DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and with it time to dust off the grill for the summer. But before you turn up the heat, here are a few ways to make sure your cookout is a success.

Local grillmaster Curt McAdams shared some advice with 2 NEWS ahead of the holiday weekend. His first tip: Don’t stress.

“A holiday weekend really brings those people who want to show off a lot. Don’t worry about showing off this weekend. Grill simple things and have fun with the people that are with you.”

When it comes to grilling, McAdams suggests using a three-zone fire. If you’re using a gas grill, set one section to high, one to medium and another off entirely. This will allow you to cook your food evenly, with the high heat to sear as needed. He also recommends letting your meats rest on a covered platter for at least five minutes after cooking to let the juices redistribute and stay in the steak.

This three-zone fire also helps to avoid flare-ups caused by cooking directly over the heat. McAdams recommends that, even with this technique, you always keep a fire extinguisher on hand to avoid any accidents.

For tools, McAdams recommends a good set of tongs, A grill brush for sauces, a spatula and a good thermometer.

“It’s better to cook to temperature than it is time,” McAdams explained. “People say, ‘How long is it going to take to cook?’ A steak’s going to be done at 130 degrees, your pulled pork is going to be done at around 205.”

One common grilling tool you do not need is a wire bristle brush. According to McAdams, these cleaning tools can leave stray wires on your grill that can easily get into your food. Instead, he recommends heating up your grill and scraping with a wad of foil held in your tongs.

Finally, for that extra smoky flavor, you can purchase wood chips or chunks from your local grocery store and put them over your gas flame.

You can watch the full interview in the media player above.