Whether you're a single mom trying to grill for the first time, or a seasoned pro, it's always good to keep some of these basic grilling tips in mind, to make your memorial day a little less stressful.

1. If Gas Is an Option, Choose Gas

The Age old debate of "Gas vs Charcoal" when grilling is probably never going to end. They both will cook your food thoroughly, and neither is going to affect the taste of the food, truthfully. However, because gas burns cleaner than charcoal, if it is an option you should use gas. Who wouldn't want to be more environmentally friendly, if its an option?

2. Always Preheat the Grill

Allow the grill to preheat for 15-20 minutes before you use it. This will kill any bacteria that may have accumulated between grilling sessions. Also, when the grill is already hot, it will sear the food on contact, which helps keep more moisture inside.

3. Always Brush The Grill Before Use

Once the grill has been heating up for 15-20 minutes, use a steel grill brush to clean the cooking surface off. This will help remove any carbon particles that clung on from the last time you used the grill. This will not only help prevent food poisoning, but will make the food taste and look better. Nobody wants last weeks burned cheeseburger pieces in their steak. **Before you brush the grill, check to make sure the bristles are all still in tact. If they aren't, you need to get a new brush. No one wants a wire bristle in their gums.**

4. You Can and Should Oil The Grill

I know it sounds funny, but this is seriously one of the most important steps. Lean proteins and some vegetables will tend to stick to the grill, which ruins the whole experience. Soak a paper towel in oil, and then rub the oil all over the cooking surface of the grill. This will help ensure that your food will not stick to the grill, which makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. If you don't have paper towels, you can also use a potato to oil the grill.

5. Always Marinate Your Meat

Most people believe that marinating your meat is simply to add flavor, which is simply not true. While it does improve the flavor of meat, a lot, that is not the only reason you should marinate your meat when you grill. First of all, it will also help ensure that the meat sears better, and it will help to keep the inside much moist. Some meats will contain heterocyclic amines (HCAs) when they are grilled, which are believed to aid in causing cancer. So, by marinating your meat, you can significantly cut down on cancer-causing HCAs in the meat.

6. Use A Meat Thermometer

It's important to know how to properly grill your meat, and if you haven't memorized how to tell the doneness of your meat from touch, then you need to buy a meat thermometer. You can find them at any local grocery store for $15 or so. I created a table to the internal temperature you need to cook your meats at. If they aren't meant to be medium rare, or even medium (such as chicken) then you also need to make sure there is no more juice. Here is a table of the internal temperature you need to reach when grilling each meat. These are all in Fahrenheit (F).

Shea Bramer

7. Flare Ups are actually not good

I know that it is fun when you can get the flames kicking up, you feel powerful. Like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, "I...HAVE MADE FIRE". However, remember when we talked about the HCAs earlier? Well, when fat drips into the flames, it causes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form on your food. Guess what PAHs create? If you guessed those harmful HCAs, you're correct. So, keep the flames under control, and you run less risk of causing cancer from your food.

Whether you're a grill master, or this is your first time, these tips are super important to keeping your grilling experience helpful, and healthy.