I've been grilling for years. Some of my best summer memories involve hanging out with my dad around the grill. He taught me everything I know about grilling.

But what if this is your first time around the grill and your father-in-law is coming over for his Fourth of July steak? What do you do? Relax...here are some great tips to help you impress him.

1.  Keep your grill clean.

I don't mean to wipe it down with Clorox every time you use it, but you should be keeping it clear of any char from the last meal or dirt/dust that may have gathered since the last time you used it. I like to scrape/brush my grill before and after I use it every time.

2.  Have a good fire.

I totally believe that real fire grills, whether it's over a campfire or a charcoal grill, will give you the best flavor. Gas works...but charcoal is always better. Have patience. Cook when the fire is hot. Give your coals a chance to really get started. If you are cooking over a wood fire, be sure to use good wood. Not a good plan to cook over wood pallets that you picked up on the side of the road.

3.  Season your steaks.

The best flavor predominantly comes from two things: fat and seasoning. I know it's not good for you, but the fat content of your meat will quite often determine how tasty it is. Also, the right combination of spices will make a world of difference. I'm a fan of garlic and salt, but whatever works for you is good. Just make sure you give it enough time to soak into the meat. You can start seasoning as early as a day out.

4.  Choose your cut wisely.

Choose fresh meat. The longer it's been aged (appropriately) the more tender the meat should be. Also choose a thicker cut if the budget allows it.

5.  Keep the meat over the heat, not the flame.

If your steaks are getting engulfed by flames you'll get a steak that is black on the outside and uncooked on the inside. While you want the steaks to be cooking, flames can get out of control and burn the meat. Keep a water bottle handy to spray down the flames if you have to or rearrange the meat on the grill so that they're not dripping the fat directly on the flame (causing it to flare up).

6.  Don't overcook them!

This one's huge. So many people put meat on a grill and cook the heck out of it. If your fire is right, you shouldn't need to leave it on the grill for too long. Give them about 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on how hot your fire is and how well you want them done.

7.  Let them rest.

It's the last step before eating them but another incredibly important one. You need to let meat rest before you cut into it. Not only does it continue to cook the meat a little but, it allows the juices to settle. It also give you the chance to grill your veggies and not have them be overdone. The resting will be worth the wait.

8.  Enjoy!

Nothing goes better with your steak than a beer. Make sure you keep your guests drinks full while you're taking your time at the grill too. That will keep them away from your grill while you're doing your work. Everybody always thinks they know how to do it better. If you keep them away with drinks, they won't care what you're up to.

It never hurts to have a beard like this guy either...

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