What do you call a table that’s not yours? Nacho table! I couldn’t resist that joke for this stop of the Tailgate Tour and here’s why…
On September 24 we made our fifth stop of Tailgate Tour which took us back to Knoxville, TN for round 2! The Tennessee Volunteers went head-to-head with their rival, the Florida Gators. I am a die-hard Tennessee fan, so I try to make it to as many games as possible, and I could not miss this one. Tennessee has not beat the Florida Gators since 2016 and has only beat them twice in 18 years… Hate is a strong word, so let’s just say, in my house we strongly dis-like the Gators. Friends and family made the trip to Knoxville for this game, and I was so excited to have them there to tailgate with us.
The first time we traveled to Knoxville for the opening weekend of the Tailgate Tour we found the perfect parking lot. We went back to the exact same spot at the corner of Clinch Avenue and 14th Street. We arrived before the sun came up to claim our spot. After we got the trailer unhitched and unloaded, it was time to start cooking! We set up our tailgate with our Traeger, Weber Kettle, and our new Hasty Bake. We recently received the Hasty Bake Suburban 414. Known as the “mini-work horse”. It is smaller in size and caters to anyone with limited space. It smokes, bakes or grills and can handle just about anything. We also brought our GrillGrates and love to use them on all our grills.
Today’s recipe lineup includes Pork Belly Burnt Ends, Nashville Hot Chicken Wings, and our TikTok famous nachos turned into a Nacho Bar. I did a lot of food prep back at home to be more efficient with my time since this was an early game. While we traveled, all the ingredients stayed cold in our ORCA hard-side coolers. I never have to worry about any food safety issues when using these. ORCA coolers are the perfect on the go “refrigerator.”
The first thing we started on were the Pork Belly Burnt Ends. These are one of my favorite foods of all time. They are sweet, smoky, juicy, and crispy. They are a one bite treat, making them perfect for tailgating. I cut up the pork belly at home, so I was able to save time by skipping that step on site. I seasoned them with Crove Food Co. Pork Rub & Seasoning and then I realized I forgot something… The BBQ Sauce! I did not panic, but instead saw this as a chance to be creative. Tailgating goes that way sometimes; you forget things and you must make do with what you have on hand. After the pork belly smokes, you want to braise them. Most liquids will work for braising, so I chose beer as my liquid along with butter, brown sugar, and pork rub. My amazing sister-in-law brought me a bottle of Allegro Spicy BBQ Sauce in the final minutes of cooking, so I was able to add that at the end. These turned out amazing! One person said, “This is the best meat I’ve ever tasted in my life”, so I’ll take that as a win!
Recipe for Pork Belly Burnt Ends:
- ½ slab raw Pork Belly
- Crove Food Co. Pork Rub & Seasoning
- 1 stick Butter
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ½ can Beer
- Allegro Spicy BBQ Sauce
- Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. I used Cowboy Charcoal’s Charcoal and Applewood Pellets in my Traeger.
- Lay your pork belly out on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the pork belly into 1-inch cubes.
- Season generously with Crove Food Co. Pork Rub & Seasoning on all sides and let sit for about 20 minutes.
- Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire baking rack inside of that. The excess grease will catch in the pan and the aluminum foil will make cleanup a breeze. Place the pork belly fat side up on the wire rack.
- Smoke for 2.5 hours, then remove the pork belly from the smoker.
- Cut up 1 stick of butter in ½ inch pats.
- Put butter, brown sugar, Crove Food Co. Pork Rub & Seasoning, ½ jar Allegro Spicy BBQ Sauce, and beer in the bottom of a large aluminum pan.
- Add the pork belly to the aluminum pan and toss around. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place back on the smoker for 1.5 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
While the Pork Belly Burnt Ends were on the Traeger, the next thing we got started on were the Nashville Hot Chicken Wings.
I love Allegro Marinade’s Nashville Hot marinade. It is spicy and so good on any chicken dish especially chicken wings. I marinated the chicken wings for about three and a half hours in my ORCA. Then, I generously seasoned the chicken wings on both sides in our Crove Food Co. Poultry Rub & Seasoning and put them on the smoker. Our poultry rub has been one of our most popular rubs with classic flavors like salt, garlic, onion, lemon pepper, pairing perfectly with the Allegro Marinade Nashville Hot. When we serve wings, I love to ask people what they prefer- drums or flats. That is still up for debate.
Recipe for Nashville Hot Chicken Wings:
- 2 packages Chicken Wings
- Crove Food Co. Poultry Rub & Seasoning
- 1 bottle Allegro Marinade Nashville Hot
- Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. We used Cowboy Charcoal’s Charcoal and Applewood Pellets in my Traeger.
- Use 2, 1-gallon Ziplock baggies. Half the chicken wings and place them in the baggies.
- In each baggie, pour ½ bottle Allegro Marinade Nashville Hot and seal.
- Marinate for 3 ½ hours in a cooler or refrigerator.
- Remove from marinade and spread the chicken wings out on in a pan.
- Generously season both sides of the chicken wings with Crove Food Co. Poultry Rub & Seasoning.
- Place the wings on the smoker. Cook for about 30 minutes and then flip to cook for another 30 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve and enjoy!
For the last recipe of the day, I chose to make a Nacho Bar. This is where my joke comes in that I totally over-used that day. What do you call a table that’s not yours? Nacho table! Well… turns out our nacho table was for everyone. We had tons of people standing around enjoying these mouth-watering nachos. If you follow us on TikTok, then you have most likely seen our nacho videos. We usually like to assemble them in a pot and dump them out ensuring that the ratio of cheese, meat, and chips is perfect, but since we were serving so many people at this stop, we had to get creative. We did a Nacho Bar and covered an entire table with nachos- different concept, same great taste. We chose Adobo Chicken and Carne Asada as the meats topped with our Pico de Gallo, Queso, and Salsa Verde. One side of the table was steak, and the other side was chicken. We added our homemade Salsa Verde to the chicken. We usually like to fry our own tortilla chips, but because of time constraints we had to use store-bought chips. Trust me on this one, take the time to fry your own chips, they are so much better and will level-up your nachos!
RECIPES FOR TIKTOK-FAMOUS-NACHO BAR
- 6-10 Boneless Skinless Chicken ThighsAdobo Marinade:
- 1 7 oz Can of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- 6-8 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Jalapeno
- Juice of 1 ½ Lime (reserve ½ for the end)
- 1/2 White Onion
- 3-4 Tbsp Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning
- In a medium size bowl mix all ingredients for the adobo marinade.
- Marinate the boneless skinless chicken thighs with adobo marinade. Ideally, let them sit overnight in the adobo marinade in the fridge, but at least for a few hours.
- Preheat Weber Kettle with GrillGrates using Cowboy Charcoal Briquettes.
- Grill on GrillGrates for Weber Kettle until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from grill and squeeze the juice of ½ lime over the steak.
- Slice up into bite size pieces.
- 2 Skirt Steaks
- 2 cups Olive Oil
- Juice of 2 Limes
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1/4 cup Cilantro
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning
- Combine all ingredients in a Ziplock bag to create the marinade. Add steak, mix well, and refrigerate for 2-12 hours until time to grill.
- Grill for 3-5 minutes over high heat over GrillGrates. Use a thermometer to reach your preferred doneness.
- Remove from heat, let rest for 10 minutes, and slice into bite-size pieces.
Pico de Gallo:
- 8 Roma Tomatoes
- 1 White Onion
- 2 Jalapenos
- ¼ cup Cilantro
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 2 tbsp Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning
- Juice of 2 Limes
- Dice the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro and add to a bowl.
- Add in the seasonings and lime juice.
- Stir and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- 6 tbsp Butter
- 6 tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 9 cups Milk
- 6 tbsp Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning
- 3 lb. of White American Cheese
- 3 tbsp Diced Green Chiles
- Juice from 1 ½ Limes
- Add butter to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Once melted, add flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly add 3 cups of milk and stir until thick, then add the remaining milk.
- Add seasonings, lime juice, chiles, and most of your cheese.
- Stir until cheese is melted and add more cheese if it is not thick enough or add more milk if it is too thick.
- If you are not serving immediately, you can keep this warm in a Crock-pot on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Homemade Tortilla Chips:
- 2-4 Packages of Yellow Corn Tortillas (depending on how many people you are serving)
- Oil for frying (vegetable and canola work great)
- Lime Juice
- Preheat your oil to 350 degrees.
- Cut your tortillas into quarters and add them to the hot oil.
- Fry for 3-5 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from oil and drain excess grease over a paper towel.
- Finish with salt and fresh lime juice.
Directions for Assembling Nacho Bar:
- Prep your table by laying parchment paper, aluminum foil, or butcher paper from end to end.
- Layer with nachos, meat, cheese, and Pico de Gallo.
We tried out a new game at this stop, “Spin to Win”. Similar to Wheel of Fortune, but tailgate-trivia style. We asked football and cooking related questions. If the question was answered correctly, then the participant got to spin to win a prize. Some of the questions were about Gordon Ramsey’s most famous lines and another question was what is the name of the field that the Tennessee Volunteers play on. My favorite question was “How many YouTube subscribers do we currently have?”, to which she replied, “I don’t know, not enough?”. She was correct! She got to spin the wheel and won an ORCA cup. If you aren’t subscribed to our YouTube channel, please do that. If we get to 100,000 subscribers, then we are heading to the Superbowl next year in Arizona. We also played some games on the Tennessee River Jam corn hole boards and handed out prizes for those that could score before me.
You can find the full recipes on our website at crovefood.com and you can watch me walk you through the day on our YouTube Channel.
A huge thanks to our sponsors GrillGrate, Tennessee River Jam, ORCA, Cowboy Charcoal and Allegro Marinade, we were able hand out FREE samples to friends, family and strangers who stopped by before the game. We loved getting to show off the products from our sponsors at this stop such as: GrillGrates for our Weber Kettle, ORCA Cooler Hard side to keep all our food cold, Cowboy Charcoal’s Charcoal and Applewood Pellets, Cowboy Charcoal Briquettes and Allegro Marinade Nashville Hot. We also got to showcase and cook with our new line of Crove Food Co. Rubs & Seasonings which include Beef, Fajita, Poultry and Pork and are available to order online. Shop now at crovefood.com.
The highlight of the whole day was sitting in Neyland Stadium with my wife and my family and watching the Volunteers beat the Gators for the first time since 2016. The next stop on the Tailgate Tour will take us to Louisville, KY when the Louisville Cardinals will take on Wake Forrest on October 29. Make sure you are following along on our social media platforms where we will announce exactly where we are set up! Stop by to tailgate with us and try out samples, play games and hang out with our team!
– Crove Food Co.
Follow along with all this tasty Tailgate Tour has to offer by following @CroveFoodCo on TikTok!