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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Skewers are one of those nice little gadgets you don’t think about until you need them, but they’re handy for all sorts of things. Kebabs are just the beginning of what you can cook with a good skewer. They make it easier to cook all manner of seafood over an open fire, give a nice rigid centerpiece for softer foods to cling to, and are great for all manner of foods like candy apples and similar treats.
Some skewers are better for certain purposes than others, and there’s a surprising amount of variation between different kinds of skewers, both in quality and intended function, or even slightly in how they might affect the flavor of the food.
That’s what this list is here for; a quick rundown of what features make skewers desirable, and a list of some of the best ones I can find.
What Do I Look for in a Grill Skewer?
Grill skewers come in two major types: disposable and reusable skewers. The criteria for selection between them varies pretty widely.
What Makes a Good Disposable Skewer?
Disposable skewers rely on two main features: their construction, and their pricing.
You want skewers made of a quality wood that sharpens to a good point, stores well, is heat resistant enough not to char too much and leave a sooty flavor in the meat, and maybe provides some flavor of its own.
To that end bamboo is pretty much the perfect materials. It’s flexible without being whippy, and sturdy without being brittle. It has a decent flavor on its own; very subtle but noticeable as an undertone. Plus it’s highly heat resistant, cooling down quickly and retaining a pale color for long periods of time.
Pricing almost speaks for itself. Disposable skewers are, well, disposable. You want to be able to buy them in bulk for low prices, so you can use as many as you want without feeling guilty about it. This is another reason bamboo I so good; it grows like a weed and is a very cheap, but good wood.
What Makes a Good Reusable Skewer?
Similar to a disposable skewer, you want to look at the construction. It should be made of a good quality stainless steel. Most reusable skewers are also flat, which helps it to grip the meat (at the cost of making it harder to pierce).
The sharp point is the most important thing to look at: look for a point that is made from the skewer itself, such as by cutting a slash on the tip to make a diagonal edge. Try to avoid skewers that make do with welding on some kind of rounded point at the end, and especially be wary of ones with a completely blunt point.
Pricing varies wildly for these kinds of skewers, so keep in mind what you’re willing to pay. As a general rule $30 for a set is good for a high end type.
Finally, keep an eye out for any fun extras or gimmicks, like different kinds of handles or different methods of cooking that might come with these, like a stand or hook system.
Top 9 Best Skewers of 2021
1. BearMoo Kabob Skewers 17"
- Very fair price; relatively inexpensive for a good 10 pack of extra long skewers.
- Flat design is great for not letting food twist or slip.
- Great sharpened tips.
- Length makes them a bit bendy and awkward to use.
If your main criteria for skewers being good is how long they are, these BearMoo skewers have you covered.
They come in at a massive 17 inch length; plenty enough for any number of foods you’d care to skewer and then slap on the grill to cook. These make for extra large kebabs, have enough length to properly skewer even large fish, and are just all around good for cooking lots of food at once, great for parties; each person can just take one skewer and have enough for a whole meal.
The price is quite nice, being exactly what I’d be willing to pay for skewers like this. The design as well is nice, with an attempt to make the flat skewers more effective by cutting the tip into a diagonal and sharpening it instead of grafting a point onto the end like some others.
This design gives these skewers excellent performance, and they’re great for even tougher meats. Their length also makes them pretty good for use as marshmallow sticks for when you’re sitting around a campfire.
Of the flat skewers on the market these are probably my favorite ones, with a real nod toward cutting the downsides that come inherently in them being flat while maximizing the advantages.
2. HOPELF 10" Natural Bamboo Skewers
- High quality bamboo wood is sturdy and flexible.
- Come in a variety of lengths.
- Inexpensive and easy to replace.
- Disposable for easy cleanup.
- Can potentially be cost inefficient in the long run if you use skewers an absurd amount; in that case reusable metal skewers might be a better buy.
These skewers are some of the best around. They may not look like much, but they’re made of a high quality bamboo, one of the bets materials for meat skewers out there. While flexible, the wood is also tough to break and is able to be sharpened to an excellent point (though these are left slightly rounded, since razor sharpness usually isn’t necessary).
They come in a variety of sizes, from as short as 6 inches and as long as 16 inches, though I find this 10 inch variety is the perfect size for most purposes, giving you a good length to work with while not being too long as to make threading it into meat unwieldy, with the way longer skewers can bend in the middle.
Despite their quality, these skewers also come in at a great price, costing practically a pittance for 100 of these high quality disposable skewers. That should give you plenty to work with fir a good while, unless you plan to skewer stuff on your grill on a daily basis. Even then, they can be bought in bulk on the cheap, making them the perfect budget purchase.
As far as disposable skewers though, these are hard to match.
3. LANNEY Kabob Flat Metal BBQ Skewers
- Sturdy metal skewers are reusable.
- Flat design makes these skewers great at gripping unruly meats and vegetables.
- Fairly inexpensive.
- Very long.
- Blunt and large tips are annoying to work with.
- Skewers are long and flat enough they tend to flex a lot in the middle; it’s kind of like using a dip stick as a skewer, though not quite so annoying.
These are some interesting cheap reusable skewers. They have a distinct twisted design to them, made of a flat shank of metal turned around and looped to give you a better grip on the end.
While rounded skewers generally skewer things more easily, the flat design has its own advantages, preventing the food from twisting or turning on the spit and potentially falling off. While for most foods this is kind of moot (they’re often grippy enough to stay skewered), it makes these excellent for vegetables and chicken, which tend to be a bit more slippery; the latter early on in cooking and the former when they get cooked and soft.
My main issue with these lies in the tips; they’re very thick and blunt skewer tips, making it difficult to shove these into tougher meats like beef and goat.
Still, they’re cheap, reusable, sturdy, and come in a good pair of sizes (12 inch and 16.8 inches); the latter are less appealing to me, but sadly they’re the majority of these skewers. Such flat skewers tend to bend in the middle.
4. O-Yaki Stainless Steel Skewer Set
- Great skewer base design that makes cooking kebabs and other skewer foods a snap, in both the grill and oven.
- Good length to cut the downsides of flat skewers.
- Easy to use.
- Sturdy stainless steel construction.
- Pretty expensive overall; makes it difficult to buy enough to cook large batches of food.
These are some fun skewers. Much like the last set, these are flat skewers, but being way shorter (9 inches) they have way less of an issue with bending in the middle while in use. This is good, because these skewers are meant to be used to cook the kebabs or what have you vertically.
You load the food on the skewer, then set it into the base (as pictured above) and let the food cook however you like; it woks both on the grill or in a standard oven, which is a nice bit of versatility.
This allows the grease to drip off quite nicely without forming a puddle or going down into your fire, and also allows the arrangement of the skewers in a nice presentation, easy to grab by you or your guests.
The skewers themselves are made of a high quality stainless steel with some nicely pointed tips, easily piercing through pretty much anything.
The price, unfortunately, leaves much to be desired. You get 9 skewers, each of which is 9 inches long; not a ton of variety to be had, and makes putting out large batches of food impossible unless you buy several of these, which given the price is a bit of a pricey idea.
They’re great for an avid skewer fan who wants an easy, convenient way to make skewers for their family and friends with a minimum of fuss.
5. UNICOOK Upgraded Stainless Steel Barbecue Skewer
- Great box design allows for more versatile use and a variety of cooking methods.
- Skewers are long and made of sturdy materials.
- Flat design prevents food from slipping or turning while cooking, allowing for even heating.
- The tips of these skewers leave much to be desired; flat and dull overall, and difficult to actually skewer food with.
This is another set with an interesting cooking gimmick: a box frame used for holding all the skewers in place and making them easier to cook all together.
The skewers themselves are quite good flat skewers. They’re about 13 inches long; a great length for cooking most things, and perfect for fitting side by side in a box like this
The tips are frankly terrible; completely flat at the ends as well. They have a slight gradient to them that makes it possible to skewer at all, but it’s a serious pain compared to the BearMoo ones above, or even the Lanney skewers that I didn’t like the tips of.
That’s really what brings this whole arrangement down; the skewers themselves. The box itself is quite nice, and works for making delicious oven baked or even smoked skewers as well as the standard grilled kind. The price also leaves little to complain about; one of the cheaper sets of stainless steel skewers I’ve seen.
6. CoalVoyaj 17 Inch Skewers for Grilling
- Extra thick construction makes these skewers less prone to bending in the middle and at the tip.
- Excellently sharp wedge tip makes it easy to skewer foods.
- Great ergonomic, heat resistant handles.
- Sturdy stainless steel construction is long lasting and great for cooking.
- These skewers only come in one size.
This is a set of ten 17 inch long skewers that have quite a few good design features from Coalvoyaj. These are clearly thicker than a lot of the skewers I’ve seen, making them much sturdier and less prone to bending as you start stacking food onto it. The ends are also quite good, a nice wedge shape similar to the BearMoo skewers that gives them an excellent sharpness at the end without compromising the structural integrity like grafted on points, which can be both awkward and start to tear off after a while, while leaving annoying nooks and crannies to clean.
The handles on these are convenient and ergonomic, allowing you to easily grab these extra long skewers off the fire with ease, and providing enough heat resistance to let you grab them off the fire by hand and get straight to eating when cooking is done.
There are no real gimmicks here; just excellently designed stainless steel skewers that are high quality and come in at a very reasonable price. These are almost perfect.
7. CMYK Barbecue Skewers, 6-Pack 13"
- Excellent stainless steel construction; thick and sturdy.
- Convenient slider makes it easy to push meat and vegetables off the skewer.
- Design makes these skewers very grippy.
- Extremely thick, blunt tip makes skewering anything a chore, and can ruin some more delicate things you’d want to skewer.
These CMYK skewers don’t quite have a unique design, but it’s one you don’t see very often.
They come in a package of 6, each containing what is essentially a dual skewer (one long piece of metal curved into 2 points). You skewer the meat (held in place by a slight hump over the points) and then go to town on grilling.
The big neat part of these is the slider at the top, which is used after you’re done cooking; it pushes the meat right off with no muss or fuss, making it extremely easy to serve grilled meat and vegetables at any kind of gathering.
These skewers are flat, as are most of the ones we’ve looked at today, but are vertically flat, giving the meat a slimmer point to press down on. It doesn’t make much of a difference usually, but worth noting for weirdly shaped pieces of meat you may need to skewer in a different spot to balance it out.
My main problem with these comes from something they try to say is a selling point: the blunt tips. They’re incredibly thick and cumbersome to actually skewer anything tough with, and even with vegetables it’s very possible to crack them and make them unsuitable for skewering anyway.
8. GrillBee Skewers for Grilling
- Excellent construction.
- High quality steel.
- Quality heat resistant wood handle for added convenience and safety.
- Extremely long 23 inch design for more food cooked at once.
- Thick, wide skewer construction gives you a thick and fairly unbending skewer.
- Sharp tip is perfect for easy skewering.
- These skewers are quite expensive for the set, so may be hard to justify buying for all but the most dedicated kebab enthusiast.
These skewers from GrillBee are quite good, despite the fact that I don’t usually like skewers that are significantly shorter than this one for being too long.
The way these are constructed is just absolutely excellent. It’s made of thick, sturdy, wide 430 stainless steel, giving them a rigidity (without being brittle) that a lot of longer skewers lack. On top of that they come to a perfect razor sharp point that makes it easy to skewer whatever you want, be it multiple pieces of some individual cut of beef, shrimp, or other meat and vegetable combo, or one long cut that you want to skewer and grill as a single unit, like a whole trout or a long shank of beef.
These skewers take whatever you can throw at them and then some, giving you immense grilling power. The handles are equally excellent, made of a sturdy, heat resistant wood that gives you a nice grip and protects your bare hands form the heat, allowing for easy transfer to a plate, or convenient eating straight from the skewer; whatever your fancy.
9. G & F Products 17-Inch Long, Large Stainless Steel Brazilian-Style BBQ Skewers
- High quality stainless steel construction is sturdy and thick for ease of use.
- Wooden handle is comfortable and heat resistant, as well as slightly ergonomic for comfortable eating.
- Wide and thick flat skewer blades hold meat and vegetables easily.
- Very reasonable price; about a quarter of the Grill Bee ones above while only 6 inches shorter.
- Steel is a bit lower quality so may not last as long.
These are a slightly shorter alternative to the excellently made Grill Bee barbecue skewers above, but share a lot of the same features. The main differences you’re going to find are in the steel (which is a slightly lower quality than the Grill Bee) and the size, which as mentioned is 6 inches shorter than the Grill Bee ones.
Everything else though is pretty comparable. You’ve got a nice pale wood handle (as opposed to the redder wood above) and the same very thick, wide, sturdy skewer construction that makes using these long skewers a breeze, as compared to the thinner and flimsier models elsewhere on this list.
These are overall great skewers for, as the name might imply, Brazilian style barbecue as well as kebabs. Its has a lot of similarity with Japanese style barbecue in the east. While not as long as the Grill Be ones, these still fit a great amount of meat and vegetables on one length while providing a convenient heat resistant and comfortable wooden handle for easy removal from the fire and even eating as is.
I’m a big fan of most of these skewers. The BearMoo Kabob Skewers 17inch are still my favorite for several reasons; high quality being prime among them. Indeed metal skewers are reusable and great for a good many things, however wooden skewers like HOPELF provides general purpose, like being usable as a fondue dip (many of these flat metal skewers are too cumbersome to be used for that sort of thing).
Still, if you do like the looks of any of these, they are all great examples of their kinds of skewer, and all have interesting gimmicks or quirks that might make them appeal more to your own tastes which is why they’re here.