Summer is coming to an end, and school is starting, but it isn’t too late to adorn your plate with some scrumptious skewers. Grilling skewers can be a challenge. Most people can relate to overcooked meat and under-cooked veggies. But a good skewer is worth every bite.
Some Tips for Grilling Skewers
- Uniform cuts of meat: 1 to 1.5 inches. Uniform cuts will cook at the same pace.
- Brine or marinate lean meats, so they retain moisture.
- Tofu is a great alternative for meat skewers.
- Soak bamboo skewers in warm water 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
- Use soft veggies (mushrooms, peppers), so they cook at the same time as the meat.
- If you must use hard veggies (potatoes), partially pre-cook them.
Now that you know some of the secrets to great skewer grilling, here are some ideas to get you started on your shish kebab masterpiece.
5 Shish Kebab Ideas (with links to possible recipes)
Kofta is ground lamb and spices molded onto a skewer. It is a recipe from the Middle East, and it is amazing if prepared properly. Like many Middle Eastern dishes, it is often paired with a yogurt sauce and pita bread. For a recipe, click one or more of the following links: Kofta Kebabs, Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs, Kofta Kebab Recipe (With Video).
Chicken and Pineapple
The thing about chicken is that thighs are always going to be a bit tastier due to their fat content, but you can get great results with leaner breasts as well. Pairing chicken with pineapple is a great way to enhance the flavors of this dish. Here are some links: Chicken and Pineapple Skewers, BBQ Pineapple Chicken Kebabs, Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs.
Shrimp, Tomato, and Scallions
Shrimp cooks ridiculously fast, so it is important to pair it with other things that cook quickly or that can stand to be under-cooked to a certain extent. Pineapple, tomatoes, and scallions (green onions) are common additions. Here are the links: Shrimp and Tomato Kebabs, Shrimp Skewers with Charred-Tomato Vinaigrette, How to: Shrimp Kabobs.
Pork is a type of meat that must be cooked perfectly, so make sure your temp is at a minimum of 145 degrees. Other than that, enjoy that barbecued pork. You can cook it with vegetables, but typically this dish is prepared with veggies on the side or not at all. Links: Barbecued Pork Kebabs, Grilled Pork Shish Kabobs (Shashlik), Asian BBQ Pork Kabobs.
Sirloin and Veggies
Nobody wants to cut up a USDA prime steak into cubes for kebabs. This is sacrilege! But a Select steak or a Choice sirloin will make a great meat choice for a kebab. Red meat cooks quickly, so pair it with quick-cooking veggies and a touch of spice, and you’ll be in flavor heaven. The links: Steak Kabobs with Garlic Butter, Sensational Sirloin Kabobs, Steak Kebabs.
Kebabs Require a Little Know-How
Any type of kebab is a fun play on food that can deliver some amazing flavors. If you are interested in creating some kebabs to remember, do a little research, and make sure all your ingredients will be cooked at the same time.