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Kabobs are a backyard grilling favorite worldwide, especially part of summer entertaining. Even though this main dish is not purely American, it's become a favorite among families. They're easy-to-prepare, straightforward and ridiculously tasty, and the total cook time seems nothing compared to some heavy duty recipes.
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5 from 1 vote

Best Kabobs Recipe

Kabobs are a backyard grilling favorite worldwide, especially part of summer entertaining.  Even though this main dish is not purely American, it's become a favorite among families. They're easy-to-prepare, straightforward and ridiculously tasty, and the total cook time seems nothing compared to some heavy duty recipes.

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Kabobs
Servings: 4
Calories: 140kcal


  • Nonreactive bowl or freezer bags
  • plastic wrap
  • Skewers
  • Grill (charcoal or gas)
  • Chef's knife (sharpened)
  • Metal tongs
  • Spatula
  • Instant read thermometer
  • Small rack or baking sheet
  • Serving plate
  • Foil


  • Meat/seafood, fruit, vegetables

  • Marinade

  • Cooking oil


  • Leg of lamb is the traditional choice for kabobs.

  • There are other meats and seafood (shrimp kabobs are the best!) that work just as well, such as beef, pork, shrimp, tuna, and swordfish.

  • For beef, go with bottom sirloin. For pork, consider center cut boneless chops, boneless lower leg (shank end) or shoulder.

  • You can even work the grilled chicken breasts to make an amazing chicken kabob, it's up to you.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are another scrumptious choice for shish kabobs.

  • Leg of lamb and pork shoulder may require removal of fat, silver skin, and connective tissue before use.

  • Think tropical-inspired spicy lime-flavored tuna and mango kabobs, for example.

  • Dice your fruit or veggies into roughly the same size and thickness as your meat or seafood.

  • If you want to use veggies that don't cook quickly, such as carrots and potatoes, blanch them first until they're fork tender. Then marinate and grill them.

  • A great marinade with bold, spicy flavors seem to bring out the best that kabobs offer your palate.

  • A marinade is essentially a glorified vinaigrette, containing an acid, a fat, and spices/aromatics.

  • Add the marinade, meat/seafood, fruits or veggies to a nonreactive bowl or resealable freezer bag.

  • Mix gently to coat each cube or chunk with marinade.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic (or seal the freezer bag).

  • Transfer the bowl/bag to the fridge.

  • Let the marinade impart flavor for up to (but no more than) 3 hours.

  • For seafood, keep it under 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Marinade ingredients may include: soy sauce, lemon juice, teriyaki sauce, mustard, apple juice - whatever you like.

  • Kabobs cook best on medium-high or high heat.

  •  To achieve this with charcoal, spread two layers of coals for a thick, single-level fire.

  • If you have a gas grill, turn the heat up high and keep it there.

  • Let the grill get extra hot before you begin to cook.

  • This is a good time to soak your bamboo skewers (if you're using bamboo).

  • Let them sit in water, completely submerged, for at least 30 minutes.

  • Thread the meat/seafood, fruit and veggies on your skewers, alternating the layers of each type of food chunk.

  • Thread the skewers so that they're fully packed and each layer touches, but not so that each skewer is overloaded.

  • With cubes of food abutting, each loaded skewer takes a little longer to cook.

  • This tends to yield juicier results. Lay the threaded skewers on a small rack or baking sheet.

  • Although the marinade contains oil, brush your hot grill grate with oil just the same. 

  • A light layer of oil seasons your grill grate and prevents the kabobs from sticking.

  • Grill each kabob roughly 1½ to 4 minutes on each side, transferring any kabobs that brown too quickly to indirect heat. 

  • To achieve medium rare to medium results, shoot for an internal temperature of 150 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit for meat and 145 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for seafood.

  • Transfer the kabobs to a serving plate, and cover with foil until ready to serve.


Serving: 114g | Calories: 140kcal