This handy guide is meant to prepare you for grilling success, every time. From safe internal meat temperatures and ingredients that simply don't gel with the grill grate to assembly hacks and marinade musts, here's everything you need to know about grilling kabobs this summer.
How to prepare and grill kabobs
- Choose firm ingredients. Soft fruits, vegetables, or cheeses will fall apart on the grill.
- Sturdy skewers only. If not using bamboo or steel, a firm-stalked herb can be used-and will boost flavour. Rosemary makes great skewers; pluck the majority of the sprig clean (leave some at the end for visual appeal), skewer marinated meat chunks, and grill.
- Marinate and assemble ahead of time. Preparing early means that when guests arrive, you're set to grill and serve.
- Scrape and oil the grill. To keep food from sticking, this is a must. Scrape down, brush, or spray with vegetable oil, then turn on. Safety tip: Oiling a hot grill presents the danger of flare-ups as you work.
- Hit the right temperature. A medium range of 190°C to 230°C (375°F to 450°F) is best for kabobs.
- Watch those coals. On charcoal grills, move food closer to or away from the hottest coals. Tip: Don't forget about the upper rack; it's handy for keeping food warm without overcooking it.
- Let the meat rest. A resting time of five to10 minutes post-grilling locks in juices.
- Don't forget the marinade. A convenient way to marinate food is by immersing it in the marinating liquid in a resealable container. Distribute the liquid evenly over food before refrigerating, and turn occasionally to ensure even coverage.
- Remember food safety. Discard all marinade that has been in contact with raw meat. If you plan to use some of the marinade for basting, or as a pour-over or dipping sauce, separate the batches at the beginning and label them to avoid confusion.
Skewer grilling temperature guide
Different protein types require different internal temperatures to be considered properly (and safely) cooked. Below is a breakdown of internal temperatures and visual cues to keep top of mind for the best grilled kabobs possible.
How long to grill chicken kabobs
Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F) when pierced with a meat thermometer. Look for pieces of chicken that are opaque instead of translucent. Tip: Kabob chunks are smaller cut than whole-piece poultry, so it's best to cook skewers over gentler heat to maintain maximum juiciness.
How long to grill beef (or lamb) kabobs
Beef and lamb should reach an internal temperature of 63°C (145°F) for medium-rare meat, 71°C (160°F) for medium and 77°C (170°F) for well-done meat. The edges of the kabob pieces should be browned, but it's not necessary to be browned all over. Tip: A high-heat sear can dry out beef and lamb kabobs since they're cut into smaller pieces than a steak or chop. Cook over medium heat, turning frequently, for tastier kabobs.
How long to cook pork kabobs on grill
Pork should reach an internal temperature of 71°C (160°F) for both pork tenderloin and belly pieces. The tenderloin pieces are ready when they're golden, while the fat in the pork belly is glossy and its layers of meat have deepened to a mahogany brown. Tip: All pork cuts need to cook to the same temperature of doneness, even pork belly.
How long to cook shrimp kabobs on grill
Shrimp should reach an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Raw shrimp turns from a translucent greyish colour to an opaque white and pink when cooked. Tip: When cooked over dry heat, like on a barbecue, shrimp is much more forgiving than if simmered in liquids like soups.
How long to cook fish kabobs on grill
When grilling salmon, grouper, halibut, or any other firm fish, look for an internal temperature of 70°C (158°F). Use medium-low heat and look for salmon pieces to turn a darker orange when cooked. Firm fish pieces go white and may be browned at the edges. Work with a deft hand so the fish doesn't fall off the skewers.
With these tips, you're ready to get your grill on! And we have 80 kabob flavour pairing and recipe suggestions to help you turn every meal into a grilled masterpiece. Tight on time? Don't forget we have ready-made kabobs in our Meat and Seafood departments, with your choice of marinades and vegetables to customize your own kabob.