case

Best Bar - Budweiser Bar

The Bud – it’s team neutral! And it screams ‘beer!’

You want your tailgate party to look grown up and not like a corner of the school prom. And serving purely from the tailgate can be restrictive and messy. So go with the sport or beer theme and invest in a great-looking portable bar. Here’s how Budweiser earned and retained its spot on the Best Portable Bars list. It shouts ‘quality beer’ to all who pass it and looks great.  Don’t feel restricted though as you can use any team skirt but hey, that Bud portable bar is cool, don’t you think?

This portable bar has two shelves and that will make sure that you can keep all the drinks and food contained and fit into a small tailgate party space (ie. A standard parking bay). Lay out all your drinks paraphernalia on one and food serving equipment on another. It sets up and breaks down in minutes.

A metal frame, four sturdy legs and carrying case are pretty much standard but this Officially Licensed portable bar seems sturdier than comparable models. Bud doesn’t put its logo on just anything.

The Budweiser is tough and bigger all over at 39 x 15 x 36 inches, metal construction with four tough legs bigger than many on the Best Portable Bars list. Even so, it can be put up and taken own without stress (use the provided Allen Key to install the horizontal bars that give it a high degree of stability).

It has a carry case (use that to protect it when not in use).

Weighs around 3 times as much as the GoPong bar and has two shelves. It is easy to assemble (around 5 minutes) and the wrap around skirt is far more solid state.

You can get other branding on the skirt (hey, some printing companies will put your own face on there which makes this a great gift). Small bungees and eyelets in the skirt may just outlast the Velcro IMHO. So consider that if you have a spare or custom skirt made. Order the eyelets and hammer them in yourself if you are a handyperson.  Otherwise, tick that box when you order it.

An adjustable table instead of a portable bar

Lifetime 4-Foot Commercial Adjustable Height Folding Table

Instead of Best Bar - most versatile table!

Instead of Best Bar – most versatile table!

Here’s a super versatile and cheap alternative to a bar – this adjustable height table. So how did this get onto the list of Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties?  Well, it’s solid and versatile, you can add your own skirts and put the coolers underneath to double as shelves. You can tart it up with a skirt.  Sets up in seconds. It doesn’t make a statement like a real bar but it is affordable and does the job.

You can secure it at 3 heights – 22-inch children’s height, 29-inch table height and 36-inch counter-top height. Use the latter height as the ‘bar’ setup.  Also, it has a ten-year limited warranty.

The frame is made of rust-resistant powder coated steel and it actually exceeds ANSI/BIFMA standards.

It’s easy to clean and you can use it in between tailgate parties for other purposes, such as for craft fairs or other parties.  Kids’ table at Thanksgiving.

A mobile cart that doubles as a portable bar

Kitchen Cart, Trolley with Wine Storage Rack and Table

Best bar ? Nup, an alternative

Best bar ? Nup, an alternative

OK, so here’s something a bit off the wall. It combines wine with beer and allows for a row of ten bottles of wine (or other 750 ml bottles eg. Bourbon) and you can put the beer on top – and I’m thinking a couple of small kegerators there.

You can switch the bottles out and make more room for coolers, and also use the lower shelf to hold more drinks, food and glasses. The top shelf is perfect for resting full glasses and plates of appies and mac’n’cheese.

It’s a useful piece of wooden furniture for home-gating rather than tailgating as the small wheels will make this a bit of a stretch out in the parking lot. In summary, a good alternative to a bar. Not super heavy duty.  Doesn’t have that tailgate party vibe but in the Man Cave – very useful. It does double duty in the house and that is a good feature especially for condo dwellers who need every item in their houses to be multi-use.  Not good in the rain.  But deserves a place on the Best Portable Bars list as it is a handsome, booze-centered piece of furniture at low cost.

Size: 18.5 x 30 x 33.2 inches – ie. Not bar height. But in the Man Cave, very handy for transporting drinks and food from the kitchen to the comfy seats.

A totally fold-up portable bar

Best Portable Bar: Tailgaterz Tailgating Tavern Table

Best Bar for complete portability

Best Bar for complete portability

Wow, wow and more wow! This one is my favorite portable bar. It folds and unfolds just like a camp chair, is really nicely made and worth the extra bucks to get something this well-designed. I timed myself putting this one together – 20 seconds from the get-go. And that was without pressure.

It checks all the boxes for efficiency and I really like that campsite feel about the design.

You can lay out and serve drinks and food on it, it has a tough table top area that you can use for prep and insulated side trays are built in. You just provide the chiller blocks and ice. Shelves are built in to the layout PLUS a hanging organizer section so you can stash the Solo cups and bottles there.   It is so compact and is a whole serving station with the same footprint as a camp chair. . Just slide your cooler into the space beneath and there you have it.

It is very stable when in use (on level ground) and versatile and that’s why I am including something that looks like campsite furniture in a tailgate party Best Portable Bars list.  Tailgaters who have small cars – yes, compact or smaller – will love the fold-away aspect.

You can screamyour team pride by embellishing it with some logos. The color is black which lends itself to dressing up.

No problems with the stitching on the seams  – it appears well-made and the zipper is fine even though Made in China, the designers seem to have kept an eye over the process.

The carry bag is perfect for stashing it and you can hang it in the garage when not in use.

Weighs 18.6 pounds so will be easily lifted and transported.  Secure as with all bars against the wind.

Sports themed tailgate party portable bars

Best of Times Collegiate Patio Bar and Tailgating Center

We’ve looked at ‘Best of Times’ bars in many forms before but they are such a classic that I can’t ignore them in this 2016 shout out. No Best Portable Bars list would be right without these featured. Though a little more expensive than many others on the market I think that if tailgate parties are your hobby and you fill out the calendar with righteous convivial occasions, then this L-shaped, steel-framed bar is a great investment. It is also such a good-looking bar, that a position around your pool would not be out of place.

Best Portable bar from Best of Times

Interchangeable team skirts etc. in full range of logos

Sets up in minutes and no tools are required to set it up. I usually keep some WD-40 in the car to keep the joints nice and easy.

For your portable bar

Use WD-40 to keep the Portable bar joints lubricated

Logos a-plenty available for all codes and conferences. There’s a drop-down list of all the logos and colors you can order and you also can mix and match for other teams or whatever interests you. Yeah, I’m thinking Ms. Rawhide’s Book Club may even rate a mention here. I’m sure the makers can do a pink skirt … The company is more than happy to do custom wraps.

While we are on the subject of the fabric: 500D polyester makes it tough as nails and it’s water resistant. If you want to take that to another level, you can get a spray water repellent and give it a fresh coat every year.

Fabric Guard waterproofs your portable bar

Fabric Guard waterproofs your portable bar

Made in China but USA designed, there are three levels of shelving, a wide umbrella, and built-in shelf-positioned cooler that holds a whole case of drinks and a wheeled carry bag to get it from point A to point Z …. Anyway, the size is: 63 x 19 x 44 inches and it weighs around 75 pounds so do factor that in when you are loading up the trunk of the car. Oh, but you have a Dodge Ram, don’t you? The perfect tailgating vehicle.

But back to the Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties – again, the Best of Times portable bar would benefit from a couple of weights on the legs and anchor that umbrella well in its holder. But it is a roomy and versatile centerpiece for the best tailgate party evahhhhhhhh (hello, Boston). It is highly recommended and versatile and therefore, gets a high rating on our Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Party list.  The range of available skirts and customised decor is impressive.

But now for something entirely different ….

Not a portable bar at all but very portable and carries drinks!

Wyndham HouseTM Dual Tank Double Beverage Dispenser Backpack-7.4 Liters

A portable bar? Try the Wyndham House Dual Tank Drinks Dispenser

A portable bar? Try the Wyndham House Dual Tank Drinks Dispenser

OK, so you don’t drive a Silverado or equivalent? Impulse-bought that Mini-Cooper? Limited space for your tailgate party furniture? Well, packing the mini-grill is good but ‘portable bar space’? Nada.

Give every fourth guest one of these. Hands free, adjustable shoulder straps and a nifty cup pocket built-in. Play on, dudes and drink at the same time. Never miss a brewski or a margarita.

Does it warrant a spot on the Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties list?  Not really, but it is a fun drinks delivery system when space is an issue and drinking is being carried out at Olympic level.  This is a dual backpack drink-dispenser and holds two 3.7 quart clear beverage containers which you can customize to your taste and need. Yeah, you can even put water in one and alternate drinks during the day so that sobriety wins out in time for that long drive home.

OK, we are not talking sold state here and you need to get used to the issues such as spillage, lids popping off mid-game and running out once you have drunk that 1.5 gallons of beer. Not great on hot days as the beer will heat fast so here’s my thought:

Put some of these beers chill sticks in the tubes to retain the chill:

Accessories for Portable bars and drinks

Keep beer cool with stainless steel chill sticks

Look at this as a bit of fun and not a permanent solution to how to serve your beers. It’s good for home brew as you can treat it like a growler – fill up at home, transport carefully in a cooler and drink on the run. Keep lines clean and unkinked and that should avoid any leakage and dripping, and make sure that you click on the lids till they snap into place or they will fall off. Don’t be bowing to anyone. The booze will tip out.

In summary, there are many options at all price points in the range of Best Portable Bars. There are some really expensive models and we have not put these in as they are beyond the spirit of tailgate parties.   By the far the most popular tailgate party portable bars in 2016 are the Best of Times range of L-shaped bars with the umbrella. Kind of conservative but they definitely check all the boxes and the initial investment will be repaid over and over again as they are well-made specifically for the tailgate party industry so hey, they have your best interests at heart!

Tailgate Party on!

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Review: Best Hot Dog Cookers For Tailgate Parties.

Lovers of beer and brats (*and who isn’t one?) will be thrilled to know that many of the best hot dog cookers are available now in all kinds of shapes and sizes, even that small version of the pro-hot dog roller cooker style ‘as seen on television’.  The hazards of cooking hotdogs, especially those shiny brats, include that they constantly fall off the grill onto the flames if you’re grilling, or they fall in the dirt, or that they just burn on one side.  You need a specialist gadget to prevent that. They run between low cost and professional to über professional super high end, but all are worth a look and I know you will find one that is perfect for your tailgate party requirements. To make things easy, we’ve put together this list of the best hot dog cookers for your tailgate party.

But if you are a real fan of brats, beer and sport and want to combine those heavenly elements at tailgate parties, then you need to take the game up a notch.

We love to host tailgate parties and what we have found is that apart from dropping into Chipotle en route, the best and least stressful event involves getting in a supply of snags, bread rolls and toppings and letting everyone build their own mound of deliciousness.   Easy as pie.  No. Easier by far than pie. Which generally gets soggy before the game commences.

We’ve been sampling hot dogs from a range of hot dog cookers and outlining their pros and cons so check out these reviews of the best hot dog cookers for tailgate parties.

Here’s a great big one:

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Great Northern Commercial Quality 18 Hot Dog and 7 Roller Grilling Machine

Hot Dog Cooker commercial quality

Hot Dog Cooker commercial quality

A commercial machine, this is perfect for hosting a large party.  Not that expensive either.  It has 7 rollers and you can comfortably fit 18 standard hot dogs (I would say 12 fat brats) on it.  At 1400 watts, it is in need of power so a generator is advised (minimum 2000 watts. Which can run a small TV as well.  See our reviews of the best portable generators here.) This is one of the best hot dog cookers for smaller tailgate parties.

It has an optional sneeze guard.

Sneezeguard for hot dog cooker

Sneezeguard for hot dog cooker

Many have these built in.  I rather like that idea better.

Oh, and it’s so darn solid state that you could run a little stand and it would pay for itself on the first day.  Get a health permit, of course!  (great for helping the kids out at a school fairs and hot dog days too.)

The power for the 18 sausage hot dog cooker is very even and your brats not only do not burn, they also stay relatively moist.

The Great Northern Popcorn Company (the maker) calls it ‘a masterpiece’ and it is the original machine designed by the corporation.  Note that they also actually DO make popcorn machines so they are really into this foyer food.  But I think it is a valid addition to the tailgate party.  There’s an awesomeness about hot dogs that is hard to compete with. You get a 1 year limited warranty. The material is a solid state Stainless steel, easy to clean. The rollers are premium grade non-stick stainless steel. It has a heavy duty motor and safety temperature control and actually, there’s a nifty dual temperature control which allows you to roast or cook on the front rollers while at the back, you just keep the first batch warm to the correct ‘warmer’ temperature over 145 degrees F. The rollers rotate a full 360 degrees.  Some of the cheap units do not do that.

It has a built-in fuse for safety purposes but to protect it while running it off a generator, get a surge guard.
I like the one with an extension cable to keep the generator away from the party.

SurgeGuard with extension lead

SurgeGuard with extension lead

There are built in rubber feet for tabletop use so the hot dog roller sits with some stability and won’t jiggle off the table.

Removable and easy to clean stainless steel drip tray and cleaning is really simple.

Tecchy Specifications: -110V/50Hz. -Power: 1400-watt.

Maximum capacity: 18 hot dogs per batch (6 rows of 3).

The tray dimensions are: 11-inch W by 17.75-inch D.  but the overall dimensions are 23-inch H with cover, by 13-inch W by 15-inch D. So allow some space.

Hard to beat that one for a tailgate party or for home-gating!

Unless you get its big brother, described below, which is somewhat the same only more expensive and will grill 30 brats at a time.

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Commercial 30 hot dog 11 roller Grilling Machine

(glass sneeze guard is built in and included).

Commercial hot dog cooker - 11 rollers

Commercial hot dog cooker – 11 rollers

Basically, I reiterate everything I said about the 18 hot dog model except for the power pull which increases in direct proportion to your capacity to grill. It has the same features and benefits, but is bigger, is all.  I do like it, but then the power suck-up will be greater so this may be better for home-gating unless you have a powered site. One of the best hot dog cookers for those who need to cook large numbers of dogs at a time.  Oh, and I suppose when you are catering for a crowd, say 14 guests plus you, this cuts down the time spent slaving over a hot grill. Just put out the buns and fixins’ and let everyone assemble hot dogs to their own taste.

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Roller Dog Commercial 12 Hot Dog Roller Grill Cooker Machine

Roller Dog 12 Hot Dog Cooker

Roller Dog 12 Hot Dog Cooker

This guy has all the features of the 18 hot dog machine above but is smaller, for 12 hot dogs, includes the cover (which you need to assemble with no instructions) and is slightly heavier and bulkier but here’s the thing: it only draws 750 watts which means you could take a large battery pack to run it instead of a generator.  But apart from that, it is under $100 at the moment which is around a 60% discount, to purchase and probably enough for most tailgate parties.  It also has the 360 degree rotation and dual temperature zone so these really can’t be faulted.  Easy to clean, easy to re-equip with the sneeze guard should you break that.  It has the same guarantee.

Just on price alone, I probably would go for this as earning a spot on the best hot dog cookers list because it offers a neat solution for the hot dog cooking dilemma. One of the best hot dog cookers for convenience and size.

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Hot Dog Express Countertop Hot Dog Electric Cooker

Hot Dog Express Countertop Hot Dog Cooker

Hot Dog Express Countertop Hot Dog Cooker

They say this one cooks up to 8 sausages or hamburgers and is versatile and reliable.  There’s a bun warmer in the lid, most can be put in the dishwasher and it’s about the same size as a panini maker. They advertise it as ‘now you can enjoy the great taste of stadium-style hot dogs at home’ but I’m thinking that is the worst way to advertise.  I know that most of you would prefer a really fine bratwurst or spicy Tex-Mex sausage not just the mystery meat offerings.  The main feature is that it allows you to cook slowly without burning or drying out your sausage and it keeps your dogs and buns warm and toasty until you are ready to eat. The removable tray drains away fat, and the special lid warms buns and you can shove most of it in the dishwasher.

Very inexpensive. One of the best hot dog cookers for its versatility, price and ease of use – plus it’s portable!

The power drain from a generator would be minimal (60 watts) if you are on unpowered sites and it weighs just over 7 pounds.  You could even run it off a battery pack and it would last till cooked.

Takes quite a while to cook (up to 30 minutes) and when they say it holds 8 hot dogs, these would be of the Ikea-size small sausages, not the big, fat brats I am used to.

Anyway, so I am marking this as the base rate.  It’s OK but there are better out there (and there are worse).

Now for something that is just for fun.  But it works.  To some extent.

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Nostalgia Electrics pop up hot dog cooker

 

Nostalgia pop-Up Hot Dog Cooker

Nostalgia pop-Up Hot Dog Cooker – One of the best hot dog cookers in the small range.


This one is a bit of fun.  I wouldn’t recommend for the tailgate party as it only holds enough hot dogs for one person.  And you can’t fit the nice, fat juicy brats in.  OK for kids though. And would make a great gift for a teenager and he/she could keep it in the rumpus room.

Of course, you want something smallish that ensures a juicy bratwirsty hot dog result every time.  Not a dinky toy.  Something that says ‘I’m a chef’. Yeah, well, hot dogs need some kitchen lovin’ too! Especially at a tailgate party because IMHO (again, forget the H) people are very judgemental and there’s a level of crushing cool entering the realm of tailgating.

Here’s the cheapest:

Cuisinart Hot Dog Roller

 

Cuisinart Hot Dog Roller

Cuisinart Hot Dog Roller

It’s also the low techest.  If that’s a word. Pretty much just a non-stick grid onto which you can balance up the hot dogs and cook on the stove or BBQ top.  To rotate the snags, you need to give the plate a bit of a forward and backward jiggle from time to time and the sausages will turn around.  An inexact science.  But it’s really an OK BBQ accessory.  Not great for cooking a heap of dogs at the same time.  If you just want to cook a small quantity  at a time, this Cuisinart Hot Dog Roller is good enough.  At the budget end of life, this is extremely cheap.  It holds up to 5 dogs (smallish ones) and stops the sausages from rolling off during cooking while making it easy to keep them on the move to cook evenly.  The unit is easy to pack and operates off your grill so on a gas grill this would be a nice combo. Cuisinart is a reliable brand, too. I really like the wooden handle which is angled away from the heat and many other roller ‘pans’ don’t have that so you need to pack some long Oven mitts so you don’t get burned, with fingers and definitely not any of those slippery silicone versions.

Charcoal Companion Oven Mitts

Charcoal Companion Oven Mitts

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Nostalgia Electrics Coca-Cola Series Hot Dog Roller

Nostalgia Electrics Coca Cola Hot Dog Cooker

Nostalgia Electrics Coca Cola Hot Dog Cooker

What can I say?  It’s kind of dinky and only fits 8 Ikea sized hot dogs, or 4 footlongs, and the brats will fit in the grooves but only just.  But it is fun.  Again, you need power, so if this is your thing, then go for it.  A nice feature is the bun warmer (that’s a box just under the awning) and it rescues this from being a total novelty.

It has an adjustable heat knob, plus is built to American standards so it won’t blow up like some cheap appliances.  It’s cute.  Now if only there were a beer one rather than a Coke one. Time to break out those Martha Stewart skills and repaint this sucker with some team logos!

It is very inexpensive so maybe inflict it on a friend as a host gift when you turn up at his tailgate party. Definitely wins points for novelty value – I’d say it’s the best hot dog cooker for a gift for those who like Coke™.

Then there’s this:

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Benchmark Mini Cart Hotdog Steamer

Benchmark Mini Cart Hot dog cooker

Benchmark Mini Cart Hot dog cooker

Don’t be fooled by the little picture.  This is a full sized food cart. Now before you rush out and buy one, remember that if you are tailgate partying in an unpowered site, this one is limited by what ever sized generator you own.
Having said that, it is clean, hygienic and you can start a business (note: health permit needed for that) churning out the brats and beer (liquor license required). Possible one of the best hot dog cookers for novelty value!

Ahhh do I hear dreams of not working for the man ever again?  Hot dog cart here I come.

It’s more about steaming the hotdogs and holding them at a safe temperature.  I think it has its place but steamed brats are not as nice as grilled.

The weight is around 24 pounds too so it will add to your kit quite a lot.

For my money, this one is a no, because I like something a lot less cumbersome, and prefer grilled doggies, but if you love steamed or boiled dogs, it certainly has its uses, has the possibility of being a business and may just be what you are looking for. Every state has its own Health Department so check them out before you start selling and register your business. They are very helpful and who knows? You may be able to pay for your tailgate party hobby by selling dogs up and down the parking lot rows!

Garnishes and Fixin’s

Almost anything goes with a brat no matter what the flavor profile.  It’s en vogue to have Korean Mexican profile fixin’s so think about that. Ms. Rawhide always has a great bowl of finely manicured salads and pickles so that they fit perfectly on the plate/fork/fist/bun.  That’s a start.

For your fillings, some mustards of your liking in squirty bottles, ditto the relish, maybe some kimchee, tomato ketchup, sriracha, finely sliced up rings of red onion (or white) which you can soak overnight in some rice vinegar for that Asian flavor profile, dill pickles and you’re experiencing gourmet heaven! Line them up on a board so that guest can help themselves.  Provide lots of paper napkins for the messy eaters(or recyclable cloth ones if you are thinking ‘green’).

Naturally, it is your obligation to provide lots of beer to wash the food down with and a kegerator will have your back on this aspect.

You can present the fixin’s in chiller trays something like this one that has a layer of ice at the base to keep everything snapping fresh:

Condiment server with sneeze guard

Condiment server with sneeze guard

Or in the traditional squeeze bottles – You can buy 6 chef styled squirt bottles here. They are among the handiest things you can have in your tailgate party kit.

6 Kitchen squeeze bottles

6 Kitchen squeeze bottles

Or in a Sectional dish.  This one also has ice at the base.

Jumbl appetizer lidded serving tray

Jumbl appetizer lidded serving tray


It’s up to you. There are plenty of travel-easy options.

So there you have a simple guide to what I think are the best (or oddest) hot dog options out there.  I will add to this list as I stumble upon new machines so do call back occasionally for a look.

You want recipes?  Let me know and I will include some. Ms. Rawhide has some awesome hot-doggery up her sleeve.

Or go here:
http://www.personalcreations.com/blog/9-unique-hot-dog-combinations

Happy tailgating!

 

 

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Best Portable Generators For Tailgate Parties Reviewed.

Which portable generators make sense?

I’ve had a truckload of experience with some of the best portable generators at the user end. One of the sites belonging to the place I worked had no power at one stage and I bought a nifty little red Honda 2000W generator to run a heap of electrical appliances and lights which worked really well. Oh, until some idiot put diesel in it and it smoked like crazy. But we cleaned it out and it was as good as new. And we made a tidy sum renting it out to others. The Honda is a great and reliable unit.

At the moment, everyone I know is buying a generator for emergency backup in weather events.  The whole house models are massive, but most portable generators are good value for their output and it’s really comforting that you can keep vital appliances going.

Here’s my pick for looks, suitability and power from today’s vast range, including some that can be linked together to double the power output.

Best portable generators: Enerplex Generatr 1200 E Portable Lithium-Ion Battery Generator

Tailgate party generator can run your TV

Tailgate party generator can run your TV

Pick the generator!  Small, isn’t it? That’s because it is the compact EnerPlex 1200 which provides a fair bit of power environmentally and is so quiet it won’t interrupt your party with any more than a very quiet hum.

It stands out from most generators due to its modern, industrial style and colors.

It is rechargable, BATTERY POWERED which means it runs almost silent and great news, it can be connected to a couple of 100x solar panels to run your gear so that is a plus for the environment.

Solar panels for your tailgate party generator

Solar panels can run your tailgate party generator

Here is a picture of this smart high tech generator:

EnerPlex generator for tailgate parties

EnerPlex generator for tailgate parties

I have to say that this light little unit (42 pounds only) is a tremendous addition to your tailgate party kit.  Many sites are banning noisy generators and what they class as noise is quite a low hum.  The EnerPlex has none of that.  No fumes, totally a green machine.  The power output is plenty to run your TV and even a kegerator plus phone charging.  If you want to hook it up to solar panels for complete green credits, go to the Commandr site and read all the technical specifications.  But even without that, the generator alone is a great buy and its light weight reduces your tailgate party kit considerably.  Here’s a tip: some parking lots across USA offer free car charging to customers.  Pop your genny in the trunk and give it a burst if you are running low.  Oh, make sure you have the correct connector and also don’t leave it unattended.

Keep your portable tailgate party generator clean

I learned a lot over the years, such as cleanliness is vital. So treat your generator like a kegerator and keep those lines clean and clear. And, in my list of best portable generators, you’ll find a way of getting a 4000W generator without the massive expense of buying a biggie. Rather than do a scatter-gun long list of contenders, I’ve whittled down the choices to make it more manageable and included my top choices. So, to find a current list of best portable generators, read on ….

What Makes the Best Portable Generators for Tailgate Parties?

Factor #1 is that most sites are not powered. They are parking lots full of improvised tailgate party sites.  We all know that there are many times at a tailgate party when you need power, but there’s just nothing to plug into. If you want to cook on site such as in a small pizza oven, keep food and booze refrigerated, be there for the long haul, play music, watch television, run a satellite link, hey, you are going to need a generator. Preferably, minimum 2000 watts. Though some are OK under that limit.

Noise should be minimised.

Read on, as here’s some stuff you may not know. I have looked at many models as contenders for Best Portable Generators and the ones below are my final recommendations for tailgate party use. You don’t have to wade through heaps of portable generator reviews.  I have done that for you. Oh, and all these portable generators will come in handy for the zombie apocalypse too. Oh, but if it is just a light or something small you need to rev up, there are some awesome battery packs we have reviewed earlier. Keep it charged up and it is great for a little power. But they just don’t do it for powering a kegerator though.

Best portable generators: Duracell Power Pack Pro

 

Duracell Power Pak charges phones, runs lights for tailgate parties

Nice little tailgate party accessory

 

Here is a range of generators that will be suitable for tailgate partying and made it to my list of Best Portable Generators. These have the added bonus that in this global warming situation where doomsday prepping is at an all time high, you WILL be prepared. That is, if you remembered to buy some fuel.  It qualifies as one of my Best Portable Generators as it is simple to use, compact and cheap.

Best portable generators: Hyundai HY2000siCa Portable Inverter Generator, 2200-watt

Hyundai Inverter generator

Hyundai Inverter generator

The Hyundai HY2000siCa generator has an average running time (on full tank) = 4-6 hours. The makers claim 5.5 Hours at 50 percent load. You won’t need to run it at 100% very often though. Most uses are intermittent peaks of power.

Starter is Electric. But the Hyundai HY2000siCa generator does have a manual recoil as well. The electric starter requires batteries. It starts easily whether hot or cold.

Quiet?:   Yes. 65 dB which is louder than the Honda generator but not unbearable.

Note that there is a non-CARB and a CARB compliant model, the latter costing a few more bucks. But hey, you want the CARB model, EPA and CSA Certified. Otherwise, your tailgate party will be noisy and gassy. You don’t want emissions of any kind as it can overtake your beer taste. So do select the CARB Hyundai HY2000siCa generator and the world (and your nose and ears) will thank you.  A Non-Carb really should not be on the list of Best Portable Generators but it’s OK in some situations.

Tank Capacity = 1.2 gallons.

Price: Around 40% cheaper than the average popular equivalent.

Uses: You can run multiple small electrical items all at once or an air-conditioner using the Hyundai HY2000siCa generator. Great for a tailgate party and it will run the kegerator. Maybe not the TV at the same time unless yours is a small one. In other words, you can cook or you can watch TV. But you could cook and plug in an iPod and some nifty speakers. On the non-party days, you could also run any single large power tool (table saw, small 1 to 1.5 hp pancake compressor) with the Hyundai HY2000siCa generator and hey, it’s suddenly a business expense and you can take it tailgating at weekends.

Outlets:  The Hyundai HY2000siCa generator has two 120V 16.6A AC and one 12V 8.3A DC outlet. That’s average and all you need. Plug in more and you will drain it fast. Its dependable circuit breaker system with overload protection is good to have as these gadgets can surge a bit due to dirty fuel or just problems . Low Oil Indicator for additional protection but note that by the time it activates, the oil may have all gone. Suggestion is that you top up the oil on a regular basis and keep the unit clean. 12V DC power for “On The Move” battery charges. Vehicle battery charge cables included

Fuel: Unleaded Gasoline. Use a smaller can (say, 1 gal.) for filling rather than the 5 gal. as then you can easily spill the fuel.

Weight: The Hyundai HY2000siCa is a lightweight generator and easy for one person to wrangle. Manufactured from 3mm Polypropylene to keep that weight down. I really like these poly generators more than I thought I would. They are resistant to dings whereas the steel ones scratch and dent quite fast.

Service: Make sure you clean the unit and check the spark plugs as these can wiggle loose with use. Tighten them up from time to time. Just as you would a lawnmower.

Running Time is stated as 5.5 Hours. With a spare can of fuel this will be enough for most tailgate parties. This unit is an actual ‘2000 watt – 16.7 amp output’ – whereas both the Honda and Yamaha 2000 inverter generators are actually only rated at 1600 watts – 13.3 amp. This makes the Hyundai HY2000siCa generator a better deal.

Maker’s guarantee: 2-Year Limited Warranty. It’s backed by a 2-year warranty for commercial or non-commercial use. Has a manufacturer’s help line and they are very attentive. Will replace the unit if they can’t make suggestions for fixing any problems. Made in China.

Comparable with the Yamaha and Honda 2000 W. but cheaper.

Users have advised taking a flashlight to light up the control panel as it is not lit at all. Also, it has no fuel gauge. You just need to keep it topped up each time you use it. However, as the cheapest at this level, it may be worth it to sacrifice the convenience for something that runs just as well.  Of course, Ms. Rawhide loves it just for the color blue.

What’s included:

Instruction book, tools for removal of access panels and draining of oil for storage. It has standard oil but you may get a better result using a good 5/30w Synthetic Oil instead.

Now let’s pause for an educational moment …. You’ll see CARB referred to a heck of a lot in relation to all sorts of products that may affect the environment. So ….

What is CARB?

The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the “clean air agency” in the State of California. Emissions rules in California are very stringent and CARB comes under the jurisdiction of the Californian EPA. They have made great inroads into Los Angeles’ clean up of air and noise and now you can see the Hollywood sign from almost the coast. unheard of in the bad ol’ smoggy days. Could be something to do with the invention of the Prius.

Bottom line is that CARB has some good insight into noise and air pollution, so whether you live in California or not, it would be wise to go with their call on what generator is good. In that spirit, I would not recommend the non-CARB model at all. A few extra bucks for the CARB approved model is way worth not getting COPD or tinnitus in your middle years.

BUT IF YOU INSIST:

Best portable generators: All Power America 2,000 Watt 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Generator

All Power American 200W Generator

All Power American 2000W Generator

NON CARB compliant. Ie. NOT for sale or able to be freighted to California. Made in China: Jiangsu Jiangdong Group.  You may ask, why does it get on a list of Best Portable Generators ?

Well, the All Power America APG3014 is dirt cheap. The only way I could buy this one, though, is if I had a farm or plot of land surrounded by nothingness.

However, it is a good buy for a generator this size. 2,000 Watts Surge/1,400 Watts Continuous, 3 HP 4-Stroke Engine. The All Power America APG3014 is noisier than the equivalent Hyundai with 68 dB of grunt and that could be the main reason why it is not for sale in California. It would not be a perfect tailgate party purchase for the reason of noise pollution alone. You would need a long lead to keep the noise away from your tailgate party or you could baffle it with acoustic panels.  However, it does come into the class of ‘better than nothing’ and everyone needs a bargain sometimes.

The All Power America APG3014 generator is lightweight, framed for easy portability durability as that metal frame protects it from dings.

Average running time (on full tank): It is claimed that it will run for 9.5 hours on a 50% load but I am skeptical in general about these predictions as there are so many variables. However, users do rate this highly and that is a good indicator.

Starter:  Electric. Plus Manual recoil.

Quiet?: The All Power America APG3014 is not super quiet but more like the roar of a lawnmower – 68 dB but seems louder. Needs a better muffler. But then it has a powerful 3 HP OHV engine so there’s a trade-off. You COULD house it in a sound attenuating box and these can easily be made with some panels of specific acoustic material. Be sure to allow ventilation though.

Size of fuel tank: All Power America APG3014 ‘s Tank Capacity is 1.3 gallons.

Price: Around 60% cheaper than the average popular equivalent which gives it a place on the Best Portable Generators list.

Uses: The All Power America APG3014 would be OK on a building site or a power backup for storms but not really my pick for a social occasion like tailgating due to its noise and emissions. But it is really at the low end of costs.

Outlets: Two AC 120V outlets, one DC 12 V output Voltage as measured (not as claimed) is actually 122.5 Volts

Fuel: Unleaded Gasoline. Again, use a smaller can (say, 1 gal.) for filling rather than the 5 gal. as then you can easily spill the fuel though this fuel tank is more accessible that the Hyundai.

Weight: 54 pounds which is a bit of a hefty load.

Service: As with all vibrating motors, make sure you clean the unit and check the spark plugs as these can wriggle loose with use. Tighten them up from time to time. Just as you would a mower.

Running Time is supposedly 9.5 hours at half load allowing for peaks. I don’t think it would really last that long consistently.

Maker’s guarantee: All America has a manufacturer’s help line and they do respond to problems rapidly.

Not comparable with the Hyundai, Yamaha and Honda 2000 W but a lot cheaper and there is some discrepancy between their claims of 2000W and the reality of the power output.  However, as a super cheap buy for emergency use or as a backup for your tailgate party, I can’t really object to it. High up on the Best Portable Generators list?  Well, only just.  But be sure to clean it, use quality gas and oil (avoid ethanol) and it should perform well.

What’s included: Instruction book, oil. Details on link to website for helpline. The actual size of the unit is larger than advertised: height 14 3/4 in., width 13 3/4 in., and length 18 1/16 in.

A HANDY WAY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT SIZE GENERATOR YOU NEED

You can use this handy calculator to help estimate how many watts you require to run your appliances. Are you asking my why I don’t recommend Briggs & Stratton and why they are not on the Best Portable Generators list? Well, they are more expensive and also, are not the B & S of old days. My ol’ Pa had a self propelling slasher, for instance, from the old Made in America days and it is still going strong even though it’s almost the same age as I am! But now …

If you are running a kegerator, and I hope you will be, then substitute that for the refrigerator category.

Once you’ve done the math, you would realize that 2000 W – the most popular generator – is really not an optimum choice for a full service tailgate party power source.  They are no longer the world’s Best Portable Generators but do have some good insight into what generators can do.

I ran through that list and calculated on my appliances – kegerator, electric pizza cooker, TV, a light for the gloomy days, tablet charger – at minimum I figured on ramping up the Watts to 3000.

So here’s my pick of the 3000 watts generators. Anything BIGGER than that is going to need a bigger truck to haul it and also going too large means it is harder for one guy to wrangle unaided, and I am thinking of the post-party pack-up here.

Best portable generators: Champion Power Equipment No.75531i Inverter Generator, 3100-watt

Champion Inverter Power Generator 3100 watts

Champion Inverter Power Generator 3100 watts

Bear in mind that this little beauty is over 80 pounds so it will be a bit of a power lift every time you take it to your tailgate party. The wheels are rubber and smooth so that’s a help so it’s made it to the list of Best Portable Generators on the basis of its user-friendly design.

Having said that, the Champion Power Equipment No.75531i generator is quieter than the Honda or the Hyundai 2000 W and that is quite amazing. I’m not exactly sure what difference a few dBs will make because usually, our tailgate parties are raucous enough to drown out any generator. Shame on us for not being CARB compliant and don’t get me started on our tailgate party emissions.

My pal Seth, a faithful tailgate party pioneer, swears by the Champion Power Equipment No.75531i generator as it easily can run the kegerator small to medium sized, and a small TV plus has the capacity to plug in and charge everyone’s i-whatevers. Phone, pad, pod etc. etc.. The inverter (that bumps the price up) is actually worth it as it ensures clean power to sensitive appliances (eg. a smart tv, ipad, computer). Quiet, lightweight and portable by virtue of the aforementioned large rubber wheels and stowaway handle, the Champion 3100W Inverter Generator is really versatile and can be the centerpiece (off-stage!) of your tailgate party. Note that the description says it is 2800 Watts Rated, 3100 Watts Maximum output which is powerful enough to run a 15,000btu air conditioner so with that in mind, the gadgets of the tailgate party are a snap.

Inverter Technology provides clean power which means it won’t have the sort of surges most cheap generators have so will be safe for sensitive electronics such as your small smart TV (eg. A 32”).

The engine of the Champion Power Equipment No.75531i automatically idles lower when electrical load is reduced, which gives you a saving of fuel and engine wear. I like that feature a lot and it is a reason I added it to my Best Portable Generators list. Does not power 220 volts. That’s a whole different ball game.

Mysteriously, it says it will run for 8 hours on a full tank of gas at 25% load. I’m thinking that its performance is way better than that.

Note that the Champion Power Equipment No.75531i is EPA/CARB approved for sale in 50 states including, of course, California.

Quiet – only 58 Dba. Powered by a Champion 171cc OHV engine designed specifically for the 3100 Watt inverter generator will run 8 hours on a full tank of gas at 25% load.

Average running time (on full tank) it will go all day powering a 25% load but really, the power pull can be higher than 25% just not flat out all the time. Overload Protection, Low Oil Sensor and Economy Mode Switch.

Starter:  Recoil. This generator has a choke, but remember not to run it on full choke. Flooding will occur and the auto cut-off will kick in. Auto choke saves your poor handling into being a major problem.

Quiet?: At 58 dB the sound of the Champion Power Equipment No.75531i can be drowned out by anyone’s Jimmy Buffett downloads.

Tank Capacity: 1.6 gallons which is a little bigger than most.

Price: Under $1000 which makes it a lot cheaper than the 2000W Honda! Bargainacious!

Uses: Strong enough to run a kegerator, TV and even a small air con for a few hours. Can be noisy when it is outputting a lot of power but very much an all rounder.

Maker’s guarantee: All product technical, service and warranty inquiries must go through Champion. There’s a 24/7 tech line. Note that Champion products cannot be returned to a retail store or e-tailer, but you can email the company for the procedure for any replacement. All Champion products are cover by a Lifetime Free Technical Support and 2 Year Limited Warranty. Made in China.

Outlets: 1 – 120V Duplex outlet (5-20R), 1-12V DC Outlet w/cables included, and 1 – TT30 Receptacle – RV Ready.

Fuel: Unleaded Gasoline.

Weight: 80 pounds.

Size: 19.7 inches x 24.2 inches x 18.5 inches – seems manageable.

What’s included: Instruction book, oil, handy funnel.  You will need a screwdriver.

Bottom line: This generator gives you that extra oomph and seems to me to be the right size for tailgating. You would look after your beer, your food and your games, plus the visual entertainment (TV) and music system and they would all run off this for the duration of the party. It won’t fit in the trunk of a sedan but would be OK in your SUV or truck.

Is this THE Best Gas Powered Portable Generator for tailgate parties? Yup!

Powerhouse PH2100PRi 2100 Watt 125cc 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator With Remote Start (CARB Compliant)

 

Powerhouse gas powered generator for tailgate parties

Powerhouse gas powered generator for tailgate parties

Here’s my top pick for Best Portable Generator of the gas powered kind. One of the great selling points of this CARB compliant unit is the remote start – a perfect system for tailgate parties when you are stuck at the grill or playing a game. You don’t want to leave that beer unattended. After all, that is what you are there for. The remote start works up to 75 feet away. It’s a unique design which also features an electric start. Prime and switch on and you’re up and running.

The second great feature is that you can buy two of these for less than most other generators to give you 4000W. That’s enough to run a heap of gear you would need for a tailgate party. See the note below on the parallel option which gives you versatile and compact power and the great thing about that is that you and your buddy can buy compatible systems and link up only when you need that extra grunt.  And I’m looking at you, Matt! Rather than categorize Best Portable Generators as ‘the most expensive’, I have figured out ways to get more power to your site for less money.  This is definitely a great way to do it.  More money for beer.

Average running time (on full tank) of the Powerhouse PH2100PRi is versatile. Continuous run time (hr) Full load; 3.0 hrs; 1/4 load; 7.5 hrs. This is a conservative estimate. Other users have reported better results due to the variable speed which conserves fuel as your use ebbs and flows.

Starter:  Electric. You need to charge the battery when you unpack the box. The Powerhouse PH2100PRi generator has electric start, recoil and remote, an Auto choke that switches off to prevent smoking. There’s an easy primer. Some users have reported that the unit is difficult to start especially in extremely cold areas. We didn’t find that but if you have problems, call the service number immediately. It also has an engine-reset button that will automatically restart the engine if the unit shuts down due to engine overload, and an internal circuit breaker. The other thing I did notice was that users have some nifty ways of getting around this. #1 read the instructions. #2 check out some of the really long posts about the unit on amazon.com which explain about cleaning and little cheats to prevent flooding. Most are applicable to all generators and are handy to know. The more you can get to know your unit the better!

Quiet?: Users say the Powerhouse PH2100PRi is quite acceptable, not silent but not intrusive. A longer lead will keep it away for the tailgate party fun. Keep it under the 75 feet so that you can use the handy remote.

Tank Capacity: 1.3 gallons.

Price: You could buy two Powerhouse PH2100PRi generators plus the optional connector kit for a lower RRP of one 3500W Honda from some sellers who cost these at way over $2000. That feature alone makes it a natural to be on the list of Best Generators and the invertor will stop your appliances from frying.

Ideal tailgate party generator

Link two for double the power output

Uses: The parallel-ready PH2100PRi inverter generator can be connected through an optional kit to provide over 4000w of power. All you do is connect two compatible Powerhouse generators. For example, you could connect two PH2100PRi models for 4000 watts, or pair the PH2100PRi with a PH2700PRi generator for 4600 watts of total power. Follow the links to the parallel kit here.

Outlets: A full range. As pictured.

 

Ideal generator to run tailgate party gear

Power outlets on Powerhouse generator

Fuel: Unleaded Gasoline.

Weight: 75 pounds – heavyish. And if you had two …    invest in a cart you can stand it on,

Generator cart for easy tailgate party handling

Generator cart for easy tailgate party handling

 

but use bike locks to secure that cart well against thieves who may just decide to wheel it away.

Combination illuminated bike lock

Combination illuminated bike lock

 

Service: As with all vibrating motors, make sure you clean the unit and check the spark plugs as these can wriggle loose with use. Tighten them up from time to time. Just as you would a mower.

Run time: Continuous run time when powering a full load is 3.0 hrs; 1/4 load; 7.5 hrs but that’s conservative. Has variable and constant speeds and conserves fuel when the load is lower.

Maker’s guarantee: 2-year consumer warranty (1-year for commercial use); EPA, CARB, and CSA compliant.

It is important to keep the fuel and the generator clean. Any grit in fuel lines will make starting very difficult so keep it clean and covered when not in use and make sure you service it regularly. Don’t over-prime when you start it. One push is enough.

What’s included: Powerhouse PH2100PRi portable inverter generator; oil jug; two keys; two remotes; oil drain pipe; spare fuse; spark plug wrench; screwdriver; spare spark plug; internal charging cable; battery charge kit; operating instruction book.

Best portable generators: Briggs and Stratton PowerSmart range of linkable portable generators

Portable Generators - Briggs and Stratton

Portable Generators – Briggs and Stratton

Here is another great portable generator that can be ‘chained’ to increase your power output.  You can buy the handy wheelie cart and the kit to link this generator to your bud’s and run a heap of appliances from it for the best tailgate party ever. Briggs and Stratton are names very familiar in farming communities and they make solid state gear.

Anyway, one of these portable generator copes with 3000 watts on its own, the other does 2200 and has 8 outlets for 120 v. when combined. That’s why I recommend this bundle of 3 items which links 2 inverter generators to pack a powerful punch. For starters, this gives you a great backup system for your house in case of disasters such as hurricanes and the like.  In that case, we sure always to keep it topped up with fuel and in a safe place so that these events won’t render it useless.  You may like to invest in a sheltered box adjacent to your home for ready use.  Or a hurricane shelter! It keeps your options open too as you can run one, two depending on your needs. All the technical specs are here so I won’t reproduce them in full but I recommend reading them well.

IN CONCLUSION:

This is by no means a listing of every generator available just those I believe are the Best Portable Generators suited to tailgate parties, and in general, not the high end machines. Better to spend your dollars on beer.

A few hints on owning a generator

It may be a good investment to buy a cover.

This one is really great.

Gentent wet weather generator canopy for tailgate parties

Gentent wet weather generator canopy for tailgate parties

parts-of-the-gentent

The GenTent is the best in its class and will fit many types of generator even up to 10,000 watts.  It’s a Universal size. It’s designed so that yu still get 100% air-flow and your generator will not burn out.

Wet weather will not spoil your tailgate party when your generator is dressed in a GenTent!

Don’t ever run a generator inside. They are designed for outdoor use only, be sure they are well ventilated. You can die of the fumes so keep plenty of air around them.

Be sure to read the instructions. EVERY generator has its own little quirks. Another good way to gather information is to read reviews on amazon.com as many of the users have some unique ways of dealing with issues such as hard-to-start or flooded systems.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the exact fuel recommended for your model.

Buy a good container for gas storage with a funnel top to avoid spillage. Keep it safely away from your house in a garage or shed. I always recommend a small bottle as it is too easy to spill fuel from the large ones.

Justrite AccuFlow 7210220 Type II Galvanized Steel Safety Can with 5/8″ Flexible Spout, 5 Gallon Capacity, Yellow is great and they have larger sizes for longer term storage.  No, you can’t use this as a beer bong.  Hmmm, maybe I am wrong.

Justrite Accuflow safety can for oil

Justrite Accuflow safety can for oil

Upscale the oil that you use. Get the best 100% synthetic oil you can buy.

Excellent synthetic oil

Excellent synthetic oil

Make sure that wherever you site your generator, you place it on a level surface. Wobbly generators, even slightly, will be way noisier. Plus it does affect the spark plugs’ performance by loosening them.

Buy a long lead and also I would recommend some kind of heavy duty bike lock with something you can secure the genny to a tree, a pole or other non-removable post. They do get stolen! We recommend double chaining it with two tough locks. At least it will slow down any attempts to hijack it.

Keep it very clean. Wipe it down after every use and store it in a box once it has cooled down.

Flame retardant foam panels are good at being silencers for the generator. Doesn’t have to be a total white-trash fix-up – you can make them quite professional looking without a little thought.

F’rinstance, you can clamp these together to make a simple blimp:

Link these flame resistant panels

Link these flame resistant panels

General advice on portable generators for tailgate parties

Buy a generator a size up from what you think you will need if you can afford it, but DON’T scale up beyond what you actually need to run your tailgate party. Factor in a place to store it, the time to clean and service it. But of course, you will almost always find other uses and people will want to plug in to charge phones, iPads etc. and mooch off your power. If you want to run a TV of a decent size, then 4000 (which can also be sold as a 3500W) is most likely what you need. Having said that, remember the more appliances you plug in, the shorter your run time and you will go through gas much faster which will cost mucho dinero. So there you have it: the current crop of generators that will make your party zing.

But the use of a generator in a powerless tailgate situation can lift your party into a complete stratosphere of awesomeness. IMHO. No, remove that ‘H’.

Happy tailgating!

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The Best Food Coolers & Warmers Reviewed

Call it what you like – ‘Ice chest’, ‘Ice box’, ‘Car Fridge’, ‘Esky’, ‘Chiller’, ‘Cooler’, you name it, the box you carry your food in needs to work its butt off.  The best tailgate party tip is to find a box that can transport the goods at the correct safe temperature, be easy to lift, wheel and withstand a bit of rough-and-ready treatment. The best food coolers and warmers are reviewed below but as the range expands and contracts, don’t forget to come back and read about all the new items and the ones that are discounted just in time for tailgate party season.

Best Coolers and Food Heaters for tailgate parties

Best Coolers and Food Heaters for tailgate parties

Without the box, your beer is warm, and who likes warm beer outside the British Isles???? Nobody of course.  Ideally, a cooler needs to fit in the back of your vehicle and a bonus is if it is strong enough to double as seating or flexible and compact enough to fold up to store in your house.  Oh, those last two are mutually exclusive. Don’t sit on a flexible cooler especially when it is full of deviled eggs.  Power is optional, in fact it is an affordable option these days.  Yet, most coolers just do their job with the addition of ice in the right quantities and will get you through anything from one to five days as long as you don’t keep opening the lid.  Buy a cooler that is made of food grade plastic rather than a cheap knockoff that may pollute your food. The powered models can keep you on the road, tailgating from city to city.  Don’t laugh.  I know people who do just that!  The ice filled ones can be managed to do the same though so below are some really good buys and some hints on how to manage your portable food carrier.

Just remember when you are packing the car to allow for the weight of the cooler.  Most large ones weigh around 20 pounds on their own, before you add those 16 dozen cans of beer … before you buy, take a tape measure to the trunk of the car and figure out how many of these you can comfortably fit in. So, that’s enough of an intro! Now read on for the reviews of the best food coolers and best food warmers!

The Best Food Coolers & Warmers Reviewed

Let’s start with the coolest of coolers, the Cruzin’ Cooler.

Cooler Review: Crazy Coolers Motorized Cooler

 

Best Coolers and Food heaters - Crazy Cooler with motor

Best Coolers and Food heaters – Crazy Cooler with motor

OMG, so you didn’t get the parking space you wanted in the lot!  You’re not next to your mates.  In fact, you are way over the other side.  Heck, that has to be a long walk.  Oh no, and you have a large cooler packed full of sublime amber fluid and hey, it was your turn to bring the ribs.  Sit on this little beauty. Start it up and cruise your way to Tailgate Party Heaven. Crazy Coolers created these innovative motorized coolers that kind of sound like a lawn mower or mo-ped when they are running. They feature unique all-terrain tires, a 2HP 4-stroke engine, 48L Cooler and that combo can be a full bar on wheels.   Just don’t speed while driving it.   The cooler is fine too, but really, aren’t you just buying this one for the fun?

Cooler Review: Bundle-47 Electric Cruzin’ Cooler

Cruzin Cooler Electric Scooter

Cruzin Cooler Electric Scooter

Here’s the Greenie, Tree-Hugger Tesla style version …. OK, so it’s not a Tesla.  It’s from Cruzin’ Coolers and they are the guys who started this mobile cooler ride-on craze.

NOTE TO SELF: Add to Wishlist for Christmas, Birthday, hey any day with ‘day’ in it.

There are 300 watt and 500 watt versions and the whole kit and caboodle weighs around 64lbs..-Nicely finished with aluminum and chrome on exposed metals, it also features a built in cup-holder and an overall quality design and manufacture.

The Top speed is 13 mph.- This model holds 24 x 12oz cans with ice.

Rider Capacity is limited to 250 lbs.-It has easy brake and throttle control and is great personal transportation.

Compatible with: Cruzin Cooler Powered Coolers, Cruzin Cooler Coolagons.

It also has accessories such as this neat cover tailor-made for the Cruzin’ Cooler. which comes in a couple of nice colors.

Too lazy even to drive the Cruzin’ Cooler?  Then sit in a chair and tell the drinks to come to you:

Cooler Review: Interactive Toy Concepts Radio-controlled Cooler

Remote Controlled Cooler

Remote Controlled Cooler

This is a Canadian invention.  Why am I not surprised?  This elegant radio – controlled, battery powered Cooler, lets you just sit back and take the controls on your next beer delivery. Its insulated sides keep your drinks cold for the big game, 12 bottles at a time, allowing the RC Cooler to cater your friends’ drinking needs without you doing more than jiggle the controls.   Ice-cold precision: 30′ RC range; 4 sturdy and stable sure-grip wheels; Bottle-cap shaped controller.

Send it back to the kitchen for refills if you need to.

It’s collapsible down to only 6 1/2″ h. for easy storage but I am thinking you’ll be getting this one out every weekend and using it a lot.

NOTE: Uses 6 C batteries in cooler and 2 AA batteries in remote (batteries not included).  You may want to get a stash of rechargeable batteries to avoid the cost and pollution of replacements.

Dimensions:  12″ diam., 14″ h. Weighs 3 lbs., 10 ozs.;

OK, now to the serious stuff.

Cooler Review: Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

Coleman 54 Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

Coleman 54 Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

This tough-as-nails Coleman was designed for camping but it is great for tailgate parties – strong enough to sit on.  Kind of retro in appearance, it holds 85 cans so you and your three best friends will be set for a day of tailgating. This could very well be the best food cooler of them all!

Its stainless steel handles are covered in grippy rubber making it is a breeze to pick up, at least when empty. The retro look isn’t just for decoration: the steel (which is painted) makes it super tough and easy to clean.  It is rust-proof, leak resistant and the drain hole is designed for ‘no-tilt’ emptying.  Hinges and screws are also steel and tough.  Locally made, from USA and foreign made components, it is guaranteed and anything that breaks under normal wear can be replaced.  The latch and gaskets make it seal securely which means cold stays in much longer.

Measurements:           26” x 18” x 17”

Cooler Review: Coleman 62 qt. Xtreme Cooler

Coleman 62 qt. Xtreme Cooler

Coleman 62 qt. Xtreme Cooler

The Coleman 62 qt. Xtreme Cooler features Xtreme 5 technology and the capacity to hold up to 85 cans. It features two-way handles for easy lifting and carrying, a tow handle and its rustproof, leak-resistant channel drain allows for no-tilt draining. The lid is hinged and high-quality plastic construction from Xtreme 5 technology with Thermozone insulation makes it durable. The corners are curved to prevent the gathering of bacteria as it is simple to wipe out after use.

Wheels are ‘all terrain’ making it a perfect choice for tailgating.

Dimensions: 31.5 x 17 x 15.5 inches (W x H x D)

Sturdy for sitting on, but maybe not Bubba and his sister, Ten Ton Tessie…

Cooler Review: Coleman 100 qt. Xtreme Wheeled Cooler with Tow Handle

Coleman 100 qt Xtreme Wheeled cooler

Coleman 100 qt Xtreme Wheeled cooler

Next size up holds up to 160 cans.  Wow, this tailgate party is getting better by the minute!  Very durable, again the ice won’t melt for 5 or even 6 days.  A couple of these will see you through – one for drinks, one for food.  The insulated walls are 2 inches thick and the snug insulated hinged lid has a gasket seal.  It has two tough all-terrain wheels and the tow handle will make dragging it around the parking lot a breeze.  Though sand may be a struggle for the wheels particular when the cooler is packed high with brewskis.

HINT: Look after that seal on the lid.  Just as you clean the gasket seals of a refrigerator, do the same with these and they will last for many years.  Don’t let your guests leave the lid ajar.  You need to be quite tough closing it to preserve the cold temperature.

Dimensions: 36.5L x 16.75W x 18.25H inches.

Drain plug works well.  Very efficient cooler nicely designed for tailgate party use. Buying from this local company is an advantage as their after sales service is great (for instance, if the handles break, they can be replaced easily and fast).

Good value for the price at the moment.

Cooler Review: Coleman 120-Quart Xtreme 5 Cooler

 

Here’s a massive cooler that, according to description, will keep ice for 5 days.  Looks the same as all the others in the range but enormous.  Good seating. The way to do this is to pre-chill everything you put in there and also make the ice you put in there quite dense.  For instance, you can freeze a deep aluminum pan full of water and put it, pan and all in a large Ziploc plastic bag which you seal well.  This stays cold for days.  Or you can buy various sheets of refreezable gel packs. In a parking lot at a tailgate party, despite up to 90 degree heat, 190 cans of beer or the equivalent food will stay chilled.  Or buy two and pack those 190 beers and use the other cooler for food.  Be sure to measure the space in your vehicle allowing for the hinges of the trunk.  This cooler is tall enough for wine bottles to be packed, standing.

Another nice feature of this outstanding cooler is the hinged lid with its can holders.  It’s rustproof and has the Coleman designed drain so it is practical for dealing with cleaning and letting out melted ice.  The 2 large all-terrain wheels make it simple to transport and tugging its tow handle is a breeze. It’s tough and OK for your guests to sit on.  A handy feature is that you can tether additional stuff to the top and the lid has been designed to fit cords to fasten items (dry goods, other small boxes).  You can buy these cords separately.  The interior has no toxic CFCs, HFCs, or HCFCs.  Made in the USA.  Full warranty.

Dimensions: 39.75 by 13.75 by 19 inches (L x W x H) (Exterior), 32 by 12.5 by 15 inches (L x W x H) (Interior).

Cooler Review: Igloo Polar Cooler (120-Quart, White)

Igloo Polar Cooler

Igloo Polar Cooler

This cooler only fits 188 cans – aw gee!  It’s another version of the 5-day ice-keeper and I see a lot of these in use though I have never owned one.  I know that they keep fish and meat frozen for days, so beer should be a cinch.  It doesn’t have wheels but it is probably the toughest one around.  It has snap-fit latches to keep the warm air out.  Very tough walls and well insulated.

I have seen these stacked 2 high made into an amazing table with contributions from all the party guests who coincidentally, happen to have bought the same cooler.  It’s 36 inches high (a stack of two) and you can bank them up and throw a team logo cloth over them.  Good for playing tailgate party games if you have enough of them! Just get the food out BEFORE you set the table.  Just over half price at the moment so snap one up before they sell out.

Dimensions: 38.3 x 18 x 18.5 inches

Cooler Review: Koolatron 18 qt. Compact Cooler

Koolatron 12V compact cooler

Koolatron 12V compact cooler

If you have any foods that are particularly vulnerable to heat spoilage then maybe you need a plug-in cooler.  The Koolatron Kooler is very useful to keep food and drinks cool while traveling or at the tailgate party parking lot and you can plug it in to your accessories socket. (The unit cannot be left plugged in to the cigarette lighter in the car for more than 4 hours or it will run the car battery flat. There is an optional battery saver adapter that will shut off the unit if it overtaxes the car battery).

It’s narrow enough to slip behind the driver’s seat on the floor but has a good capacity at the same time.  As it has powered cold, the addition of any ice is not necessary but I just like to put a couple of flexible thin gel packs (frozen) at the top or on the side that may heat up during the drive.

Items to be placed in it should be cool before filling the cooler. The empty unit will cool about 10 degrees an hour to about 40 degrees lower than the ambient temperature around it. It will maintain any pre-cooled contents at that temperature while plugged in. Check the manual for cooling times.

The optional AC power adapter (Koolatron Muti-Purpose Adapter 110VAC to 12VDC ) is useful – plug it into the wall and cool down the box for 12 hours or more. A slab of ice or gel pack is also a good idea.  Anything you put it in should be fridge cold or frozen.   Note that it will keep things cold not freeze items or cool things down (except by using ambient temperature)  A refrigerator thermometer would be a good little accessory for this unit.  An extension lead from your cigarette lighter helps too.

The Koolatron is also a food heat source, keeping hot foods hot.  Again, set the temperature before you put the food in.  I also throw in a few of those small hand warmers having first heated them in the microwave.  Pizza, mac’n’cheese and other delicacies will stay hot for hours.

18 quarts is not a huge capacity but between this and your drinks cooler(s), you should cover all bases.

Tailgate Hotbag Side Loading

Tailgate HotBag - Side Loading food warmer

Tailgate HotBag – Side Loading food warmer

We all have our large coolers and they double as seats and tables in many cases.  But this is a range of soft-sided insulated boxes that will keep food hot.  They plug into your 12V outlet (and have a long lead).  That outlet was once known as a cigarette lighter).  Without flattening your battery it will keep your home-cooked food piping hot at 165 – 170 degrees F for several hours. The bag is made from 1000 denier rugged nylon with thickly insulated walls and base and is lightweight and very easy to keep clean.  Just wipe it over after use.  Designed to be easy to carry and the food slides in through the side so you can access it sort of the way pizza delivery guys get the pies out.  Full instructions are included and these come in a range of sizes.  If you are tailgating at Metlife, for instance, and cooking on site is not an easy option, then take your pre-cooked corn dogs, hot wings, mac’n’cheese and so on and keep them safely hot in this excellent box.  There are no negatives!

Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 5.5 inches ; 3.3 pounds

Then there’s this Large Side Loading Electric Tailgate Hotbag which is perfect for lots of light weight foods that can be stacked such as sandwiches, pizzas or rolls. Bring enough hot food for the whole gang and keep it hot all the way to the tailgate party, even if it’s hours away. The dry heat does not let the food get soggy.

Tailgatea HotBag - LARGE side loading

Tailgatea HotBag – LARGE side loading

More food warmers great for transporting your hot food.

Food Warmer Review: Tailgate Hotbag Side Pocket

Medium sized Tailgate HotBag Side Pocket

Medium sized Tailgate HotBag Side Pocket

It’s lightweight, has a handy shoulder strap for easy carrying and large pockets on each end.  Heats to 165 degrees to keep your food oven hot from kitchen to tailgate party. Nice for a casserole or pot of mac’n’cheese and you can put bread or condiments in the pockets.

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 9 inches ; 5 pounds

Review: Black & Decker TC212B Travel Cooler & Warmer

Black & Decker Cooler and Warmer

Black & Decker Cooler and Warmer

Black & Decker 12 Volt Travel Cooler & Warmer with 12 can/2.3 gallon capacity. Powers from vehicle accessory outlet. Thermo-electric systerm keeps food cold or warm. Low voltage auto cut-off prevents coolers from draining vehicle battery.

Thermo-Electric System cools down to 40°F below ambient temperature and heats up to approximately 120°F

Plugs directly into vehicle’s or boat’s 12 volt DC outlet or any other 12 volt power supply

Rests on vehicle seat, tailgate, hatch or floor for easy access during travel

Zippered side storage and accessory pouch

Dual can/cup holder

Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 14 inches.

Heavily discounted at the moment.

Cooler Review: Koolatron 12V 48-Can Voyager Cooler

Koolatron 29 qt Voyager Cooler

Koolatron 29 qt Voyager Cooler

This is a nice, streamlined cooler/warmer which holds 48 cans and the only difference between this and the other Koolatrons is the size, shape and color.  You can stand a wine bottle up in this one.

Heats as well as cools.

NOTE: DO NOT cover up the fan/exhaust outlet.  It needs to be able to breathe in and out.

NOTE: Don’t use melting ice in these machines – the gel pack sealed sheets are the best.  It will operate best when you avoid opening the lid too many times and also pack it to avoid air gaps.  Put chilled items in to retain the cold and hot items in to retain the heat.  Again, I noticed that these are heavily discounted at the moment.

Dimensions: 17.5 x 16 x 15.4 inches

12 pounds

Review: Coleman 40-Quart PowerChill Hot/Cold Thermoelectric Cooler

Coleman PowerChill Hot/Cold Thermoelectric Cooler

Coleman PowerChill Hot/Cold Thermoelectric Cooler

Keep your food warm OR cool, and strictly speaking, you don’t need ice or a freezer pack.  The Coleman 40-Quart PowerChill Hot/Cold Cooler uses electricity to keep your food at the right temperature. Set to Cool mode it cools down to forty degrees below the surrounding temperature; on Warm, it heats to 110-140 degrees above the surrounding temperature. Just plug it into your car’s 12-volt outlet – it has a long lead and even longer ones can be purchased. Also purchase the 110-volt AC adapter (sold separately) for use in the home which is, as mentioned earlier, essential for pre-cooling the unit overnight or in between uses. The PowerChill 40 Quart can hold 44 cans, plus snacks. The interior tray helps keep everything organized, and you can use the PowerChill upright, cabinet-style like a hobbit-sized fridge, or horizontally, chest-style. The door can be converted to open from the left or the right, so it’ll work well in your available space. 1-year limited warranty.  These plug in miniature fridges used to be really expensive but there is a great range these days at affordable prices and this is one of my favorites. If you are tailgate partying in, say, Phoenix, a few sheets of gel icepaks will help keep the sun’s effects off your tailgate.  But in general, it is fine without any assistance.  Also is discounted right now just in time for the 2016-17 NFL season so move quickly if you want one at a good price.

Dimensions 15.7 x 17.8 x 24 inches

Koolatron Multi-Purpose Adapter 110AC to 12 Volts DC ( Model AC-16)

Koolatron Multi-Purpose Adapter 110AC to 12 Volts DC ( Model AC-16)

Koolatron Multi-Purpose Adapter 110AC to 12 Volts DC ( Model AC-16)

You definitely need one of these so that you can pre-chill the container overnight prior to the tailgate party Big Day.  See notes on this process!  Also if you are homegating in the back yard, it’s a really useful item to save you trips to the kitchen and back and can be plugged into the wall wherever your tailgate party is located.

Cooler Review: Koolatron 26-Quart Soft-Sided Electric Travel Cooler

Koolatron 26 qt Soft Side Bag Cooler

Koolatron 26 qt Soft Side Bag Cooler

The Koolatron D25 Soft Bag Cooler can be taken anywhere, like the car, to picnic sites, hotels, offices, and more. For even more convenience the D25 plugs into all 12V cigarette lighters. The Koolatron D25 Soft Bag Cooler comes with an easy-to-carry adjustable shoulder strap, and holds up 32 x 12 oz cans. An optional 110V adapter is available for home use. The Koolatron D25 Soft Bag Cooler also has a convenient cord storage compartment when not in use. Cools to 16.5 degrees C or 30° F below the ambient temperature.

What I love about this is its ability to organize me with pockets and compartments for everything.  Tailgating is the ULTIMATE picnic and that is what this great little, lightweight cooler guarantees.  Bottles of pop, no, make that growlers, can stand up and you can tuck the food in all around it.  The long lead means you can keep it plugged in for at least a couple of hours if you have a good battery in your vehicle.  Stuffed eggs, for instance, require a really cool temperature or they can be a sure way to spending the day in the porcelain palace in the throes of a Technicolor yodel.  Avoid tummy trouble and keep the food really cold!

Dimensions: 9 x 17.5 x 15 inches

Now a few pretty items for the ladies to put their cupcakes in!

Wheeled Picnic Cooler for 4, Houndstooth

Wheeled Picnic Cooler for 4 - many patterns available

Wheeled Picnic Cooler for 4 – many patterns available

This fully-equipped picnic cooler combines a removable wheeled cart, as well as a unique, divided cooler with separate sections for wine and food. Leaning towards the chic rather than tailgate party ruggedness, it has a leak-proof cooler which includes an easy drink access panel in the lid, a hand grip, an adjustable shoulder strap, and an extra front pocket. The wheeled cart has strong retractable handle like a suitcase and is easy to remove when not needed. Designed and assembled in the USA it has a  Lifetime warranty. The cooler comes with a combination corkscrew, cheese knife, wineglasses, plates, napkins, flatware, wheeled cart and has a stylish pattern on the outside. Dishwasher-safe plates, flatware and glasses (glasses top rack) are included; hand-wash and dry wood accessories though and only spot-clean bag and cooler; machine-wash and dry napkins.  Nice gift for the tailgate party gals!  High enough to stash a wine bottle or two.

Dimensions: 17.25″ x 14.5″ x 13.5″

Thermal Food Carrier, Trellis Blue

Ascot style picnic carrier - for the gentlewomen at your tailgate party

Ascot style picnic carrier – for the gentlewomen at your tailgate party

Despite its feminine appearance it features sturdy construction just like my cousin Meryl. Thermal Shield insulation make this colorful food carrier essential for transporting food such as casseroles, cakes, rolls, and more hot or cold. It also zips fully open for easy packing. Lifetime warranty.  Discounted at the moment for tailgate party season!

Dimensions: 4″ x 18″ x 11″

Trunk Organizer and Cooler Set, Chevron

Trunk organizer and cooler - style and substance

Trunk organizer and cooler – style and substance

Dimension: 12″ x 23″ x 14″; folded, 12″ x 14″ x 3″

You might find this trunk organizer useful.

It’s a durable three section trunk organizer with removable Thermal Shield insulated cooler and despite its glamorous looks it is great for keeping sports gear, cleaning supplies, and groceries organized. Two large outer sleeve pockets. Foldable when not in use to maintain trunk space. Designed in the USA. Lifetime warranty. Tailgate party season discount!

Happy tailgating!

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