Don't pierce the meat.
Hugh Mangum, pitmaster at the celebrated New York City barbecue joints called Mighty Quinn's, has a few rules for owning the grill come this Fourth of July. Chief among them is opting for dish-washing gloves and tongs to handle meat rather than a fork.
"Those big BBQ forks, throw them away or use them for yard work," Mangum told CNBC. "If you pierce the meat, you kill the meat. You let all the juices out. The meat should not be pierced."
The last rule? Keep it simple, Mangum said.
"Barbecue is about having fun," he said. "There's no point if you're going to stress it out. And always have a six-pack handy."