Foodie Friday: Fans, Food, Football–Why We Love Tailgating Season!

Since this Sunday is the last big opportunity for an amazing tailgate, we decided to re-post a favorite Football-Themed Foodie Friday. Enjoy!

Spectators In Team Colors Watching Sports Event

Fire up the grill—it’s Tailgating Season! For today’s Foodie Friday, we look at some fan-favorite inspirations, fun facts, and foodie trends you’ll find in parking lots across the nation this fall.

First of all, let’s talk about the food. While grilling burgers, brats, and hot dogs is still the most popular choice for game-day dining, many inventive football fans take their pre-game plating to a sophisticated new level.

One of the best tailgating menus ever comes to us courtesy of—complete with celebrity Chef Michael Symon’s recipe for Grilled Korean and Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey BBQ-Style Wings and instructions on how to make the perfect Alabama White BBQ Sauce  (click here to check out the whole menu for yourself!).



Technology has made tailgating a whole new…well, ballgame. If you’re a fan of all-in-one convenience, check out this cooler from (naturally) with a wide variety of built-in features like a blender, USB charger, outdoor Bluetooth speaker, bottle opener, tableware, and more! Yes, it’s a bit steep to purchase: $485. But as the folks at the Today Show said, “If they gave out the Nobel prize for coolers, this would win.”

What’s the typical tailgaiter’s idea of the perfect game-day grilling party? The grilling gurus at Weber polled grill owners to find out who is using their football-friendly product and how they approach the art of cooking outdoors. Here are some illuminating insights from their survey:

  • The cold doesn’t stop true grilling fanatics: A brave (and probably warm-natured) 35 percent have grilled outdoors in weather below 32 degrees, including six percent who have grilled in weather below zero degrees.

Happy Winter Griller

  • Owning a grill is hugely popular: As many as 68 percent of people in the U.S. currently own an outdoor barbecue grill. Ownership of charcoal grills is at its highest level at 56 percent. Ownership of gas grills is at 59 percent.
  • In case they need a back-up: The number of people who own multiple grills remains fairly steady at approximately 33 percent.
  • Grilling—anywhere and everywhere: An adventurous fifty-eight percent of all grill owners enjoy grilling away from home (up from last year’s 55 percent), primarily for camping (41 percent), but also while hanging out in parks (33 percent), at the beach (21 percent) or at tailgate parties (20 percent).

Shish Kabobs

  • Not just your dad’s hobby anymore: Grilling is up among Millennials. Forty-three percent of grill owners under 35 say they are grilling more than they were a year ago. And 83 percent of younger grill owners are interested in entertaining friends and family in their home this year rather than 78 percent of grillers aged 35-54 or just 76 percent of those 55 and older.

Looking for an unforgettable college football tailgating experience? Visit one of the schools on this list of Top 25 College Tailgates and soak up the enthusiasm.

crawfish at lsu

With schools like Louisiana State University hosting crawfish boils, Texas A&M grilling classic BBQ, North Dakota State serving up unusual big game meats like bison and moose, and University of Washington sharing fresh, local seafood from the decks of boats in the harbor (a tradition often called “boatgating” or “sailgating”), we’re guessing a culinary tour of university tailgates would prove to be as diverse as it would be delicious.


Whether you’re hosting your own tailgate this season, attending your alma mater or favorite team’s celebrations, or joining in as a guest for the first time, we hope you get a chance to kick back and enjoy this great American tradition of food, drinks, sports, and friends. Happy Foodie Friday!

And, of course, for something a little weird…

Sometimes a trend is just a little TOO bizarre, as we hope you agree when it comes to spray-painting pets to represent your team. Check out this ridiculous fan-fueled trend along with other odd and inspired ideas (caskets as coolers, anyone?) detailed in the Bleacher Report’s Ultimate College Football Tailgate Guide for 2015. Go team!

Posted in: Food and Drink, Food Experiences, Food Trends, Foodie Friday

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