Everyone thinks they're a Grill Master on the Fourth of July. They momentarily forget that they spend most of the year scraping charred salmon off their grates and plucking stray asparagus spears from between them like a game of Operation. The grocery store pyramids of charcoal and lighter fluid cause culinary amnesia, long enough to fill the cart with burgers and steaks, and burn them to a crisp under the glow of bombs bursting in air.

Independence Day was indeed made for grilling, but not all observers of the holiday can say the same. A "No. 1 Dad" apron and a light beer does not suddenly turn one into Bobby Flay. But the true fault of these epicurean crimes lies with us, the eaters. We happily scarf down torched hot dogs and over-toasted buns. If we paused for even a minute between watermelon wedges and sparklers to suggest that maybe the flames didn't need to be over head, we might not have this degustational disaster.

Let this be the year we pull aside Uncle Ned and pass along some sage advice. The following tips will help even the most Neanderthal of fire tenders deliver a finger-licking fourth. But if you can't bring yourself to break the bad news, you can always apply these nuggets when the grill master heads to the cooler for a refill.

Top 10 Grilling Tips Slideshow


Keep It Clean

Food sticks to dirty grills, so use that expensive wire scraper or ball up some aluminum foil and make sure the grates are clean before you put anything on them.


Keep It Wet

Keeping the food and grates oiled will prevent that $27 piece of halibut from becoming a permanent part of your grill.


Keep It Hot

No one wants a pale chicken breast that looks like you cooked it in the microwave. Hot grates deliver those perfect grill marks that signify expert technique.


But Not Too Hot

Your burners at home have low, medium and high. So should your grill. Find the right temperature to get those grill marks AND cook everything properly. We've all cut into perfect-looking burgers that were raw in the middle.


Flip Once

The best grillers don't do very much. Food should be moved as little as possible, and meat only turned once. And if you smash burgers down with a spatula, you should be chased from the grill by roman candles.


Put Down The Knife

I know your fancy Brookstone grilling kit came with a knife, but it has no place near the grill. Cutting meat still on the grates lets out all the juices and results in a dry, leathery dinner.


Pay Attention

Everyone loves hearing the 20-minute story about how you dropped your keys off the side of the boat and had to use oyster tongs to get them off the bottom, but now is not the time. "Done" is a precise moment and won't wait for the end of your anecdote.


Be Food Smart

It might be tempting to toss those cooked burgers back on the same platter that you brought them out to the grill on, but that's a good way for everyone to miss the festivities while fighting for the bathroom. Just because you're not in the kitchen doesn't mean the rules of cross contamination don't apply.


Be Fire Safe

Things can go south quickly with an open flame, so keep a fire extinguisher handy. Even the best griller on the planet can't control or predict a sudden gust of wind. And you should definitely have one on hand if you plan on shooting any fireworks off yourself.


Don't Forget Dessert

I'm not talking about skewers of pineapple. That's fine for the untrustworthy few who claim to prefer a handful of berries to brownies. I mean s'mores. The most humane way for a fire to go out is using its last BTU's to create a golden shell around a giant, puffy marshmallow.

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-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.

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