what cut of beef is best for 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.

Learn how to make shish kabobs, also spelled “shish kebabs,” with this easy shish kabob recipe. A flavor-packed marinade made from basic pantry staples makes these steak kabobs unbelievably juicy and delicious–perfect for your summer BBQs!

Shish kabobs, hot off the grill with a fresh tomato and cucumber salad and Mediterranean dips like baba ganoush, tzatziki, and hummus is my idea of the perfect summer party.

In the Middle East and the Mediterranean, shish kabobs are synonymous with gathering together to enjoy a meal. When I have friends or family coming over, I love to make skewers with whatever looks best at my market. I skewer classics like chicken, shrimp, lamb and pork, to Brussels sprouts and even frozen chocolate-covered grapes (recipe on YouTube). There’s just something about food on a stick that brings a festive feeling to any party!

This shish kabob recipe uses an aromatic spice rub packed with warming Mediterranean spices like nutmeg, allspice, and paprika. Red wine and lemon add depth, and the meat tenderizes as it soaks–allow a few hours to marinate in your fridge for the best results. From there, less than 10 minutes on the grill and these shish kabobs are juicy, incredibly tasty, and perfectly charred.

We build big flavor with a homemade spice rub made with what’s likely already living in your spice drawer. Here’s what you’ll need to make this shish kabob recipe:

Best Meat for Shish Kabobs

The best meat for shish kabobs is a cut that’s both tender and flavorful, which can be trickier than it sounds. Here are the best steaks for this shish kabob recipe:

  • Beef tenderloin: My favorite cut for shish kabobs, as it stays tender without much work. It’s not quite as robust in flavor as other cuts of meat, so I like to marinate it for a couple of hours in the fridge. The downside, though, is that its fairly expensive, so feel free to substitute with a more economical cut. The marinade in this recipe is so good you don’t necessarily need to splurge.
  • Sirloin: I particularly like “sirloin tip” if it’s available. Sirloin is less expensive and is a good option because of its big beefy flavor. Allow at least 2 hours in the marinade (refrigerated) to tenderize the meat.
  • I don’t recommend: chuck steak. I avoid this cut of meat when it comes to kabobs. While its a flavorful cut of meat, it can be way too tough and chewy for kabobs.

what cut of beef is best for kabobs

30 Minutes Before Serving: Grill the Shish Kebabs

  • Preheat your grill. Lightly oil the grates of a gas grill and heat for 10 minutes on high.
  • Prepare the skewers. Thread the meat, onion pieces (discard the slices from the marinade as they’ll be too thin), and bell peppers onto the prepared skewers. Alternate until you run out of meat–I do about 4 pieces of meat per skewer with the vegetables nestled in between. Hold onto the marinade as we’ll use it later. Season the skewers with more freshly ground black pepper.
  • Grill. Place the shish kabobs on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally and brushing the meat a couple of times with the marinade as you go. They’ll be done in 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is and how well-cooked you like your meat.
  • Rest before serving. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving platter. Allow 5 minutes for the kabobs to rest before serving. Enjoy!

How to Make Shish Kabobs

To make shish kebabs, make sure you give yourself enough time to allow the meat to marinate for the best flavor. Two to four hours is ideal, but 30 minutes does the trick if you’re short on time. Here’s how to make shish 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.

FAQ

Why are my beef kabobs tough?

There won’t be nearly enough time for fat to render and connective tissue to properly dissolve. Meat that is tough often becomes fairly rubbery when cooked quickly on a skewer.

What is the difference between shish kabob and beef kabob?

Shish kebab typically refers to skewered and grilled cubes of meat, often with vegetables, while kabab is a more general term for various types of grilled or roasted meat dishes, often served with rice, bread, or other accompaniments.

Can you use beef chuck for kabobs?

This recipe appeared in the Tribune on July 20, 1978. Kebabs made with beef chuck are a bit chewier than more tender–and expensive–cuts, but this budget-pleasing recipe offers a great flavor for family dinners.

Is beef round good for kabobs?

Good kababs come from the top round or sirloin tip, and they should be larger cubes, about 1 ½ inches. Basic techniques: Kababs can be marinated for as little as two hours, or for as long as 24 hours.

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