Summer is officially here, which means it's time to fire up those grills! Here are a few tips that can help turn any grilling novice into a pro instantly.

While red meat is always great on the grill, for those more health-conscious, check out the video above for step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect chicken breast.

Chicken on an open fire is a notoriously tricky job. It's an easy meat to undercook, over cook or char up entirely, leaving you with a dry piece of meat that more closely resembles cardboard than a juicy, tasty treat.

  • 1

    Avoid propane at all costs!

    Yes, cooking with propane is a heck of a lot simpler than using coal, however it is a very hot gas that can be tricky at best to regulate. If you must use gas, I recommend using natural gas which comes with the added headache of plumbing your grill to an existing gas line in your home.

  • 2

    Don't use lighter fluid

    Often times, fluid will leave an off-putting flavor on any meat you are attempting to grill.

  • 3

    Get a coal chimney

    Invest the $7 to $12 dollars on getting a coal chimney. These work simply enough, using a small amount of paper in the bottom to ignite your coals.

  • 4

    Stack coals evenly

    Make one even level of coals once they are lit and ready. Overstacking will lead to inconsistent temperatures.

  • 5

    Get some grill tools

    Invest in your grill tools. Must-haves include the above mentioned chimney, cheap coal tongs and a pair of leather gloves (easily found in the garden area at any big box store and usually under $10 a pair).

  • 6

    Cure it good

    Once coals are lit and spaced properly, set your grate above the coals and let the grate warm up over coals for about five minutes. This 'curing' will help cook off any residue from prior grilling while sterilizing the grill for current use.

  • 7

    Get your grate prepared

    Prep the grate by using a paper towel moistened with cooking oil and holding the towel with your charcoal tongs to rub the oil over the entire surface of the grill. Spray can canola oil is a bit easier and just as effective- spray on the grill. This will keep your food from sticking.

  • 8

    Veggie cooking

    If cooking veggies, make sure to toss them in oil before applying them to the grill. Season your veggies before grilling. The oil will further prevent sticking while giving the seasonings a place to adhere.

  • 9

    How to tell a burger's wellness

    Avoid flipping meat more than once. For me, a 1-inch thick steak needs about five minutes per side for medium rare.

    You can easily judge how done they are by gently pushing on the surface of the meat with your charcoal tongs. A soft, spongy bounce usually indicates rare; a firm, but springy bounce indicates medium rare; and a firm push indicates a more well-done steak.

  • 10

    Get a good sear

    If you have a movable grate or coal holder, start the steaks about two inches above the heat and cook for three minutes. At the 3-minute mark, rotate the steaks 1/4 turn and increase the distance between meat and heat to 4 inches. This will also give you a nice criss-cross char marking on the meat!

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