Tailgate Parties Turn Pro

Oh, barbecue grills. You make the act of tailgating an art. You are the maraschino cherry cream pie to our grossly exorbitant dinner parties. Without you, we would be living off raw hot dogs, uncooked hamburgers, pink chicken patties, droopy shish kebabs, and underserved Tofu Pups.

Yes, we could be prepping for the Boss show with a DIY BBQ grill fashioned out of a metal garbage pail and sticks for mallow-roasting. But there's something so striking about going pro with equipment such as that featured at left; which will make all the lot kids green with envy, and all the yuppies blush with embarrassment. Behold Outdora.com's latest outdoing of itself: the perfect tailgating BBQ grill.

Okay—tailgating admittedly doesn't have all that much to do with Better Farm; unless you begin to consider future opportunities to tailgate at one of our many upcoming festivities, and the fact that anyone from the farm would be happy to join you on any number of soon-to-materialize concert tours.

But this also brings up other ideas of no-nonsense grilling; such as the ever-growing trend of outdoor kitchen areas, the increasingly acceptable idea of making dinner out-of-doors, and that nagging sensation you have of improving on your hubby or leading lady's idea of "campfires".

From hobos in train yards to campground pastimes to a major surge in barbecuing in 1950s America, today's outdoor cookers have taste. And expectations. And a refusal to settle for mish mashed concepts of shoddy grilling tendencies. Thankfully, everyone from retched box stores and glamorous boutiques have answered the call. You can go as basic or complicated as you please with your grilling. Utter freedom!

Us Better Farmers envision the reappropriation of an indoor, wood-burning cookstove as an outdoor grilling-machine-under-gazebo setup (complete with sinkwater gleaned from rainwater collection bins) by Summer 2011. It's ambitious; but with so many inspiring ideas to inspect and dream about (tailgating ideas included) we don't see any roadblocks up ahead. It's time we took this "timeless grilling accessory" to new heights—beyond its role as a centerpiece to outdoor entertainment and into a realm where this cooking style speaks for itself.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.