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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Pain in the Kabob
Tips for Grilling Shish Kabobs

grilled beef vegetable shish kabobs
Grilled Beef Kabobs

Every so often I get this urge to make grilled kabobs. Kabobs are pretty. Kabobs are tasty. Kabobs are a lot of work.

I tend to be a low resistance griller. I like quick and easy outdoor recipes. I will make the fancier grilled dishes but not all that often and not all that cheerfully.

Shish kabobs could drive a body to drink or cussing. Trust me on that. I’ve wrested (or wrastled if you’re Southern) many a kabob, and mostly won though a few times the kabobs did.

Back to the Good Grilling Gear Message

If you want good results, you really do need good grill gear. This is especially obvious when attempting to grill shish kabobs.

The best bet if grilling shish kabobs would be to invest in a shish kabob set.

Double kabob skewers mean that the meat and vegetables do not do go north and south and fall in the fire. If you’ve tried to use single kabobs, then you’ll know what I mean.

A basket is also very helpful. Simply put, it is hard to turn grilled kabobs.

Cost and Storage Space

Call me cheap, but I still use the basic metal kabob skewers. They were inexpensive. They can be used over and over. They do work but with a good effort.

I’ve thought about better kabob skewers, but the boys are not all that keen on kabobs. They like meat and potatoes and lots of both. This is not a great recipe for kabobs. While I make kabobs from time to time, I don’t do them often enough to buy the really nice set I’d love to have.

Storage is also an issue here. I do not have a mansion. My house is fine. It’s just not real big. My cabinets are full and running over. The metal skewers take up hardly any space. The double prong skewers and the shish kabob basket would need a home.

Half Bass Kabobing

Even though I don’t have the best gear for grilled kabobs, I do get the idea now and then to make some grilled shish kabobs. Sometimes I regret it. Mostly, it does work out – if I’m diligent. Then, I'm really glad that I did make kabobs.

My very basic metal kabobs do work out for grilling meat. The metal heats up and helps cook more evenly. I do have to use outdoor gloves, because the metal kabobs get really hot.

For things like grilled seafood, then I use the bamboo or stick kabobs. Those don't get so hot. Since seafood cooks so fast, that's not an issue. I enjoy using the wooden kabobs acutally. I just have to remember to saok the kabobs ahead of time.

Tips for Grilling Shish Kabobs

When selecting food items for your kabobs, there are several things to keep in mind.

The meat generally needs to be marinated. You probably do not want to get the top cuts for kabobing. If you marinate, then the meat is more tender and flavorful.

On the vegetables, consider the cooking times. You want veggies that cook along with the meat and that cook at about the same time and temperature. I usually go with onions, bell peppers, and tommy toe tomatoes.

Some folks like to parboil (cook a little) on the veggies. I like mine a little crunchy, so I don’t do that. Try it both ways and see which you like.

Cut kabob foods close the same size. Clearly you will have problems if you have one fat hunk of meat and a little sliver next to it or if you have huge onion chunks and little pieces of meat.

Space the food out. If you don’t, the heat will not be even. You will have some overcooked spots and some undercooked.

Let the food cook well on one side. You will see recipes for kabobs that say to cook 5 minutes on each side and such. I say to cook more before the first turn. Look for the edges of the meat to look done. Then flip. If you flip too soon, everything will slide around. Then you have a kabob mess.

Serving Grilled Kabobs

If you want to serve your guests the grilled kabobs individually, then you probably want to get wooden skewers. The metals ones are way too hot to hand to anyone – that you like anyway.

Throw away wooden shish kabob skewers must be soaked before cooking. Put them in water for a half hour of so. If you don’t, they scorch or catch on fire. That will not impress your guests.

With metal skewers, you’ll need to think about the serving. A big fork and a pretty bowl will help. Slide the grilled items down the skewers and into the bowl for serving.

How will you serve this jumble that you slide down the skewers? Chunks of meat and vegetables seem to beg for some kind of bed. Think about rice. Another option would be soft taco shells for wraps.

Kabobs - All in All

I'm still thinking on a nice kabob set. We were at the beach last week and made shrimp kabobs several times. They really were good.

 

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