Find us on Facebook
More keeppies by Tanya
Making Skewers by Tanya ,  Jan 7, 2013

How to Skewer Food for Grilling

Cooking food on skewers - from chicken strips to shish kebabs - is a grilling tradition. With a few simple guidelines in mind you'll get great results every time.

Tips for Skewering Food:

  • If you grill often, consider investing in a set of flat metal skewers. These can be used year after year, require no soaking, and are easier to use than wooden ones. The flat edge keeps foods from turning.
  • Most skewered food should cook over medium or medium-low heat, with the bottom of the skewer off the grill, away from the heat. The idea is to gauge your cooking times so food cooks evenly, and if you keep the bottom of the skewer off the heat, you can use it as a handle when the food's ready. An overly hot grill can also char wooden skewers.
  • Wooden skewers should be discarded after use.
  • Try these skewered entrées: Beef Kabobs with Papaya Seed Green Tea Sauce and Fruit and Vegetable Shrimp Kabobs.

How to Skewer Food:

  1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes before using them, so they don't start fire.
  2. Prepare your food for the skewers by making sure it's trimmed properly and bite-size. The general rule is: the smaller the better. The longer the food takes to cook, the less viable it is for skewering.
  3. If you're making shish kebabs, with several different ingredients together on the same skewer, make sure all the food is trimmed to cook as fast as the quickest-cooking ingredient. If your skewers contain cherry tomatoes, for example, make sure the onions, peppers and meat are cut very small so they'll cook at the same rate as the tomatoes.
  4. Thread the food onto the skewers at its deepest part. If you're cooking something wide and flat, like a butterflied shrimp, consider using two skewers so it won't spin on the skewer.
  5. Cook your skewers over medium to medium-low heat, with the bottoms of the skewers extending past the edge of the grill.
  6. Try to move the skewers as little as possible, both when preparing them and when cooking. This will help ensure that the food doesn't loosen once it's been pierced.

Thai Shrimp Skewers


  • 9 raw shrimp, thawed, peeled and patted dry
  • 1 tsp Thai curry paste
  • Canola oil or cooking spray
  • Lime and fresh chopped cilantro, to serve

Special Equipment/Tools: wooden or metal skewers, pastry brush


If using BBQ to cook, soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.  Thread shrimps onto skewers and brush the shrimps with curry paste.  Heat skillet or frying pan to medium high heat and spray with canola oil.  Place shrimps onto heated pan and cook on each side for 1 to 2 minutes until pink and cooked through.  If using a BBQ, lightly brush the shrimps with canola oil before grilling to prevent sticking.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime.

Summer Vegetable Skewers

  • 1 Bell Pepper – use green or red or orange…make it pretty. Chop into 16 chunks
  • 1/2 large onion – chopped into 8 large chunks
  • 1 yellow squash – chop into 24 – 32 chunks
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 8 Baby Bella or other Whole Mushroom
  • 2 – 3 TBS Your Favorite Italian Dressing

Heat grill on high.  After you have done all the chopping, assemble the skewers using 2 pieces of pepper, 1 piece of onion, 3 – 4 pieces of squash, 2 tomatoes, 1 mushroom.  Baste with your favorite dressing. When hot, the veggies can be placed right on the grill. Rotate about 4 times for a total of 8 to 10 minutes of cooking.

Beef kebab

How to make beef kebabs:

  1. Cut the ingredients into similar-size pieces and prepare as the recipe directs.  If marinating, refrigerate up to 1 hour for fish and up to overnight for meat and poultry.
  2. Preheat a grill to high.  Thread the ingredients onto skewers.
  3. Oil the grates, then grill the kebabs, turning, until the ingredients are charred and cooked to desired doneness.


Boil bacon strips 5 minutes, then cut into pieces.  Skewer cubed beef tri-tip, onion and bell pepper with cherry tomatoes and the bacon; season with salt and pepper.  Grill, basting with a mix of equal parts barbecue sauce and olive oil.


  • 1 1/2 lbs (or 0.75 kg) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb (or 0.5 kg) unsweetened pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 15 medium mushrooms
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • hot cooked rice


  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and put them into a large shallow dish for marinading
  2. Drain the pineapple juice, and keep about half a cup of it (don’t drink it all! :) )
  3. Put the pineapples aside, and mix the juice with the other ingredients (soy sauce, vegetable oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, ground ginger, dry mustard, ground pepper) in a small pan
  4. Bring the mixture to a quick boil, and then reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture over the chicken, cover and let it cool down and marinade for an hour.
  6. Remove the chicken from marinade, and skewer the pieces alternating with tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, and pineapples.
  7. Grill the skewers over hot coal for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  8. Make sure to keep turning the skewers and basting them with the marinade so they don’t get dry.
  9. Serve over hot rice and enjoy!