uring the grilling months, you can have an instant party by inviting over some friends and cooking kebabs. Make a variety of types using chicken, beef, lamb, and more, to satisfy everyone’s taste. Assemble them together, get the kids involved in the assembly, or prepare ahead of the party. Kebabs also work well any night of the week, as they are a great way to clean out the refrigerator of any leftover bits of meat and vegetables.
Make sure the grates of your grill are scrubbed clean. First heat the grill, then rub a high-heat oil on the grates right before you begin grilling to avoid sticking.
The Best Cuts for Kebabs
Because kebabs cook rather quickly, choose more tender cuts of meat. Our grass-fed tenderloin tips are a great choice for this technique. Deeply flavorful bavette - AKA sirloin flap - is another option. Veal tenderloin can be cubed to your liking, as can pork tenderloin or pork shoulder. Looking for something with a stronger flavor? Try lamb -tenderloin, shoulder, or leg - or cuts of bison and venison for something wild. Don’t forget that ground meat can be formed around a metal skewer for Middle Eastern kofte kebabs.
The meat should either be cut into equal-sized cubes or cut into thin strips. Thread cubes onto wooden or metal skewers, leaving small gaps in between the pieces. These gaps will allow the pieces to cook more evenly. If using strips of meat, thread them onto the skewers using a weaving pattern.
Seafood on Sticks
Sturdy fish like tuna, swordfish, and mahi mahi are suitable for skewering, as are scallops and shrimp. For the latter, push them close to one another on the stake to maintain a moist, tender texture. Cook seafood fast on the grill.
If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for at least an hour before using them, which will prevent them from catching on fire or charring excessively. These disposable bamboo skewers are good for foods that cook quickly, like vegetables and shrimp. Metal skewers are best for chunks of red meat that take longer than 5 minutes to cook. These “swords” are good tools to have in your grilling arsenal. Try sturdy branches of rosemary as skewers for items like scallops, though you will need to poke a hole through first.
Spice It Up
Kick up the flavor of your kebabs with a marinade or dry spice rub. Either season the meat before skewering or brush it on after the kebabs are assembled.
Vegetables can also be used for kebabs. Try using eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, or tomatoes. Because meat and vegetables cook at different rates, keep them on separate skewers.Cook the kebabs on a pre-heated grill over medium-high heat.
Rotate every few minutes to cook all sides evenly. Keep the lid on the grill closed as much as possible to retain the heat. Cook until the outside has nice grill marks and the meat is cooked to your liking.
During the colder months or during an unexpected rain shower, you can cook up your kebabs inside. Using a grill pan indoors will still give you those desired grill marks. The kebab’s cook time on a grill pan will be about double that of grilling outside. To speed the process, cover the kebabs loosely with a piece of foil while they are cooking to trap the heat.
Kebabs can also be cooked under a broiler. Turn the broiler on high and place the kebabs about 5 inches from the heating element. Rotate the kebabs periodically to ensure even cooking.
If serving on metal skewers, allow them to cool or warn your guests. Most commonly meat is removed from the skewer before serving. Pile the kebab meat over a mound of rice or couscous, and surround it with the grilled vegetables. For a utensil-free meal, wrap the meat and veggies in warm pita bread.