Choices are always great when cooking, and few dishes give you more options than kabobs. In this article we will cover those various styles to show how to grill the best kabob possible.
Building the Perfect Kabob
All kabob recipes are some mix of vegetables, fruit, and meat. In order to set up the best ones possible, we need to break down both categories and discuss what flavors they bring to the table.
Beef: Hearty and Filling
First, you have beef. This is one of the more common kabob options, but it can also be a bit tricky to cook.
That is because you want something that is tender but also packed with a lot of flavor. You can get more expensive cuts, but those tend to dry out because of how lean they are. On the other side, while inexpensive cuts hold flavor on the skewer, they can be chewy.
For those reasons, sirloin is often the best choice. However, with a bit of experimentation you will find the beef that works best for you.
Chicken and Pork
Much more versatile than beef, chicken is incredible for kabobs because of how much flavor it can hold. Not only does it absorb sauce, but it also soaks up the taste of whatever it is stuck next too.
Boneless thighs are great for kabobs because they are extremely tender compared to other parts of the chicken. However, breasts are also great because they are thick and easy to cube. You can easily slice them up and stick them on the skewer.
While not nearly as popular as beef or chicken, pork is also a fine option for grilling kabobs. There are tons of different pork cuts out there, but chops are the best for skewers.
Medium-thick ones are perfect for cubing and do a great job of holding marinade. However, as they can dry out over high heat, you should brine the meat before setting it on the grill.
That extra step takes time, but it helps the meat stay juicy.
The Right (and Wrong) Seafood
The last meat option is seafood. While you never want to use delicate fish (which tends to fall apart on the grill) heavier cuts like salmon, tuna, and swordfish work great.
If you’re not a fish person, you also have the option of going out and using shrimp. Shrimp, like chicken, is one of the most popular kabob options because of how well it absorbs other flavors or marinades.
If you want a meat you can influence, shrimp is the way to go.
Cut, Cube, and Marinate
Once you pick your meat, you next need to cut it up and marinate it a sauce of your choosing. While you can stick shrimp directly onto a skewer, you should cut all of your other meat into cubes.
After you’re done chopping, you want to marinate the protein with whatever marinade you’ve decided to use. You can go with spicy options, or more sweet blends depending on your taste.
There is no one rule for how long you need to marinade your meat for. If you want to get a good soak, you can leave it for a few days. However, a day or even a few hours can work if you’re pressed for time.
Vegetable and Fruit Options
The other half of a good kabob is the type of vegetable and fruit you choose. There are countless options out there, and all of them bring something different to your meal.
Vegetables have earthy, dense tones, while fruits bring a certain element of zest and sweetness. In terms of vegetables, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms are work great.
In contrast, bright, tropical fruit like mangos, peaches, and pineapples are a great way to enhance the overall flavor.
You can use heartier vegetables like potatoes and corn as well. However, if you go that route you should always partially cook them before putting them on a skewer in order to make sure they will cook once on the grill.
Kabobs on the Grill – Something for Everyone
Kabobs on the grill are a great way to prepare a warm dinner on a hot summer night. As each one is different, you can mix-and-match different foods for both yourself and whoever you’re cooking for.
Shrimp and mango can go on one, while beef, potatoes and corn can go on another. In that way, you have some lighter options in addition to heavier skewers. Never assume you only have to make one type. Variety is what makes kabobs so special!