Behind the Grill with Kevin Reeves

This interview was featured in our Spring 2021 issue.

Kevin Reeves is a grilling machine and the man behind the Instagram account @Coastalgrillin. He loves to inspire people to get behind the grill and to not be intimidated. Keep reading to learn his favorite tips and advice for grilling newbies!

Grilling Tips

What advice would you give someone who wants to start grilling but is intimidated?

My advice for someone who wants to start grilling but is intimidated by it would be to start with a gas grill. They come with an ignition button, and they’re super easy to light. You will want to do some research and pick out a good one that will last you for a long time.

How often should you clean your grill?

You should clean your grill after every cook. You’ll want to invest in a spray that is food-safe and a non-wired brush that will get the food off the grates yet not leave any little wires on the grates. These would be harmful to swallow. Citrusafe is a brand that I recommend because they have food-safe spray, and their brushes are wire-free. Of course, there are many other brands to choose from.

What is an easy food to start out grilling? Burgers? Chicken? 

I think boneless skinless chicken thighs and hamburgers are both easy foods to start grilling. If you’re just beginning grilling and you’re using a gas grill, just let the grill warm up to 400°. Season your protein right before you put it on the grill. Grill on each side for about 5 minutes each, and they should come out perfect.

How important is a meat thermometer?

Investing in an instant-read digital thermometer is very important not just for beginning grillers but for anyone cooking. There are safe temperatures for different proteins such as chicken which should be no less than 165°. Pork should be no less than 145° and beef can be as low as 115°. The good rule of thumb for chicken and pork is if the juices are running clear, then it’s safe to eat. When cooking large pieces of protein, the outside gets done quicker than the inside, so you want the middle of the meat to be at the desired temperature.

Keep in mind if you want your meat to be at the desired temperature of 130°, then you’ll need to pull it off the grill at around 122° so that you can let it rest before you slice into it. While resting, the temperature will continue to increase.

Tips on grilling the perfect burger

My tips for grilling the perfect burger. I recommend an 80/20 mix, but 85/15 will be just fine, especially if you want your burgers to stay super juicy. Always buy fresh ground hamburger and form your patties yourself at least 1/3 of a pound. Of course, I always go for the half-pounder. After forming the patties, use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle so that they don’t puff up. You’ll want your grilled temperature to be at least 400. Season the patties right before going on the grill and when the grill is ready, put them on and leave without touching for four to five minutes. Flip the patties, add cheese if you want, and close the lid for another 4 minutes. I always grill my buns as well, which only takes about 45 seconds at the most.

Meet Kevin Reeves, the man behind the grill!

1. My name is Kevin Reeves and I reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I am originally born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas

How did you get into grilling/cooking? 

I really got into grilling because I was a terrible cook in the kitchen and always made a huge mess. It’s so much easier to clean up a grill than it is the kitchen! I enjoy the whole process of grilling, starting with prepping the meat, seasoning it, and getting the grill ready and up to temperature. Whether I’m going hot and fast or low and slow, I just enjoy the whole process! There are so many different things you can do on a grill with meat, seasonings, and sauces. It’s always different, and it never gets old.

Favorite meat to grill?

My absolute favorite meat to grill is beef plate ribs. You always smoke these low and slow, and they take a while, so it’s a full day. What I love the most about it is that the whole backyard has an amazing aroma with the smoke blowing out from the grill, and every now and then, you get to open the lid and admire the transformation as the meat cooks.

From one huge dog lover to another, please tell us about Bella:

I have a chocolate lab named Bella, and she is 9 years old. She was born on the border of Canada in a town called Newport which is in Vermont. She is the sweetest dog!!

Be sure and follow Kevin on Instagram @Coastalgrillin.

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