If you're not quite a master griller, join the club. But there are a few easy things we can do to improve our grilling skills this summer, and one of those is to quit poking the meat and do this one simple thing instead.

Let it sit!  By the time the meat makes it to the grill it has been through quite enough, and the experts say it's best to resist the urge to poke and prod it while it's cooking on the grates.  It will cook just fine all by itself, and if we're constantly messing with it we'll force out juices prematurely and it won't showcase well for our friends and family and there's a good chance that it will end up dry and leathery. And we shouldn't over-flip. Part of grilling is fighting the urge to fiddle.

Delish.com also adds, "putting pressure on the meat with a spatula or pair of tongs is almost as bad as puncturing it with a fork and letting all the juice out. The less you mess with your meat the faster it will cook and the better it will taste."

This is probably confirmation of what you already know because you've produced a few leather steaks like I have, but it's still hard to put the darned poker down.  We want grilling to be active because "grill" is a verb.  But sometimes doing nothing is best.  The meat can do its thing without us, and that leaves more time for lawn games and sipping on festive beverages anyway.

What are you grilling?  A new Food Network poll said most Americans are tired of having hot dogs on the 4th of July, and most of us prefer a hamburger instead.  Potato salad is the number one side, and then potato chips.  No one seems to want a grilled avocado on grilled artisan bread with sprinkles of salt, but that's what we're having at my house and it will be delicious.  Because I'll resist the urge to poke the avocado.

Couldn't you just lick a grill mark right now?  This will be a great weekend, and the grilling smoke smell will be the cologne of East Texas.  We can't wait.

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