The summer is an excellent time to display your grilling expertise for family and friends.

It doesn’t matter if your go-to meal is a traditional feast of burgers and hot dogs or a more ambitious entree, being outside around the grill is a summer tradition, especially here in the Northeast where our time around the grill is always cut short by winter.

I thought I’d provide a few tips that should make your grilling experience more enjoyable and your dinner taste sensational, regardless of your level of expertise. If you’re a novice barbecuer, these tips may be a big help!

Great taste is an important component of a meal so take these steps to get your seasoning just right.

  • Don’t be afraid to taste and adjust your food before serving it. Sauces, dressings, salsas, and salads can be easily improved by tasting them before they are served. It’s an important step, so take the time to do it.
  • It’s always best to season food before or during the cooking process – not after. There are some exceptions but before cooking should always be your guide.
  • When making fresh salsa, add lots of fresh herbs, especially cilantro. Items should also be cut to about the same sizes, and be sure to taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
  • When seasoning with tender herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill, or basil, always add more than you think. Trust me, your food will taste better

When preparing meat, here are some general guidelines that will help you get it just right!

  • If you’re cooking chicken breasts and are worried about cooking the breasts long enough, try slicing the breasts into thin portions before putting them on the grill. The meat will cook faster and more evenly. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon, some herbs, and extra virgin olive oil for extra flavor.
  • When grilling steaks, let the meat rest for 10 minutes AFTER removing them from the grill.
  • NEVER press down on steaks and burgers while they are on the grill and resist the urge to flip them continuously. Place it down, close it, and leave it alone.
  • If you’re slicing a flank or skirt steak, remember to slice against the grain of the meat for more tender steak. If the meat is tough, you probably sliced it with the grain.

No matter what you’re cooking this summer, get outside and enjoy your barbecue!