How to Cook Shish Kebab on the Grill

Grilling shish kabobs on a charcoal or gas grill is a fun and easy way to cook a healthy and colorful meal.
Image Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

The shish kebab (also spelled "kabob") is a popular choice at Mediterranean restaurants. A shish kabob is made by piercing and threading cubes of meat, fruits and vegetables onto long skewers, then grilling until cooked through. Kebabs are so fun and easy to make, you can cook them yourself on your own gas or charcoal grill. It's a convenient way to create an entire meal all at once.


Spearing your favorite fruits, vegetables and meats on skewers and then grilling them makes for an exceptionally tasty meal because the flavors intermingle as they cook. For best results, choose food items that go well together, such as pork, onion and papaya, or chicken, green peppers and pineapple. Other choices that work well for shish kebabs include mangoes, squash, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, shrimp and beef. Your shish kebabs are limited only by your imagination!

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Here's how to season and grill shish kabobs on the BBQ yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden or metal shish kebab skewers

  • Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil

  • Meats, vegetables and fruit of your choice

  • Ziplock bags

  • Marinade

  • Pastry brush

  • Tongs

Step 1

Using a sharp knife, cut your meat, vegetables and fruits into 1 1/2- to 2-inch cubes. Place your meat cubes in a ziplock plastic bag with the marinade (recipe follows). Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least four hours. Refrigerate fruits and vegetables in a separate ziplock bag.

Note: 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.


Step 2

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

Step 3

Brush the grill grates with olive oil or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the gas or charcoal grill to 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for medium direct heat.


Orange-Ginger BBQ Sauce for Grilled Kabobs

Put 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder into a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until sauce is smooth and the honey has been well-incorporated. Pour into large ziplock bag. Add 2 pounds of boneless meat cubes. Marinate in the fridge for at least four hours, mixing the bag with your fingers once per hour to ensure that all pieces are covered.

Step 4

Slide your vegetables, fruits and marinated meat cubes onto the kebab skewers, alternating between ingredients and leaving a slight space between each item. It's a good idea to put something that won't fall off (such as a cherry tomato) at the open ends of each skewer, to hold the rest of the items securely in place.

Step 5

Lay your kebabs on the preheated grill and close the lid. Cook the kabobs for four to five minutes per side, for a total of eight to 10 minutes.


Keep one area in your gas or charcoal grill free of heat. This gives you an area to move your shish kebabs to in the event of fire flareups or burning.


After removing meat cubes from bag, discard the marinade. Because it contained raw meat, it is not safe to consume.



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