Now that summer is here and Fourth of July is just around the corner, it's time to clean out your barbecue pits and start grilling!

Grilling masters know all meat is not created equal. Here are a few tips and tricks from Whole Foods that are sure to make whatever you're grilling come out nice and tasty.

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Burgers

  • Cook your burgers over direct heat. Avoid pressing down on the patty because that squeezes out the good juices used to preserve tenderness and flavor.
  • If you're using a burger blend, just add salt and pepper to the patties. Salt the patties half an hour before you cook them and leave them out to come to room temperature. This tip will let the salt transfer to the interior of the patty.
  • Don't make your patties too thin or too thick. The ideal patty size is three-fourths of an inch thick. To keep patties for swelling up in the middle, make a small indention in the center.
  • Medium-low to medium heat is the best heat to cook your patties. Keep the lid closed while you're gilling so that it shortens the cooking time and keeps the patty moist.
  • Only flip your patty once.

NY Strip

  • Since this is a naturally tender cut of meat, it needs a decent amount of salt and pepper to season it.
  • The best cut of this meat is when there is a lot of marbling (the flecks of fat within the meat,) in it.
  • "Prime" cuts have lots of marbling and "choice" cuts have a modest amount of marbling. "Select" cuts have a small amount of marbling.

Chicken

  • Grilled chicken is best cooked over direct heat.
  • Cook the chicken breast-side down and turn the pieces every two to five minutes.
  • Rotate the pieces around the grill to make sure it's cooked evenly. Chicken that is thoroughly cooked will feel "springy" when pressed.
  • If you're not sure if the chicken is fully cooked, cut into the thickest part of one piece. The meat should still be juicy. The juice should be clear and not red-tinted.

Fish

  • Cook fish quickly on the grill.
  • When you put fish on the grill, don't touch it for at least three minutes. A crust needs to form on the outside so the fish can naturally pull away from the grates.
  • When the crust is formed, it can be flipped over without sticking or falling apart.
  • Take the fish off the grill as soon as it's done. Fish continue to cook even after they're removed from the fire.

Whether you're grilling burgers, steak, chicken or fish, you're sure to grill them like a pro and have the best food on your block this summer!