Fourth of July is a huge grilling day for America. If you want to step it up from hot dogs and burgers to some real meat here's some great tips. 

These are all from Food Network chef Bobby Flay. He just happens to be one of my favorites and knows his way around a grill.

  1. Befriend Your Butcher - This one is very underappreciated. Having a good relationship with the guy who sells you meat can be the difference between getting the "good" steaks in the back and whatever he has upfront under the glass.
  2. Get Good Steaks - No brainer here. It's tough to take a bad cut of meat and turn it into something delicious. Here's where spending a little bit more goes a long way.
  3. Look For Marbling - Fat makes things taste good. Don't necessarily look for meat with fat around the edges, although that tastes good as well. What you're looking for are thin white strips throughout the steak. This will make your meat tender and flavorful.
  4. Do A Warm-Up - Get your steaks out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before you throw them on. You can go up to an hour on the counter for this. A cold steak won't cook evenly and you'll end up with a well done outside and raw inside. NOT good eats.
  5. Pare Down The Tools - Fancy grill equipment is fun to collect but all you really need are tongs and a grill brush. I've made steaks using just a fork and some paper towels. A "Kiss The Cook" apron is optional.
  6. Feel The Heat - Make sure your grill is hot. Like so hot you can't put your hand over it. A lot of newbies, especially when using charcoal, don't let things get hot enough.
  7. Don't Move - You've put the steaks on the grill. Now DON"T TOUCH IT!! The meat will let you know when it's time to flip. Is it stuck to the grill? It's not ready. It will release from the grate when it's ready. I promise.
  8. Use The Touch Test - Ideally, you'll have a thermometer when you cook, but let's be honest, you don't have one. This method of using your fingers and thumbs to judge how done your steak is has helped me out more times than not. It works.
  9. Don't Overdo It - This is simple science. You can't turn a well-done steak into a medium steak. You can turn a raw steak into a medium steak. Better to err on the side of under-doneness.
  10. Let It Rest - This one is huge. You just spent some good money and time on an excellent steak. Give it at least 5 minutes on the cutting board when you're done or you WILL LOSE all the good juices inside. I know it's hard but you can wait it out.

There you have it. 10 steps to a delicious steak. Worst case scenario is that you don't do it right and you'll just have to make steak again sometime. Practice makes perfect. Happy Fourth!

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