Undeniably, one of the best parts of summer is the good old backyard BBQ.  For guys especially, perfecting your grill skills is a time-honored man tradition.  Making the perfect slab of ribs or the perfect hamburger patty is an art that requires practice and patience.  If you’re nervous about cooking over the open flame this season, fear not. Here’s a few easy tips for each major barbecue favorite to keep mouths watering and praising your culinary creations.

Rib Tips

There’s nothing better than a piping hot slab of ribs smothered in a smoky barbecue sauce.  They seem pretty simple to make, but believe it or not, ribs can go wrong.  Luckily, these handy tricks can keep you on the right side of BBQ history.
  • Be sure to choose ribs that are well-marbled and tender because they’ll cook faster.
  • For the best quality meats, visit your local butcher. However, supermarket cuts will do as well.
  • Great rib flavor comes from three layers. First use a marinade or rub, then add a mop sauce to protect the ribs’ moisture and finish off with the barbecue sauce.
  • Feel free to choose from pork, beef or lamb ribs.
  • Never boil your ribs prior to grilling; boiling sucks the flavor out.
  • When ribs are done, they should be tender enough to pull apart with just your fingers.

Burger Tips

The worst kind of grilled burger is one that’s too dry or too salty.  But you can avoid these disastrous results with a few quick fixes.
  • Don’t use beef that’s leaner than 85%.  The fat greatly contributes to the flavor.
  • Buy coarsely ground beef when selecting your meat. They burgers will end up juicier and shrink a little less on the grill.
  • Keep seasonings light so you don’t make your burgers too heavy.
  • Let your burger patties marinate for a few hours before hitting the grill to ensure maximum flavor.
  • Make indentations in the center of your patties to avoid any swelling during the grilling process.
  • Don’t add salt to the burgers until you’re ready to hit the grill. Salt will suck all the moisture out of your patties.

Chicken Tips

For the guys hoping for healthy alternatives at the barbecue, chicken is a favorite.  Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to prepare it and preserve the nutrients.  Plus, it packs in a ton of great flavor.  Just be sure to keep a close eye on your method.
  • If you don’t have a lot of time to cook, choose thinner slices of chicken so you can grill in half the time.
  • Tenderize boneless, skinless chicken breasts to cut down on cooking time as well.
  • Add flavor using rubs or marinades so you can let the chicken cook without any worries.
  • Cook your chicken using a lower heat setting than you would for ribs or burgers.  Otherwise, the skin will burn.
  • Wait until the end to glaze with sauces so the layers actually stick to the chicken.
Barbecuing is indeed a special culinary art and favorite pastime of summer.  For the best possible results, head these quick tips and become everyone’s favorite warm weather chef.