“Grill master” is the most coveted job to have at a tailgating event, according to new research.
A poll of 5,000 Americans — with 100 people in each of the 50 states — revealed that 29% believe manning the grill to be the best job while tailgating, while 25% opt for “side dish taster” or “game hype man” (23%).
Other tailgate duties include cup refiller (18%) and food server (18%).
In fact, 34% of respondents agree that it’s better to have one designated person man the grill, rather than rotating between people (30%).
It’s no surprise that portable grills are the most popular cooking method for tailgating (67%). In fact, those on the East Coast, like Pennsylvania (76%) and Virginia (74%), are most likely to choose this method.
Almost half (49%) of respondents prefer traditional outdoor grills, especially those in the Southeast, like Alabama (62%) and Mississippi (62%).
The third most popular cooking method is a crock pot (38%), which was found to be exceedingly popular in South Dakota (56%) but very unpopular in Hawaii (19%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hormel Foods, the survey explored how tailgaters use food and friends to create the most fun event possible.
The average respondent attends two tailgates per year, with the optimal group size being 11 people on average.
Tailgaters typically arrive about two hours before the game. Respondents also cited their friends (56%) and themselves (42%) as the most likely people to arrive first.
About one-quarter (24%) said their sibling is likely to arrive first, but grandma will likely be the last to arrive, as only 3% believe she would be first.
The vast majority of respondents (84%) believe that everyone attending a tailgate should bring at least one item.
This unspoken rule is highly respected as almost half (46%) of respondents agree that if someone brings nothing, they are less likely to be invited to the next tailgate.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents are even likely to bring their favorite dish regardless of if others enjoy it.
Overall, the perfect tailgate has five different dishes.