It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran or rookie to the NASCAR scene, don’t think you can show up for a tailgate party unprepared! There are a lot of components to throwing a good racing pre-party and if you show up with too little, you just might lose your fan base.
Even if you are well-versed in other kinds of tailgating or concert-going, NASCAR tailgating is a beast of its own—it’s a high energy event with loyal fans who show up early, stay for days and never misses a moment of the race action even if they are in the parking lot. A generator failure or shortage of burgers is no joke to a NASCAR fan, and lack of preparation will leave you in the pits.
As an official sponsor of Race Car Driver JJ Yeley, we know a little about NASCAR. And as the mind behind the juiciest, beefiest, most flavorful burgers available, we know even more about feeding a tailgate crowd. So, with those powers combined, we’ve come up with a list of tips for your race day tailgating experience.
Race Day Tailgating Tips
Never be late.
Tailgating is part of the experience of NASCAR and showing up just before the race is a telltale sign you’re a rookie. Most veteran tailgaters will get there several hours (or days) early, camping and socializing long before the race begins. The best spaces fill up fast, so show up when you can, claim your spot and kick back and relax like a pro.
Bring more food than you ever thought you’d need.
This is where we come in. Think you just need one pack of our burgers? Double that! NASCAR is about food and camaraderie. Fans are hungry and bond over great food and their love for racing. You never know who might drop in for a bite of burger and some fan talk, so extra food is always a good idea. And don’t be afraid to go all-in with a new recipe; NASCAR fans don’t skimp on the complexity of their tailgate food just because they are working on a camp grill.
Get serious about your grill.
Speaking of food, nothing makes you look like more of a rookie than a cold sandwich or a frozen lasagna. Grilling is sort of the official sponsor of a NASCAR cookout, and folks will grill up anything from chicken, to ribs, to burgers. So, don’t forget to pack your grill and certainly be sure that you bring enough charcoal or propane (rookie mistake).
Also, don’t get distracted talking track with a fellow tailgater and forget about your grill! Never leave it unattended and keep it far away from vehicles, tents, pets and children.
Throw some major shade.
NASCAR is HOT. And you are sometimes on pavement. You are going to need some serious shade to keep you cool or protect you from a freak rainstorm. This means a canopy or pop up tent large enough to cover up your camp chairs and food. Sandbags, stakes or anchors are also a good idea in case the wind picks up and decides to take your canopy for a ride.
Generators are a popular accessory to most tailgates.
Camping at a tailgate doesn’t have to mean roughing it. If for nothing more than to power a TV so you never miss a racing moment, many tailgaters bring along a generator to this portable party to maximize the experience.
The devil is in the details.
Preparing for your tailgate takes some good thought and preparation. Days before, compile a list of all the essentials: food, condiments, ice, ice chests, tableware, plates, napkins, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, insect repellant, BBQ, spatula, toilet paper, garbage bags, canopy, water, beverages, fuel, can opener, knives and a music or radio source. Yard games, TV’s, cards and other entertainment options are also a good idea to keep you entertained before and after the race. Check, and re-check your list to be sure you have it all because once you park, you aren’t going anywhere!
There are few things more fun than a little race day tailgate. If adequately prepared, you can ensure your race day is complete with a full belly, shaded place to sit and maybe a few new friends.
Whether you are a NASCAR fan, football fan, or even rodeo fan, you love what you love! We want you to feel that way about our burgers, too. When you roll into a tailgate spot, pop open your tent and heat up the grill, we want to be a part of the experience that makes you love the sport you love.
If hosting a tailgate (at home or at the racetrack) is on your 2018 Bucket List, then you know good food and lots of it is required for a perfect race day. That’s why we’ve pulled together some of our favorite NASCAR race day burger recipes. Since our fresh and frozen burger varieties require ZERO work to make a great tasting burger, you can put your energy into the bun and toppings for an over-the-top burger that is sure to make fans out of anyone who stops by your grill.
NASCAR Race Day Burger Recipes Using Steakhouse Elite Burgers
12 Steakhouse Elite Kobe-Crafted Beef Burgers (frozen or fresh)
6 Potato buns, split
1/4C White onion, chopped
1-1/2C cups cheddar, shredded
4 t Mustard
4 t Dill pickle relish
White onion slices
In a small bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, mustard and relish; mix well.
Grill all 12 Steakhouse Elite burgers to desired doneness (Note: a touch of salt on the top just before grilling will add a nice hint of seasoning). Before pulling off the grill, spoon 2T of cheesy mayo mustard mix on six of the burgers, then place another bare burger atop those and let cheese melt, so the burgers create a sandwich with cheesy mixture in the middle.
Serve on buns with lettuce, onion and tomato
The “King” Burger
6 Steakhouse Elite Angus Beef Burgers
6 Sesame seed buns
Dash Worcestershire (optional)
6 Slices American cheese
Burger sauce (mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, onion, garlic, and vinegar)
Shredded iceberg lettuce
White onion slices
Pre-make your burger sauce using one-part ketchup, one part mayonnaise, 1/4 part onion, a squirt of mustard, pinch of garlic and dash of vinegar. Mix and put in tailgate-friendly container for easy spreading later.
Season your Angus burgers with a dash of salt and dash Worcestershire (if desired), then grill to perfection. Just before removing from the grill, place one slice of American cheese on top until cheese melts enough to barely curve around the burger.
On a fresh sesame bun, generously lather the burger sauce on both sides, and then top the bun with the burger, lettuce, tomatoes and white onion.
The "Jr." Slider Burger
1 Package of Steakhouse Elite Kobe-Crafted Sliders
1 Package Hawaiian sweet roles
1 Small ham steak
1 Can crushed pineapple, drained
6 Slices Swiss cheese
Grill your Steakhouse Elite Kobe-Crafted Sliders to your desired doneness and melt a small piece of Swiss cheese on top. While burgers are cooking, slice the ham steak into petite pieces small enough to fit on a Hawaiian roll.
Lather the Hawaiian roll with a generous amount of mayonnaise and Dijon, then place slider burger on roll and top with ham steak and crushed pineapple.
The Super Tex
6 Steakhouse Elite Angus Burgers
BBQ Sauce (1/2C beer, 2T brown sugar, 2T ketchup, 1T chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1t Worcestershire sauce)
12 Slices of Texas toast
2 Spears of pickled okra, sliced
Prepare the barbecue sauce ahead of time by combining 12C beer, 2T brown sugar, 2T ketchup, 1T chipotle peppers and 1t Worcestershire sauce in saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer 8-10 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool.
Grill your Steakhouse Elite according to your personal preferences. When you are ready to flip your burgers, add the Texas toast to the grill and cook until crispy on the outside.
Remove burgers and Texas toast from the grill, top with okra and BBQ sauce and enjoy!
The Andretti Adrenaline Burger
6 Steakhouse Elite Grassfed Beef Burgers, raw and thawed (fresh preferred)
6 Onion buns
6 Frozen cheese-stuffed jalapeño peppers (poppers)
1/4C Salsa con queso (cheese sauce)
1/4C plum tomatoes
2 T Black olives, sliced
Using a raw and thawed Steakhouse Elite burger, wrap it around one stuffed jalapeno popper and 1T of salsa and fold it into the meat and re-shape into a patty and flatten as much as possible (you may need to cut the jalapenos in half).
Grill to desired doneness.
Stack burger patty onto an onion bun and spread 1T salsa con queso over each, and then top with tomato and olives. Serve with salsa, as desired.
The JJ Burger (named after our 2018 sponsored racer, JJ Yeley)
6 Steakhouse Elite Kobe-Crafted Burgers (frozen or fresh)
BBQ Sauce (1/4C brown sugar, 1/4C beer, 1/4C yellow mustard, 1/4C cider vinegar)
1C Shredded cabbage
6 Gourmet round rolls, split
Prepare BBQ sauce by combing 1/4C each of brown sugar, beer, mustard and vinegar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
Place burgers on the grill and cook to desired doneness. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place bun, cut sides down, on grid. Grill until lightly toasted.
Spoon sauce on bottom of each bun and top with burger and cabbage.
There doesn’t have to be a race on or a tailgate in progress to enjoy anyone of these mouthwatering recipes. But why not take your love of sports and burgers and join them in the experience?
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