(ABC News) -- With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July quickly approaching, it’s time to fire up that grill and get cooking.

ABC News recently caught up with culinary arts chef Robert Ramsey of New York’s Institute of Culinary Education for “Grilling 101” to get easy go-to tips for cooking whole cuts of protein, perfect for a summer barbecue.

From salmon to steak to chicken, Ramsey showed us how to create a delicious main course meal with insider techniques for getting proper cross-hatch marks, determining when meat is overcooked or undercooked and properly resting your meats on the grill.

Here are Chef Ramsey’s top tips for successful grilling:

Fire up the grill early.

A preheated grill will reduce the risk of sticking and will burn off remnants of charred food from previous grilling.

Create a light fat coating on either the grill or the food. Brushing the grill with a little oil will help to reduce sticking and encourage proper marking by using the fat as a cooking medium.

Let the food cook. Leave it alone until it releases from the grill.

Turning the food often reduces proper charring and prevents beautiful grill marks.

Put the presentation side down first.

Like other dry heat cooking methods, cooking the presentation side first ensures the item will look better because the muscle fibers toughen during the cooking process.

Use the 2 o'clock-10 o'clock method. Angle the food as if it were pointed to 2 on a clock, then, rotate once per side to the 10 position to get a proper cross-hatch.