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? All of the above, you’re welcome.

OK. 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.

Edgestar Kegerator

Edgestar 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™ Nitro Cold Brew Keg System didn’t really cut it 100% but the theory was fine.

Jacked Up Cold Brew Kegerator

Nitro Cold Brew Keg System

It’s 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

 EdgeStar Dual Faucet Direct Draw Beverage Dispenser

EdgeStar Dual Faucet Cold Brew Kegerator

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

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.

Kegco KOM30B-1 Digital Kombucharator – Black Cabinet with Matte Black Door

Kegco KOM30B-1 Digital Kombucharator

Kegco Digital Kombucharator

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.  Remeber 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

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

Kegco Full-Size Digital Homebrew Kegerator

Kegco Full-Size Digital Homebrew Kegerator

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

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!


NBA Gear For Tailgate Parties – Ultimate List

Are you the kind of tailgater who likes to shout your fandom from the rooftops when the party is in full swing?  Of course you are!  You wouldn’t visit this site if you weren’t.  Anyway, while I realize that on site tailgate parties are rare in the NBA leagues – their real estate is thin on the ground – there are many adjacent to green spaces where tailgating is OK.  So get there nice and early to set up in style.  NBA gear, licensed only please, is great.  The fakes are generally so disappointing that you wouldn’t want to be associated with them.

Let’s start with the biggest shout-out you can find. (Assuming you have some power source, even one of those compact battery packs will do or if you have a generator that little beauty will last all party long).

Get an NBA logo flashing sign

Weneon® Nba Indiana Pacers Basketball Handcrafted Real Glass Tube Neon Light Sign

Put up a flashing neon sign that screams your NBA team’s logo day and night.

The Weneon Neon Light Sign is available in all team logos and if you let them know what you want well in advance, they can supply you with your heart’s desire.

Weneon is a Chinese based neon bender and they can make anything neon you can think of, including your team name and logo.  Be sure to explain exactly what it is that you want.  Custom is what these flexible light artists do best.  The light will be made for you and a few days later shipped by air which takes around two weeks at the most.  Any problems with your orders, contact the makers direct as they guarantee happiness.  The size around the metal frame is 19” x 15” which is big enough to be seen across a parking lot.  It is also bright enough to be visible in daylight.  Has trackable shipping and a 2 year warranty.  Of course, it’s an ideal home-gating accessory as you can mount it on your man-cave bar and impress your buds every time they visit.

And, speaking of bars – here’s a great portable bar specially designed for tailgate parties.  Pick your team. It’s truly portable, fast mount and demount and has its own case:

NBA Los Angeles Lakers Portable Bar with Case

NBA Gear: Tailgate Portable Bar

Excellent portable bar for NBA tailgating

We’ve shown you these portable bars before, but here’s a reminder that you can get NBA styled portable bars as well as all the other conventions and codes.

This great portable bar has two shelves, can be put up without stress and breaks down after the party super fast even by a drunk.  It only takes a couple of minutes to pop up the bar frame and then cover it with all the beers and deliciousness you can muster.  You can line up a few of those small kegerators on the bar counter.

In the non NBA season, order a different code and use it for those conventions’ tailgate parties instead.  The beer never objects to you switching the game.

Note that the frame is metal and the shelves are solid enough to support your coolers.

Dimensions? 39” x 15’ at the top and 3 feet tall when assembled.  The skirt is a massive full color wrap. Transports in its own compact bag.

But if the flashing light and bar’s table logo aren’t enough to shout your fan loyalty, then get a bigger banner!  Nothing succeeds like excess, right?

Boston Celtics NBA Basketball Dynasty Banner

NBA Gear: Banner

Fly a banner for your NBA team

In the picture is a Boston Celtics NBA Basketball Dynasty Banner, flashing back to days gone by. Ideal for Home, Games room, Office, Man Cave, Den, or Parking Lot where your tailgate party is the talk of the town. You can order any NBA logo required.  Just be sure to specify what you need.  The best banners to hang at your tailgate party, they measure 36”L x 24”W. They are inspired by the true Dynasty Teams of the past, honoring teams, traditions and memories and if you are a fan, then these show the depth of your team love. Each banner is embroidered with appliqué over a tough wool blend felt. You can order a Banner Rod separately. The hang it in your parking lot tailgate setting or in your man cave.

FANMATS NBA Chicago Bulls Nylon Face NBA Court Runner-Large

NBA Gear: Fan mat

Fan mat measures 30 x 54 inches

In the front of your bar, throw down a fan mat. These simple mats have logos on them of your basketball team and the colors are bright and clear.  Fully open, the mats are 30 inches wide but 54 long which gives your team somewhere to sit while tailgating (or just a nice look to your tailgate party site).  I noted that the edges are serged – that can easily unravel over time. So Ms. Tailgater and her friends tucked this hem under and made a reinforced pocket for a flat frame, sliding in a length of flexible but stiff vinyl edging in as a tough edge. Slide it out again when you are packing it up.  You could also just iron on some interfacing but use a cotton cloth to protect the nylon from melting. The backing is non skid and the whole thing can be washed in the machine.   Gives your tailgate party a real stylish appearance and does justice to the feast and the beers you know are in your portable bar.

And NBA decorations for the holidays can double as tailgate party ornaments too.

Boston Celtics LED Ornament Set

NBA Gear: Ornaments

Ornaments are not just for the holidays but for NBA too!

Just add a couple of sets of these LED ornaments which are available for many teams and you’ve got yourself not just a tailgate party but a PAR-TAAAAAAY!  They are equipped with little glittering lights and will illuminate a dull day or night.  People love these and most buy multiple boxes as it’s that old rule of decoration.  More is more …

NBA Slam Dunk Cleve Cavalier Cake Topper

NBA Gear Cake Topper

At the NBA? Let them eat cake!

You might think that CAKE is not appropriate tailgate party food.  But Ms. Tailgater begs to differ.  She generally supplies a cake and we never take any leftovers home.  It all gets eaten fast along with that post beer coffee. Anyway, here’s a cake topper that shouts ‘I’m an NBA fan!’.  Colors and logos are bright and clear with awesome artwork and they ship anywhere.  An interesting centerpiece for your tailgate party, your man-cave located NBA birthday party or any other basketball styled party.

Spalding NBA Mini Hoop Set

NBA Gear: Hoop

Simple fun at the NBA tailgate party

You want games at your tailgate party and here’s the simplest form ever. It’s a Mini hoop set and has its own tiny 4” basketball of plush and a plastic back board.  You can mount them anywhere you have a pole or shelf – f’rinstance you can clip it to the portable bar described above.  There are no screws n the kit so check out where you would like to set it up and then get the appropriate clamps or hardware. Included is a door mount.  When the plush ball wears out, just buy one of those little mini nerf or pump up b’balls.  You can get this in the logos/colors of all teams.  It’s a cute diversion from the normal cornhole games and kids love this.

Rico Chicago Bulls Team Logo Economy Grill Cover

NBA Gear: Grill Cover

Lightweight NBA themed grill cover

When it comes to preserving your tailgate party grill when it’s not in use, check out these light-weight BBQ covers with your NBA team logo on.  I’d recommend these for home-gating as most will not take a large grill to the parking lot for a tailgate party.


They are not expensive and do the job well enough and look great plus  there are  Velcro straps to keep it all in place on windy days.  It fits most large grills and doesn’t have the hefty price tag of the custom made models. Measurements are 67x21x35 inches. It is vinyl, so wait till the grill is cool before putting the cover on.

Los Angeles Lakers NBA Heavy Duty 2 piece vinyl car mats

NBA Gear: Car Mat

Pair of NBA Lakers themed car mats

On the way to and from tailgate parties, your vehicle needs to celebrate fandom as much as the party animals do.  Here’s a way your car won’t feel left out: these heavy-duty 100% vinyl mats will protect the carpet while sporting the NBA officially licensed emblem of your choice.  They have been constructed with non-skid backing and suit cars, trucks, SUVs and RVs and measure 18” x 27” and you get a pair in the pack.  Keeps the interior of your vehicle clean after a day of tailgate parties in the parking lot.

Fanmats NBA Boston Celtics Metal-Alloy 2-Pack from FanBrands

NBA Gear: Giant Logo

It’s a brand for your meat.

Here’s a great gadget that makes it easy for you to brand your meat with your team logo while you’re grilling!  This licensed 3-D NBA logo cooks onto your meat whether a streak, a pattie or any flat cut you have on your tailgate party menu.  This adds a really great tailgate party atmosphere to your party and shows just how you love your team.  It’s so easy to use (just like a heavy stamp) you just pre-heat and sizzle.

Kolder Golden State Warriors Soft Side Cooler Bag

NBA Gear: Cooler Bag

A bag perfect to serve salads from

Here’s a compact synthetic cooler bag with logo of your fave NBA team.  A great way to transport your separate cold dishes is in a series of these small cooler bags that poke into corners really well and can double as soft packing to cushion any blows to your tailgate party gear.  After the tailgate party has ended, they are easy to store flat ready for the next week.  Kids can use them for school lunches  as well and the tough handles make them great for this use, but I like to keep my tailgate party equipment in a special box just for that purpose to make prep and transporting the food to the game so much easier.

New NBA Basketball 2014 Team Color Logo 6 Pack Lunch Tote Bag Cooler

NBA Gear: Serving Dish Cover

This shape makes a great serving dish cover.

Here’s another nice lunch bag with fan NBA logos available for your team. The quality is great and the size is good for 6 pack or a special cold dish that you don’t want to travel with any warm foods. Eg. A rice salad which needs to be kept very cold for food safety.  Or anything cold that contains chicken. The food-safe rules need to be taken seriously and this is an inexpensive way to keep all your dishes separate.

NBA Golden State Warriors Pranzo Insulated Lunch Tote

Yet another version of the lunch box, the Pranzo will do the same job as the ones above but also is divided into isolated sections for hot and cold food and keeps both independently food safe.  It has a digital print NBA team logo.  Imagine a range of these lined up on your tailgate party table!  I like to serve directly from these insulated boxes and if you are in an area with insects buzzing your food, then you can flip the lid closed easily.  The material in manufacture is tough rip-stop polyester lined with easily cleaned nylon. There is a stainless knife, fork and spoon in a handy zippered front pocket, plus a set of salt and pepper shakers and coordinating 14-inch cotton napkin and it has an adjustable shoulder strap and handle with some zippered mesh pockets to keep everything neat and tidy. This great looking NBA branded lunch box is a good size at 12 by 8 by 11 for serving your tailgate party foods directly from say, a foil insert of the same size or your Rubbermaid lidded boxes.  Keeps the weight out of your tailgate party kit.

NBA San Antonio Spurs Jersey Bottle Koozie

NBA Gear: Koozie

Four Jersey style NBA Koozies

Koozies are a must for tailgate parties and here’s a 4 pack of NBA licensed neoprene drink holders for bottles which will shout fandom at the same time as keeping that beer chillin’ cold.  It’s got a cute team jersey design but don’t be putting it on your Chihuahua.

Los Angeles Lakers Personal Folding Umbrella

NBA Gear: Umbrella

42 inches of NBA fan loyalty in the form of an umbrella!

Sometimes it rains during tailgate parties.  Well, that’s 98% certain in Seattle.  Other fans complain about the sun.  An umbrella is useful in either case.

This automatic folding umbrella that screams he brand of your NBA team is a large 42 inch in diameter but when folded is only 15 inches.  The official, licensed team brand is printed on the nylon canopy in vivid, true colors of the logo and livery.  You can get any team but this Lakers version will be around to protect from the tears sure to flow at Kobe’s departure.

I like to keep a few of these in my truck just in case.  A small hint: invest in some canopy clamps and you can erect these in various places to provide some handsfree patches of protection from the elements.

NBA Dallas Mavericks Reclining Camp Chair

NBA Gear: Camp Chair

Comfy tailgate party chair

We’ve written quite a lot about chairs for tailgate party comfort so if you check those articles, you can see our list of things you need to be aware of when choosing one.  You can’t do much better that this NBA licensed portable reclining camp chair with its big, bold team logo at your tailgate party.  It ticks the boxes of having a padded seat and back-rest and the 600D polyester canvas that makes up most of its fabric is tough and strong.  There are three seating positions and the large, zippered back pocket can hold all kinds of things.  .  The arm rests are adjustable and there’s an insulated drink holder in the right arm. Why I particularly like this is that the frame is steel and tough enough to provide a seat for your huskiest buds.  At the end of the tailgate party, the chair folds up, slips into its own tuff tote and you can sling it over your shoulder with its handy strap. Very functional.  And beautiful with a bright NBA logo and colors of your team.  Keep one in the car in case you need it. Inexpensive too, so maybe buy a few.  They also make great gifts.

NBA Cleveland Cavaliers Portable Soft Top Travel Table

NBA Gear: Travel Table

A really handy NBA tailgate party table

You have your chairs.  So what about a table? Here’s an NBA licensed portable soft-sided table with a team logo.  It’s designed to accommodate four people but can be used as a serving table for more.  Tuff polyester over a powder-coated steel frame will give you many tailgate party seasons of good use.  I was kind of smitten by the six sunken drink holders and the two zipperepockets that add to its compact design and it’s a good centerpiece for any tailgate party. Measuring 42-1/2 long by 27-1/2 wide by 27-1/2 high, it fits a heck of a lot of food on its top and after the tailgating has ended, you can fold it up easily and stash it in its own carry bag.

NBA Basketball Court Design Portable Folding Table/Seats

NBA Gear: Tailgating Chair Table Combo

Compact basketball court styled tailgating table/chairs combo

Here’s a great portable table with an NBA team theme and a top that IS a basketball court. It unfolds from a small suitcase size into a great tailgate party table/benches set and your buds can play fantasy games on its court-graphic tabletop. The lightweight aluminum frame won’t weight you down and the optional umbrella (any standard beach umbrella with a 1.25 inch diameter pole will provide shade and shelter.  The dimensions are 54 by 33-1/2 by 25-3/4 when set up and it’s made from ABS plastic and molded polypropylene so cleaning up after the tailgate party is a breeze. Each of its 4 seats will hold up to 250 pounds and the table will hold 20 pounds of booze and ribs.

NBA Sacramento Kings Pro Toaster Elite

NBA Gear: Toaster

Novelty NBA logo cooks onto your toast

OK, just putting this one out there as it is a bit of a novelty.  You want your NBA logo on everything, right?  How about on your toast and waffles?  The Pangea is the only machine that will burn on that logo for you.  Tried this out and I would  say don’t use it with high sugar breads and pastries as it can burn.  However, it’s a bit of fun for the die-hard fan.  It makes 2 slices at a time and does all the normal things a toaster can do. Power Supply: 100-120V, 700 W Maximum.  You probably won’t want to take this to a tailgate party but it makes a great novelty gift.

Picnic Time 3-Piece BBQ Tote New Orleans Pelicans Print

NBA Gear: BBQ Branded Bag

NBA branded BBQ tools in their own bag

Here’s a great NBA licensed 3-piece BBQ set in its own carry-tote.  Imported from China, it’s not super high end but given that many of your BBQ tools will disappear during that rollicking tailgate party, maybe stick to these that are easily replaceable. Includes a BBQ fork; tongs; and spatula with bottle opener built in and rolls up into its own tuff black poly portable tote.  The tools are equipped with loop cords for hanging away from the heat while BBQing.

Trademark Gameroom NBA Champs Golden State Warriors Chrome Bar Stool with Swivel

NBA Gear: Stool

NBA Stool for basketball theme tailgate party

Now let’s move on to home-gating and man caves.  Or you can take these next items tailgating if you have a truck. Impressive!  These are real man cave furniture, fully licensed NBA art chrome swivel bar stools just like in a real dive bar.  Note that the artwork is reverse printed on commercial plastic for longevity.  It’s a combo of luxurious foam padding, vinyl piping on edges and marine grade vinyl sides.  The legs are of tubular steel extruded to a level that is both lightweight and strong. Oh and these stools are a tremendous bargain right now.

NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Padded Swivel Bar Stool with Back

NBA Gear: Bar Stool

Extra comfy NBA themed bar stool


Here’s another version:  for your NBA tailgating or home-gating, this one has a back. So it is a smidge more luxurious than the backless one.  Super comfortable and they are an ornament to your NBA themed man cave.  Tailgating or homegating need to happen in comfort and this gives you a real sense of having your own bar.  Again, these are cheap at the moment so grab your specific logo now or buy one for a friend.

NBA Chrome Pub Table

NBA Gear: Pub Table

Great NBA bar table with adjustable footrest

And now that you have your man cave equipped with bar stools, here’s an NBA themed dive-bar style table to make into the centerpiece of your sporting parties.  The top is scratch resistant as well as topped with UV protective acrylic.  Chrome banding and an adjustable foot rest set you up for some long beery sessions.  Note that all these are officially licensed by the  NBA to feature your logos and colors.  Put these in your garage and it will instantly become a man-cave.  Table top diameter is 27.375 inches and the height is 42 inches.

NBA 2K15 – PlayStation 4

NBA Gear: NBA 2K15

NBA 2K15 music by Pharrell Williams


If you’re into gaming, the NBA game 2K15 with music by Pharrell Williams is out and I am thinking that the 2K16 won’t be all that far behind.  The game has over 5000 new animations.  Create your own licensed logo and play along with the teams.


Oh I was right:  there’s this:

NBA 2K16 – Xbox One

A Spike Lee joint.

NBA Gear: A Spike Lee Joint

Fun for the tailgate party

Both games above are NBA licensed and unite you with your team idols in great ways.  MY buddy George has a man cave equipped with games and we play after the game has ended or when the dancing is happening.

Put your own brand on your PS4 controller by using these:

Super18 game® ps4 light bar decal anime – Play Station 4 stickers NBA 2K 16 Custom Led Light Bar Decal Sticker

NBA Gear: Controller

NBA controller ID for players

These stickers are easily removed but when you are playing will help you figure out who is attached to which one and avoid those nasty confrontations in the man-cave.  This is from an authorized seller.

NBA 2015 Basketball Champions Sublimated Shot Glass, Clear, 2 oz

NBA Gear: Shot Glass

NBA Shot Glasses perfect for tailgate parties

Who doesn’t do shots at a tailgate party?  Nobody I know.  Most games require it. So you need a range of interesting shot glasses and if you’re an NBA fan, then you want one with a basketball theme with your favorite players and teams.  Here’s the licensed NBA shot glass which gives you a 2 oz shot while saluting your NBA heroes.  These are made of quality glass with perfect team and championship graphics with all-round decoration.  Dishwasher safe, too and made right here in the USA.

NBA San Antonio Spurs Party Cup Tailgate Set, 16 oz., Black

NBA Gear: Tailgate Party Cup

Double walled insulated NBA tailgate party cups

I really like these NBA themed party cups which hold 16 oz of chilled beer (oh, OK, other drinks too) in its double walled design so you don’t heat up the brewski with your hand.  It can also be used in reverse, ie. for hot drinks and the double wall keeps your hot coffee hot.  Or your soup.  I have seen people use these to serve mac’n’cheese in and chili as they definitely keep the food hot. Makes a nice change from the Red Solo cups which you can reserve for playing games.  BPA free.


NBA License Plate

NBA Gear: License Plate

NBA themed license plate

Want your vehicle to be as committed to the NBA as you are?  The guys at Wincraft make an NBA license plate which is officially licensed by the NBA so makes your vehicle into a genuine tailgater.  These are quality products and tell everyone on the freeways and highways that you are a proud fan.  Pick your teams and put in the order. The company is well reputed so I am sure you will be delighted with the look of these great auto accessories.

NBA Logo Projection Pen NBA Team: Chicago Bulls

NBA Gear: Projection Pen

Light up your party with a few of these NBA logos

Here’s a novel NBA gift or party accessory. It’s a light projection around the same size as a pen and  lights up with your NBA team logo.  Make sure you get some spare batteries to have on hand as you’ll love lighting up your tailgate party spot (whether at home or in the parking lot) with these logos.  They are bright and sharp with professionally cut goboes to cast the image of your team logo and a great NBA themed gift for any fans in your life.

NBA Dynasty Series: Los Angeles Lakers – The Complete History

NBA Gear: DVDs

5 DVDs of Lakers History for binge watching

Stumbled across this DVD boxed set of the Lakers complete history and I think if you are a Lakers fan, or friend of a fan, then you may consider this as a tailgate party host gift.

The doco contains over 22 hours of highlights, game footage, and interviews going right back to the 70s.  All the fan NBA stars and favorites are in there including Magic, Kareem and more in their rookie days and Shaq plus . Formatted for region 1 only (USA & Canada) but will play on your computer in other regions.

Minnesota Timberwolves BBQ Grill NBA Jersey Apron and Basketball Hot Mitt Set Vintage New Old Stock

NBA Gear: Apron

NBA full uniform styled apron. Rare item!

Here is a rare tailgating item and as a vintage piece, will end when the stocks run out.  But I’m thinking that the diehard NBA fans will be all over these 1986 vintage apron and mitt combos.  They’d be greatly appreciated at the tailgate party.  The jersey details transform the apron into a full NBA uniform from the 80s and this is actually a genuine old-stock item from that era.  Terrific gift item for fans as it is even in the original packaging.  Suits men and women so pick the NBA fans in your life and buy this so you can dress up like a champ at your tailgate party.  Alternatively, buy one for yourself and wear it as you slap those burgers on the grill wherever your BBQ is cookin’.

NBA Trailer Hitch Cover

NBA Gear: Hitch Cover

Your NBA logo goes here!

Many tailgate party fans have so much gear that they need to buy a trailer.  Here’s an inexpensive little trailer hitch cover made from ABS plastic and printed with quality team graphics.  So if you have any sort of towing package, with a 2” receiver, then this is for you.

Instagate Tailgate In A Box

NBA Gear: Tailgate Party In A Box

Tailgate party in a box

Instagate Tailgate in a Box has everything you need to cater for up to 10 tailgate party fans (not specifically NBA but for any convention or code).  All you do is add food, drinks and ice. Brilliant idea I think.

It’s lightweight and compact and therefore, as portable as you can get it.  Sort of like a picnic set but designed specifically for tailgating.  It contains a Grill that comes pre-packed with two bags of lump charcoal for up to a 2 hour grill which can cook up to 8 burgers at a time. The 60 quart cooler holds up to 90 cans. Three fold out tables are perfect height for tailgating chairs. Inside you will find all the other tailgating essentials you need including 3 grilling tools, 12 cups, 10 plates, 10 utensil sets, napkins, trash bag, recycling bag, condiments, beer pong, a lighter, and bottle opener. It’s also eco friendly and all recyclable. Great idea, great gift.

So there you have it – our favorite tailgate needs for a licensed NBA themed tailgate party.  Keep reading our site as we are constantly on the lookout for new ways of making your NBA tailgate party the best ever.


Best Slow Cookers for Tailgate Parties – Slow Cooker Reviews

Seems every tailgate party I go to these days, there are slow cookers of all kinds, from large to small, to portable and massive ones for home-gating. The slow cooker is one of the best accessories for tailgating or homegating and, lucky for us, there are some 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. We’ve reviewed the best slow cookers for tailgate parties (as well as a few slow cooker accessories too!).

Best Slow Cooker Review

Crock Pot Slow Cooker

Whatever you call them – the generic ‘slow cooker’ or eponymous ‘Crock Pot Slow Cooker’ is a magical appliance:  it’s definitely labor-saving and you can cook pretty darn good meals 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 a slow cooker. The cold weather is kicking in to the Lower 48 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.

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.


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.


The Little Dipper

CrockPot Little Dipper Slow Cooker

CrockPot Little Dipper Slow Cooker

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 cooker holds 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 misery.  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 Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach Model 33101 Dipper

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. Very short lead.

Crock-Pot Little Triple Dipper, Silver and Black

Crock-Pot Little Triple Dipper

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 these 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.


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

Cusineart Slow Cooker

Cusineart 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

Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot Programmable 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.  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.


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 6 quart Capacity Slow Cooker

Crock Pot 6 quart Capacity Slow Cooker

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

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 MaxiMatic Slow Cooker

Elite Platinum MaxiMatic 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.


KitchenAid KMC4244CA Multi-Cooker with Stir Tower – Candy Apple

KitchenAid Slow Cooker With Stir Tower

KitchenAid Slow Cooker With Stir Tower

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.

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.

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.


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

Crock-Pot Travel Bag for 7-Quart Slow Cookers

Keep your slow cooker looking schmick by transporting it to the tailgate party in this specially designed travel  bag.  It’s 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, 24 Liners (6 packs of 4 count)

Reynolds Metals Slow Cooker Liners

Reynolds Metals Slow Cooker Liners

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

Pulled Pork Shredder Claws

Pulled Pork Shredder 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.  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.

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

Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker Temperature Probe

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…


Make the Slow Cooker experience DELICIOUS.  Here are a couple of classics involving wings and pork.

Buffalo Wings, Slow cooker style.


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.


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


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


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!

Tailgate Party Supplies — The Monster List 2015

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 the monster list of tailgate party supplies, 2015!

Tailgate Party Supplies: Notebook

Tailgate Party Supplies: Notebook

1. 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.

2. Read up and get some inspiration.  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.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Inspiration Text

Tailgate Party Supplies: Inspiration

3. 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.  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.


Tailgate Party supplies:Cargo Carrier Luggage Rack

Transport your  Tailgate Party supplies in a Cargo Carrier Luggage Rack

4. 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 …

Tailgate Party Supplies : Rubbermaid

Tailgate Party Supplies : Rubbermaid 14 piece set (buy individually or large sets)

5. You WILL need a Kegerator: get a nifty portable kegerator for travel (The Avanti Kegerator holds nearly 13 gallons) and have something like this Edgestar Kegerator full sized at home for the big kegs and home-gating. 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!

6. Growlers 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 and 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.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Hydro Flask Growler.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Hydro Flask Growler.

This is a great looking container, anyway don’t you think? Excellent man gift, too.  Hint! Hint!

7. 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.

8. 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. Tailgater is a fanatical environmentalist and now I am 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’.  Besides, this solo cup looks like the real thing.  Or is IT the real thing and the plastic ones the fakes?  Not sure.  You be the judge. Yep, these 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.

9. Clean that grill really well.

Tailgate Party Supplies: BBQ Grill Cleaner

Citrusafe BBQ Grill Cleaner is food safe.

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.  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: BBQ brush

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

10. 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 have it for around the same price ($2.50 a bottle-ish). Bring a couple of spares.  Or invest in the grab and go exchange plan at your local gas station.

11. 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: Coleman Portable Deck Chair

Tailgate Party Supplies: Coleman Portable Deck Chair with Side Table


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 little space in transporting it.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Insta-bench seat

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

12. 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: Cooler

13. 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 Party Supplies: Ice Maker

Tailgate Party Supplies: Ice Maker

14. Beer of course. Hopefully in your kegerator.  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.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Cookbook

Tailgate Party Supplies: Cookbook

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

Tailgate Party Supplies - water.

Tailgate Party Supplies – water.

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.

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

Tailgate party supplies: Pepto Bismol

Tailgate party supplies: Pepto Bismol

18. 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.

19. Trash bags. A roll of 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.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Kitchen Bags

Tailgate Party Supplies: Kitchen Bags

20. 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 need a trip to Starbucks to refill.  A few of these great Thermos Flasks can store your coffee and keep it hot/cold for 24 hours.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Thermos

Tailgate Party Supplies: Thermos


21. First aid kit. BBQ-beer-games-beer-men behaving badly. Good chance of at least a slight burn. Pack a small first aid kit, check it before each party and replenish or customize as required.

Tailgate Party supplies: 1st Aid Kit

Tailgate Party supplies: 1st Aid Kit

22. 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 supplies: Extinguisher

Tailgate Party supplies: Extinguisher

23. 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 – 20 feet of patriotism/game fandom!

Tailgate Party Supplies: Flag Pole

Tailgate Party Supplies: Flag Pole

Tailgate Party Supplies: Flag

Tailgate Party Supplies: Flag

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

24. Koozies, cooking implements and so on.

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

26. 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 Samsung UN32J5205 32-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV (2015 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.

Tailgate Party Supplies: 32 Inch TV

Tailgate Party Supplies: 32 Inch TV

27. 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.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Football

Tailgate Party Supplies: 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 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 and beer pong,

Tailgate Party Supplies: Cornhole

Tailgate Party Supplies: Cornhole

Tailgate Party Supplies: Beer Pong

Tailgate Party Supplies: Beer Pong

Tailgate Party Supplies: Ladder Toss

Tailgate Party Supplies: Ladder Toss

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 and is called the Quarterback Touchdown Football Skill Challenge and Toss Game so it’s a clear winner for the new generation of tailgate party games.  Sets up and breaks down fast and folds up small for transporting.

28. Don’t get skin cancer out there at the tailgate party – slip slop and slap as they say in Australia. It works for them.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Sunscreen

Tailgate Party Supplies: Sunscreen

29. 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, and of course, Bluetooth and will keep your tailgate party hopping.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Portable Speakers

Tailgate Party Supplies: Portable Speakers

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

Tailgate Party Supplies: Football Shaped Speaker

Tailgate Party Supplies: Football Shaped Speaker

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!

30. An extra shade boost or shelter.  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.

Tailgate Party supplies - Shade sail

Tailgate Party supplies – Shade sail

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

Tailgate Party Supplies: Cantilevered Umbrella

Tailgate Party Supplies: Cantilevered Umbrella



32. 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’.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Portable Bar

Tailgate Party Supplies: Portable Bar

33. 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! New Tailgate Party Game for 2015.

Pong Bounce! New Tailgate Party Game for 2015.

34. 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.

Tailgate Party Supplies: Breathalyzer

The BAC Breathalyzer – essential tailgate party supplies for the drive home.

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.

The Smartphone App Breathalyzer from BAC

The Smartphone App Breathalyzer from BAC

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.)


Best Novelty Drink Dispensers For The Tailgate Party

Well, heck, your tailgate party needs to be fun, doesn’t it?  Add an element of surprise in the way you serve up those drinks-other-than-beer.  Yeah.  There are some.

Here are a few ways to make people gasp at your ingenuity.

Final Touch Black Watermelon Keg Tapping Kit

Final Touch Black Watermelon Keg Tapping Kit

Let’s start with a keg made from the humble watermelon keg (or even a pumpkin).
Here’s how you do it –  The Final Touch Watermelon Keg Tap:

Cut a really neat hole in your pumpkin or watermelon towards the top/back of the fruit and carefully remove the pulp and seeds leaving the pith for stability.  I also cut so that the skin part of the hole is wider in circumference than the pith.  You can then secure the cut hole so that it has minimal leakage.  Attach the bung and tap as per the instructions on your kit.

You can use this for margarita mix (take to the site in a heavy duty baggie with the crushed ice in the mix too if you want), or if you are using a pumpkin for Hallowe’en or Thanksgiving tailgate parties, fill it with eggnog.  Of course, you can fill with non-alcoholic drinks – watermelon, cucumber, iced coffee, cocoa etc. and these are always a hit with the young people.

The great thing is that at the end of the day, you can just put the dispenser (save the tap, obviously) in the trash, lightening the load for the trip home.

Is the Fizz Saver Refrigerator 2-Liter Soft Drink Dispenser a total fizzer?

Is the Fizz Saver Refrigerator 2-Liter Soft Drink Dispenser a total fizzer?

Now here’s another oddball.
Not 100% effective, but kind of fun at the tailgate party and you can prime it with the alcohol before leaving home.  Looks like a normal bottle of drink so …. I will leave that part to your imagination.

Fizz Saver Refrigerator 2-Liter Soft Drink Dispenser

The Fizz Saver gets mixed reviews but I kinda like the idea.  You can make it more leak proof by using some plumber’s tape (teflon tape) to tighten up the joints.

You can add the tap at the party or you can take it already attached.  Just test for leaks and you will be fine.

I am thinking you could put a tap into almost any oversized fruit or vegetable.  Pineapple is good, large marrows, canteloupes, pomelos.  You could stock each with its own juice for a really cool cocktail bar.

Then there’s the Jelly Belly Beer flavored jelly beans:

Draft beer in a Jelly bean? I can think of lots of uses ...

Draft beer in a Jelly bean? I can think of lots of uses …

I can’t imagine why I have never noticed these in the store.  But they certainly seem like a great idea.  Can’t wait to try them.
Then there’s a way to dress up your kegerator tap handle.  Such as this delightful dragon … particularly suited to some of those noxious home brews my friend Paul specializes in.

Dragon Tap Handle

Dragon Tap Handle

Of course, the only NFL team you could tailgate for would be the Barcelona Dragons but that’s quite a long way to go.  And you’d need to serve Tapas.

This tap embellishment fits all standard kegerator handles and makes quite a statement about the brew within.  It’s made of strong plastic resin.  I found a range of these, more on a Goth/Hallowe’en theme.

But I digress – back to the drink dispensers.

All right, you asked for it: allow me to introduce …

Little Whizzer Novelty Liquor Dispenser

Little Whizzer Novelty Liquor Dispenser

Little Whizzer Novelty Liquor Dispenser

So here we have the veritable ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ situation.  All I can tell you is that it is battery operated and it is modeled after the famous Manneken Piss fountain.

Has a bit of an issue with squirting too hard and also some motor noise, but it is a cheap fun item for a raunchy tailgate party.

If you’re into Margaritas and have the Benjamins to fund one of these, check out the

Margaritaville Mixed drink dispenser.

You can churn out the margaritas in an effortless motion, several flavors at a time.

Umpteen flavors at a time

Margaritaville professional drinks dispenser.

This is a remarkable machine, everything at the touch of a button, easily cleaned and maintained and entertaining.  There’s an ‘I feel lucky’ button you can press which chooses the drink and strength for you.  A fun party game.  Theme your drinks in your team colors for an extra buzz.

There are 48 drink options (16 at a time) in this very well made appliance and it is so solid state that even a drunk can operate it.

You can choose which spirit to base drinks on and then put the mixers into the other canisters and it will create your drinks at the press of the button.

Tailgate Party games will be so darn easy with this amazing machine they will be twice the fun and so much less of a bar-tending chore. It’s kind of flamboyant in action, too and will certainly impress your buds.  They’ll want to drink more to see this thing in operation.  Really simple to clean up after the party too. The only disadvantages are that it doesn’t do the frozen margarita for the Ladies. Or the hair of the dog Bloody Mary for my Uncle Peter.

Check it out by following the links as there is quite a bit you can read and get inspired by in the manufacturer’s description.

There are also helpful videos on 

Oh, I can’t believe we just went from a watermelon to a pissing fountain to a professional dispenser in one short article!

But talking about drink dispensers is kinda like that.


Best Portable Bars For Tailgate Parties 2015

Best Portable Bars: GoPong

Ah yes, the GoPong Portable Bar … Ay Margarita!

Portable bars are the stiletto heels of the tailgate party industry. They 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 putting together my latest list of Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties 2015. In this list, I have taken the criteria for Best Portable Bars for Tailgate Parties and isolated specific bars demonstrate that characteristic best.

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. 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 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 2015

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 summer 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: Delux

DELUX by BEST is a Spectacular Portable Bar with Amazing Light Effects

Best Portable Bars: Delux

The Delux has a lot going for it and is the benchmark. The guys who buy these would have to celebrate every drinking occasion even St. Patty’s Day. Yeah, they are not cheap but you have to balance up how much you will use this little beauty. It is very portable as you literally build it in place (a quick process). Imagine the impact at a tailgate party when you rock on up with this piece of Richie Rich-ness with its 3-D Hologram LED lighting effects and stainless steel finish. Super slick.

Anyway, you can see by the pictures that it is a pretty plushy affair, not exactly shrieking sport or tailgating. More King of Manhattan than King Peyton Manning.

Surprisingly portable, you actually CAN disassemble in in ONE minute, load into your vehicle and take it to a parking lot reassemble in ONE minute and lay out the food and booze. Just don’t wrap it in a team skirt and ruin the effect of the lighting.  Just program the lighting to your team colors. Though you could put a banner on as long as it had eyelets and you clipped them on with clamps and bungees.  It even has a foot rail and is solid enough to support any alcohol challenged drinkers. The price? Ummmmmmm. Beautiful gift for a tailgate party hero though. (hint! hint!)

Now let’s hunt around for something 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.


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

Best Portable Bars: Trademark with 2 skirts.

Trademark Portable Bar with 2 Skirts and Carry Bag.

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).

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. Sports wraparounds are a little extra but are worth it for giving your tailgate party a real focus.  The Delux has a customizable stainless steel logo that can adorn your bar.

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- Solid White

Best Portable Bars: Best of Times Tailgating Bar

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

Easy to attach Portable Bar: weights on legs?

Best Portable Bars: weights to keep them secure

Use weights to stop Portable Bars from toppling

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:

1. Best Portable Bar: GoPong

Best Portable Bars: GoPong

Best Portable Bar: GoPong

Here’s an affordable and versatile 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 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.

2. Best Portable Bar: Budweiser Two Shelf with Case

Best Portable Bars: Budweiser

Best Portable Bar: Budweiser Portable Bar – it shouts ‘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 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.

3. Lifetime 4-Foot Commercial Adjustable Height Folding Table

Best Portable Bars: the Alternative

Best Portable Bar Alternative

Here’s an 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 countertop height. Use this last 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.


4. Kitchen Cart, Trolley with Wine Storage Rack and Table

Best Portable Bars: Drinks Station

Excellent Multi-Use Drinks Station

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.

5. Best Portable Bar: Tailgaterz Tailgating Tavern Table

Best Portable Bars: Tailgaterz

Best Portable Bar: Tailgaterz take anywhere portable bar.

Wow, wow and more wow! This one is my favorite. 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 shout your 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.

6. Best of Times Collegiate Patio Bar and Tailgating Center

Best Portable Bars: Interchangeable livery

Best Portable Bar: Best of Times Customizable With Interchangeable Logos and Skirts.

We’ve looked at ‘Best of Times’ bars before but they are such a classic that I can’t ignore them in this 2015 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.

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.

Best Portable Bars: WD-40 for the joints


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. Tailgater’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.

Best Portable Bars: fabric protection

Fabric Guard to protect your equipment.

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 ….

Wyndham HouseTM Dual Tank Double Beverage Dispenser Backpack-7.4 Liters

Best Portable Bars: backpack dual tank dispenser.

Wyndham House Dual Tank Drinks Dispenser

OK, so you don’t drive a RAM 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 beersicles in the tubes to retain the chill:

Best Portable Bars - the personal touch

Beersicles for keeping your brew cold.

Look at this as a bit of fun and not a permanent solution to how to serve your beers. 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 the 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 but by the far the most popular tailgate party portable bars in 2015 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!

Best Hot Dog Cookers For Tailgate Parties.

Lovers of beer and brats (*and who isn’t one?) will be thrilled to know that 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.

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

Best Hot Dog Cooker Review Nostalgia Electrics Hot Dog Cooker

Nostalgia Electrics Hot Dog Cooker

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!Especcially 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.

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.

I decided to take a look at some hot dog cookers and their pros and cons so check out these reviews of the best hot dog cookers for tailgate parties.

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

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Hot Dog Express

Hot Dog Express Countertop Hot Dog Electric 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).

Here’s the cheapest:

Cuisinart Hot Dog Roller


Best 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 juggle from time to time and the sausages will turn around.  An niexact 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.

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.

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


Best Hot Dog Roller - Great Northern Hot Dog Roller Grilling Machine

Great Northern Hot Dog Roller Grilling Machine

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.

Sneeze Guard For Hot Dog Roller

Sneeze Guard For Hot Dog Roller

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 this one 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.

Surge Guard

Surge Guard

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.

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 which is somewhat the same only more expensive and will grill 30 brats at a time.

This is the

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

(sneeze guard is built in and included).

Best Hot Dog Cooker Great Northern Commercial 30 hot dog 11 roller Grilling Machine

Great Northern Commercial 30 Dog Roller Grilling Machine

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. One of the best hot dog cookers for those who need to cook large numbers of dogs.

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

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

Best Hot Dog Cooker - Nostalgia Electrics Coca-Cola Hot Dog Roller

Nostalgia Electrics Coca-Cola Hot Dog Roller

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™.

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

Best Hot Dog Cooker - Roller Dog  Commercial 12 Hot Dog Roller Grill Cooker Machine

Roller Dog Commercial 12 Hot Dog Roller Grill Cooker Machine

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 the best solution for the hot dog cooking dilemma. One of the best hot dog cookers for convenience and size.

Then there’s this:

Hot Dog Cooker Review: Benchmark Mini Cart Hotdog Steamer

Best Hot Dog Cooker - Benchmark Mini Cart Hotdog Steamer

Benchmark Mini Cart Hotdog Steamer

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 it certainly has its uses and may just be what you are looking for.

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. Tailgate 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 like this one that has a layer of ice at the base to keep everything snapping fresh:

Chilled Condiment Server

Chilled Condiment Server

Or in the traditional squeeze bottles – You can buy 12 chef styled squirt bottles here. They are among the handiest things you can have in your tailgate party kit.

Squeeze Bottles

Squeeze Bottles

Sectional Dish for the Tailgate Party

Sectional Dish – perfect for tailgate parties!

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

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.

Best Portable Generators For Tailgate Parties Reviewed.

I’ve had a truckload of experience with 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, if a little spendy. That’s why it doesn’t make it to my list of Best Portable Generators.  It’s a good machine, but not as much bang for buck.  I learned a lot, 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. Minimum 2000 watts. Most likely more.

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 DRPP300 Powerpack

Duracell DRPP300 Powerpack

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.

Hyundai HY2000siCa Portable Inverter Generator, 2200-watt

Best Portable Generators: Hyundai HY2000siCa Portable Inverter Generator

Hyundai HY2000siCa Portable 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.

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 ….


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.


All Power America APG3014 2,000 Watt 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Generator

Best Portable Generators: Best cheap generator: non carb

All Power America 2000 Watt Generator NON CARB

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.


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.

Champion Power Equipment No.75531i Inverter Generator, 3100-watt

Best Portable Generators: Best generator: 3100 watt

Champion 3100 Watt Generator

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 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 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 Portable Generator for tailgate parties? Yup!

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

Best Portable Generators: Best generator: Powerhouse 2100 watt

Powerhouse 2100 watt generator

Here’s my top pick for Best Portable Generator. 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 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.

Best Portable Generators: Connected Powerhouse generators

Connected Powerhouse Generators

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.

powerhouse-PH2100PRi outlets

Powerhouse-PH2100PRi outlets

Fuel: Unleaded Gasoline.

Weight: 75 pounds – heavyish. And if you had two …    invest in a cart you can stand it on, but use bike locks to secure that cart well against thieves who may just decide to wheel it away.

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.


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.


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 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, 1 Gallon Capacity, Yellow is great and they have larger sizes for longer term storage.

Best non-spill fuel can

Justrite One Gallon Safety Fuel Can

High quality synthetic oil

Synthetic Oil

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

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.

Panels for noise blocking

Acoustic panels

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

Or buy these more upmarket ones that are a NASA spin-off:

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!

25 Best NCAA College Tailgate Party Accessories

NCAA fans are often the most passionate of all the conference groupies. They are either still in school, straight out of school, devoted parents, alma mater fans in every area – oh, you know why you love the team! You can show your love in so many ways, but what better way than by following the guys around – one tailgate party at a time? What? You can’t get to every match? I believe that if you are an NCAA fan – and let’s just start with football (I’ll get to the other sports) you can go crazy with selecting items to enhance your tailgate party.  For the BEST tailgate party set up, start small and work your way up to the big items.  Say, with selections from the list below of 25 of my picks for the best NCAA College Tailgate Party Accessories. Most are small enough to transport to a tailgate party in a normal vehicle.  They get you in the mood with little cost and effort involved.

Well, at least you can home-gate, decorating your yard, man cave or even your balcony with appropriate fanliness. This can be as tiny as a themed napkin. These NCAA themed napkins of course, weigh almost nil and you can tuck them into your kit as padding.

Or as excellent as a kegerator with a fan tap!

The NCAA beer taps cover most teams and add a real touch to the top of your beer tap.

Tennessee Volunteers Beer Tap Handle Kegerator

Tennessee Volunteers Beer Tap Handle Kegerator

Whether you are a fan of the Broncos, Bears, Cougars, Volunteers, Chippewas or Huskies, or any of the other 100+ exotically named NCAA football teams, there is some great branded merchandise out there that will enhance your tailgate party. And that’s not even looking at all the other sports, basketball, hockey, baseball and so on. At any given time someone somewhere is rooting for an NCAA team because they attend that college, their kids do, their Pappy or Gramma did or they just prefer the name or colors. NCAA fans are passionate and loyal. They love their logos, colors, names and mascots. To say nothing of the cheer squads. Anyway, they like to wear their hearts on their sleeves and take those emblems to their tailgate parties. So here are a few ways you can do that.

Firstly, my golden rule (and don’t call me a party pooper) ‘no piracy’.

Only purchase fully licensed gear. This way, you can support your teams and also you have a guarantee of quality. The pirate stuff is mostly cheaply made crap anyway as the teams have a standard to which manufacturers need to adhere. The money from licensing goes back to the teams and overall, I think it raises the standard of the games.

Note that the items I list below are generally available for all the top teams. If your team is at the bottom of the conference ranking, then it is possible they don’t have all items – but most teams have at least some. So just follow the links and specify your desired team at checkout.

Where do you start?

Start with a chair and while you are sitting in it, check out the rest of the list! We have a number of chairs on specific listings but what I am looking at here is a couple of inexpensive ones. The logos on these are nicely screen-printed in both cases.


1. NCAA Louisiana State Fightin Tigers Folding Canvas Chair

NCAA Louisiana State Fightin Tigers Folding Canvas Chair

NCAA Louisiana State Fightin Tigers Folding Canvas Chair

Super cheap, takes up little space (it’s 22” x 22”) but it’s nicely made, this little chair is a great gift for any avid fan.   Comes ready packed in its own carrying case and folds away compactly. It is also comfy enough to prop in all day and has a space for a drink built in to it. Ships fast and efficiently. The fabric is 600 denier polyester.

The makers say that it will seat up to 225 pounds. Note that the cup holder is for a right-hander only with the space on the arm rest. If you drink left handed, you may want to check out another chair or sit on this one backwards. The logo is on front AND back of the headrest.  It is light to carry and folds to almost nothing so easy to transport.

2. NCAA Sports Folding Chair NCAA Team: Army / US Military Academy Black Knights

NCAA Sports Folding Chair NCAA Team: Army / US Military Academy Black Knights, Color: Black

NCAA Sports Folding Chair NCAA Black Knights

I like the look of this officially licensed Black Knights folding chair – the polyester fabric is actually padded for additional comfort over a lightweight aluminum frame. The removable, adjustable shoulder strap makes for easy carrying.

Here’s another good feature – a 300 pounder can slump in this NCAA themed chair.

The overall height from top to bottom is 19” and side to side it is a broad 33.25”. It weighs 10 pounds.

AND there’s a nifty fold-out side table. You can line up a few of these with the tables in between for a really functional effect.

You get a lot of bang for your buck on this compact, folding chair and side table.

3. NCAA 4 Piece Barbecue Set

NCAA Alabama Crimson Tide 4 Piece Barbecue Set

NCAA Alabama Crimson Tide 4 Piece Barbecue Set

It’s great that even the essential BBQ set comes with a team logo. This officially licensed NCAA collegiate product has 4 pieces and the team logo is laser etched into the spatula blade with the team logo on each handle. The metal is stainless steel and these will last a lifetime of tailgate partying.  You need to take BBQ tools if you are BBQ-ing so you may as well get the ones that shout NCAA ‘TEAAAAAAAM!’.

4. NCAA Folding Picnic Table

NCAA Folding Picnic Table

NCAA Folding Picnic Table

Here’s a folding picnic table you can use indoors and outdoors and I reckon it has so many uses you’ll be glad you bought it. I have a couple of these (with different logos/team affiliations) and they are light framed Aluminum alloy construction with tough as nails sturdy ABS Plastic on top. Altogether it weighs only 20 pounds and you can seat 250 pounds of weigh on the fold-out seats and 20 pounds of beer, mac’n’cheese and nachos on the table top.   Oh, and Kale chips for the hipsters.

Length is 32 inches, Width is 36.375 inches and it is 26.5in high. That’s a good size for most folk from kids to adults and when it is time to pack up after the tailgate fun has finished, it is only 4 inches wide and 26 x 33.5 inches, slots into any car trunk and takes up little storage. It is available in many colors to suit your school’s logo.

The good thing here is that it has a lifetime warranty! It is smallish – no fatty boom-bahs at this table so look for something tougher for those burly guys. But if it breaks, the manufacturer has a good name for quick and easy no-fuss replacement.

Lots of NCAA football team logos can be selected just as decals and you can just replace the ones you don’t need.

5. NCAA Logo Chair College Round Tailgating Table

NCAA Logo Chair College Round Tailgating Table

NCAA Logo Chair College Round Tailgating Table

The Logo Chair company was founded as a real garage manufacturing company in 2001 by Bill McCauley and his family near Memphis, Tenn.. Logo Chair Co. was one of the first companies in the U.S. to hold a Collegiate Licensing Company license and that was for a folding chair. In less than a year, Logo moved into their first warehouse and expanded their products to include stadium seats, personal bags, tents, blankets, games, and more. In addition to the NCAA license, they acquired the MLB license for roughly half of their product line in 2005. For the past five years, Logo has been a top 10 non-apparel licensee for CLC and currently ranks No. 3. Now based in Franklin, Tenn., Logo continues to be an industry leader for new and unique tailgating and team spirit products. Because the McCauley family understands the whole tailgating/fan culture, their items are designed perfectly for that use but they also can be great for many other functions. They fold really well and are easy to store.

This is a highly recommended table made of heavy-duty 600-denier polyester. Licensed NCAA logos and colors and screenprinted logo make it a wow for a fan and it has 4 cup holders. It comes with carrying case as you can easily fold it up into almost nothing for easy transport. And you can clean it easily too!

Dimensions: 30 diam. x 24 H inches.

6. NCAA Iowa NCAA Iowa Hawkeyes 24 Can Soft Sided Cooler

NCAA Iowa Hawkeyes 24 Can Soft Sided Cooler

NCAA Iowa Hawkeyes 24 Can Soft Sided Cooler

I must admit to being a cooler junkie. I take ‘em shopping when buying cold stuff too and when we go on Puerto Vallarta vacations as melting is always on the cards for all food in Mexico. I have a range of coolers from soft-sided to the Yeti range and the Colemans I have had since scouting days. (well, I sometimes stashed beer in there).

Anyway, this one is a nice looking, well-made team logo style soft sided cooler that holds 24 cans. The liner that has any potential contact with food is FDA approved material so you won’t get any off flavors if you choose to carry food in it.

The embroidered logo on the front is smart and durable and the adjustable carry strap makes toting it easy. A nice feature is the caribiner which can hold your keys, bottle opener and so on or a leatherman tool and it also has mesh carrying pouches on each side.

It measures 12.6 x 9.9 x 3.7 inches and weighs under 3 pounds and folds down when it is empty for easy storage.

So consider this for that scaled down tailgate party where everyone brings drinks and their own meal. It will all fit in very nicely. Ideal for apartment dwellers and it still shows your team allegiance off well.

7. Montana Griz Portable Football Barbecue

Montana Griz Portable football Barbecue

Montana Griz Portable football Barbecue

Here is the ultimate NCAA football BBQ. It actually IS football shaped but is a good size portable grill that has a cooking surface of 20″ X 12.5″. It stands 18” from ground to top of lid and from handle to handle, measures 23 inches.

There are five logos on this grill – one on each side of the lid, and one on each of its three handles. These logos have been applies in a 600 degree burner so that all the colors and logos are hard core. It is a unique concept to BBQ IN a football! It is very heavy duty and yet portable and compact. Limited edition.

It operates with charcoal so check with your parking lot or tailgate party venue whether they allow charcoal grilling or whether you need a gas BBQ. Some apartments for instance, will not allow naked flames on balconies.

It’s perfect for game day, for a gift to that sports fan and has been designed in such a way as to minimize the spilling of ashes during transport.

On the top of the lid there is even a great feature of real white metal laces across the ‘football’ – very arty and definitely worth knowing about for that über-fan guy who appears to have everything. (but you can bet he doesn’t have one of these).

Specify your logo at checkout.

8. College “Line” Logo Fleece Throw Blankets

College "Line" Logo Fleece Throw Blankets - Kansas Jayhawks

College “Line” Logo Fleece Throw Blankets – Kansas Jayhawks

Here’s a lightweight but warm NCAA football themed blanket which you can use at a tailgate party in many ways or you can decorate your team-themed house or man-cave with throws over the sofas.   It measures 50” x 60” and is 100% polyester which means you can treat it roughly and it will forgive you. It’s a terrific gift too and is inexpensive enough to bring along as a hostess/host gift to any tailgate party or event.

9. Nebraska Husker NCAA Artisan Wine Glass

NCAA Nebraska Cornhuskers 33-Ounce Artisan Wine Glass

NCAA Nebraska Cornhuskers 33-Ounce Artisan Wine Glass

Here’s something really off the wall – it’s a hand-painted one-of-a-kind Artisan Wine Glass featuring NCAA team logos. This is really for the die-hard fan who prefers wine over beer. It’s a specific market but the product is so interesting that I wanted to include it. The exterior only is painted – just plain glass interior so that the wine does not degrade the image. It is FDA and Prop 65 compliant.

The detail and workmanship are impressive and as people are always looking for great gifts for tailgate fans, you wouldn’t go wrong with this for the man-cave or the location tailgate event. They are collectible. Dimensions are: 12 x 4.5 x 3.5 inches.

10. NCAA TCU Horned Frogs 1 Liter Macho Mug

Great American Products Great American NCAA Liter Macho Mug

Great American Products Great American NCAA Liter Macho Mug

Well, from the sublime to the … oh never mind!

This 32 ounce NCAA themed drinking mug is the largest officially licensed sports mug in the universe as far as we or Stephen Hawking can tell. It’s 7 inches tall and half as wide.

Decorations on it are in hand-crafted metal, featuring your team logo, and it’s made in the USA. None of that cheap sweat shop trash!

11. University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish “ND” Stud Post Domed Earrings with NCAA College Sports Team Logo

University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish "ND" Stud Post Domed Earrings with NCAA College Sports Team Logo

University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish “ND” Stud Post Domed Earrings with NCAA College Sports Team Logo

Now a cute one for the Ladies.

Stud earrings are a subtle and more stylish way to demonstrate your team lerv and these hard enamel/cloisonné post/studs make a great gift or just a self-indulgent NCAA team purchase for the gals. Officially licensed for sure.
We are assured they are top quality by wearers. They won’t make your ears go black as they have surgical grade posts.

12. Duke Blue Devils NCAA License Plastic Plate Vanity Car Graphics Sign Tag Officially Licensed NCAA Merchandise

Duke Blue Devils NCAA License Plastic Plate Vanity Car Graphics Sign Tag Officially Licensed NCAA Merchandise

Duke Blue Devils NCAA License Plastic Plate Vanity Car Graphics Sign Tag Officially Licensed NCAA Merchandise

A license plate does not have to go on a car – you can place in on your coolers, your tables or your tailgate party canopy.

Here’s a durable plastic NCAA license plate measuring 6” x 12” featuring the official team logo and full color graphics with 4 pre-cut mounting holes.

Just a fun bit of decoration!

13. New Orleans Privateers 5’x8′ Ulti-Mat Floor Mat (Rug)

New Orleans Privateers 5'x8' Ulti-Mat Floor Mat (Rug)

New Orleans Privateers 5’x8′ Ulti-Mat Floor Mat (Rug)

If you don’t have enough seating at the tailgate party, this is a really good accessory. It’s a high quality decorative 5 x 8 foot Ulti-Mat suited for indoor and out and perfect as an area rug or floor mat. It features the team logo (specify yours and check availability at checkout before placing the order). Fan Mats have been selling these for some time – locally made in USA and high quality with all printing by Chromojet. Colors are true and of curse, officially licensed.

Technically, it is 100% nylon with non-skid Duragon latex backing which can be machine washed.

Measures 5’ x 8’ and it is the largest tailgater floor mat area rug available. This fits nicely within a parking lot car space and will set your area.

No need to do anything more than roll out this rug to mark out your territory, gentlemen!

14. Logo Chair NCAA Pinwheel 9 x 9 Pop-Up Canopy

Logo Chair NCAA Pinwheel 9 x 9 Pop-Up Canopy

Logo Chair NCAA Pinwheel 9 x 9 Pop-Up Canopy

There are two types of Logo tailgate tents. A 28 pound one and a 50 pound one. Go for the better quality tent. The frame is so much more sturdy than the 28 pound tent and honestly, the light ones don’t take too much erecting and dismounting.  It will drive you nuts after a while.  I do always recommend quality, especially where an extra $50 will make such a difference.  Anyway, I don’t need to tell you that in peak NCAA season the addition of a nice shelter at your tailgate party can really make your day.  Stay out of the sun, rain, wind with this little treasure.  Usually, I recommend the California Palms brand but that is not as easily transportable as this one.  This fits in a vehicle easier.  And as I always say, test run it and practice putting it up before you arrive at the party.

15. NCAA Florida State Fan Collection Hard Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S4

NCAA Florida State Fan Collection Hard Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S4

NCAA Florida State Fan Collection Hard Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S4

Made from durable material. Select your own logo at checkout!

This fitted hard shell plastic/rubber case is covered with an easy-to-grip fabric that is printed with your favorite design in bright, true inks. It has access to all sensors, ports, and controls on your phone/ipad.

16. University of Connecticut 2014 NCAA Basketball Champions 2-piece Carpeted Car Mats 18″x27″

University of Connecticut 2014 NCAA Basketball Champions 2-piece Carpeted Car Mats 18"x27"

University of Connecticut 2014 NCAA Basketball Champions 2-piece Carpeted Car Mats 18″x27″

Protects your vehicle’s flooring while showing your team pride with car mats by FANMATS which fit all cars, trucks, SUVs, and RVs and are made of 100% nylon face with non-skid vinyl backing. The officially licensed mat is chromojet painted in true team colors and designed with a large team logo and are proudly Made in the USA.

17. NCAA College 2014 Team Logo Football Look Bottle Coolie Koozie Cooler 2-Pack

NCAA College 2014 Team Logo Football Look Bottle Coolie Holder Koozie Cooler 2-Pack

NCAA College 2014 Team Logo Football Look Bottle Coolie Holder Koozie Cooler 2-Pack

Designed to look like a laced up football, these koozies are …cool. Very cheap little gift for a fan friend. Leather look and feel.

18. NCAA College 2014 Team Logo Color Can Kaddy Holder Koozie Cooler 2-Pack

NCAA College 2014 Team Logo Color Can Kaddy Holder Holder Koozie Cooler 2-Pack

NCAA College 2014 Team Logo Color Can Kaddy Holder Holder Koozie Cooler 2-Pack

Here’s yet another cute koozie to add to your collection. We have a heap of these to match all conferences. Not sure how we got them all. Probably gifts. But they are all really useful and there have been occasions when they have all been in use at the same time. You never know!


19. NCAA UCLA Bruins California Wheeled Portable Travel L-Shape Umbrella Basic Bar

NCAA UCLA Bruins California Wheeled Portable Travel L-Shape Umbrella Basic Bar

NCAA UCLA Bruins California Wheeled Portable Travel L-Shape Umbrella Basic Bar

A steel frame means that your booze and food will not collapse under the weight of all the deliciouslness.   There are 49 levels of shelving plus an attachable umbrella, a drop-in food-grade cooler and it all packs into a deluxe and compact travel bag with wheels. And it sets up fast with a few flicks of the wrist. You can wheel it or sling the bag over your shoulder – even a girl can carry it. Cooler Measures: 24″ x 11″ x 10″.

Here are the measurements:

63 inches long. 44 inches high. 70 wide. The depth of the bar top is 18 inches. It is L-shaped and very attractive.

Make sure that your team is represented in the list when you get to checkout. The logo and colors are printed onto the 500-D Polyester skirt (logo on front) and you pretty much have a full bar without that gi-normous cost. It is water and sun proof so the weather won’t beat it to pieces. Note that a few additional shelves will make this even more awesome but the shelves that are provided should be enough and they lock into place. It’s easy to clean too. Treat it gently and it will last for years. Get two and keep one for the man cave and leave one in your trunk for tailgate party football season.

20. NCAA UCLA Bruins Kickoff Cheese Board

NCAA UCLA Bruins Kickoff Cheese Board

NCAA UCLA Bruins Kickoff Cheese Board

The more the merrier with your team branding, right? So here’s a great cutting board that celebrates fandom and fun. It’s dark bamboo, made to the shape of a football and has a laser engraved logo with pale bamboo inlays. There’s a neat groove around the edge to catch any liquid. Measurements are 20-1/4 by 12 inches. A perfect host/hostess gift or essential equipment for slicing those limes to insert into your Corona bottle.

21. NCAA Portable Stadium Seat

NCAA Arkansas Razorbacks Portable Stadium Seat

NCAA Portable Stadium Seat

Sick of sitting on the butt-numbing bleachers when you get into the actual match? Two remedies for that … don’t go in, just stay at the tailgate party. Or invest in one of these polyester canvas seats which are even useful for extra seating at the party. It’s a well-designed portable stadium seat in team colors and has a digital print team logo. The padded seat has above average support for your back and you can relax rather than shifting from buttock to buttock through the whole game. It’s tough, light to carry, made to last and you can wipe it clean. It has multiple pockets and folds into an easy-to-carry tote. Polyester canvas. If your backside will fit into a space 17″ x 15″ x 3″ then this is for you.

22. Picnic Time Picnic Time Collegiate Reclining Ventura Seat

Picnic Time Picnic Time Collegiate Reclining Ventura Seat

Picnic Time Picnic Time Collegiate Reclining Ventura Seat

Here’s a different version which folds into a space of 20 Inches x 2 Inches x 32 Inches. It has 6 recline positions and the steel frame x 300-D polyester combo means it is built to last. I can think of many uses for this. Suits home-gating as well as you can line these up on a low garden wall around the BBQ area for a heap of inexpensive and easily stashed extra seating. Or take it to the beach. Very comfy. Oh of course, officially licensed.   Note that if you are over 175 pounds it may not fit you.

23. NCAA Metallic Travel Tumbler

NCAA Metallic Travel Tumbler, Stainless Steel and Black Vinyl

NCAA Metallic Travel Tumbler

This NCAA branded stainless steel tumbler is well made. Heavy and steady. Not likely to tip over. Great with hot or cold drinks from beer to water to hot coffee but wash by hand so that the color is still vibrant down the track. Dishwashing machines can ruin these printed logos.

24. Florida State University FSU Seminoles College Football Oyo Mini Figure Lego Compatible NCAA Licensed

Florida State University FSU Seminoles College Football Oyo Mini Figure Lego Compatible NCAA Licensed

Florida State University FSU Seminoles College Football Oyo Mini Figure Lego Compatible NCAA Licensed

This is an Oyo Sports Toy Mini Figure which is not LEGO but is compatible. These are great party favors. At present there are only 21 NCAA teams represented but check them out well before you hit that finalize purchase button. Oyo Figures measure almost 1 3/4″ tall. Each package includes the player, football, helmet and facemask, water bottle, football cap, rectangular stand, and a unique OYO DNA number. They are really collectible and are great for decorating the bar with too. SO what if kids love ‘em??? That’s just a side effect. The unique ball design snaps onto the figurine’s hand and allows your OYO to grip and throw. Your mini player can cool down with the attached water bottle after making the great play. Knees and elbows swivel and bend. Each OYO comes with a stand, so that you can collect and display on any flat surface. Or, snap your stand onto a building block grid and build your own NCAA (or other conference) scenes!


25. NCAA Oregon State Beavers Mascot Bobblehead

NCAA Oregon State Beavers Mascot Bobblehead

NCAA Oregon State Beavers Mascot Bobblehead

OK, where would life be without an appropriate bobblehead? These are great, you can find most teams represented and they add to the fun of the tailgate party, homegate party, man-cave or sporting themed BBQ. Check for your team but most are represented. Note that they are made in China these days so delivery can be a little slow so stock up at the start of the season and get those decorations and novelties in place in a timely manner.

Most of all, no matter what conference(s) you support, the more branding for your team, the more singing of team songs, wearing of team gear and saluting of team mascots, the better your day will be. Oh and a few cheer-leader moves are just great at the end of the day after the imbibing of chilled amber fluid from a finely tuned kegerator has occurred!

Tailgate party on!

The Best Beer & Booze Accessories For Tailgate Parties

We’ve written a lot about the trials and tribulations of getting your booze and vittles to the tailgate party.  One of my buddies says that instead of this being a chore, you need to use the exercise as a way of adding random fun to your game plan. OK, so we have been quite serious about our tailgate party equipment so far.  Technical.  Scientific. But you want to get straight to the point: What are the best beer and booze accessories for your tailgate party?

What if one of you stumbled upon this site and want something not quite so somber?  You like to have fun with your beer and with your guests.  Of course, ‘fun’ is what a tailgate party is all about.  So here are a few things you could unexpectedly pepper your party with to spice up the day.  It’s just a list of nutty stuff that will make transporting food and drink to the parking lot, the man cave, your buddy’s place or anywhere good sport is played (by others) easy. Don’t feel you have to buy the whole list.  Don’t use them all on the same day.  Just an occasional burst of craziness will do.  After all, timing is everything. So, here are the best beer & booze accessories for your tailgate party madness!

The WineRack

The Wine Rack: Booze Accessory

Here’s a novel and eye-catching way to bring the booze into the party, to keep it close to your heart, as it were.   You’re looking at a stunning rack … OK, it’s really a comfortable sports bra with polyurethane bladder which holds 25 ounces of your favorite beverage.  There’s a long drinking tube with easy-to-use on/off valve to control the flow and of course the enhancing effect is obvious.  And impressive.  And just to show you how new-agey and egalitarian I am, guys who like to dress up can use one of these.

It’s also super handy for those picnics held in communities that ban alcohol.  Who’s gonna risk patting you down for a booze check?  It’s all washable and comes in sizes 34C to 38C.  Not big enough for most beefy guys but the ladies can tote the beverages. A couple of usage notes:  test it with water prior to use (you’re gonna want to wash it well anyway) and if you find you have any leaks, either return for a refund or just remove the tap part on the hose and put a little Teflon tape around it to strengthen the seal.

But imagine the howls of laughter when Grandma turns up wearing it and sucks on her Pimm’s while playing cornhole.  Worth any amount, I’d say, not just the few bucks it actually costs.  In fact, you could buy a few and fill them with different liquids and pass them round the whole party.

Don’t overfill it or you could burst the bladder.  Just use a backup rack.

You can use it to tote warm fluids which would be handy in mid-winter.  Just remember that there is a health issue with anything dairy that is not kept at the right temperature.  And the visual pun of that would be way too obvious. Mamacita’s chicken soup would be more appropriate.

The BeerBelly: “The 80-Ounce Beer Belly”

The Beer Belly Review

The BeerBelly: Beer Accessory

This polyurethane bladder looks like a beer belly when worn under your shirt (change to a larger sized shirt for the day, preferably a team shirt in “burly’).  It holds up to 80 ounces of any hot or cold beverage.  It fits a person up to 6 feet 8 inches tall and up to 40-inch waist – male or female. Yes, women can have beer bellies too…

It is easily cleaned and it is just for novelty use.  Seems a bit flimsy in construction but that’s OK for a few belly laughs!

Note that you need to drink the booze very fast as it will warm up quickly.  Not sure how you can combat that problem apart from quick and efficient downing of the liquid within.  OK for hiking but it’s not sturdy like those Camelbak bladders.  It also may take a bit of pre-washing to get the neoprene smell and taste out of the beer.  Probably better for spirits such as vodka and a rinse out with vodka will remove the vinyl taste fast.  Again, treat any leaks with plumbers’ Teflon tape.

Go Pong The Booze Belly – Concealable Flask

Go Pong The Booze Belly Concealable Flask

Go Pong The Booze Belly Accessory

This one is small, only 750 ml. (a pint and a half) but if you resent the gouging at the concession stands for a beer, you can use it to sneak in your own brew.

Food grade materials so that will be a comfort to some but most people who want to buy this item aren’t really all that concerned with a few chemicals from a GuangZhou factory.

To use it, pour from the retractable spout.  It’s not a suck-through-a-straw model which is a mercy as beer through a straw can have its own problems and side effects.  OK, it’s a glorified beer bong in that case …

Test it before filling with beer.  Check for off flavors and flush with vodka (well, not much – but if you don’t want to waste the vodka, save it in a jar, put a vanilla bean in it and you have an acceptable flavoring).  If you have leaks, use the Teflon tape or place the whole thing in a large Ziplok bag.  Come to think of it, maybe you could just use a Ziplok bag.

Double Sided Binocular Flask

Double Sided Binocular Concealable Booze Flask

Double Sided Binocular Flask: Beer or Booze

Holds 2 x 8 ounce serves of your fave booze.  It probably wouldn’t pass a careful gate check and you definitely shouldn’t try this with the TSA.  I would class this one as a novelty item, stocking stuffer only and you would get one or two uses out of it before heaving it out.  However, if you are sick of waiting in lines for your booze at concession stands, it is useful and if you are careful and can extend its life to a few tailgate parties and stadiums, you will more than pay for it in just a few uses by filling with your own beer rather than paying the inflated costs on site.  Plastic – so read the above notes on cleaning.

Drinker Beer and Soda Guzzler Helmet

Red Drinker Beer and Soda Guzzler Helmet

Red Drinker Beer and Soda Guzzler Helmet: Beer Accessory

The stock, standard cartoon boozer helmet with straws leading down to the mouth, this model comes in three colors and does just what it claims. Holds two cans (be careful when putting them in their holders as they can tip over – you need to retain the balance),

It delivers booze in an effortless way, hands-free, leaving you to play your tailgate party games at the same time, thus doubling the fun. Homer Simpson would be proud to wear this cap. One size fits all.  Unusual for a novelty item, it even has a one year guarantee!  Again, any leaks can be handled with the addition of a small piece of Teflon tape, that white trash fix-up staple.  Where would we be without it?

Yeti Roadie 20 Quart Cooler

Yeti Roadie 20 Quart Cooler

Yeti Roadie 20 Quart Cooler: Beer or Booze Accessory

So here’s a little extra in the posting. Remember, most of us only go where beer can be overtly brought in.   Yetis are great coolers, there’s no denying that. And after all, what tailgate party would be a success without the conspicuous imbibing of a brewski?  So if you want to flaunt the best darn cooler in the world, this range should do it.  The  Yeti brand of coolers is pretty awesome.  THey are engineered like no other version of cooler I have found.  I’ve been checking them out lately and it seems like today’s groovy vendors at farmers’ markets choose these to keep their products cold.  Then they go home, repack with beer and off to the tailgate party.  This 20 quart capacity model is a smallish one,  but is modular and really easy to pack no matter how small your car.  Yeti is fully guaranteed, beautifully designed and functional.  The Yeti guys have also created a heap of accessories to make the storage and packing simple and secure.  There are dividers, which will keep your food apart and easy to access, tie-downs to keep everything secure and even a Yeti bottle opener.

You’d feel pretty stylish kitted out with this whole pro cooler gear.

The coolers feature a special material which doesn’t sweat on the exterior.  They are a joy to transport.  Each cooler is rotomolded and tough to the core.  It is exclusively designed with Bearfoot™ feet which stops the box from slipping.  Easy to drain and clean after the tailgate party too.

Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler

Yeti Tundra 65 Quart Cooler

Yeti Tundra 65 Quart Cooler: Beer or Booze Accessory

The 65 quart model is outstanding and you can fit everything inside and it is wheelable but heavy duty so the wheels don’t snap off mid party.  Allow for the weight in your vehicle.  You can use it for transporting both hot items or cold including ice cream.  One of the vendors at our neighborhood market sells popsicles from hers and they never melt.

It is worth trawling through the Yeti range to figure out which one suits your tailgate partying needs best.  Just bear in mind the size of your vehicle and where you will stash it when party season is over.  But then, for most of my buddies, that season is all year round and it stays in the living room.  At worst, you can line ’em up and use them as a coffee table if you happen to buy the big size.  3 in a row.  Now there’s a novel thought.

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottle and Beer Growler

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Beer Growler/Water Bottle

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Beer Growler/Water Bottle

For some people, a growler is all they need to supply drinks at a tailgate party.  If everyone brings a growler, there’s enough for all.  There are some excellent designs on the market but the Hydro Flask is the best I have seen and really does what the company claims.  You can swing by your favorite boutique brewer and have it filled up with your hipster amber liquid and it will last up to 12 hours without losing its zing.  The key is to make sure your growler is well insulated and easy to carry at the same time.  The Hydro Flask is premium grade 18/8 stainless steel, double walled and comes in some cool colors fabricated from matte finished powder coating.  Note that you can actually keep water or beer cold for up to 24 hours (though you will lose the fizz a bit after 12 hours).  I take one of mine to Puerto Vallarta to keep beside the bed, to use for pure water for teeth cleaning and midnight rehydration and even there in the tropics it has kept cold for 24 hours.  Alternatively, you can fill it with some hot, strong coffee to swig at the end of the tailgate party for that all-important sobering up process.

Hydro Flask is an ethical company and donates 5% of sales back to charity of your choice.  Perhaps Alcoholics’ Anonymous ….

No BPA because there is no plastic involved and a Lifetime guarantee.

The addition of the Juglug handle is highly recommended. Designed for the Wide-Mouth Hydro Flask Bottles and specifically the Flip Top cap, the JugLug handle makes it easy for you to carry your bottle with you wherever you go. JugLug fits 18oz Wide Mouth, 40oz, 64oz flasks or any other flask with a similar diameter mouth. (Note: These are placed under the lid of the bottle not around the body/neck of the bottle).  JugLug is not part of the Hydro Flask company, just a clever accessory company and you can use this carrier with other similar shaped bottles.

Here’s their legal disclaimer which I had better include just for the heck of it.

“JugLug, LLC is not affiliated with Hydro Flask or any other flask/bottle manufacturer. JugLug products are intended for use with multiple bottle manufacturers. All trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. Use of trademarks does not imply any affiliation or endorsement of JugLug, LLC by Hydro Flask or any other trademark holders, nor does it imply that these trademark holders endorse JugLug LLC’s products. JugLug, LLC does not endorse the use of any other product.”


Bundle-81 Electric Cruzin’ Cooler

Bundle-81 Electric Cruzin' Cooler

Bundle-81 Electric Cruzin’ Cooler: Beer or Booze Accessory

I’d like to find the guy who invented this little gem and shake him by the hand.  How great is this? Could it be improved?  Well, maybe by making an entire train out of it by attaching more ‘carriages’ (coolers) and filling them with beer and excellent food.  I have mentioned other mobile Cruzin’ Coolers in the past but the latest models are sublime.

This little beauty is not just for beer and booze.  Make every second one a heater and fill it with mac’n’cheese and other goodies, say, some warm tortillas, and the fixings for some tacos and your tailgate party is made effortless.  Some Borrego Barbacoa, frijoles, chopped onion, sliced cukes, shredded cabbage, limes, cilantro, pickled red onions and habanero peppers, tomatillo sauce…. Aw gee, I’m salivating at the very thought.  Then, my friend, you can park anywhere on the lot and ride over to where your friends have their vehicle parked and you can be the bringer of all things jolly and fine.  No more arguing over spaces in the lot before the tailgate party commences.

Don’t leave it sitting in the sun as the cooler part of it will be affected.  The manufacturers will guarantee that it cools to around 40 degrees lower than the exterior temperature so if you are tailgating during a scorcher, here’s what you can do.  Wrap the box in a space blanket or two at the party site, or put up a canopy to create some shade.  This isn’t an issue if you are at a parking lot where there is plenty of shade available.  Note that you can buy replacement batteries and I recommend purchasing a couple extra, keeping them on charge so that the party is always ready to kick in.

NCAA Texas Longhorns Casserole Combo with Carrier Bag

NCAA Texas Longhorns Casserole Combo with Carrier Bag

NCAA Texas Longhorns Casserole Combo with Carrier Bag

Too expensive?  Then here is something for you.  The simplest, cheapest way to carry your mac’n’cheese is in this tote, available in team livery with logos and so on.  Show your pride in your boys (gals) and carry that food at the same time.

The 9” x 13” Anchor Hocking casserole dish, the staple of all Mac’n’cheese chefs, is included.  It is heat proof glass, oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.  There is a matching plastic cover (don’t put that in the oven, and only wash it in the top of the dishwasher).

Note that the team logos etc. are officially licenced.  You are supporting your team when you buy one of these.

The exterior is an insulated carry bag suited to hot or cold food and will maintain the desired temperature throughout the tailgate party.  Won’t spill, just don’t overfill.