Lauren Jagnow

How to Tailgate: The Best Hot Dog and Brat Recipes

how to tailgateWould-be tailgaters, we have one very simple tip to make your parking lot party a success: serve hot dogs and bratwurst. Sound too easy? Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that; you need to provide drinks, and seating, and plenty of team spirit. But when it comes to tailgating food, good hot dogs and bratwurst are surefire winners.


In fact, at the risk of being overly dramatic, we’re willing to say that you can’t have a tailgate party without hot dogs or bratwurst. After all, they’re easy to transport, taste great on a grill (and a grill is often your only cooking surface at a tailgate party) and are a surprisingly easy way to showcase team spirit. Just look at the University of Nebraska’s football game hot dog tradition, as much a part of game day in Lincoln as the team itself.


While we don’t recommend shooting hot dogs to your fellow tailgaters, you can set your dogs and brats apart with a creative recipe or unexpected topping. Why stick with just ketchup and mustard when you could offer something much more delicious, and team-spirited? Are you a fan of the Green Bay Packers or the University of Wisconsin? How about our hot dogs with cheddar and sauteed apples? Or maybe you root for a Southern team such as University of Georgia or the Carolina Panthers? Our recipe for Savannah Swiss hot dogs are a great way to stay “Southern” and enjoy a tasty hot dog.


Regardless of what team you’re cheering on, the key to a successful tailgate party is the same: eat, drink and be merry, and hot dogs and brats will surely keep your guests happy!




Savannah Swiss Hot Dogs

how to tailgate

Sweet (and very Southern) Vidalia onions give these gourmet hot dogs great flavor. Creamy mayo and a dash of curry powder are a delicious finish to this grilled treat.




Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

how to tailgate

Give your guests the opportunity to assemble their own dogs with the toppings of their choice. A dash of celery salt at the end adds to the authenticity of a Chicago-style dog.




Hot Dogs with Cheddar and Sauteed Apples

how to tailgate

These hearty hot dogs are a unexpectedly delicious combination of flavors. We love the taste of sweet and cinnamon-y apples alongside sharp Cheddar and salty hot dogs.




Milwaukee Brats with Smoky Stadium Sauce

how to tailgate

No need to buy this signature brat from the vendors when you can serve them yourself! Despite its mysterious name, the Smoky Stadium sauce is actually easy to prepare and tastes great atop these brats.




Baconista Brats

how to tailgate

Bacon makes anything better, and these brats are no exception. If you’re bringing them to a tailgate party, you can prepare everything in advance and simply grill them on location.




Kogi Dogs

how to tailgate

Hot dogs go gourmet with this food-truck inspired recipe. You can find kimchi, a staple of Korean cuisine, at most Asian markets.




Chili Dogs

how to tailgate

Nothing will warm up tailgaters on a chilly autumn afternoon faster than these warm and hearty chili dogs. You can prepare the chili in advance and warm it up when ready to serve.




What’s your favorite tailgating food?

Click here to vote for your favorite tailgating recipes!



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