How to Make the Perfect Summer Kabobs
08.24.2020 Meat Tip Monday
Soak up the last week of summer with colorful grilled kabobs that are full of flavor! Sirloin steak ends with green peppers, chicken breast pieces and cherry tomatoes, diced pork chops with zucchini, jumbo shrimp and pineapple chucks – With so many meat, veggie, and fruit combinations, the options are endless! Let us walk you through each step of the kabob-making process.
Choosing the Meat & Vegetables
Kabobs were traditionally made with lamb meat. Nowadays, kabobs feature a wide variety of meat: beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and even tofu! Typically, the meat is marinated for about a day for flavor and tenderness before getting skewered. Although you can grill meat on the skewers alone, vegetables add color, texture, and flavor to kabobs. Sturdy vegetables that can stand the intense heat of the grill without falling apart work the best! We suggest chunks of onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and button or cremini mushrooms.
It’s also a good idea to pair vegetables that cook in about the same time as the meat. For example, cherry tomatoes and shrimp or chunks of fish all cook quickly. Potatoes take longer to cook than most types of meat, but you can parboil the potatoes first to give them a head start. You can also cook the meat separately from the vegetables and combine them in a big serving bowl or when you plate the food.
Both meat and vegetables cling to flat stainless steel skewers better than bamboo and other wooden skewers. If you choose to use bamboo or wooden skewers, first soak them in room temperature water for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes. This prevents the skewers from splintering and burning on the grill. Keep in mind that wooden skewers can break from too much weight.
No matter what type of skewer you use, you should always apply a light coat of cooking oil before you thread the meat and vegetables so they easily slide off when it’s time to eat. Remember to keep some space between each piece of meat and vegetable to allow the heat from the grill to circulate freely around the food.
Preparing & Grilling Kabobs
Once you’ve made your meat, vegetable, and skewer selections, skewer your choice of 1.5 inch meat chunks and vegetables, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and cook them on the grill.
For authentic kabobs, cook them over the high heat of a wood fire or use a charcoal grill, which provides the smokiness and charred flavor of a classic kabob. You can also use a gas grill or cook kabobs under the oven broiler if you’re in a pinch. Always spray a light coat of cooking oil on the grill before cooking the kebabs to prevent them from sticking.
Traditionally, kabobs are served over a bed of rice and accompanied with pita bread, salad, or a tangy coleslaw. Today, kabobs are served as fun and easy appetizers or the main course of a summer cookout! You can carry the kabob theme through to dessert by serving skewered and grilled fruit with a yogurt dipping sauce.