Picnic and beach party cuisine can be eye-pleasing and flavorful when you learn shish kabob grilling tips. They are not complicated just a little temperamental if the wrong skewer combinations cook together, some pieces get underdone while others burn. Use homemade marinades, spicy dry rubs and dipping sauces to enhance the exotic, ethnic or traditional flavors of your grilled shish kabobs.

You will need the following:

  • Metal or wood skewers
  • Meat, poultry or seafood selection
  • Vegetable selection
  • Fruit selection
  • Tofu or soy bean curd
  • Marinade selections
  • Cooking oil
  • Charcoal or gas grill
  • Grilling utensils

 Shish kabob grilling steps:

  1. Soak bamboo or wooden skewers. Place in water one hour before using to prevent burning over fire’s flame.
  2. Prepare grill. Grill and racks should be cleaned and dried before firing up. Start charcoal 45 minutes ahead of time. Place the charcoal on one side before lighting to have separate hot and warm grilling areas. Wait until the coals are white and the temperature has leveled off before cooking.
  3. Choose meats and vegetables that cook evenly together. Use suggestions below; make sure all pieces are cut the same size.
  4. Prepare thick sliced and marinated tofu. Cut complimentary vegetables the same size and thickness, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cut firm fruit in thick slices and cubed. Use a combination of fruits, tofu and toasted nuts (on the side in foil). Brush near the end of cooking with a sweet maple syrup or honey and ginger glaze.
  6. Marinate shish kabob food pieces after they have been sliced, cubed cleaned and dried. Some types of shish kabobs may have sauce brushed on them just before removing from heat.
  7. Place ingredients on skewer. Poke a hole in the center of tough pieces first. Pierce and slide onto skewer:  meat, vegetable, in an alternating pattern. Design the shish kabob in a visually appealing manner by varying meat types and different colors and textures of vegetables, fruits and tofu.
  8. Place shish kabobs on the hot side of oiled grill rack. Alternate using hot and warm sides of grill as needed for even cooking and grill mark designs.
  9. Test meat for doneness. Medium-rare is 125 degrees and well-done is 165 degrees. Poultry should cook to at least 165 degrees. The temperature will continue rising after meat is taken off of heat, so allow for this.
  10. Serve grilled shish kabobs on skewers. Have side selections of garlic bread, warm tortillas, egg noodles and steamed rice.

Suggestions for shish kabob grilling combinations:

  1. Salmon: fennel root, onion, zucchini. Brush on marinade: brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, lemon.
  2. Shrimp only: un-peeled and soaked in a marinade of white wine, crushed basil leaves, minced ginger and lime juice.
  3. Chicken: red potato, eggplant, cauliflower. Soak in marinade: apple cider, maple syrup, cayenne powder, garlic powder, cumin powder, crushed cilantro leaves and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
  4. Beef: zucchini, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, onions all soaked in soy sauce, minced garlic, black peppercorns and coriander seeds.
  5. Fruit: pineapple, honey-soaked tofu, figs, apples. Sprinkle when done with vanilla-sugar or brush on a sweetened glaze.

Try these shish kabob grilling tips for a fun and flavorful party. Add your own recipes for marinades and combinations.