Patriotic Grilling 101

Patriotic Grilling 101

Junior's Grill Fired Burgers

To say that Dallas resident Dave Price – Junior as he is known to many – has experienced a wide range of cooking on the Fourth of July would be an understatement.


That's because Price, who grew up in Virginia and played football at Virginia Tech, has spent many Independence Day holidays outside the United States as a member of the armed forces.

A retired officer and pilot with the U.S. Air Force, Price spent many of Uncle Sam's birthdays overseas in the last three decades defending the red, white and blue as a combat aviator.

Since then, he has spent much of his time traveling good portions of the world, seeing what hunting and fishing adventures he can find with his Hoyt bow and his Orvis fly rods.


From Africa to Canada, from Mongolia to New Zealand, Price has been there, done that, and has the t-shirt to prove it. Not to mention the taxidermy bill.

And while he has enjoyed many different cultures and their methods of cooking, his culinary roots are now deep in the heart of Texas.

Which is why you will find the Dallas Safari Club board of directors member behind a hot mesquite fired grill this weekend, cooking some good old fashioned Lone Star beef up for his fellow DSC members.


"Cooking on the grill has always been my favorite way to cook," said Price, a life-member and sponsor of DSC along with being the organization's current membership chairman (www.biggame.org ).

"I've come a long way from my father's approach of chunking a piece of beef on the grill, cooking it four minutes on each side and serving it for supper," he added.

"It was delicious though and my childhood memories of grilling with my father and uncles will live with me forever!”

While Price says his backyard grill will have some exotic fare this weekend – game taken on various hunts – his favorite recipe to prepare and eat also happens to be one of the simplest ones.

"We're going to have a number of our DSC friends over for a backyard barbecue and then watch the local fireworks display," said Price. "And I'm going to be honest, probably the thing that most of us will want this weekend is a simple grilled burger."

Price said that his current version of the American grilled classic draws its inspiration from the classic "Nolan Ryan's Beef and BBQ Cookbook."

He also has picked up burger grilling tips in conversations with various hunting town chefs at such Lone Star State eateries as Mac and Ernie's in Tarpley, Texas, and the Alamo Springs General Store near Fredericksburg, Texas.

"I guess since I got some of my inspiration from Nolan Ryan's cookbook, I'd also have to say I'm a big fan of his beef products," said Price. "In my opinion, it's the best beef on the market."

"When I cook burgers out, I'm using ground chuck with an 80/20 or a 70/30 mixture of beef to fat," he added. "That ratio gives the meat great flavor and there's enough fat to hold the beef patties together while they're being mixed and molded."

To the ground beef Price will mix in salt, pepper, garlic powder and finely chopped onions to taste. He says that using an egg will help keep the patties together as well. Once he's gotten all of the ingredients mixed together, Price will form the meat into equal sized patties.

"I like mine thick – usually nearly an inch thick – but others in our crowd like thinner patties so I have a bunch of both sizes," said Price. "Once you've gotten the patties formed, place them on a baking sheet and refrigerate them until you're ready to grill."

Price says that refrigerating the burgers before putting them on the grill actually helps the patties form, helps the spices mix with the meat and produces a great flavor when all of the ingredients combine.

Then it's on to the grill.

"While waiting for the meat to chill I coat the grill surface lightly with olive oil then preheat the grill to a medium high heat," said Price. "Once the grill is heated, I sear the patties for a minute on each side, then grill for an additional four minutes per side – or longer depending on how folks want their burger done."

What about venison and other wild game burgers? Price usually has a freezer full of wild meat and said that he will cook up some of that too.

"My wild game burgers use the same recipe as my beef burgers do," said Price. "Any wild game meat will work well. But my personal favorite game meat for grilling is good old Texas whitetail deer or some exotic black buck and axis deer meat from down in the Hill Country."

Price says that whatever wild burger meat is being used, grillers must remember that wild game meat contains very little fat. That means that you've usually got to mix in some sort of fat to make the burger magic happen.

"Personally, I always mix in ground pork butt to arrive at the 80/20 or 70/30 ratio of meat-to-fat that I mentioned earlier."

Whether he's grilling Texas raised beef or Lone Star State bred venison, Price says there are few things more memorable, or more patriotic, in his mind than a backyard barbecue cookout on the Fourth of July.

Having defended the U.S. flag from one corner of the globe to the other, he should know.

"I'd like to tell everyone to have a great July 4th celebration," said Price. "And I'd like to ask everyone to remember our troops deployed down range who can't enjoy celebrating the birth of our great nation here in the U.S.A.!"

Recommended for You

Gear

Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

Bass

Baitfish for Bass: Search, Suspend or Sink Crankbaits

Jason Houser - May 21, 2019

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

Walleye

Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.

See More Stories

More Wild Game

Wild Game

3 of the Best Black Bear Kitchen-Ready Recipe Ideas

Lynn Burkhead

While black bear meat is a wild cut not every hunter is familiar with, the species can...

Wild Game

Grilled Venison Rib Roast Recipe

Traeger

A few ingredients and some easy steps are all that is needed for this Grilled Venison Rib...

Wild Game

Venison 'White Castle' Burgers in a CanCooker Recipe

Jessyca Sortillon

You know those irresistible little burgers from White Castle with the mini onions? With this...

See More Wild Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×