Pay for premium meat.
Credit: Getty Images

Pay for premium meat.

What's the secret to perfect grilling? Quality ingredients, particularly for the main event. "Meat is the one thing you should splurge on," says Michael Chiarello, the northern California chef behind 'Live Fire: 125 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors.' "Even if you don't marinate or make salsa verde, get great salt and great meat, grill the meat from room temperature, and it'll be 10 times better than with all the sauces in the world."

You won't find a two-pound rib eye, like the one Chiarello calls for in this Steak with Salsa Verde recipe, at your local supermarket – order one from a good butcher well in advance. It won't come cheap, so send ribs and chicken around the table first. That way, you can budget just four ounces of beef per person and still make everybody happy.