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7 Indispensable Tools for Tailgaters


You’ve scoured your Raichlen books to come up with killer recipes.

You’ve put them together into a menu guaranteed to smoke the competition.

You’ve made your shopping list (and checked it twice). You have the appropriate libations on ice.

You’re well on your way to extreme tailgating excellence. The only thing left is to assemble your tools.

Well, as it turns out, Steven Raichlen has been busy in this arena, too, and many of his Best of Barbecue grilling accessories are heaven sent for tailgaters.

Herewith, our list of 7 essential tools for the tailgater.

7 Best Tailgating Tools for 2019

1. Beer Can Chicken Roaster

Beer Can Chicken Roaster

Twenty-five years have passed since Steven Raichlen brought beer can chicken from the barbecue backwaters to the barbecue mainstream.   It still remains one of the best—and most theatrical—ways to cook a chicken.  The Raichlen roaster comes with a rack to hold the bird upright (no tipping), a drip pan to catch the fat and juices (no flare-ups), and a stainless steel canister in which you can put wine or fruit juice (in case you want a change from beer).

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2. Ash Can and Scoop

Charcoal or Ash Can

If you’re a charcoal griller, it can be difficult to dispose of spent charcoal when you’re at home, or especially while enjoying a tailgating or camping venue. This galvanized steel can, one of our best sellers, is the ideal receptacle. Spent ashes can cool off while you enjoy the game, then be safely disposed of. Also great for keeping your charcoal or pellets dry.

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3. Suede Grilling Gloves

Ultimate Suede Grilling Gloves

Grilling involves handling hot chimney starters, glowing coals, and reaching across a super-hot grill grate. So you want a pair of sturdy insulated suede grill gloves that are supple enough to preserve your dexterity with sleeves that reach up to your elbows to protect your arms from the heat. But don’t take our word for it: Cook’s Illustrated ranked our distinctive gloves #1.

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4. Sauce Mop

Barbecue Sauce Mop

An “Amazon’s Choice” tool in its category, this cotton sauce mop pays homage to the early pit masters who used to use new cotton mops to swab their pit-roasted meats. It is ideal for applying bastes, mops, or barbecue sauces. The head can be unscrewed from its 15-inch wooden handle for easy cleaning.

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5. Insulated Food Gloves

Insulated Food Gloves

You’ll wonder how you managed without them. Use these comfortable insulated gloves for “pulling” (shredding) piping hot pork shoulders, transferring beef brisket to a cooler, taking beer can chickens off the can, or removing other hot foods from the grill. We’ve made our gloves lighter and more flexible for greater dexterity, but well insulated (they’re rated to 248 degrees) to protect your hands from the hot meat.

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6. Rib Rack

Ultimate Rib Rack

One 22-1/2 inch kettle grill.  Four racks of ribs.   A dozen or so hungry tailgaters.  You do the math.   Our unique design lets you barbecue four racks at once, with spacing wide enough to accommodate monster beef plate ribs. A best-seller for years.

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7. Smoking Puck

Best of Barbecue Stainless Smoke Pucks on grill with potatoes

You can’t smoke on a gas grill. Or can you? The Best of Barbecue smoking puck directs a flavorful stream of smoke to whatever you’re grilling. And yes, it burns pellets or wood chips.

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For more on tailgating:

Raichlen's Tailgating Ebook

Raichlen’s Tailgating!

An indispensable tool for your tailgating arsenal: a season’s worth of easy-to-make, sure-to-dazzle recipes from Steven Raichlen, the “gladiator of grilling” (Oprah). Curated from Raichlen’s bestselling Barbecue! Bible books, with more than 4 million copies sold, this is an appetizer-to-dessert selection tailored for game-day cooking—and competing.

Read More »


What’s your must-have tool for tailgating? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the Barbecue Board!

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