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How to Prepare Kebabs

Learn how to prepare and grill kebabs in this video from EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY magazine, plus get tricks and tips on the best way to use your outdoor grill and barbecue. From our collection of Step by Step cooking videos.

Fri, 6 Nov 2009|

-Hi, I'm Teri Tsang Barrett, the food editor here at Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. And today, I'm gonna show you how to prepare kebabs. The first thing you need to know are the differences between wooden and metal skewers. Personally, I prefer metallic-- metal skewers because they're more environmentally friendly. And the other thing is that when you're purchasing these guys, be sure to look for ones that are flat as opposed to cylindrical 'coz that will help food from spinning around. And if you are gonna use wooden skewers, which are great 'coz they're really inexpensive alternative, just keep in mind that if you're going to use these guys and thread them loosely, you'll need to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using them. For example, on this guy right here, they're tightly packed. So, for the most part, you probably don't have to worry about the wooden skewers charring, but say like on this guy, if you wanna thread a lot of loose pieces of beef, you will have to worry about browning in the center so it's good to soak them to prevent that from happening. And you've got a bunch of different ingredients up front today. First, we've got some sweet potatoes, pineapples, red plums, red onions, green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and fennel. So, first, we've got Jamaican-style beef kebab. We've got, you know, marinated beef here and some sweet potatoes. One thing to know about ingredients like sweet potatoes, eggplant, or potatoes that you wanna par cook them for a little bit before using them. The reason being that they take a lot longer to cook on the grill. Some potatoes can take roughly up to an hour. Beef will take probably about 6 to 8 minutes. So, we've popped them in the microwave for about 2 to 3 minutes and easy to thread. And the next kebab we're gonna talk about are the pineapple shrimp kebabs. And I've got a great trick here for you in terms of threading shrimp. Reason being that you just thread the shrimp to the center. When you lift them up from the grill, they have a tendency to swivel around and they're just a pain to sort of flip over and get to the other side. And so, what we like to do here is start threading them through the head and then out sort of like the back, the tail of the shrimp. So, as you can see, when you lift it up, it's not gonna flip-flop around and will stay flat. And one of my favorite kebabs is the kitchen and plum kebab. I love grilled fruit and there's so much sugar in fruit that it caramelizes really nicely and adds really kind of sweet flavor. The great thing about this kebab is you can see that all the pieces are roughly similar in size about an inch to 2 inches. Here we've got about an inch and a half, and this helps them cook evenly. And also, they can all get like the nice great little charred marks from the grill. Another great trick for preparing kebabs is if you're working with items like baby potatoes or grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or button mushrooms, or white mushrooms, just things that might sliver on the skewer is to take 2 skewers and pierce it kind of like in a ladder formation. And what this does-- You wanna keep them parallel too. Use both hands if needed. And what this does is it makes it easy for you to lift them up from the grill and flip them over without them sort of spinning around. And so, we're ready to start grilling. I'm gonna brush these guys with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. The steak and the chicken have actually been marinated. It'll just make them a little bit juicier and adds some extra flavor. You don't wanna use marinades that include citric acids like orange juice, or lemonade, or lime juice 'coz that will actually start cooking the protein while you let them sit. And season it with salt and pepper. And be sure to season your kebabs from a distance because it sort of helps the salt and pepper sprinkle all over the place and just cover the surface area of all the kebabs. And we're ready. I've already preheated my grill for about 15 minutes to make sure that it's at high heat, which will help the kebab from sticking to the grill. And the first one I'm gonna put down are the chicken kebabs. This will take longer to cook. They're about 10 to 15 minutes probably for a piece of chicken that's about 2 inches and then I'm gonna put on the steak kebabs. These guys will take probably about 6 to 8 minutes to cook and beef kebabs were actually one of those things that I like turning sort of on all 4 corners that you can sear the outside of the beef cubes. Another great trick I have for beef kebabs is that if you're going to thread them, if you want-- if you really like your steak nice, and juicy, and rare, you can actually pack them all tightly on to a kebab and skewer them so the insides sort of stays nice and moist or if you spread them apart, you like them more well done, it will cook the outside as well and sort of get the inside if you-- where the beef pieces meet. And then lastly, I'm gonna stick on the pineapple shrimp kebabs. And these guys will take probably about 2, 3 minutes tops. And we've threaded them with vegetables like bell peppers and onion, which are fine raw obviously. You know, you probably wouldn't wanna combine things like eggplant and shrimp or potatoes and shrimp unless you cook them pretty much until they're about done because the shrimp will only stand the grill for about 2 to 3 minutes. So, I'm gonna close the grill. So, it's been about 2 minutes. So, I'm gonna flip the pineapple shrimp kebab, which will need to cook about 4 minutes total. And you can tell shrimp are done when they start turning pink. Obviously, when they're raw, they're gray. So, these guys are probably about another minute, minute and a half away from being done. I'm gonna shut the grill. So, the beef kebab has been cooking for about 4 minutes now. So, I'm gonna flip them over. I'm going to brush the Jamaican-style beef kebabs with a little bit of olive oil and season them with salt and pepper and turn them a quarter turn. So now the chicken and plum kebabs have cooked for about 7 or 8 minutes, I'm gonna flip them over. You can see we've got some nice great grill marks and nice char outside. So now, the shrimp will cook for another 2 minutes for about 4 minutes total, so I'm gonna take them off the grill. And you can see that they're all nice, and opaque, and they're pink so they're done. These look delicious. And we're gonna rotate the Jamaican-style beef skewers again and just let them cook for another minute or two before taking them off the grill. So now the Jamaican-style beef kebabs have cooked for about 6 to 8 minutes total, I'm gonna take them off the grill. These look gorgeous. You can see all the nice little charred marks on the steak. And again, we par cooked the sweet potatoes. And the chicken kebabs probably need another like 2 or 3 minutes. So, the chicken and plum kebabs have cooked about 15 minutes total, so they're ready to come off the grill now too. And you wanna make sure these are cooked completely through. And one way you can test these without a meat thermometer is by cutting into the center of one of the chicken pieces and just making sure there's no pink inside. Now that the kebabs are done, we're going to let them rest for about 5 minutes so the juices redistribute themselves and makes everything nice and juicy. And there you go. Grilled kebabs. Great for backyard barbecue.