Here at BarbecueBible.com, we believe the four seasons could use a rechristening—Spring, Summer, Tailgating, and Winter!
Tailgating is more than just the act of grilling with friends and family. It is a fall tradition made even greater by the anticipation of your team’s charge to victory. And in a way, the tailgating itself has become a competition. The tailgaters with the most innovative, delicious recipes are crowned the best host/hostess by virtue of the clean plates and wide smiles of their guests.
If you want to wear that crown this season, we advise you to prepare with vigilance, and plot your tailgating X’s and O’s. Start with the appropriate equipment, and be sure to read our Top 10 Tailgating Tips to get a leg up on the other grillers. And above all, come with the best recipes—the 5 we’ve picked below are sure to thrill!
1. WINGS: Saigon Garlic Lemongrass Wings
Traditional hot wings are a fantastic complement to any tailgate, but mixing it up with an Asian-inspired wing will bring a fresh vibe to your gathering. We also have an entire article dedicated to wings for tailgating, which you should read before the big day.
2. FINGER FOODS: Cheese-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Peppers
Bring two grills if possible, one for grilling small finger foods (like these delectable jalapeño poppers) and one for the larger dishes that have longer cooking times. With two grills, you’ll be able to turn out snacks and small bites while your guests wait for the big show!
3. EASY GRAINS: Catalan Tomato Bread (Pa Amb Tomaquet)
This simple bruschetta will help you soak up all of the, ah, water you are consuming during the tailgate. It’s quick to prepare, and tastes delicious (with a hint of optional garlic to take the dish over the top).
4. THE MAIN EVENT: Beer Can Chicken
The presentation of an upright roasting chicken (hovering over a beer can) makes for a fun tailgating experience, and with the tender, juicy results, also a delicious one. Pro tip: try this with Steven’s Beer Can Chicken Roaster to make the process easier and virtually fool proof.
5. EVERYONE’S FAVORITE: Baby Back Ribs
Baby back ribs can be smoke-roasted on the grill in 1-1/2 hours, which makes this recipe doable during a 2+ hour tailgate. You can vary the sauce to match any theme, and to fit any palate. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love ribs?
Download Raichlen’s Tailgating! ebook for less than $5 wherever digital books are sold
The Bratwurst Hot Tub is a great take on traditional bratwurst fare.