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The Ultimate Tailgate
By Sean M. Deegan
Publisher, Jets Insider.com
October 2nd, 2007
No electricity in the parking lot? No problem with the TailGator gas powered blender.
No electricity in the parking lot? No problem with the TailGator gas powered blender.
In a quest to have the greatest tailgating party every gameday, the Jets Insider.com staff searched for cool products to give even novice tailgaters the ultimate experience at the Meadowlands. Whether your party is for 2 or even 20, the following six items are products that no tailgater should be without.

1. The Griddle-Q

The Griddle-Q is a versatile high quality stainless steel griddle that goes right on your BBQ. If you get into the lot early you can make up any of your favorite breakfast treats ranging from bacon and eggs or even pancakes and French toast. Moving on to the more hardcore tailgating delicacies such as sausage and peppers, Philly Cheesesteaks, fajitas and even a mean Mongolian BBQ, the Griddle-Q rivals any professional griddle.

We tested it on the huge grill at 16H with various foods ranging from eggs to skirt steaks and all items turned out perfect. The Griddle-Q comes in various sizes depending on how big your grill is and cleans up in a snap. Prices range from $159. to $199. They also offer a more affordable little brother to the Griddle-Q called the Sizzle-Q which starts at $69.99. Go to their website at LittleGriddle.com to order online or find a retailer near you.

2. The Freedom Grill FG-50

In order to use the Griddle-Q, you need a good grill and for the average tailgater, thereís not a better product than the FG-50 from Freedom Grill Systems. For under $300.00 you get a quality gas grill that mounts off the back of any standard #2 receiver hitch. The patented mounting system enables the grill to lock closed for driving and swing away from the vehicle during use. The outside mounting leaves more room inside for supplies or seating.

The 16,000 BTU 352 square inch cooking area easily handles up to 20 burgers, four chickens or 40 large sausages. During tests on a weekend camping trip and a full tailgate at 16H on opening day, we cooked everything on this grill ranging from steaks, sausages, ribs and even swordfish steaks and the grill performed flawlessly. I own a top of the line Weber grill at my home and the FG-50 performed just as well if not better than the Weber. It runs on small propane canisters or you can add an adapter to handle larger propane tanks.

If you want to go a little higher end they also have a full line of stainless steel grills that are all portable as well. We highly recommend this product and encourage you to go to their website and check it out. Go to FreedomGrill.com for more information and to order online.

3: Hungry Hill Sausage

Now that you have the perfect grill and griddle, whatís on the menu? One item we highly recommend is sausage from the Hungry Hill sausage company based in Chicago IL. Hungry Hill produces several different types of sausage, ranging from mild to hot Italian, fennel and also a great traditional Chicago polish sausage. The recipes date back over 30 years in this family business and the sausage is made from the finest cuts of pork shoulder rather than the trimmings that most mass retailers use. The result is an extremely tasty sausage that practically melts in your mouth. We recently ordered a 30 LB sample pack for the 16H tailgate and it was gone faster than Bill Bellichick at an NFL ethics seminar.

You can find out more about Hungry Hill sausage on their website and order online. All orders are shipped overnight in cooled styrofoam containers. Go to HungryHillSausage.com or order directly via e-mail at orders@hungryhillsausage.com.

4. The Orion Cooker

If your desire it to consume larger cuts of meat (and what tailgater doesnít?) there is a product we tested that you will love. Whether itís a large turkey, racks of ribs, or huge cuts of pork, the Orion Cooker will turn your meat into a delectable treat.

Made of high quality stainless steel the Orion is an outdoor convection cooker that uses three cooking processes simultaneously: convection, steam and smoke (if desired). The three processes combine to produce meat unrivaled in taste and tenderness at a fraction of the time traditional methods take without the need for cooking maintenance. For instance, you can cook a 20 LB turkey in a little over 2 hours or a seven pound pork roast in 1 hr and 15 minutes.

At opening day at 16H we cooked six large racks of baby back ribs and they turned out flawless, falling off the bone in just around 1 1/2 hours. You can also enhance the flavors by adding wood chips for smoking and beer or cider to the drip pan. The included accessories allow you to cook just about anything you can think of. For turkey thereís an included poultry stand. For ribs, thereís three rib hangers that will easily accommodate six racks of ribs. You can steam shellfish, or smoke salmon on the grates. Pork tenderloins, Boston butts, whole chicken, chicken halves, chicken wings, lobsters, crab, shrimp and vegetables are some other favorites. The Orion Cooker is constructed entirely out of stainless steel and comes standard with three cooking grates, a poultry stand and lifting handle as well as three rib hangers. For $149.00 itís a bargain. Itís available at Home Depot and other retailers. For more information go to their website at OrionCooker.com .

5. The TailGator Blender

Now that you have the perfect menu at your tailgate party, what could be better than a refreshing frozen drink to go with your food? Only problem is that stadium parking lots donít have outlets to plug in your blender. There are a few cordless battery powered blenders on the market but all of them are underpowered and die quickly. If you want the perfect Margarita or Pina Colada for your tailgating group thereís only one product that will handle the task. The TailGator gas powered blender. Instead of electricity, the TailGator is powered by a 25cc Poulan 2 stroke 2 Ĺ horsepower engine. Itís probably the same engine thatís on your weed whacker or chain saw.

By far, this is the coolest product of the bunch. We did extensive testing of this blender this summer (hey, itís a tough job but someone has to do it!) at beach parties, a camping weekend and at the 16H tailgate party on opening day. With stainless steel blades, the TailGator whips up frozen drinks in a flash and has more power than you will ever need. It starts easily after a few pumps of the primer and a pull of the cord. The plastic blender container is 48 oz and is good for around 5-6 drinks per batch. It runs on a gas-oil mixture and is rated at 6500 MPG (margaritas-per-gallon). We probably blended around 2 dozen pitchers of drinks and barely used a ľ of the 11 oz gas tank.

Itís not cheap at around $300.00 but can you put a price on being able to blend up a margarita anywhere in the world? As soon as you crank this baby up it turns heads and is the talk of the party. For the hard core tailgater, the TailGator is a must. Get info and order at TailgatorZone.com.

6. The Hammaka Sports Chair

Now that your belly is full and you have a cold frozen drink, you need to sit and relax before the big game. Another cool item we found is the Hammaka sports chair that with an optional truck stand, you can actually attach to the back of any vehicle that has a standard #2 receiver hitch as seen in the picture below.

The Hammaka hanging hammock chair itself is a very comfortable chair that hangs easily from any single point, whether itís the truck stand, a tree, a porch or any sturdy hook.

Each chair comes complete with an adjustable footrest, an inflatable head pillow, a drink holder and a matching carrying case. You can get the chair in solid hardwood or black aluminum. The truck stand assembles easily in minutes and gives you an instant comfortable rest point at your tailgate party. It was a big hit at the opening 16H tailgate party.

Two Hammakas with trailer hitch stand retail for around $275. and can be purchased online at Hammaka.com.

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