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Kebob Tips

Cooking tips for the caring cook.

Shish Kebabs

Shish Kebob Cooking Tips

  • Cook your kebobs on the grill using the direct grilling method - directly over the coals. The coals should be hot. Turn the kebobs once and be careful not to overcook them.
  • To ensure even cooking of all ingredients, use large pieces of meat or seafood and cut any vegetables you add in equal size pieces.
  • Kebabs can be grilled, broiled or baked.
  • Fatty meats can be cooked at a higher temperature. Lean meats will need a longer time at a lower heat.
  • When using fish, use firm-textured fish such as salmon, tuna, mahi mahi, swordfish, shark, or shellfish.
  • Cut meats evenly in size in about 1 to 2-inch cubes.
  • When marinading, use a large, heavy-duty plastic zip bag. Get all the air out of the bag before sealing and turn the bag often while marinating. Always marinate at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • A light spray of cooking oil will help keep the kebabs from sticking. Turn the kebabs often for even cooking.
  • When camping, improvise skewers by peeling thin green branches and sharpening the ends.
  • Alternate meat with vegetables and fruit on the skewers. Be creative!

Fresh onions potatoes and carrots

To Ace Your Kebobs

Looking to upgrade your BBQ repertoire?

  • Use small, inexpensive bamboo skewers to create customized mini-kebabs. To keep skewers from burning, soak them in water for 30 minutes before assembling kebobs.
  • Select 1 to 1-1/2-inch chunks of meat, fish and vegetables. Use foods that are sturdy enough to thread on a skewer (e.g., steak, fresh tuna, tempeh, onion or bell peppers).
  • Alternate threading meat and vegetables on the skewers. To avoid unevenly cooked pieces, allow about 1/4 inch of space between the chunks.

Creating Kebobs

  • Hold 2 skewers one-quarter inch apart. Proceed to impale your meat and vegetables so that you thread both skewers through each piece. Repeat for all of your kebabs. The meat for the kebabs will not spin and end up cooking unevenly as it would on a single skewer. The vegetables for the kebabs will not be able to take a suicidal leap into the coals.
  • Plan on putting an item on the kebobs such as meat, that takes longer? Precook it before adding it to the kebob. A typical 1 inch cube of meat will cook on a hot grill in 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Tightly packed kebobs will cook slower than loose packed.

Recipe: Grilled Fruit Kebobs with Chocolate Syrup

With toasted angel food cake and chocolate syrup, this recipe makes fruit seem especially decadent. It is the perfect treat for a summer party.

Pineapple and cantaloupe 2 cups cubed angel food cake
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
1 cup cubed cantaloupe
1 large banana, cut into 1-inch slices
2 medium plums, pitted and quartered
Butter flavored cooking spray
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 teaspoons chocolate syrup

On eight metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread cake cubes and fruits. Spritz each skewer with butter flavored spray and roll in brown sugar.

Place skewers on a piece of heavy-duty foil. Place foil on grill rack. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until fruits are tender, turning once. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup.

Nutrition information per 1 kebab: 131 calories, 1g fat (trace saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 93mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fruit.

Quick Fruity Kabobs Recipe

Take Apples, Bananas, Oranges (not too juicy) and assorted melons and assemble on kabob sticks and serve. Chill in the refrigerator before serving for a crisp cooler on a hot summer day.


Use toothpicks as your skewers. Thread pineapple pieces, small chunks of cheese, green bell pepper, strawberries, grape tomatoes, fresh broccoli... the list is endless. Make these up ahead of time and have handy in the refrigerator.

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