shish kebabs

Labor Day Grilling With Delicious Shish Kebabs

Labor Day grilling is here and we’ve got you covered with an incredible option for your BBQ, Shish Kebabs! They are an easy item to put together for your grill party and include several healthy items for you and your guests. They are a very versatile menu selection that can also involve your guests in the process before the grilling begins. We are also going to give you several options for your kebabs that are sure to please.

Labor Day Grilling

Labor Day Grilling signals the end of the grilling season for many backyard grillers. For many of them, it is the last chance to host a BBQ party before the weather turns. For Grillmasters, Labor Day grilling signals the weekend before the NFL season begins. There are many more weeks ahead for grilling up to and including the Super Bowl week in February.

Labor Day Grilling Kebab Facts

Whether you are hosting your grill party on Saturday or Sunday this weekend you want a delicious menu for your guests. Shish Kebabs are just the dish to impress. Their history goes way back as explained by Wikipedia:

“Shish kebab is an English rendering of Turkish: şiş (sword or skewer) and kebap (roasted meat dish).[6][7] The word kebab, alone, came to English in the late 17th century, from the Arabic: كَبَاب‎ (kabāb), partly through Urdu, Persian and Turkish.[8] The Turkish word kebap is derived from the Arabic word, meaning roasted meat. It appears in Turkish texts as early as the 14th century” 

When preparing to serve Shish Kebabs, the options are limitless. That is what makes grilling them such a great experience. Your guests can select their own items for the skewers or you can serve the grilled skewers as is and let them pick what they want. We are going to provide the ingredient options and instructions on how to create these delicious grilled delicacies.

Shish Kebabs Ingredients

The Meat
  • boneless chicken breasts
  • sirloin strip steak
  • boneless pork chops
  • peeled and deveined shrimp
The Veggies
  • sweet onion
  • red/yellow/green peppers
  • white mushrooms or baby portobello mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • cherry tomatoes
The Marinades

Marinades are the key to improving the flavor of the kebabs. There are a lot of options available to you at most grocery stores. You can spend at least 10-15 minutes in front of the marinade counter trying to find the right one. We suggest that you can use something as simple as Italian dressing for chicken and a teriyaki flavored marinade for beef or pork. The teriyaki is also a great choice for chicken so don’t be afraid to experiment with all of them. Take home a sampling of marinades and test them out to find what ones you prefer.

The Skewers

Either metal or wooden skewers

Shish Kebab Prep

The prep work is by far the most tedious when grilling shish kebabs. First of all, you should cut up your meat into bite-size portions and soak in your marinade overnight for optimal flavor enhancement. Use resealable plastic baggies for easy disposal.

On the day of grilling, you will want to cut up your veggies into bite-size portions. Place them all together in a large bowl or large foil pan for easy access. You will be creating a shish kebab assembly line as you put them together before grilling. Have a large foil pan ready to use for the assembled skewers and for transport to the grill.

Skewer Time

Here is some wise advice when assembling your shish kebabs. You need an item on both ends of the skewer that will anchor the ingredients together so there is minimal “spin.” We are suggesting that you use zucchini for this critical role in the assembly. Cut your zucchini in half lengthwise then chop the halves into half-inch thick half-moons. Run the skewer through a zucchini on one end then add the rest of the ingredients alternating as you go. Finish off the skewer with another zucchini on the other end. These two anchors will help your ingredients from falling off while grilling!

Make sure to grill your shrimp kebabs seperate since they cook faster!

One word of caution with the ingredients we listed. The shrimp and tomatoes should be grilled separate on their own skewers. Both of these items are quick finishers on the grill and can become overcooked while the veggies are finishing.

In addition, take any leftover marinade and place it into a container. You will be brushing your kebabs with the extra marinade as they grill.

Grill Time

Notice the anchors at the end of the kebabs. Not only will they keep the meat anchored, but they will add to the taste.

You will want to set up your grill for direct grilling. Place a pyramid of 30-35 charcoal briquettes in the center of your grill and light them up. Once they are ready, spread the briquettes evenly around the bottom of the grill.

Place your beautiful kebabs on the grill grate and close the lid. Give them 10 minutes then open and flip over your kebabs. Continue this every ten minutes as your kebabs finish. Be sure to brush your kebabs with the leftover marinade as you go.

It should take three or four flips for your kebabs to be done. This all depends on how large your meat pieces are cut so keep them small to help the grilling time stay short. Once the kebabs are finished you can either serve them as is or remove the grilled items from the skewers and place them in a serving bowl. This will allow your guests to select their favorite parts for their dining pleasure.

Once plated and ready to go, you shish kebabs will not last long before they’re eaten up by you and your guests.

Kebabs Sides

We recommend that you serve your shish kebabs with a rice dish. Wild rice or brown rice are great choices to accompany the kebabs. Select one of the many boxed rice dishes available at your local grocery store. You can even use our dirty rice recipe to spice things up!

Labor Day Grilling Wrap Up

Whether this weekend is wrapping up your grilling season or you are preparing for grilling during the upcoming football season give these shish kebabs a try. Your friends will be amazed at what you have created for them.

Also, be sure to check back with us as we bring you our Game Day Menus once the NFL season begins. Last season we had a non-stop grill menu every week and we will again.

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