Summers are never any good without grilled kebabs. There are endless options of killer kebab recipes you can prepare on a grill. They include honey chicken kabobs, sausages and bell pepper kebabs, grilled garlic and herb shrimp, balsamic beef kebabs, grilled chicken and peach skewers, etc. However, preparing your skewers for kabobs is an essential part of the process.
What happens if you don’t soak skewers before grilling? Skewers are likely to get somewhat charred and may even catch fire, especially when using charcoal and gas grills. So keep reading down here to explore whether you should soak kebab skewers, the best alternatives, and how to prepare wooden skewers.
Do You Need to Soak Kabob Skewers?
The answer to this question is debatable: yes and no.
Some experts argue that soaking wooden kabob skewers is necessary, especially those thin yet dry skewers, to mitigate the risk of them catching fire and making your skewered food pieces from falling apart. For instance, classic wooden bamboo skewers are likely to burn easily. The takeaway from this aspect is that wet wooden skewers have a low chance of burning when soaked before grilling.
On the other hand, some chefs argue that soaking wooden kabob skewers is unnecessary, even if they’ll still get a bit charred. Some further argue that extremely thin and dry wooden skewers will still catch fire even if they’re soaked before grilling. This aspect summarizes that soaking thin, flimsy wooden skewers doesn’t prevent them from catching fire over a grill.
Now that we’ve looked at the above two opinions let’s outline better and effective alternatives for dry wooden kebab skewers.
What is the Alternative?
The best alternatives for dry wooden skewers are metal skewers and thick wooden skewers.
Thick dry wooden skewers
Unlike thin wooden skewers, thick dry wooden skewers are not likely to catch fire easily while grilling. However, soaking them in water will enhance their resistance to catching fire.
Metals skewers are the best alternative for kebab skewers. They don’t catch fire over the grill: they’re non-flammable. Additionally, metal skewers have handles and are reusable.
The only downside of metal skewers is that they can get extremely hot and become hard to pick. However, you can use grilling gloves while handling hot metal skewers over a grill. Stainless steel skewers are the best.
How to Prepare Wooden Skewers for Grilling Kebabs
Before you skew vegetables, meat, or fruits into skewers, you need to prepare them properly. So how do you go about it? Below is a step by step process:
- Get an empty dish or bottle that is big enough to hold/fit your skewers. Also, ensure it’s clean.
- Then place your wooden skewers inside the dish or bottle.
- Fill your dish/bottle with water
- If your skewers float on water, put an object that will prevent them from floating.
- Allow the skewers to soak in water for about 30 minutes. However, they can soak longer than that.
- Remove the skewers from the water and place them on paper towels. Dry them slightly before you put any food on them.
- You should then use a non-stick cooking spray on the skewers. It helps prevent food from sticking to the wood skewers.
- Finally, put your food on the skewers. Put the same type of food on a single skewer or combine food with the same cooking time on a single skewer. For instance, put chicken meat on single skewers and vegetables on a single skewer. You might also put chicken and zucchini on a single skewer because they have a similar cooking time.
Using thin, dry wooden skewers is the option while grilling. However, they are likely to catch fire even when you soak them in water.
Nevertheless, there are other alternatives to utilize, i.e., thick wooden skewers and metal skewers. Metal skewers are fire-resistant thus stand out as the best alternative.
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