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There’s no better time than summer to show off your grilling chops. But when the time comes to pop a few thick steaks on the barbecue, it’s easy to get cold feet. What if you overcook them into rubbery slabs? Or burn them so badly that they’re inedible? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Even Ina Garten used to be intimidated by grilling—until she got an expert tip.

“I’d buy these gorgeous steaks and they’re really expensive, and I was sure I was going to overcook them,” she said in an Instagram video over Memorial Day Weekend. That fear dissipated after she met Mark Lobel of Lobel’s of New York, a butchery famous for its dry-aged meat.

He taught her how to grill the perfect steak every time and shared his dry rub recipe to boot. The trick? Heating only *half* the grill with hot coals and leaving the other half empty and cool. Ina sears the steaks on the hot half for 2 minutes exactly per side (“It’s a great time to pour a glass of wine,” said the queen), then lets them finish cooking on the cool side with the grill top down.

She says to let them cook on the cool side for 8 minutes if you want them rare, and 10 if you like them medium. Thanks to these simple tweaks, you’ll be a grill master in no time. In the words of Ina, “grilling and drinking wine, my favorite activity.” Same, girl. Same.

See the full recipe for Ina's grilled New York strip steaks here, originally featured in Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

RELATED: The 51 Best Ina Garten Recipes of All Time

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