Summer of Skewers
For many of us, summer is synonymous with grilling season, but it can be easy to get stuck in a burger-and-hot-dog rut. So what’s the easiest way to elevate your grill game? Add Bamboo Skewers to your culinary toolbox. From steak to seafood, Savory Spice has everything you need when it comes to simple and delicious skewer recipes, inspired by flavors from around the globe (pictured above: Citrus Marinated Shrimp Skewers).
Our Test Kitchen is here with creative skewer ideas that will help spice up your summer grilling season.
For many of us, summer is synonymous with grilling season, but it can be easy to get stuck in a burger rut. So what’s the easiest way to elevate your grill game? Add skewers to your culinary toolbox.
From steak to seafood, Savory Spice has everything you need when it comes to simple and delicious skewer recipes, inspired by flavors from around the globe (pictured above: Citrus Marinated Shrimp Skewers). Here are a few creative skewer ideas that will help spice up your summer grilling season.
3 Tips for Grilling Skewers
To make the best kebabs you can, here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks:
Cut all your pieces to the same size.
Try to have uniform proportions for all the components of your kebab so they cook evenly. Keep cooking times in mind and par cook vegetables like potatoes if needed.
Always have a dip, sauce, or glaze.
Lemon Pepper Dip and Dressing is wonderful with marinated chicken skewers and Maple Mustard Glaze can be brushed on pork during grilling. For a fun plating idea, line up a variety of colorful fruits on skewers to take to a potluck or picnic, alongside Curried Fruit Dip.
Meat isn’t mandatory.
In almost every skewer recipe, you can substitute meat with extra-firm tofu, eggplant, or button mushrooms. Marinate in the same way and adjust grilling time as necessary. You can even grill fruit skewers, just remember that they will cook much faster than meat and most veggies. Brush a citrus and honey glaze over them and choose hearty fruits like pineapple to stand up to the high heat of grilling.
2 Bonus Tips
No grill? No problem
You can make skewers on a stovetop grill pan or in the oven. If you're using a grill pan, follow the same directions as grilling, just make sure to properly preheat your grill pan.
Yes, you can also use your oven. Side note: you can actually make shawarma, vertically skewered, in your oven. This recipe for Chicken Shawarma Pitas gives you a new oven grilled technique to try out.
To use the oven, you can either use the broiler or simply bake them. If you're using wooden skewers in the oven, it's crucial to...
Let bamboo skewers soak.
Submerge skewers in warm water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to avoid charring the bamboo. (Don't forget that wood floats so it does help to have a small plate or other weight to hold them under the water.) This soaking time is perfect if you are also marinating the meat and/or veggies that you will thread onto the skewers. Marinating your protein separately before skewering allows for more coverage and therefore more even flavoring after cooking.
Metal skewers, obviously, don't need to be soaked before using. But be extra careful when taking them off the grill as the heat transfers to the metal skewers much easier. They will be extra hot!
First, pick your protein and/or flavor. The recipes and flavors listed below are just suggestions, rubs and seasonings are versatile and can shine on a variety of proteins - and even veggies.
Southern Spain Pinchito Spice was made for skewers…literally! “Pinchitos” are Spanish-style kebabs, commonly made with pork but can also star beef, lamb, or chicken. These Grilled Pinchitos are paired with mushroom, peppers, zucchini, or onion and a citrusy yogurt dipping sauce.
Moving from Spain to Middle Eastern cuisine, the slight “gaminess” of lamb goes well with Baharat, a traditional all-purpose seasoning flavored with warm spices like paprika, pepper, cloves, and cayenne. Try Lamb Kebabs with Baharat Glaze.
"Tasted great, even when broiled in oven rather than on grill. The kebabs tasted both spicy and sweet." - Sara
Want to keep it simple? Santa Maria Sea Salted BBQ Rub is a California classic that's traditionally used on tri-tip, making it the perfect seasoning for steak skewers. Throw some Santa Maria Steak & Potato Skewers on the grill for a skewer version of the classic American steak plate. Serve skewers hot or at room temperature. Delicious with a dip on the side or remove pieces from skewer and toss with a dressing for a new twist on a potato salad.
Speaking of layers of flavor, the Herbed Chicken Skewers with Kale Caper Sauce have both an herby spiced marinade and a tangy earthy dipping sauce. Lemon and other citrus also provides acidity and sweetness to Tandoori Marinated Grilled Chicken & Sauce, which utilizes the marinade to make a tangy yogurt sauce to serve with the chicken after it has been grilled.
From the sea…to the grill! Shrimp are super easy to thread onto skewers and take only a few minutes to cook. They also soak up marinades quickly, so Citrus Marinated Shrimp Skewers can be on your plate within 20 minutes, from start to finish.
Think outside the box too - even though we call the seasoning Honey Sriracha Lime Fish Taco Spice 'n Easy, it made a surprisingly delicious shrimp skewer.
There’s no reason for a boring dinner! Try any of these recipes or experiment using your favorite marinades, proteins, and veggies. Let us know your favorite skewered combinations in the comments below or tag us using #savoryspice on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!