Getting solid BBQ tips can be like getting financial advice, where everyone has something to say, but it never seems to be the best fit for you. Sure, we all have a “secret” homemade recipe that makes the ribs both savory and sweet, but, unless it’s the original, it’s not going to taste the same. That said, we do have a few BBQ tips that could at least help you become a badass on the grill — no matter what your secret sauce or meat of choice is.

Unlike most people who give you BBQ tips, we’re not hear to tell you about lathering up the meat in sauce and putting as much as you can fit onto the grill. After all, how you treat your BBQ meat is similar to how you treat girls; delicately.

For those looking to stand over the flame this summer, take these BBQ tips to heart and become the master of your domain — and see why you’ll become everyone’s favorite chef on the grill.

Clean your tools

For more than just the taste of your meat or veggies, for God’s sake, clean your grill before using it. Not only do you want to make sure you’re keeping yourself, and your guests, safe from any bacteria, it can be a serious fire hazard if you’re using equipment that has old charcoal at the bottom of it. Give those grates a good brushing before you fire things up.

Skip the sauce

Of all the BBQ tips we’re giving you, this one might be the most shocking, right? So many people think that good BBQ comes from the sauce. That’s 100 percent false, though, as the tastiest BBQ comes from preparation with spices and marinates. Inject your meat with some subtle flavor, but, to be the real grill master, avoiding BBQ sauce is a necessity. If you really need some sort of sauce, dribble a little bit over the finish product, but even then, proceed with caution.

Give the meat space to breathe

In other words, don’t overcrowd your grill. Sure, you’ve got a bunch of hungry people who are itching to try your world renowned BBQ, but don’t give into the pressure and just start throwing as much meat on the grates as possible. Doing this will ruin some of the best part of cooking on an open flame — the crust. So do yourself a favor and cook in rounds, rather than trying to knock it out all at once.

Don’t peek

Don’t you dare open up that lid! Trust yourself by keeping the heat just right and, once you close the lid, allow the heat to distribute evenly how you expect it to. Sure, you’ll want to make sure you’re not turning a tender piece of meat into jerky, but, don’t worry, when you have the cook time and temp right, you’re in the clear. You wouldn’t open the oven while baking cookies, so don’t do it while cooking meat!

Let it rest for 10-12 minutes

Now that you’re successfully cooked your meat to perfection, the last thing you want to do is jump the gun and slice through it with a knife. We know it’s tempting, but fight the urge and let your grilled grub sit for 10-12 minutes to cool first. This allows the juices to settle into all that luscious meat just right for a flavorful taste, leaving you with tenderness instead of a dried up taste.