How to Cook Shish Kebab on the Grill

Chicken, eggplant, onion, tomato and rosemary shish-kabobs on the grill with an ear of corn.
Image Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

You can cook your entire meal on a grill all at once using skewers and squares of food items to create shish kebabs. Mixing your favorite fruits, vegetables and meats together can make for an exceptionally tasty meal because the flavors intermingle as they cook. Choose food items that go well together, such as pork tenderloin, onion and papaya, or chicken. green peppers and pineapple. Your shish kebabs are limited only by your imagination.

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Step 1

Cut your meats, vegetables and fruits into 1 1/2- to 2-inch squares with a sharp knife. Place your meats in a ziplock plastic bag with your marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Refrigerate your fruits and vegetables in a separate ziplock bag.

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Step 2

Soak wooden shish kebab skewers in water for at least an hour before grilling. This helps keep them from burning. If you're using metal skewers, spray them lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 3

Brush your grill grates with olive oil or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray when you are ready to grill. Preheat your gas or charcoal grill for medium direct heat to about 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4

Slide your meats, vegetables and fruits onto the kebab skewers, alternating between the different ingredients, and leaving a slight space between each item.

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Step 5

Lay your kebabs onto the grill. Cook them for two to three minutes per side for a total of eight to 10 minutes with the lid closed. Brush the meat with marinade or sauces after the first half of the grilling time to prevent burning.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden or metal shish kebab skewers

  • Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil

  • Meats, vegetables and fruit of your choice

  • Ziplock plastic bags

  • Marinade

  • Pastry brush

Tip

Place an item at the bottom your kebab skewer that won’t fall from the skewer and will hold the rest of the items securely onto the skewer like a cherry tomato.

Keep at least one burner turned off in your gas grill or one area in your charcoal grill free of heat beneath the grill grate. This gives you an area to move your shish kebabs in the event of fire flareups.

Items that work well for shish kebabs include mangoes, pineapple, papaya, squash, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, chicken, pork, shrimp and beef.

Related Reading

A shish kabob is made by piercing and threading cubes of meat onto long sticks and then grilling until cooked through. Chicken is a nutritious source of protein and can be made into flavorful grilled shish kabobs that can be served with a variety of healthful side dishes. Plan to marinate the chicken for several hours, which will tenderize the meat so your grilled shish kabobs do not turn out dry or lack flavor. Cubes of chicken will also cook quite quickly, which makes shish kabobs a convenient meal even on the busiest of days.

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Step 6

Place the olive oil, orange juice, honey, ginger, garlic powder, salt and black pepper into a large marinating dish.

Step 7

Whisk the ingredients until they are smooth and the honey has been well-incorporated into the liquid.

Step 8

Scatter the cubes of chicken into the marinade and stir to coat all the pieces well.

Step 9

Cover the marinating dish and refrigerate for four hours.

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Step 10

Stir the chicken in the marinade once every hour to ensure that all pieces are well-marinated.

Step 11

Cover the wooden skewers with water and soak for at least 30 minutes.

Step 12

Preheat your outdoor barbecue grill to medium-high heat.

Step 13

Poke the sharp end of the skewer into the pieces of chicken, threading five or six onto each skewer, leaving about 1 inch of space between each piece of chicken.

Step 14

Place each skewer on the hot grill.

Step 15

Baste each skewer with barbecue sauce using a basting brush.

Step 16

Cook the skewers for four to five minutes.

Step 17

Flip each skewer using a pair of long-handled tongs.

Step 18

Baste the chicken shish kabobs with more of the barbecue sauce.

Step 19

Cook for another four to five minutes, or until the chicken cubes are no longer pink in the center.

Step 20

Remove the chicken shish kabobs to a serving plate. Garnish with fresh parsley and red pepper flakes.

Step 21

Serve the chicken shish kabobs with the rest of the barbecue sauce for dipping.

Things You'll Need

  • Large marinating dish

  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger

  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder

  • Salt

  • Black pepper

  • Whisk

  • 2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes

  • Wooden skewers

  • Outdoor grill

  • Tongs

  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

  • Basting brush

  • Serving plate

  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley

  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Tip

Put some bite-size chunks of vegetables on soaked skewer sticks and grill alongside the chicken for a healthy meal that you can prepare all at once.

Warning

Do not use the same basting brush to coat your cooked chicken shish kabobs with barbecue sauce that you used for the raw chicken because it may spread bacteria that can lead to serious illness.

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