Spring tailgate barbecues: tailgate not required

With the closure of several Tahoe resorts this weekend, it is apparent that the winter season is coming to an end. Dry those tears, powder hounds, there is one delicious way to send out the season in style. Throwing a spring skiing tailgate barbecue is a great way to say good-bye to winter and dust off your grill for summer. A tailgate barbecue can be as simple as throwing some wieners on a grill, but if you want to do it in style here are some suggestions.


-Camping grill, or portable barbecue is a must.

-Ice chest full of your beverage of choice.

-Camp chairs

-An actual tailgate is not necessary, but doubles as a nice table.


Hamburgers and hotdogs are always an easy crowd pleaser. Take some time the night before to prep condiments to make this stereotypical barbecue food really stand out.


-Go for brats instead of your typical limp pink weenie.

– Heat a can of chili on the grill. Be sure to remove the lid first.

-Prepare a selection of condiments such as chopped onions, shredded cheese, mustard and sauerkraut.


It’s easiest to buy premade frozen patties, but I suggest buying ground beef and making your own patties the night before for better quality meat.

Prepare a Tupperware with sliced cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocados and anything else you want.


Place chicken thighs and wings in a plastic Ziploc bag with teriyaki sauce and leave in the fridge over night. Be sure to keep the chicken on ice until you are ready to cook it. After a full day of spring shredding, throw the now marinated chicken on the grill and enjoy.

Hint: An easy way to tell if chicken is fully cooked is to poke the palm of your hand beneath your thumb, then poke the chicken and compare. If the chicken feels like the muscle closer to the center of your palm it is undercooked. The closer it feels to the outside part of your palm underneath your thumb, the more cooked it is.


It is often assumed that barbecues are a carnivorous affair; fortunately for aspiring tailgaters, this is just not true.

I suggest preparing an assortment of vegetables the night before. Eggplant, zucchini, squash, portabella mushrooms and bell peppers are a few of my favorites. Slice the vegetables into thick slices and coat lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a Tupperware or Ziploc bag. Next, slice a loaf of crusty bread such as French bread. Roast the veggies on high heat until tender, and the outside is slightly charred. Serve with toasted bread, as a bonus serve with goat cheese or brie.

Please remember to tailgate responsibly. Be respectful of those parked around you, and don’t be afraid to share the grub. Have a designated driver if you choose to drink and respect the wishes of whatever resort you choose tailgate at.