NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A lot of people are firing up the grill this holiday weekend.

So we found some barbecue hacks to make things easier and more delicious.

Before you start your barbecue, you need Chef Victor Aravena from Stew Leonard’s say you need to clean your grill with a burn-off.

Start by heating your grill up to 600 degrees, let it burn for about 10 to 15 minutes, then use a grill brush to scrub anything off.

Then make sure you lower the heat.

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“The biggest mistake I’ve seen is too high heat, it burns the food,” said Aravena. “Medium to medium high is the most I’ll ever do.”

if you’re going to use barbecue sauce, it burns quickly, so don’t brush it on the meat until two to three minutes before you pull it off the grill.

And if you’re grilling steak, trim the fat.

“You want to take enough of it off so you don’t get those flare-ups,” Aravena said. “But fat also means flavor so you want to leave a little bit on there.”

To get a perfect burger, press your thumb in the middle of it to create an impression.

“You pop that right on the grill. Now that’s going to fill up with juice and once it’s filled up you know it’s time to flip,” Aravena said.

No matter what you’re grilling, you only flip it once.

If you’re using a smoker, Aravena likes using apple or hickory wood. And it needs to be prepped to get a good smoky flavor.

“Soak the wood in a little bit of water for about an hour before you put it onto the heat source,” Aravena said.

Here’s another trick to make sure your meat is ready:

“When you put your spatula or your tong or something under it, you want to be able to lift it,” Aravena said.

If sticks to the grill, it’s not ready.

Another tip is you want to let your meat rest. You don’t want to take it off the grill and serve it right away. You want to take it off put it on a plate for at least 15 minutes so the juices can redistribute, which will make for a juicier piece of meat.

When you’re done barbecuing, you’ll want to do another burn off to keep your grill nice and clean.

 

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