19 Tailgate Recipe Ideas On The Smoker Or Grill

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Here are 17 awesome Tailgate recipes that can be cooked on your smoker or grill for you to enjoy this year whether you’re at the game live or while watching your favorite game on TV!

Tailgate Recipes

Even in the dead of winter, people area willing to fire up the grill for their favorite Football team, especially for the Big Game! So we had to chime in with a roundup of our favorite tailgate ideas! From dips, to meats, to drinks, and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.


If you are planning to cook on the road portability is key. Here are some of our favorites to make your tailgating food idea a reality:

  • 14-inch Weber Smoky Joe – It’s affordable and portable. Just add your favorite lump charcoal and it can be your reheating or grilling machine.
  • Big Green Egg Mini Max – We love this grill, add the acacia side tables and the leg extensions for the ultimate smoker and grill combo.
  • Cast Iron – A good cast iron pan is key when using dips. We love the Lodge 10-inch, or the 36-ounce serving dish.
  • Camp Chef 14-inch cooking system is amazing with accessories including a pizza oven, grill grate, and flat top. Just add the propane and you are ready to tailgate.

Smoked Sausage and Hatch Chili Beer Cheese Dip

Smoked pork sausage. Beer. Cheese. More cheese. Melted into gooey deliciousness. What’s not to love about this tailgate chili recipe?! Grab the recipe for Smoked Sausage and Hatch Chili Beer Cheese Dip.

Smoked Sausage and Hatch Chili Beer Cheese Dip

Beer Cheese Dip

The ultimate tailgate food ideas are often dips. Beer and cheese and bacon melted together is a perfect match with pretzel bites and grilled sausage. Just reheat it on the grill in your favorite cast iron pan. Beer Cheese Dip Recipe

dipping a sausage in beer cheese

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Pull Apart Bread

Golden brown puffs of bread stuffed with a delicious ranch and chicken Buffalo flavored mix. Then mixed with cheese and baked to perfection. Buffalo Chicken Pull Apart Bread

Buffalo chicken pull apart bread being pulled away with melty cheese.

Smoked Cheese Ball

Tailgate ideas can be easy and all made in advance like this cheeseball recipe. Smoked cream cheese molded into an amazing cheese ball. Just serve with your favorite crackers. Smoked Cheese Ball Recipe

Smoked Cheese Ball with smoked almonds

Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip

It’s not the Super Bowl without at least 50 “Buffalo” flavored dishes. Try this version with shredded smoked chicken, a mix of creamy cheeses, and the one and only Frank’s RedHot hot sauce. Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

Bufallo chicken dip in cast iron.

Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings

Want the best crispy wings ever? Make the ultimate smoked buffalo chicken wings. Learn what it takes to make the perfect wings on the smoker, with crispy skin, smoky flavor, and the perfect sauce. Crispy Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings Recipe

Alternatively you can make grilled wings instead (with crispy skin).

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Wings on a platter

My Mama’s Basic Blender Salsa

Ok, in all honesty this salsa is neither smoked nor grilled. BUT you’ve gotta have a wide range of salsas and guac options at your party. And this tailgate recipe has never failed, ever. 30+ years and still going strong, this salsa has won the hearts of everyone it has encountered. And you’ll never guess the secret ingredient. Basic Blender Salsa Recipe

Bowl of Easy Homemade Blender Salsa

Smoked Bacon & Tomatillo Guacamole

Guac is a must (an absolute must!!) for a Super Bowl Party. Don’t disappoint your guests, and don’t buy the store bought mushy kind. Smoke up some bacon and get on this dip!  Smoked Tomatillo & Bacon Guacamole

A bowl full of guacamole with smoked bacon and smoked tomatillos

Smoked Tomatillo Salsa

If you’re smoking tomatillos for the guac you may as well throw on some extra for this salsa. For something different, yet deliciously smoky, try this salsa, made with smoked tomatillos, cilantro, and apple cider vinegar. Try this tailgate recipe solo with chips, or served over smoked sausages. Smoked Tomatillo Salsa Verde

A bowl of salsa verde.

And speaking of sausages…

Simple Smoked Sausage Sandwiches

Super easy slider sized sandwiches that come together in no time? Smoked Sausage Sandwiches

Smoked Sausage Sliders with Peppers and Onions. A super easy slider sandwich for the Super Bowl! One of many great game day easy appetizers to come!

Pro Tip: You can do everything with ease by cooking all your meats at the same time. Throw on the bacon for the guac (above) and the jalapeño poppers (below), the sausage links for the sandwiches, and the crumbled sausage for the beer cheese dip. Everything goes on at the same time, and comes off just before the game starts. Boom.

How to grill or smoke everything for Super Bowl Sunday. Prep app your meat in advance, then assemble all of your appetizers just in time for the game.

Smoked Jalapeño Poppers

Mmmmm, jalapeños, crispy bacon, and creamy cheese. This is the kind of tailgate recipe that Super Bowl dreams are made of. Smoked Jalapeño Popper Recipe

Smoked Jalapeño Poppers with Smoked Bacon

Smoked Beef Brisket Nachos

Thinking of making a brisket for the big day? Stretch your dollar and impress your friends with these (award-winning!!!) Smoked Brisket Nachos. I bet none of your friends will be making nachos this indulgent this year. You know you want some. Smoked Beef Brisket Nachos

Brisket Nachos

Want to just keep it simple and do one big filling sandwich instead of a bunch of apps???

Smoked Italian Pulled Beef Sliders

Inspired by “The Bear” on Hulu, this amazing slider is a slowly smoked chuck roast then braised in a beef stock au jus with giardiniera. Add those to a slider bun after slowly braising for several hours and you have a magical pulled beef slider. Pulled Roast Beef Slider

Italian beef sliders on a sheet pan.

Honey Bourbon Grilled Chicken Wings

Grilled crispy wings finished with our honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce. These Honey Bourbon Wings are on our Sunday (and Monday night) menu almost every week.

Honey Bourbon BBQ Wings on a plate.

Smoked Meatball Sandwiches

These meatball sandwiches are hearty, smoky, and outstanding covered in marinara sauce and melted cheese. Oh yeah… find this tailgate recipe for Smoked Meatball Sandwiches here.

Or make the same meatballs golfball size and serve them appetizer style.

Grilled Chipotle Shrimp Skewers

When it comes to tailgate ideas we like easy. Just marinate and make skewers before you head out and grill on site. This amazing tailgate food idea is simple but packed with flavor. Grilled Chipotle Shrimp Recipe

Chipotle Shrimp skewers on a platter.

Shrimp Cocktail

Another easy one to make is this simple grilled shrimp cocktail sauce. Grill the shrimp on site and make the spicy sriracha sauce. Your friends will be asking for this recipe. Grilled Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Grilled shrimp cocktail on a platter.

Smoked Pork Ribs with Asian Spice Rub

Combine the 3-2-1 method of ribs with a savory, spicy, and sweet sauce for these finger licking ribs. Yes yes yes! Smoked Asian Ribs Recipe

Asian rack of ribs and sauce on platter.

Smoked Bloody Mary with Smoked Bacon

Need some cocktail inspiration? Try these Bloody Mary’s with Smoked Bacon! Or perhaps you’re more of a bourbon person (that’s okay, so is Sean). In that case these Smoky Old Man Cocktails made with smoked ice should have your covered!

Smoked Bloody Mary with Smoked Bacon

For more tailgate food recipe ideas for your smoker or grill check out all our appetizer recipes.

Tried this recipe? Give us a star rating and we would love to see! Mention @vindulge or use the hashtag #vindulge on all the social media handles. And consider subscribing to our newsletter where we drop all our favorite ideas and inspirations every week.

mary cressler headshot


About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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