BUCK: Clay, I put out a little poll, just a quick one, got a couple thousand votes here already. “Independence Day weekend, what goes on your burger if you can only get one?” Ketchup is crushing it at 57%. Mustard at 30%. And just the beef, 15%. So this is where I tell my tips. Do you have some things that you always want everyone to know about the grill? ‘Cause what I always tell everyone is, number one — and this has come from many, many family events and gatherings — I would always say, let’s throw some sausage in the cart, just like that sweet Italian sausage you’ll see at the grocery store, you char that stuff up, it’s delicious.
So don’t limit yourself just to burger, steak, hot dog. A lot of people like chicken, obviously, too. I’m a big proponent of that salty, delicious Italian sausage or a hot, spicy sausage. The other thing is, guys — and ladies — you gotta season the buns. You gotta do a little bit of butter on the bun that you’ve melted or a little bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper. Don’t just think the bun is the delivery mechanism for your barbecued meat. You want the bun to taste good too. So a little bit of olive oil brushed on there, a little salt and pepper, game-changer.
CLAY: The age range. Age range of July 4th is a big deal. So make sure there’s a ton of kid and grandkid overlap usually at July 4th. The kids are a total mess, in my experience, when it comes to if you don’t get ’em fed at the right time, right? Like things can be going well, going well. Get started on the grill earlier than you’re expecting to want to get started on the grill. That make sense? Like I feel like as an adult sometimes you think, oh, he everybody’s having a good time. The kids can spiral out of control really quickly. Get going faster than you may have otherwise been —
BUCK: Yeah, get it going in advance for sure. That makes a lot of sense to me. What is the, at the travel household, what is the must have grill item, other than the classic burger and hot dog?
CLAY: I am a monster watermelon fan for the fourth.
BUCK: You and my dad, big watermelon fans.
CLAY: Big watermelon guy for July 4th. I also think you gotta have beans, right, to go with the chips. I don’t know what it is about being in a cookout, but if you have chips — and I’m a big chips guy, too, I love all types of chips. There’s something amazing about having baked beans that you can dip the chip through.
BUCK: Ooh. This is a pro tip.
CLAY: Oh, this is a pro tip. I love, absolutely love — and I don’t know why it is, but it’s always like a July 4th, Memorial Day cookout thing — beans getting dipped into the chips, picking the chip up covered in beans is an all-time great feeling when you’re sitting there nice, frosty beverage and you got the beans covering the chips. This is, I say, a go-to. And also, gotta toss in, like I said, the watermelon.CLAY: We were talking about the Biden administration bragging about saving you 16 cents on your Fourth of July cookout. Brian Kemp — who is running for governor of Georgia and will be beating, hopefully, Stacey Abrams come November — put out his own graphic today. And I didn’t know it was this bad for everything, but I’m looking at it right now. This is according to Kemp for Governor. Ground beef prices since last year, up 36%. Chicken breast prices up 33%. Pork and beans, 33%. Lemonade — Lemonade! — up 22%. Potato salad up 19%. Hamburger buns, 16%. Even ice cream is up 10%, Buck, in terms of the overall costs.
BUCK: If you can only get within ice cream flavor at this Independence Day weekend, Clay. What is it? No hemming and hawing, what comes to mind?
CLAY: No, I would go mint chocolate chip.
BUCK: Damn, that’s a good one. I go pistachio ’cause I’m fancy like that.
CLAY: Pistachio is very fancy. I know because we go for ice cream right now almost every night with the boys, and my kids love Superman ice cream, and they like cookie dough ice cream, which, I have to be honest, is the cookie dough ice cream the greatest ice cream flavor that has been invented in our lifetimes?
BUCK: I think —
CLAY: I think it is.
BUCK: Crash here said rocky road, is that your favorite here in NYC, our audio engineering says rocky road. Producer Ali, she goes chocolate chiop. Is that mint chocolate chip? Are you with Clay here? Oh, okay.
BUCK: She’s breaking off on a regular chocolate chip.
CLAY: That’s like cookies and cream, right?
BUCK: No, no. Cookies and cream is different. I don’t know why. They’re just different.
CLAY: Does everyone agree with me on the show that cookie dough, even if you don’t like it yourself, is the greatest ice cream flavor to be invented in the modern era?
BUCK: Before I had to go gluten-free for health reasons, cookie dough is by far my favorite ice cream.
CLAY: Cookie dough ice cream is incredible. I think it’s gotta be the best invented ice cream in the last, what, 30 years. I don’t think… They didn’t have cookie dough when we were kids, did we?
BUCK: Cookie dough ice cream?
CLAY: Yeah. Like, how recent is cookie dough ice cream?
BUCK: I had it in the… Clay you’re a little older, but I had it. (laughing)
CLAY: Three years older! Buck talks like I’m 19 or 40 years older than him.
BUCK: You’re riding a chariot to work every day, you know?
CLAY: I don’t think… I remember kids. Do you remember when kids used to just eat the cookie dough, like before there was cookie dough ice cream, you would sometimes there were kids that would eat the cookie dough. My mom wouldn’t let me do it —
BUCK: I will tell you there is a… I had to stop buying it, and I’ve only seen it in few places. They make a gluten-free cookie dough that comes in a blue tub, and it’s called I think Le Pastry or El Pastry or something that I will just eat the whole thing. I will just eat it straight with a spoon out of it and, you know, it is bathing suit season; so I have not bought this cookie dough in a while. I am powerless against the gluten-free cookie dough’s powers. I cannot throw that down.
CLAY: It is pretty amazing. And I bet there are a lot of women out there that will respond to this. Have you noticed, Buck, that there are — the reason I’m thinking about it is because of you talking about just like opening the container and eating out of it. I have known a lot of women in my life who, if secretly they love to just eat peanut butter by itself. You ever eat peanut by itself, like just like get a tablespoon of peanut butter and eat?
BUCK: I mean, I cannot tell a lie. Yes, I have done that. I’ll do it with almond butter, too, which I like as well.
CLAY: Oh, yeah. See, I’m a big peanut butter guy. I love peanut butter, but I mix it with graham crackers, graham crackers peanut butter. Phenomenal, phenomenal treat.
BUCK: My brother’s baked goods company is coming out with a new line of graham crackers so I’ll have to get it.
CLAY: Oh, really?
CLAY: I’ll have to try ’em out. I love ’em.
BUCK: Yeah, Suzie’s Graham Crackers.
CLAY: Well, I just ran through all of these different price increases on the cookouts for July 4th.
CLAY: Buck, you are ready to give the people the tease that you have been giving for some time now, which is your impeccably, most important detailed grilling tip, which is…?
BUCK: I gave them “season the bun,” and I gave them “throw sausage in the mix,” which take that as you will, different kinds of sausage. But when in doubt, wrap it in bacon. I’m telling you, it always works. Scallop, wrap it in bacon.
CLAY: It doesn’t ever make it worse.
BUCK: Never makes it worse. You know? You’ve got like a pork shoulder whatever, wrap it in some bacon. You’ve got a flank steak that you’re not sure if it’s really gonna be juicy enough, wrap it in bacon. You’re never gonna be like, “I shouldn’t have wrapped that in bacon.” I’m just telling you. And bacon-wrapped gates, if you want to do something a little fancy as an appetizer, really easy to pull off, really easy.
CLAY: That actually sounds phenomenal and also is making me hungry right now.
BUCK: it kind of turned into a cooking show today a little bit. But that happens.
CLAY: I know. Well, I mean, it’s July 4th and there are a lot of people out there getting ready, celebrating, preparing. So, your beverage of choice, by the way, you can drink tequila, right? Is that what you can drink?
BUCK: I can drink tequila and wine because of celiac disease; so tequila and wine basically is what I go for. I was never a Big Beer drinker, and I will tell you I’ve actually always like cider which I can drink, I think cider is delicious. I just try not to think about the 300 grams of sugar that I’m drinking.
CLAY: Oh, I didn’t know. Is cider sugary?
BUCK: Cider, not always but of the ciders, it’s like more sugar than Coca-Cola. It’s really high insugar, if you want to avoid that. Our good friend Jesse Kelly claims to have — we can call him out right now — Jesse Kelly, that he has the best method for cooking burgers on the planet and he stands behind this a hundred percent so we’re gonna to call him.
CLAY: I’ve had the burger, by the way.
BUCK: You have?
CLAY: I’ve had Jesse’s burger, cheeseburger, I think. It’s good. Nothing spectacular.
BUCK: Oh, wow.
CLAY: — a little bit, if —
CLAY: If he’s working tonight.
BUCK: That Jesse Kelly on Twitter.
CLAY: I had the burger. I’ve seen him brag about the burger and how it’s the most amazing burger ever. Burgers are always good. It’s like pizza. It’s really hard to screw up pizza, really hard to screw up chicken tenders. Basically, if kids like it, grilled cheese hard to screw up. If kids like it, it’s because it’s almost impossible to make bad. So I’m not denegrating the burger. I’m just saying, on a burger taste test, for all the props that Jesse gives his burgers, the burger… What the burger did we have in the studio? The Shake Shack?
BUCK: Oh, yeah, the Shake Shack burger is amazing.
CLAY: Shake Shack bergers dunked on Jesse Kelly’s burger like balls in the face style, if you think about it, like somebody trying to draw the charge and Jesse Kelly’s just standing there and his burger’s getting dunked on by a Shake Shack burger.
BUCK: We’re gonna have to have Jessie on. Next Friday or something we’re gonna have to have Jesse on to let him respond to this scandalous attack.
CLAY: We’ll have a taste test. We should have a taste test. I think almost everybody would go Shake Shack burger over Jesse Kelly burger.
BUCK: We’re gonna have a showdown here. We’re gonna make this happen.