BMW Owner’s Guide to a Thanksgiving Tailgate

Thanksgiving is almost here and for many, it’s a chance to get together with family and friends and enjoy some good food. For others, it’s the perfect opportunity to crack open a cold one and watch their favorite football players. 

A BMW might seem a little out of place but it actually makes the perfect tailgate vehicle. If you fall in the latter group, here are some Thanksgiving tailgate ideas to help you plan the perfect event this holiday season.

Choose Your Cooking Tools

Step one when getting ready for the perfect Thanksgiving tailgate is figuring out how much cooking you’re going to want to do out of the trunk of your car — and how much time you’re going to have to cook. A deep-fried turkey is delicious, as long as you’re careful to fully thaw the bird before you lower it gently into the oil, but even a small 12-pound bird can take up to an hour to fully cook. 

If you don’t want to spend a ton of time frying or grilling but still want all that Thanksgiving turkey goodness, consider roasting and carving your bird the night before so all you need to do is reheat it before you eat. 

Prep As Much as Possible the Night Before

Tailgating is a great pastime, but it requires quite a bit of preparation to ensure that you have everything you need before you leave the house. Prep as much as possible the night before. This means cooking or preparing cold dishes, packing supplies that don’t need to be refrigerated into your vehicle, and having a game plan in place for how you’re going to dole out your meals once you arrive.

Many of the very popular side dishes — and even some main dishes — can be cooked the night before and refrigerated overnight. 

Spatchcock Your Bird

If you’ve got your heart set on cooking a whole turkey on the day of your tailgate party, there are some ways that you can reduce cooking time while still ensuring that you get a moist and flavorful bird. One of these ways is a process called spatchcocking. It sounds terrible, but all you’re really doing is cutting out the bird’s backbone and flattening it out before you cook it. 

Even in an oven, spatchcocking a bird can help it cook faster and more evenly, so you’ve got plenty of tasty meat to enjoy in a fraction of the time. 

Think Outside the Box

When most people start putting together a Thanksgiving feast, the menu looks pretty familiar: turkey, stuffing and/or dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and some sort of bread. Oh, and don’t forget the cranberry sauce, though whether you prefer it fresh or canned is between you and your God. While this makes for a great traditional meal, this isn’t the only menu option. 

Take the time to think outside the box. Maybe add a couple of seafood-based side dishes. Make some stuffing with lump lobster meat, or sear up some scallops. There are plenty of recipes out there for you to try. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the traditional Thanksgiving menu, especially if you’re tailgating.

Don’t Forget Your Supplies

While eating a turkey leg right off the bone is acceptable — and even expected — at renaissance fairs, it’s not the kind of behavior you usually see at tailgate parties. When you’re planning your party, make sure you’ve got everything you need. This should include condiments, plates, silverware, cups, and anything that you might normally walk into the kitchen to grab at home. 

Make sure if you’re bringing canned cranberry sauce that you also pack a can opener. Otherwise, you’ll spend your whole meal staring forlornly at the label, defeated by a simple tin can.

Hot and Cold Drinks are a Must

Crack open a beer if you like, but you will probably want a bit of variety when it comes to your thanksgiving tailgate drinks. Try to change things up with both hot and cold drinks. Apple cider or hot cocoa is perfect for what will probably be a very chilly tailgate party. Both are easy to toss into a crockpot or instant pot to heat up and serve. Coffee, instant or brewed, should also be on your menu.

You may want to bring cold drinks like beer or soda, but if the temperature drops, most people will probably prefer a hot drink to warm their hands and their bellies. 

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Tailgate Meal

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a big meal at home. It can easily be a delicious meal anywhere that you set up your tailgate rig. Enjoy your Thanksgiving tailgate meal.