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Looking for cookout inspiration? There's a whole universe of meat-on-a-stick out there! Take a global grilling tour and get fresh ideas for dinner, courtesy of these five skewered specialties.

Shish Kebab — This term has become the catch-all for grilled skewered food. The cross-cultural specialty is claimed by cuisines in South Asia, the Caucasus and Russia (where it's called shashlik), the Balkans (cévak), the Middle East and beyond.

Shish kebab

Yakitori — These tiny Japanese skewers are usually grilled over hot coals and basted in sweet-savory sauce. Yakitori, which means "grilled fowl," typically showcases all parts of the chicken, but the repertoire has grown to include other foods, from eggplant to steak to salmon.

Yakitori

Satay — This Southeast Asian street food, originally from Indonesia, is usually a snack-size serving of marinated meat, shrimp or tofu threaded onto a bamboo skewer and grilled. Satay is traditionally served with a sweet peanut dipping sauce.

Satay

Souvlaki — A skewered Greek specialty, souvlaki is usually made with chunks of marinated lamb, chicken or pork. The meat is often served on a platter with rice, or in a pita with onions, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and a dollop of yogurt-based tzatziki.

Souvlaki

Shawarma — Similar to gyro (Greece) and doner (Turkey), this stack of skewered meat (chicken, lamb or even turkey) is a mega kebab. The meat roasts on a vertical spit, basting in its own juices. It's sliced to order and often served in a pita.

-- By Gabriella Gershenson