Even though tailgating season is upon us, homegating (tailgating at home) is also scoring big points with consumers. A recent survey by International Casual Furnishings Association found that 90 percent of Americans with outdoor living space have been taking greater advantage of their decks, porches and patios, and consider their outdoor living space is more valuable than ever before.
And leading manufacturers are more than happy to oblige, especially on the outdoor cooking front. From fire pits and digitally controlled grills to building out full kitchens, nearly every tailgating essential can be delivered directly to your doorstep allowing friends and family to cheer for their favorite teams from the comfort of home.
Designing the perfect outdoor kitchen
“Over the past two years, families looked to utilize their outdoor space as they transferred the hearth of the home to the backyard,” said James Ginocchi, President, Coyote Outdoor Living. “Now, during the football season, homegating is a major trend that serves as an alternative to grilling in the stadium parking lot.”
Coyote Outdoor Living recently partnered with legendary Steeler linebacker Ryan Shazier to create a dream outdoor kitchen fit for this former pro bowler as well as the ultimate fan. A free 3D design tool, launched in conjunction with Ready To Assemble (RTA), allowed Shazier to create his outdoor oasis in five easy steps including his kitchen layout, island finish, Coyote appliances, accessories, and their placement.
“This is ideal for the homegating enthusiast as they can choose grill type, island length for adequate prep space, and extras like refrigerators, refreshment centers, pull out trash and recycle and even paper towel holders,” said Ginocchi. “This means there is little need to go inside for drinks, to clean up messes or to dispose of garbage.”
Firing up smart outdoor appliances
As outdoor appliances get smarter – and with grocery delivery more accessible than ever –consumers are continuing to embrace the ease of homegating, according to Kaitlyn Hebert, Director, VP of Marketing at SharkNinja.
“Celebrating your favorite team on game day no longer requires managing logistical variables – so all you need to worry about is making sure everyone at your watch party is well-fed,” said Hebert.
SharkNinja recently launched the first electric outdoor grill that can also BBQ smoke and air fry all-in-one. Dubbed the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, this compact and innovative outdoor appliance is perfect for tailgating but is also proving to be the ultimate homegating experience as well. With just a half cup of wood pellets, consumers can achieve BBQ bark and authentic woodfire flavors in less time than traditional smoking. The Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill also tenderizes large cuts of meat up to 40% faster and with 80% less pellets than other leading brands.
“With no charcoal, propane, or flare-ups, the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill is apartment and condo-friendly, perfect for patios, balconies, and backyards – so home chefs can reinvent their outdoor space whether they live in the city or the suburbs,” said Hebert.
Portability means flexibility
The pandemic spurred a big drive to upgrade at-home set-ups with sophisticated outdoor cooking and entertainment spaces, according to John Veatch, President, NOMAD Grills. “And now more than ever, we see food and beverage brands cater to those at-home customers. Ultimately, the shift of thinking and the conveniences of hosting game day at-home is a big reason we think homegating is here to stay.”
Even though NOMAD’s flagship portable charcoal grill was specifically “made to move”, it’s proving to provide a great homegating experience as well.
“The NOMAD Grill houses two heavy-duty, diecast cookboxes that help the grill maintain stable smoking temps for hours on end, so we’ve taken a lot of the guesswork out of live-fire cooking and low slow smoking,” said Veatch. “Even though it’s an incredible portable option, our customers often tell us how their NOMAD has displaced their stationary, at-home cooking devices because of its compact convenience, thermal performance, and ability to use it on a wood or metal surface for table-top grilling.”
Creating cozy real estate
Real estate analysts continue to point to high demand from buyers prioritizing outdoor living and outdoor cooking spaces in their home searches, according to According to Lucas Servera, Director of Business Development for Nuke BBQ USA.
“A lot of families have invested in creating purpose-built outdoor kitchens, and they’ll continue to want to put those spaces to work. Beyond that, I think there is an almost intangible element to gathering the family around the fire, cooking a meal together, and enjoying the company.”
Nuke’s product line is built from the asado traditions of Argentina where large all-day family gatherings around the grill are the standard. Designed for open fire cooking over charcoal or real wood fire, Nuke’s legacy products like the Nuke Delta and Nuke Puma and its Santa Maria-style grill, are becoming more popular in the U.S. A new line of fire pit grills offers something more portable that could live comfortably on a backyard patio, camping or beach trip or even the tailgating lot.
“Tailgating a football game is a great excuse to enjoy the company of friends, family, the game and great food,” said Servera. “Bringing that sense of togetherness to the backyard makes it even more desirable.”