Local chefs offer grill tips for your backyard July 4th party

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Sure Fireworks are fun, but it's great food that most likely will bring the most smiles.

With many heading out to the grill to barbecue meat, how about this year we do it right?

Eighty-five percent of us make burgers, followed by steak, then dogs and chicken.

The Stand's Jason Wishengrad has key tips to build a better burger.

"You really don't want to press the burger too much. A great tip for home cooks is to not over-pack the bun," said Wishengrad.

Giving the meat a bit of room to breathe helps keep it more juicy. Then create a small thumbprint dent on top the patty to accommodate any sauce or cheese you'd like to keep atop your burger.

"The cardinal sin of burger cooking is to never press on the top of the burger," reminded Wishengrad.

Remember, pressing on that patty and continual flipping will release the meats moisture that you can't get back.

If steak is more your style, chef Andreas Roller of Nick & Stef's Steak House has the 411.

First, he suggests taking the meat out of the fridge at least one hour and a half before grilling, which will even out the core temperature. This makes a big difference in the end result.

Then there's what you put on it.

"Another common mistake with the red meat is the seasoning. You want to wait with seasoning your steak especially with the salt, until just a few moments before you hit the grill," said Roller.

That's because salt extracts moisture, so early seasoning can make it dry and tough.

His suggestion: Buy a good cut of meat, and let it speak for itself with just a bit of salt and pepper.

When meat is done, let your meat rest a bit. This allows the juices to pull back into your meat.

The chef says if you are looking for a bit of fatty flavor, spread your truffle butter, aioli or other tasty toppings on the bun or bread you're serving your meat with. So when you take a bite, the flavors marry through.
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