11 Essential Tailgating Tools From Your Kitchen

Slide Image
Garbage Bags
Headline
Garbage Bags
Credit

Thinkstock/Hemera

Slide Image
Ice Alternative
Headline
Ice Alternative
Description

Ice is expensive, and it’s small and melts quickly. Fill empty plastic milk cartons with water and freeze them for a sustainable ice alternative. You can then throw them into the cooler, or cut the plastic and break the ice into bigger chunks to keep drinks cooler for longer.

Credit

Stockbyte

Slide Image
Oven Mitts
Headline
Oven Mitts
Description

Most people wouldn’t think to bring one, since you don’t always imagine yourself doing heavy-duty cooking at a tailgate. However, the mitts really come in handy when dealing with a hot grill or stove.

Credit

Thinkstock/iStockphoto

Slide Image
Oven  Thermometer
Headline
Oven Thermometer
Description

Grab your oven thermometer to bring with you on your tailgating excursions this season. To check the temperature on a charcoal grill, just drop the metal tip of the thermometer (the part that would normally go into the turkey) through the top circle holes of the grill. Oven thermometers are plugged into electric readers that will tell you the temperature inside the grill, making for perfectly cooked burgers and hot dogs every time.

Credit

Thinkstock/Hemera

Slide Image
Lid For Your Pots
Headline
Lid For Your Pots
Description

If bacon, egg, and cheese bagels are on your tailgating list, bring a pot lid to put over the eggs to make sure everything cooks properly in the outdoor conditions.

Credit

Thinkstock/iStockphoto

Slide Image
Portable Stove
Headline
Portable Stove
Description

Think electric stoves are down for the count at tailgates? Think again. You can bring one and plug it into the cigarette lighter of your car.

Credit

Thinkstock/Hemera

Slide Image
Towels
Headline
Towels
Description

Towels are perfectly compact for travel, and also provide the softness necessary to keep food and equipment from shuffling around and breaking on the drive to and from your tailgate. They’re also more environmentally friendly than paper towels or napkins to use for cleanup.

Credit

Stockbyte

Slide Image
Hot Plates and Trivets
Headline
Hot Plates and Trivets
Description

Hot plates, trivets, or any other flat, thin items are helpful to have on hand. You won’t necessarily need them to hold actual hot plates (although you never know), but who wants to cook on a tailgating stove that’s not flat because the ground is uneven? Use your hot plates to level the stove or grill to fix otherwise imperfect cooking conditions.

Credit

Thinkstock/Hemera

Slide Image
Tupperware
Headline
Tupperware
Description

Transporting sharp knives can be tricky tailgating business. Instead of using plastic bags to tote them — which can rip and cause injuries — use a small, rectangular, hard plastic container to transport knives, lighters, and spice containers that might shatter.

Credit

Thinkstock/iStockphoto

Slide Image
An Apron
Headline
An Apron
Description

This isn’t just a vanity thing — imagine how heartbreaking it would be to spill barbecue sauce all over your home team sweatshirt right before the big game? An apron can help prevent such a travesty.

Credit

Comstock