Be the best barbecuer on the block with these tricks from grill king Brian Misko.

Any burger-loving idiot can operate a barbecue, but it takes finesse to turn a backyard cookout into a meal to remember. We asked House of Q’s Brian Misko (who shared a few of his amazing recipes with us for our July issue) to dish out some expert advice. Take heed of the following tips, and you’re well on your way to some elevated grill work.

5 Ways to Upgrade Your BBQ Skills

Rhubarb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

TIP #1: A good, accurate digital thermometer is how backyard cooks become masters. Remember, temperature is measured at the tip, so make sure that it touches the right spot—the middle of a chicken breast, for example, rather than the bone.

Award-Winning Apple Burger

TIP #2: After forming the patties, put them in the fridge or even the freezer. Leave ’em there for 30 minutes or up to an hour. They’ll retain their shape better when they’re cooking.

Smoke-Planked Perogy Potatoes

TIP #3: Keep a spray bottle handy when cooking with planks. A quick spritz will both extinguish fire and keep other flare-ups from occurring.

bbq tipsTIP #4: Give your meat a rest. Let your meat sit for a while after you cook to allow the proteins to loosen up—it’ll become much more tender. (An eight-ounce steak or chicken breast will only need a few minutes to relax, but a longer-cooking item, like a turkey, will need more time.)hawksworth burger condiments

TIP #5: Branch out beyond ketchup and mustard. Homemade condiments (like these delicious sauces from Chef David Hawksworth) are quick and easy to make, and will infintely elevate your burger.

Ready to take on the grill? Try out these awesome recipes from Misko’s new cookbook, Grilling with House of Q.