Far from a definitive treatise on the subject, there are a lot of issues to consider when trying to cook meat on a stick. These are just a few:

1. What kind of stick?
2. How many sticks?
3. What kind of meat?
4. They’re great but the veggies are burned and the meat’s raw. What did I do wrong?

What kind of stick?
The person that plans ahead can use bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water. Whoever you might be, hat’s off to you, because I never remember to do that until I’m ready to cook. We have a set of metal skewers with a ring on the end. They do great, but the problem is that they’re a cruel illusion because it looks like you can just pick them up off the grill with your hands. Don’t do that. You can use slivers of sugar cane, bamboo, or rosemary branches.
Of course you could just use the Brazilian charruscaria version. “Chicken hearts? With barbecue sauce?

How many sticks?
The temptation is just to use one, but your better skewering in pairs. Why? Because the meat spins on a single skewer, and that doesn’t happen with two.

What kind of meat?
This isn’t slow and low, think about meats that you can cook quickly.
Beef: tenderloin, ribeye, skirt, hanger, tri tip, flat iron, sirloin, etc.
Pork: tenderloin, loin roast, chops. You could use shoulder but it’s going to need to braise and I think that defeats the purpose. Speaking of which, I saw a great show that featured St. Louis style pork steaks. Sounds like a future post…
Chicken: boneless skinless in strips or chunks. You need uniformity of thickness to minimize your variation in doneness.
Fish: shrimp, scallops, tuna, amberjack, swordfish, cobia, etc. Why not?

They’re great but the veggies are burned and the meat’s raw. What did I do wrong?
Don’t make it difficult. If you find you’re having this problem, there are a couple of solutions. First, the meat cuts are probably too big, so try making them smaller. Second option is to cook the veggies and meat separately, I’d prefer cooking the veggies first, then the meats.

Tri-tip kebobs
Tri-tip is a pretty lean cut of been from the bottom sirloin. You can slow roast it if you want, but if you don’t mind a cut of meat that’s a little toothsome but big on flavor, this is a good one to try. Cut into cubes and flavored with salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs, they made really great little kebobs. Kebabs? Kababs? Or like the restaurant in Nashville that opened last year, Kay-Bob’s?


2 thoughts on “kebobs

  1. I meant to do a post on kabobs last year. There was an issue of Saveur that featured kabobs from around the world. Perhaps we should do a kabob challenge and try posting a few renditions per month throughout this last spring and summer.

    BTW: I made those pork steaks…really yummy and homey.

  2. Pingback: another way to tri-tip | Big Dawg Eats

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