When it comes to perfect summer recipes, homemade kabobs on the grill should be high on the list! Colorful, flavorful, and easy to eat, these tasty skewers can be customized to everyone’s liking. Want to know how to make kabobs? Here are a few tips and tricks to preparing and grilling the best beef or chicken kabobs this season.
Select Good Cuts of Meat
Various cuts of Sirloin are great for kabobs. Relatively tender, Sirloin is lean and fits into a balanced diet, plus, it’s budget friendly. This is also an excellent option for those that prefer their meat more well done. Buy large sirloin steaks and have the butcher cut your selection into 1-inch cubes for your kabobs. (If you are willing to spend a little more on quality, you could opt for a filet mignon or Porterhouse option— and if it looks good at the butcher counter, try a rib-eye!) Choosing chicken instead? You can’t go wrong with boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless thighs.
Sweet and Savory Marinades
If you’d like to impart a distinctive flavor, pour a marinade on your meat prior to grilling. The longer you leave it in the marinade, the stronger the flavors will become as they will soak into the chicken and veggies more. If possible, up to 8 hours of marinating is suggested for optimal soak time. For a chicken marinade, use ingredients like thyme, sage, red pepper flakes, ground pepper, soy sauce olive oil, honey, and minced garlic whisked together.
Did you know you can even add a few plashes of beer? Beer has enzymes that will help break down the chicken and make it extra tender. It also adds an additional layer of rich flavor to the meat!
Assembling the Skewer
First off, be sure to soak your wood skewers in cold water for at least 20 minutes to keep them from burning. (Wooden skewers tend to burn, catch on fire, and then easily break when trying to eat from them: soaking the skewers helps alleviate those issues.) Or you can use stainless steel skewers and avoid the water soak.
Second, yes, your meat and veggies can co-exist on the same skewer. It looks beautiful put together, alternating textures, colors, and shapes. Keep beef chunks, and similar-density vegetables and fruits cut into approximate 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch pieces for even cooking. For example, beef, onions, squash, or pineapple chunks would be paired well on the same skewer, as they can all handle the same heat and cooking time.
If you have many ingredients that largely differ in size or produce that is extremely delicate (like tomatoes), these should be skewered separately and removed from the heat earlier. Hearty ingredients like raw potatoes or chunks of corn-on-the-cob can be partially cooked prior to grilling and placed on their own individual skewers or grilled separately.
Grill kabobs over direct heat of approximately 400°F. Kabobs with 3/4-inch cubes require approximately 8 to 10 minutes of total time on the grill, flipping halfway through. Bigger chunks will take a few more minutes. If you notice that some skewers are cooking faster than others, move them toward a cooler zone or to indirect heat.