What's the key to creating perfect kebabs? Try these three simple tweaks to your grilling strategy for first-rate food-on-a-stick results.
1. Better Together?
We love the all-in-one-ness of kebabs—many ingredients, living happily side by side. But sometimes they need separate vacations. In the time it takes to fully cook pork, for instance, pineapple and tomatoes will disintegrate. In those cases, it’s best to put ingredients on their own skewers.
2. Wood or Metal?
Wooden skewers—often made of bamboo—are cheap and plentiful, but they burn easily, even with soaking. Metal skewers are sturdier and won’t burn, but you’ll need mitts to handle them both on and off the grill. They cost more, too.
We recommend soaking wooden skewers for 30 minutes, although some recipes may call for an hour or more. Either way, soaking won’t stop the wood from burning—it just delays it a bit. If scorched skewers bother you, wrap the exposed ends with foil before grilling.
3. Location is Everything
Leave a little room between ingredients on the skewer so the heat can do its job. Cramming on too much interferes with even cooking.
It doesn’t matter if skewers are laid diagonally or crosswise on the grill. Even cooking is the goal, so it’s more important to give equal access to the heat. Just don’t put skewers parallel to the grate, or things will fall through the cracks.
Frustrated when food spins like a slot machine when you turn it over? Double up and secure the food with two parallel skewers. The wider the space between the skewers, the more stable the kebabs.
Try These Killer Kebab Recipes
- Tequila-Lime Shrimp
- BBQ Teriyaki Pork Kebabs
- Kofta Kebabs (Lamb Meatballs)
- Marinated Greek Chicken Kebabs
Want more? Try 6 Delicious Foods on a Stick for Summer Entertaining
More Grilling Times and Tips
Grilling times for chicken and poultry.
Grilling times for beef.
How to grill pork.
Grilling times for lamb.
Grilling times for duck and goose.
Grilling times for venison.
How to grill seafood.
How to grill vegetables.
How to grill fruit.
How to Grill: Top Tips for Successful Grilling