can you use beef stew meat for kabobs

In winter I make stew and stir fry – in summer I make Kabobs! Yep, stew meat is pre-cut kabob pieces perfect for grilling!

Need a quick, easy and healthy dinner recipe that the entire family will love? These tender and juicy Marinated Beef Kabobs are packed with flavor, and then seared on the grill or broiled in the oven for maximum char. It’s summer on a stick!

Can you believe that it’s July? You didn’t actually think that I’d let the summer pass us by without at least one more grilling recipe, did you?

You might remember my Peach-Glazed Chicken Kabobs from earlier in the season, which Keith deemed the BEST recipe that I have ever shared in the history of the blog. High praise, my friends.

Well, since kabobs are so easy, so fast, and can conveniently be prepped in advance, I figured that I should go ahead and come up with a sirloin steak kabobs recipe as well!

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • I prefer to keep the beef cubes on skewers separate from the vegetable skewers. This way you can remove the beef from the grill when it’s done to your liking, while giving the vegetables more (or less) time to finish cooking. It’s hard to get the meat and the vegetables perfectly done at the same exact time, so keeping them separate offers a bit more control in the cooking process.
  • Try to chop the vegetables into uniform size pieces and the beef into equal size chunks. This helps to keep the cooking time even. You don’t want one huge piece of beef on the same skewer as a little piece of beef, because they will not cook in the same amount of time.
  • I like to use sirloin steak for beef kabobs, but other tender cuts will also work. You’re not cooking the beef on the grill for very long, so you don’t want a tough cut (like chuck roast) that requires low and slow heat to break down tough fibers. Stew meat is not good for kabobs, because beef that’s packaged and labeled “stew meat” is usually chuck or round — tough cuts that need to be slowly simmered in liquid in order to become flavorful and tender (i.e., NOT ideal for a few minutes on the grill).
  • This is a nice prep ahead dinner, because you need to marinate the beef and vegetables for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  • If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers in water for a couple of hours before threading on the beef and vegetables. This will prevent the skewers from catching on fire or burning when they’re on the hot grill.
  • You can also cook the beef kabobs in the oven. Those broiler instructions are included below.
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half. The rest of the instructions remain the same!

What to serve with Beef Kabobs:

Rice goes really well with these Asian-inspired steak kabobs, but you could also serve riced cauliflower for a lighter, grain-free option. For a heartier meal, offer one of these easy sides as well:

  • Egg Rolls
  • Ramen Noodle Salad
  • Chinese Chicken Salad with Cashews (omit the chicken and serve the beef with the salad instead)
  • Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles (omit the chicken and serve the pasta as a side dish with the beef)

It is not stew season, not even a little bit, and yet the grocery stores continue to sell stew meat, with blatant disregard for the weather. It would be rude, almost mocking, except for the fact that stew meat can be used for non-stew applications, especially kebabs.

Claire is Lifehackers Senior Food Editor. She has a B.S. in chemistry, a decade of food journalism experience, and a deep love for mayonnaise and MSG.

Lifehacker supports Group Black and its mission to increase greater diversity in media voices and media ownerships.

Not only is stew meat cheap, but it is already cubed, and as a lazy cheap-ass, I am delighted by both of these features. Beef stew meat (chuck) is the most common, but you can find pork stew meat (shoulder) and lamb stew meat (also shoulder, but from a sheep instead of a pig), and all are good for a kebabing.

This is not an original thought I came up with on my own. Yesterday I was talking to my friend Dan Boeckner, a prolific maker of kebabs (and music, I think), because I knew he had been making a lot of kebabs and I wanted to know what marinades he had been using. He (generously) shared the details of two marinades—one Balkan and one Sichuan, but I (selfishly) continued to ask questions. “What cut of lamb do you use?” I asked. “Stew meat,” he replied, “because it is cheap.”

In winter I make stew and stir fry – in summer I make Kabobs! Yep, stew meat is pre-cut kabob pieces perfect for grilling!

FAQ

What is the difference between stew meat and kabob meat?

You may have noticed that stew meat and kabob meat often look very similar in their packaging. The reason for this is because they’re both trimmings. Stew meat comes from trimmings from the roast and chuck section. Kabob meat is trimming from primal cuts like sirloin.

What is the best cut of meat for beef kabobs?

Choose the Best Beef Cut for Kabobs Relatively tender, without a need for extensive marinating, Sirloin (from top to tip) is lean and fits into a balanced diet — plus, it’s budget-friendly . Other good beef choices for kabobs are Flat Iron or Strip Steak and even Tenderloin.

How long does it take to grill stew meat?

Cover the grill and let the stew cook for about 1 hour. Add the fresh coals to the grill as needed to maintain a moderately hot temperature. Shake the pan every 8 to 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. Do not unwrap the pan for at least 1 hour during cooking.

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