3 Secrets to the Perfect Kebab

Kebabs seem super easy, but to get the perfect cook and great flavor you need to know these 3 secrets! Get the most out of your dinner with these tips from Kebabs.

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With all the possibilities that the kebab offers, there are a few secrets to perfection. What must be avoided is a dry kebab with burnt food or one that is overcooked on one end and raw on the other. As with all grilling, knowing the fire, proper placement, turning, and timing are the keys to success. But don’t worry. Kebabs are easy. Just follow three basic rules:

1. Don’t over pack! Trying to force too much food on a skewer will cause it to cook slowly and unevenly. Loosely thread the skewer so that heat can move about the food evenly. Generally, a kebab cooks faster on the ends than it does in the center. Leaving a little space between the foods in the middle will solve this problem.

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2. Cut foods to the proper size. Giant cubes of meat will take longer to cook through. This will result in a burnt exterior and a raw center. The meat used for kebabs should be cut into approximately 1- to 1½-inch (2.5 to 4 cm) cubes. Getting each piece cut to approximately the same size results in a better kebab.

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3. Mix meats and vegetables that belong together. In the 1950s and 60s, when people dressed formally for cookouts and drank martinis, there was a bad habit of mixing the wrong vegetables on the skewer. Pearl onions, cherry tomatoes, and canned mushrooms do not belong together on a skewer. Use thin squares of onions or bell peppers, thick cuts of squash, and fresh mushrooms. Since most vegetables are prone to sliding off of the skewer, always start and end with a good piece of meat or a heartier vegetable.

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Kebabs 75 Recipes for Grilling

Grill adventurously with the easy recipes from around the world in Kebabs.

As popular as kebabs are, most backyard cooks are stuck in a rut, returning over and over again to the ubiquitous mushroom plus onion plus green pepper plus protein (usually chicken, beef, or swordfish) formula. In Kebabs, Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh take this quick and easy grilling method for a brand new spin. They pick up delectable ideas from the backroads of the U.S. Barbecue Belt and from the street-food stalls, courtyards, and backyards of the places where skewered grilling is most famous, like Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, India, and even Japan (yakitori) and France (brochettes). There are ample recipes for beef, chicken, fish and seafood, vegetables, and even fruit, with vegan substitutions suggested for the meat recipes. With loads of technique guidance on such questions as whether metal or wood skewers are best, and whether you really need to soak wooden skewers before you cook, plus rubs, sauces, and mops that make kebabs optimally flavorful and moist, Kebabs makes backyard grilling more globally adventuresome, and flavorful, than it’s been before — all with minimal prep time and effort.