How to Assemble and Cook Kebabs: A Step-by-Step Guide

These tips will help you grill your kebabs to tender perfection.

Categories:
Beef, Chicken, Grilling

You can skewer up meat, veggies or tofu to make great kebabs.

Skewers
Most skewers are made out of metal or bamboo. If you're using bamboo, soak them before cooking so they don't burn — submerge them in room-temperature water for 30-60 minutes before grilling.

Beef
For tender, flavorful results, use the tri-tip cut of beef.

Chicken
Use boneless breasts or thighs when making chicken kebabs. Breasts are lean, while thighs are juicy and fuller-flavored. Keep in mind that white meat will cook faster than dark meat.

Prepping the Meats
Cut beef and chicken into 1 1/2-inch cubes to keep them juicy. If you're using a marinade, marinate the pieces of meat before you thread them. Discard the marinade after removing the meat.

Add Veggies
Thread meat and veggies onto the skewers. Choose softer vegetables that will cook in the same time as the meat, like zucchini, mushrooms and peppers. Slower-cooking vegetables like potatoes should be partially cooked beforehand.

Spacing
Leave space between the items on the skewer so the heat can circulate and cook everything evenly.

Foil
Lay double-thick foil strips on the edge of the grill to protect the ends of the skewers. This will prevent wooden skewers from burning and metal ones from getting dangerously hot.

Setting Up the Grill
Set up the grill for direct and indirect heat. Then oil the grill and wait until the oil smokes.

Start Grilling
If you made the kebabs ahead of time, bring them to room temperature while you preheat the grill. Pat the kebabs dry. If not marinated, season them with salt and pepper. Then lay the kebabs on the direct-heat side of the grill with the skewer ends overlapping the foil. Space them out to let them cook evenly. Don't move them until the bottoms look slightly charred and they release easily from the grill. Then turn the kebabs as necessary to sear all sides.

Indirect Heat
Once they're seared, the meat may need a little extra cooking. Move the kebabs to the indirect-heat side of the grill and cover. Chicken should take 10-12 minutes and beef about 8-10, for medium-rare.

Ready to Serve
Once cooked through, remove from the grill and let the kebabs rest for a few minutes before serving. Now you have a perfect summer meal. Watch our how-to video for more.