Tips: Preparing and Grilling Kebabs
-- Use flat skewers to keep food from rotating unevenly during grilling.
-- Soak bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes before you use them, to prevent them from burning on the grill.
-- Nonstick cooking oil spray is your friend; spray the loaded skewers generously on all sides before grilling to keep them from sticking.
-- Blot marinated meats on paper towels before skewering.
-- Don't cram items onto the skewers; leave room for air to circulate so cooking will be even.
-- Use a thin slice of cucumber to separate skewered pieces of protein. The result looks good, and it helps ensure the pieces will cook through evenly.
-- Loading each skewer with only one kind of food gives you more control; you don't have to worry about different ingredients that may be done at different times.
-- Lightly grease the grill grate (using long tongs and a grill towel or a wad of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil) before each new batch of skewers is added to the grill.
-- Make sure you keep a portion of the grill charcoal- or heat-free (a two- or three-zone setup) so you have a landing area for items that are grilling too quickly.
-- Turn skewers frequently on the grill to ensure even cooking.
-- When you have a lot of different items to grill, take your time. Start with vegetables, then do red meat and poultry. Fish and seafood should be done last, when the most delicate cooking is required.
-- David Hagedorn