The Dad’s Council of Grilling

Dad Grill Masters

For dads, grilling is an essential skill, a beloved pastime, and a favorite way to impress the family. Not to mention it’s the best way to one-up Carl from down the street, always showing off his sous vide machine and refinished deck. Nobody cares, Carl! But what is it about grilling that makes it so appealing?

We sat down with dads from New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, LA, and Toronto for some frank talk about the art of cooking franks (and burgers and everything else). We found that some elements of grilling are universal, but all dads bring something unique to the table. Join us for an honest talk about buns, beers, and everything in between.

Okay, right out the gate: Gas or Charcoal?

Cincinnati: Ah, the great debate of our times.

NYC: This is anonymous, right?

Toronto: I’ve heard from a science standpoint that gas is actually better. Although I’ve also heard you have more options with charcoal, like smoking and such. But I still like the convenience of turning a knob, especially in the era of fatherhood. It’s all about saving time.

Philadelphia: Gas. I don’t like washing my hands.

Cincinnati: Team Charcoal! Gas grills are just inconvenient outdoor gas stoves. CHANGE MY MIND.

LA: Yeah, if you’re grilling with gas you might as well just haul your oven outside. I don’t see the point.

NYC: I like charcoal because I like to make the little brick pyramids. It makes me feel connected to the ancient ways.

What is your main grilling inspiration?

LA: …What?

NYC: Like, what is more important to you? The perfect party or the perfect burger? I, for one, don’t enjoy hosting a bunch of people, but grilling up the perfect steak is how I relax during a busy work week.

Cincinnati: Grills, to me, are experiential and communal. Grilling is either time for me to chill on the deck alone, or time to have people over and cook up a ton of food and hang out.

NYC: Yes, those were the options, haha.

LA: Party first, food second. A good burger is nothing without a beer in your hand and your friends hanging out.

Toronto: Okay, dad admission: I’ve often manned the grill to avoid chatting with my family.

NYC: Oh, you gotta switch to charcoal then. Way more time behind the grill.

Cincinnati: Or get into smokin’ meats. Gotta watch that for days.

Toronto: Hmmm. Yes, I’m beginning to see the genius in this.

Do you have any grilling wins you’re particularly proud of? Or, #fails you still shake your head over? 

Toronto: Just yesterday I was grilling with the kids behind me shooting each other with water guns. Nice moment.

Philadelphia: Grill Win: Taught my children the importance of the toasted hot dog bun.

NYC: Sometimes the simplest lessons are the best ones. 

Cincinnati: That’s great. I’ve taught both of my kids to grill. We were jokin’ earlier about using it as a way to avoid family, but it’s a good bonding experience too for sure. Although last week I volunteered at my kid’s swim meet and had to man the grill. It was 90+ degrees and I grilled up 100+ burgers and hot dogs. It was a nightmare.

NYC: Is that a win or a fail? 

Cincinnati: I am not a grill master but I wore my Grill Master University shirt IRONICALLY. I was standing there dying from heat exhaustion, trying to keep up, overcooking everything. A lot of disappointed swimmers that day.

NYC: Well a crispy hot dog is better, in my opinion. 

Cincinnati: Truth. 

LA: STRONG DISAGREE. Boiled all the way, baby. 

NYC: WHAT?! Are you, a pigeon living on the streets?  

Speaking of toasted buns. What is the ideal bun for burgers and dogs? 

NYC: Toasted, obviously. And I like whole wheat. A lot of burgers you see these days use brioche bread for the buns. I’m not a fan. It’s too sweet, and they don’t hold anything together. 

Philadelphia: I’m not too picky, but the bread needs to be fresh. Oh, and with cheese melted on top. Well, I mean on the inside. Not on top of the – you get what I’m saying.  

LA: Thing I do with buns sometimes: spread a light layer of ranch on both sides of the bun and broil in oven for five minutes.

Toronto: Ranch buns? Whoa. 

Philadelphia: Seeds or no seeds on a bun? 

NYC: Seeds all the way. The more texture the better. I really like Everything Rolls

Philadelphia: This is the maximum number of seeds I’ll accept on a bun:

Weird Burger

NYC: That is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. 

Cincinnati: Get out of here man. Seeded bread is highly underrated. 

LA: Did your kid make that out of Play-Doh? 

Do you have any signature recipes or something you’re known for behind the grill?

Cincinnati: Keeping things simple is key. Burgers for me are lean ground beef, garlic, Worcester, soy sauce, and an egg. That’s it. For fun, sometimes I’ll let my kids pick a special ingredient to throw in, like putting cheese in the patties for example.

NYC: Juicy Lucy! That’s pretty good, but I like to throw some bread crumbs and different seasoning rubs in to play around a bit. 

Cincinnati: Yeah, those are clutch. I like Texas rubs the most. 

NYC: I added a Kansas City rub to a hot dog, and like, I did it as a joke, but it was the best hot dog I ever had. And if I’d boiled it, all that seasoning would have washed off, so, boiling hot dogs is a sucker’s game. 

LA: Alright, alright. 

Toronto: I’ve started chopping up raw bacon slices and sprinkling them into my burger blend. Things have been going pretty well. 

Philadelphia: Here’s a dad hack. I grill frozen pizzas. My kids think I’m a pizza chef. I do nothing. 

Cincinnati: You’re a cheater, but I respect it. 

So what is it about grilling that makes it, you know, “grilling?” If it’s not the heat source, or even the food itself, then what is the secret sauce of grilling?

LA: Grill lines make food taste better. That’s science. 

Toronto: Channel your inner caveman, playing with fire. But also, sometimes you gotta be really impressive with like a crazy good made-from-scratch meal. 

Cincinnati: Yep yep. Like I mentioned, the experience of it. Taking time. Food I grill just tastes better to me, but maybe it’s actually not any better? Maybe because I went through the process of building the fire and cooking it that way, maybe that made it taste better to me.

NYC: I think it’s the sizzling sound, honestly. It does something to the brain. The sound of meat hitting the grill is my self-care. 

Cincinnati: Plenty of good veggie or non-meat options for the grill, too. 

Speaking of vegetables, let’s talk sides. What are the most important things at a grill besides meat? 

NYC: Can’t go wrong with mushrooms. They’re good on burgers and steaks and on their own. And asparagus. I keep ordering asparagus at restaurants, thinking I like it, but it’s only good homemade. Steakhouses make them too bland, they need to be oily. 

Cincinnati: There is only one way to cook asparagus, and that’s to cook a pound of bacon, and then cook the asparagus in a little bit of the leftover bacon grease.  

LA: Texas Toast. 

NYC: Yes, bread. America’s favorite vegetable.

Philadelphia: I mean, the most important things include beer and good tunes. 

Quick, name your *must-play* cookout song. 

NYC: *whispers* Don’t say Carly Rae Jepsen. Don’t say Carly Rae Jepsen. Don’t Say Carly Rae Jepsen. 

Cincinnati: Haha. Reminds me of this tweet:

Philidelphia: “Got to Give it up” by Marvin Gay. 

LA: The best grilling song is “Feel My Heat” from Boogie Nights. 

Toronto: “Summer in the City,” The Lovin Spoonful. 

NYC: Okay I still say if CRJ can get Tom Hanks in a video, then she’s Dad Approved, but in the interest of not getting yelled at on the internet,  my official grilling anthem is “Street Fighting Man” by the Rolling Stones. 

LA: Wide range between those. 

NYC: I am a man of many levels.

Grill Dad
All the essentials for a The Dad Approved BBQ

Beer cans, or bottles?

NYC: Cans are better. Keeps light out so the beer isn’t screwed up. And it stays colder longer. But there is something that just looks better about a bottle, and it’s more satisfying to take a swig from them. 

Philadelphia: Frosted mug.  

Cincinnati: Ooo, satisfying as heck. 

Dad Joke Pint

LA: I love a frosted mug, but it gets too warm too fast by the grill. And then if you don’t have backups, then the first beer is perfect but the next 35 are disappointing. 

If you could only teach your kid ONE thing about grilling…what would be the lesson? 

Cincinnati: Every dad already knows this instinctively, but when you’re holding the tongs, it’s SO IMPORTANT to give ‘em a few test-clicks every once in a while, to make sure they’re still working.

Philadelphia: True foundational skill. Once that’s set, the rest comes easy. 

This conversation was sponsored by Kroger’s Private Selection, who provided us with all the perfect ingredients for delicious Summer BBQing in any time zone. Kroger believes that summertime should be simple, and from gourmet ingredients to inspired shortcuts, every Private Selection product is designed to elevate everything about your favorite meals. While The Dad was paid to feature Private Selection, our opinions were not solicited, and we stand by them. Seriously, the brisket dogs are good as heck.

This post was sponsored by:
Kroger’s Private Selection™️

70% of Dog Owners Say They’d Put Themselves in Harm’s Way To Protect Pup

Survey Says Owners Will Protect Dogs

Man’s best friend, sure. They are definitely worthy of awesome treats and even a dog beer for an at-home yappy hour. But how far would you go to keep your dog safe? That’s the true test of a pet owner and new research indicates more than 70 percent of dog owners would put themselves in harm’s way to protect their pup.

Whether it’s running into traffic, a snake attack, diving into a pool, or making a daring rescue from a dangerous construction site, people are willing to go to the extremes to save their canine buddies.

A survey of 2,000 dog owners participated in an extensive study by OnePoll and three in five said they actually prefer their dog to someone they know (that’s easy). 80% of dog owners said they consider their dog a family member, and 72$ said they would gladly put themselves in harm’s way to save their dog.

That’s the type of attitude you like to see from dog owners that may talk a good game, but don’t always walk it (especially when it’s cold out). More than half also said they are better at scheduling vet appointments than following up on their own medical care and 65% said they’ve been accused of spoiling their dog but don’t care.

That’s how a true bromance forms. When you’re willing to do whatever it takes to protect the other one, and when you don’t care about how other people view your treatment of them, regardless of how over the top you get.

47% of dog owners said they know the names of other dogs in the neighborhood more than they know the names of their owners (fair), and also that they had canceled plans to stay home with their dogs (rude).

Nearly half let their dog sleep in bed with them.

So while a lot of people throw out platitudes about dogs being man’s best friend, it’s nice to see some research and data that actually backs it up and proves it’s not just an empty cliché.

Cashier Who Walks 11 Miles to Work Every Day Gets A New Car From Lyft Driver

Lyft Fundraiser for Cashier

Social media can be taxing at times (many of them, if we’re honest). But it also helps people connect in new ways, and helps random strangers come together to change lives. When a Lyft driver was inspired by a rider who typically walks nearly 6 miles to work every day, he put the call out for help. One viral Tik Tok video later, and the gas station cashier now has his own car to drive to work.

David Daniels, a Lyft driver in Louisiana, picked up Ed Hays Jr. on a rainy day and said Ed was in an unusually good mood. He was thrilled about being promoted to lead cashier at the gas station he worked at and was excited to work and grateful to even have a job. He explained he usually walked to work, but splurged for a Lyft due to the rain.

David was confused since the gas station was 5.7 miles away. He thought Ed had entered the wrong info, before learning he actually walked 11 miles roundtrip, almost EVERY DAY, to his job as an overnight gas station cashier. But he still had a positive attitude about his commute, saying “I get to watch the sun go down as I walk to work and the sunrise as I leave work.” Daniels was so inspired, he put the call out to raise money to get him a car.

@rideshare_chroniclesOne of my most inspiring moments as a Lyft driver. ##lyft ##uberdriver ##fyp ##inspiring♬ original sound – David

His video went viral, with more than a million views, and the ensuing GoFundMe raised $7,000 for the car. That, combined with some help from Daniels’ friend at a car dealership, helped put Ed in the first car he owned.

@rideshare_chroniclesAll of you changed a life today. ##bekind ##edthecashier♬ You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Anthem Lights

Hays was overwhelmed by the gesture and said he was excited to take his son for a ride in the car. And his advice for anyone else in a tough work situation:

“Don’t let anything deter you from your goals,” he said. “You can always push through.”

Dad Sleeps Through Alarm, Forgets Passport, Arrives 6 Hours Early for Flight

Dad Rushing to Airport
(Getty/Stephen Simpson)

RALEIGH, NC – The costly mistakes of oversleeping and initially leaving his passport at home have resulted in panicked father Lewis Atkins and his family arriving at the airport a mere six hours early for their flight.

In addition to those mistakes, Atkins and his family also hit traffic, needed gas, and missed a turnoff, contributing to the previously unthinkable late arrival.

Though his wife and two children seemed unconcerned with the timing, Atkins was candid about his panic.

“We sprinted to the gate and I see the clock and it’s inside 7 hours before boarding,” Atkins recounted. “I almost passed out, I was so freaked.”

Bush said the lesson is that from now on the family needs to allow more lead time when traveling to the airport.

The family’s flight to Charlotte is expected to be 45 minutes long.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Dad With Alzheimer’s Has Touching Reaction to Daughter’s Pregnancy News

Dad with Alzheimer's reacts to daughter's pregnancy

Watching a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s is one of the most heartbreaking things imaginable. While most diseases have primarily physical impacts, Alzheimer’s chips away at the very things that define the people it affects. The degenerative nature of the disease means that it gets worse over time, and tragically, the very person who once made you the center of their world sometimes fails to recognize you entirely.

A TikTok user named Olivia Salza knows the challenges that come with Alzheimer’s all too well, as her father Joe was diagnosed when he was just 55 years old. In an emotional clip Salza shared on TikTok, she visits her now 63-year-old dad in the hospital to share some life-changing news.

@oliviasalzaTelling my dad who has Alzheimer’s that we’re pregnant after a 3 year fertility struggle ❤️ ##fyp ##alzheimersfight ##fertilityjourney

♬ original sound – Olivia Salza

Olivia and her husband Nick wanted desperately to have a baby, and after three years of struggling with infertility, the couple got the news they’d been longing to hear. Olivia was pregnant, and she couldn’t wait to tell her dad.

Upon entering the hospital, Olivia asks her dad if he knows who she is – a heartbreaking question that no child should ever have to ask their parent. Fortunately, Joe is lucid. He even jokingly confuses his daughter with Nick, her husband, before chuckling at his admittedly well-played prank.

“I have a big secret,” Olivia says, swearing her dad to secrecy before unveiling her incredible news. “I’m pregnant.”

In that moment, it’s as if Joe and Olivia are having a father-daughter moment like any typical father and daughter. There is no hospital, no disease, just a dad crying tears of joy at the news that he’s going to be a grandpa.

“Oh my god” he mouths quietly before marveling at the fact that Nick, Olivia’s husband, will finally have a baby of his own. “What he doesn’t know — of the cradle of that person,” Joe says as cradles his arms, perhaps remembering when he held his own daughter years ago.

“What you’ve done for me my whole life,” Olivia says as her voice catches in her throat.

“But that’s what we do,” Joe responds lovingly.

Even when times aren’t ideal, even when life hands you challenges you never could have anticipated, dads like Joe do everything in their power to give their kids the world. Joe and Olivia’s bond is almost tangible, and though the last several years certainly haven’t been easy, nothing comes between a dad and his daughter.

Mike Tyson Squares off With the Rock…Over Sexiest Bald Man Title

Tyson Rock Sexiest Bald Man

Mike Tyson and The Rock, two of the most fearsome warriors in the pop culture world, finally squared off. OK, well it was on social media, but at least the dispute was over something worthwhile and important; the title of the world’s sexiest bald man.

This all started after media reports about the world’s sexiest bald man claim going to…Prince William. Yep, somehow, some organization (the U.K. government, maybe?) decided the 38-year-old had earned that title, after 17.6 million online mentions of him being “sexy” in online blogs and Google searches, according to researchers. They did not say whether 17.5 million of those mentions came from a certain castle.

Anyway, 9th-place finisher The Rock was OUTRAGED. And, justifiably so, because that simply cannot be an accurate finding.

“How in the Cinnamon Toast f*ck does this happen – when Larry David clearly has a pulse?!?!?” he tweeted, demanding a recount.

Tyson, who did finish at No. 2 in this insane “research”, quickly clapped back at The Rock, claiming he should be No. 1.

“I should be number 1 by default because Princess William is only bald on top and so is Larry David,” Tyson wrote.

And, you know what, I think he has a strong legal argument here. If we’re giving out awards to bald people, let’s at least make sure the parameters are rock solid and it’s giving to a true baldy, not a pasty pretender.

Tyson should also get number 1 by default because he’s a heck of a lot scarier, and anything he wants from “Princess William” he should probably just get, so he doesn’t contemplate taking it by force.

PGA Pro Rory McIlroy Hits His Dad With Errant Shot at The Masters

Golfer hits Dad at Masters

The Masters is the greatest golf tournament in the world and it has given us some great dad moments. Look no farther than the GOAT himself Tiger Woods, winning as an old man and emotionally embracing his kids after the victory. And this year, we ALREADY have another great dad moment, although it’s about as far from a Green Jacket as you can get.

Rory McIlroy, one of the best golfers out there, showed how difficult Augusta can be during a shot on the seventh hole Thursday. His errant shot went into the crowd and struck a fan.

And not just any fan, McIlroy hit his biggest fan, his dad.

The Golf Channel shared the clip, saying it was a “father/son moment that will not soon be forgotten; Rory McIlroy hitting his dad on the leg with a golf ball at The Masters.”

“I think he was OK. He didn’t limp away. He walked away pretty swiftly so that was alright,” McIlroy said after the round.

McIlroy has been struggling with his swing, and that’s one shot he will never live done. As soon as it happened, his caddy asked him about it. “That was your dad you hit?”

“Yeah!” McIlroy replied, almost too happy about it.

It was a rough outing, but his dad took it in stride, joking that he should get an autographed glove after the incident. McIlroy said the shot was perfect, it just went too far, and that hitting his dad actually ended up helping the position.

“I think he just needs to go and put some ice on — maybe I’ll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him,” he joked.

McIlroy is a former No.1, but the struggles with his swing continued as he finished the first round at 4-over-par.

After Firefighter Loses His Life, Team Organizes Parade for His Son’s Birthday

Firefighters hold birthday parade for fallen colleague's son
(Youtube/Rockland Report, CBS New York)

Emergency responders put their lives on the line every single day to protect their communities. First responders go through extensive training to keep them as safe as possible on the job, but there are some situations that no amount of training could have prepared them for. 35-Year-old Jared Lloyd, a Spring Valley volunteer firefighter and father of two, tragically lost his life while putting out a fire at a nursing home in late March – just one day before his oldest son’s 6th birthday.

According to CBSN New York, the nursing home’s alarm system was not properly set up, and emergency dispatch services were not automatically contacted when the fire alarm went off. The devastating delay allowed the fire to grow as 112 people struggled to flee from the building.

When firefighters arrived, they hit another roadblock. The water pressure was inadequate, stifling their efforts to get the growing flame under control. Jared Lloyd bravely rushed to the third floor to save a resident still trapped inside, and tragically, conditions became too dangerous for the firefighter to escape.

“This is probably the greatest joint save effort with the worst type of outcome, meaning, there were so many people saved that day, but we lost one of our own,” Fire Chief Ken Conjura said.

Family, friends, and coworkers of Lloyd rallied to support the fallen firefighter. Lloyd was well known as a giver, someone who would drop everything to help those in need. A GoFundMe has been set up in his honor and has already raised over $600,000 for his two young children.

On March 24, a nearly hour-long parade of fire trucks, tow trucks, police cars, and garbage trucks drove past the fallen firefighter’s home for his son’s 6th birthday. With Conjura leading the way, the community rallied together to support the young boy. Some brought presents, some came with signs, some simply honked their horns and waved as they passed. The parade served as more than just a birthday celebration – it was a message of support to Lloyd’s family, the reassurance that they were not alone.

“He was that guy that you could call and he would be here in a minute,” Conjura said of Lloyd. “He was that guy that couldn’t leave because he was afraid to miss something. He was that guy that you want to have on your team. He’s going to be a big, big, tremendous loss to this department. He died as a hero.”

Dad Immediately Regrets Trying Toddlers’ Favorite Bizarre Food Combos

Dad tries gross toddler food combos

It often feels like toddlers are some sort of other-world species doing their best human impressions. Actually, aside from the “other world” thing, that’s basically what toddlers are. They have all of the equipment to become humans, but none of the software. Toddlers wobble around absorbing information, learning from the people around them what it means to act like a person. The most beautiful thing about toddlers is just how little they understand about judgment from others – it’s a sort of freedom that leads them to do absurd things daily because, well, who cares?

Twitter user dadmann_walking zeroed in on one aspect of toddlerhood that leaves parents around the world completely baffled – their eating habits. Toddlers are in a constant phase of experimentation, doing whatever the heck they want to figure out the world around them. But somehow, even with that intense curiosity, toddlers are picky as heck when it comes to the foods they’re willing to eat. Parents regularly throw up their hands and cave to their little ones’ whims (within reason), happy that they’re at least eating something.

Dadmann_walking figured that maybe, just maybe, these toddlers were onto something. The father of three turned to Twitter with an odd request, one he quickly regretted.

“Tell me some really weird food combinations that your toddlers have eaten,” he wrote, “and i will choose some and make a video of me eating these things.”

According to his Twitter bio, dadmann’s youngest is six years old. He’s far removed from the toddler years and clearly hasn’t caught a kid drinking ketchup straight from the bottle in a while. The replies quickly poured in, and uh, they’re not pretty.




Ok, well now I just feel bad

Like an absolute champ, this dad kept his word. But first, he had to get some supplies.

In a two-part stomach-churning series, dadmann came through. “None of these foods should go together,” he begins. “None of them.”

Completely exasperated, he digs in. Hot dogs dipped in blueberry yogurt, so many things dipped in ketchup, banana dipped in ranch dressing, a peanut butter and mustard sandwich – understandably, he can’t even get most of these combos down. But the point is he tried, and for that, we’re both proud and horrified.

Watch at your own risk.
Part 1

And (ugh) part 2

Move Over New Balance, Nike Air Max ‘Grass’ Is a Dad Shoe Contender

Nike Air Grass

Looking to take your golf game to the next level?  Want to embarrass your children even more than usual?  These shoes were custom-made for you.

The Air Max 1 Golf NRG ‘Grass’ by Nike definitely puts their previous masterpiece, the denim-style Air Monarchs to shame.  Not only do they look stylish and sophisticated, but they probably have the longest name for a shoe in the history of shoes.


The official description reads:

“With the launch of the Air Max 1 Golf NRG ‘Grass,’ Nike injects a strong dose of whimsy into the golf course. Repurposed for the links, the lifestyle runner features a material on the upper that mimics the look of green turf, accented with an embroidered Swoosh in white. A matching white foam midsole, complete with Max Air cushioning, is supported by a high-traction gum rubber outsole.”


Over at GOAT, you can buy these puppies brand new for $580 USD or used for $650 USD.  See, just like any pair of dad shoes, the more you wear them, the more valuable (and green) they become.  That’s just science right there.  The added bonus with these ones is they’re already covered in green.  It’s like they were made for mowing lawns.

Nike has been making unique versions of their shoes for quite a while now like the N64 inspired Air Max 97.  The unfortunate thing about their Air Max 1 Golf NRG ‘Grass’ style though is I don’t think I have ever seen anyone out in public wearing them.  It’s a shame honestly.  I’d wear these shoes with pride every day for the rest of my life, but my wife would probably kill me for spending $600 on shoes that look like grass.

It’d be worth it though just to wear them for even a moment, wouldn’t it?  Of course, it would.