1. Donít over program your meal. Break your meal down to three, maybe four, dishes and go from there. A protein, a starch and a vegetable is all you need to make it work.
2. Have a signature recipe for each meat. You canít master them all but if you master one from the fish, poultry, and meat groups you will set yourself apart.
3. Keep a clean camp. There is nothing worse than when you arrive at someone elseís barbeque to be greeted by what was left from the last time they fired up the grill. Take a few minutes to scrub down your grill while itís still hot. This will also give your meat a chance to rest.
4. Your oven is your friend. Whether you run out of gas or simply canít get your heat high enough plans donít always work out. Donít hesitate to use your broiler to finish off food or to simply keep your meat warm while your sides come together.
5. Give yourself a window. Never stick to a set time, say 6:15, when you are going to sit down. Always give yourself at least a 15, sometime 30-minute window to allow for challenges you might have encountered.
6. Know your grill. All gas grills have hot spots; with enough use over time you will learn them. Use it to your advantage to place a piece of relatively undercooked chicken on a hot spot to let it catch up to the rest.
7. Keep tabs on your time. Some barbeque especially smoked ribs or fish can take some time to complete. A pen and piece of scratch paper can keep you on time for properly prepared meats, avoiding the over or undercooked disasters.
8. Scrap the china, and use the Chinette instead. Preparing a three to four course meal can create a heavy load of dishes, donít make the problem worse.
9. Ask a lot of questions. One of the best ways to learn how to be a better barbeque chef is to ask questions of pros.
10. Own it! There is an old saying about the kid on the street corner in New York asking how one gets to Carnegie Hall. ďPractice, practice, practiceĒ is the cabbies retort. Same thing applies to BBQ. You donít get it overnight. You have to work to own it.