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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.
Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated
to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.
Kabobs are one of the most delicious and healthiest meals you can eat. Because you can add so many ingredients, you can include just about every food group you need for a varied diet. Originating in the Middle East but popular worldwide, kabobs allow you to use your creative skills when preparing a meal.
Although kabobs taste great off the grill, they are also a tasty meal you can make in the oven. The aromas fill the kitchen with delectable smells, and you can prepare kabobs all-year-round without worrying about the weather.
A few simple steps can help you achieve the best kabob cooking results.
1. Start with the Kabob Ingredients
When cooking kabobs, it’s essential to use high-quality ingredients. Because you’ll be slicing the foods into smaller pieces, they need to retain their moisture and flavor in small bite-size quantities. Embrace your inner chef and use a complementary mix of meats, vegetables, and fruits to create unique kabobs and a combination of flavors.
You can add a blend of red and white meats to produce a protein-packaged meal that includes essential vitamins and minerals. Chicken is a healthy white meat and combines well with various vegetables, such as onions, peppers, and squash. Pork, the other white meat, is also popular for kebabs, especially when served with pita bread and red pepper hummus. Red meats such as steak and lamb add a source of iron and vitamin B12 to your kabob. Serve your lamb kebabs with homemade tzatziki and Greek or Israeli salad for an elegant lunch with friends.
When purchasing meats for your kabob, select cuts you can slice into pieces measuring approximately 1” -1½” to allow for thorough cooking. Meats with a higher fat content are less likely to dry out in the oven, so use meats such as lamb shoulder or chicken breasts.
Kabobs are a great way to enjoy your favorite scallops, shrimp, salmon, swordfish, and even lobster. Pineapple and tomato pair especially well with seafood items because they don’t overpower the fishy flavors.
To avoid creating a rubbery texture to your seafood, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the kabobs. Consider using a wireless meat thermometer so you can monitor your seafood as it cooks.
Kabob Fruits and Vegetables
Adding a range of fruits and vegetables to your kabob is a great way to add colorful foods to your skewer. There are two methods to adding fruits and vegetables to your kabobs, and which one you choose can determine the kind of kabob you create.
If you opt to cook fruits and vegetables on a different skewer from your meat, this method allows you to use a wider variety of ingredients. You can use thinner vegetables or fruits and add them to the oven several minutes after the meat skewer.
However, if you prefer the convenience of cooking your meats, fruits, and vegetables on a single skewer, ensure all the ingredients are ready to eat simultaneously.
Vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, and squash are an excellent addition to your kabob skewer. For a fruit selection, apples, bananas, and pineapple cook well in an oven, and these items combine well with meats and vegetables to create a delicious lunch or dinner.
2. Kabob Skewers
When learning how to cook kabobs in the oven, it’s easy to get excited about the fantastic selection of ingredients you can add to your kabob. But it’s also essential to consider the kabob skewer quality. If you use the wrong skewer type or a low-quality item, it can cause your food to burn or cook unevenly.
Traditional wooden skewers provide a cheap and easy method of piercing your meats, vegetables, and fruits. However, if you put dry wood in an oven, it burns and can even light on fire. Before using wooden skewers, soak them thoroughly in cold water for at least 30 minutes. If they float, place a metal fork or spoon across them to keep them fully submerged. Because kabobs cook quickly in the oven, they should not dry out before your meal is ready to serve.
Metal skewers can last for many years, and they do not burn when placed in the oven. However, it’s essential to remember they conduct heat, and you must use an oven glove or other protective equipment to turn the skewers. It’s best to use flat metal skewers because models with a rounded shape can rotate your food when you flip the kabob over to cook on each side.
Read full review: Best skewers for kabobs.
3. Marinate Your Kabob Meats
Infusing your meats with additional flavors can add unique tastes to your meal. Marinades offer another opportunity to indulge your creative side, as there are virtually unlimited ingredient combinations. You can enjoy a fresh-tasting lemon and rosemary dressing on a warmer day, or use Greek Yogurt with red wine vinegar and olive oil for a Mediterranean flavor.
Before covering meats in your marinade, you can cut them into smaller-sized cubes. Marinating smaller cuts of meat makes it easier for the dressing to penetrate the surface and reach the middle parts for enhanced flavoring. You can marinate meat in as little as five minutes or overnight, depending on the thickness and your preferred taste. Fruit or vegetables may become soggy in a marinade, so you can lightly coat them with a brush just before placing them in the oven.
4. Stack Your Kabob Skewers
Stacking a skewer allows you to experiment with different ingredient combinations. Adding a blend of meats, vegetables, and fruits on one skewer is a great way to eat a varied diet and enjoy a mix of complementary flavors.
Leave a small space between each item so the heat can circulate around them during cooking.
5. Cooking Kabobs in the Oven
The best way to cook kebabs in the oven is to broil them so they are slightly charred on the outside and moist on the inside. Spray a broiler pan with a non-stick spray or an olive oil spray, or place your kabobs on a broiler pan to allow the juices to drip underneath. Arrange your kabobs in a row, leaving a ½” of space between each one to allow for even heating.
Kabobs broil in about 20-30 minutes, and you can ensure thorough cooking by turning the skewers every 5-10 minutes. You can also brush on extra marinade to the kabobs during cooking to add more flavor and prevent items from drying out. Only use fresh marinade that was not in contact with raw meat.
6. Become a Kabob Master
Mastering the skill of how to cook kabobs in the oven means you can prepare varied meals infused with delicious flavors. If you enjoy eating a healthy diet that tastes great, kabobs offer unlimited options for combining delicious foods packed full of essential vitamins and minerals.