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Meat-lover Michael Symon shares his top summer grilling tips

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 (Courtesy Food Network)

If you’ve been putting off that backyard barbecue bash, fear not.

Summer may be winding down, but there’s still plenty of time to fire up the grill.

Food Network star Michael Symon is probably best known for his meat-centric menus at Cleveland hotspots like Lola Bistro and B Spot Burger. Now, this top chef is sharing some insider secrets only the real pros know about when it comes to keeping all kinds meat super juicy. 

Symon revealed his ultimate meat buying, prepping and grilling tips to demystify the process for barbecue novices and help pros up their grill game as the summer months swelter on. 

Preparing a great meal starts way before you get to the kitchen. When you’re at the butcher shop or meat counter, what should you be looking for?

Michael Symon: I think the first thing is to build a relationship with your butcher and they’ll help guide you. Go in with an open mind, buy what looks best and pay attention to how things are priced.

 How do you nail the right marinade?

Michael Symon: You never, ever want to over marinade. Don’t use marinades with a lot of acid or a lot of salt because that will actually cook the meat. The max is really about an hour for red meat and chicken, maybe 15 minutes for fish.

What about brining?

Michael Symon: With brining,  usually overnight is fine. But I don’t recommend brining meat if you’re grilling or roasting. Bringing is really just for fried meats.

Need more summertime inspiration? Check out some of Symon's brightened up recipes.

How do you lighten things up for summer?

Michael Symon: Adding citrus to any marinade or sauce will brighten up a dish. And serving meats with plenty of vegetables with texture will add a fresh crunchiness.

What are some of the biggest grilling mistakes you’ve seen?  

Michael Symon: A lot of people under season meats. I’m pretty liberal with the salt and pepper. Also, don’t be tempted to move your meat around—you won’t get those great grill marks. Get half the grill super hot, put your meat down to get that great char and don’t move it.

If you can’t make it to Cleveland to catch some of Symon’s award winning barbecue, you may be able to see the superstar chef in your hometown. Symon is hitting the road with Lipton Tea this fall to bring his grilling guidance and more to the fans.

Lipton's Chef Fest with Michael Symon and friends schedule:

--Washington, D.C. - Sept. 23 – 25

--Chicago - Oct. 14-16

--Atlanta -  Oct. 21 – 23

--Austin - Oct. 28-30