Beef Kebabs

Using bamboo or wooden skewers instead of metal will help keep the steak from getting overcooked on the inside. Metal transfers heat, so is useful to use for chicken, or a meat that you want to cook all the way through, but not so useful for steak that you want done rare or medium rare.

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.


Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Kebab Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs top sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 1-2 medium red onions
  • 1/2 to a pound button mushrooms
  • About 20 bamboo or wooden skewers


1 Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and add the meat. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably several hours or even overnight. (Heck, I've kept the meat marinating for a couple days, still great.)

2 Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling. This will help prevent them from completely burning up on the grill.

3 Cut the vegetables into chunks roughly the width of the beef pieces. Taking care not to poke yourself, thread the meat and vegetables onto double bamboo skewers. One way to do this safely is to put the piece that you are trying to pierce on a cutting board, and then push the skewers through the piece to the board. Using double skewers will help you turn the kebabs on the grill. If you keep a little space between the pieces, they will grill more evenly. Paint the kebabs with some of the remaining marinade.

3 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, and how done you would like your meat, turning occasionally. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


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  • Matthew Hyner

    Oh geeze, I still have Kabobs on my brain…may need to try these. Made my favorite chicken kabobs last weekend…best chicken recipe Ever.

    4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced.
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup olive oil

    Somehow I have the same memory as you when it comes to kabobs minus the pneumonia part. Parents almost never made them, I remember they were the greatest thing ever grilled.

  • LimeCake

    Beef kebabs are the best! You can just about skewer any vegetable with them and they’ll taste darned good. This looks fantastic for summer!

  • Michele

    Most every one of your recipes I have been able to make right away – and I am so sad I will have to wait on this one! We are vacationing and there are no grills at this condo. Boo. And it would be the perfect last dinner as a family.
    Boo again. xoxo michele

  • Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook

    Yum! I’ve made a variation of this with fresh rosemary. I’ll make this soon. It’s too hot to do anything other than grill.

  • Je Ae

    I honestly don’t know why we don’t eat kabobs here at my house. I mean, you can do the work for the meat marinade during some quiet downtime, and it takes all of 5 minutes to assemble the kabobs, then cooking them is relegated to the hubby. These look delicious! I’m going to have to make these as long as the weather cooperates this weekend. Heat index of 105 makes it too hot to grill even.

  • Lady Amalthea

    This are beautiful! Thanks for the tip about wooden vs. metal skewers; learn something new every day!

  • Katie

    These look wonderful! Thanks for the double-stick tip. I’ve always had trouble turning them on the grill.

  • Patti

    I can attest to the tip regarding soaking wooden skewers in water prior to assembly of the kebabs. Before I learned this trick I had several skewers catch fire and break apart.

    My mom made the best beef kebabs when we were growing up. It was a true family meal – everyone had a job. My mom always added Coke or Pepsi to her marinade…she said that the carbonation helped to infuse the beef with the flavors of the marinade.

    Hi Patti, Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper are all commonly used in marinades in some parts of the country. I think it’s the acidity in these soft drinks that works the most magic in the marinade. ~Elise

  • tommy2rs

    Ah, kebab memories from my time in the Boy Scouts (before getting tossed out for punching a Scoutmaster). Skewers ripped from nearest tree, cheap stew beef and too much fire. Charred on the outside, raw on the inside with a texture close to boot leather crossed with bubble gum. Vegetables languishing on the coals where they dropped from the skewer.

    It was years before I made kebabs again…lol. Oh and using a grilling basket makes turning kebabs much, much easier.

    • Debra Jean

      I bought a few of these a while back besides grilling corn or an ocassional Sweet potato in them I haven’t had much else to grill in them till NOW! Thank U so Much Tommy for sharing Ur Idea for My Kebabs !!! Family all going down to San Marcos this weekend “THE RIVER” preparing everything as not to forget anything already!

  • Nancy Singleton Hachisu

    Growing up as one of six kids, we didn’t eat much beef as a main ingredient type food. In those days beef prices were still controlled, therefore quite expensive. But like you, I LOVED shish kebobs. We only ate bbq when we rented a beach house for a couple weeks in the summer at Aptos. And in those two weeks, we went hog wild with the shopping. So beef shish kebobs were on the list. The marinade was a simple olive oil, vinegar, dried rosemary, and probably garlic salt kind of affair. Oh, and we doused them with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (aka MSG), after they came off the grill. The mushroom part, I could take or leave. My favorite was cherry tomatoes softened by the fire and squished up with that (MSG laden) salt to form a tangy, salty dipping sauce for the meat. I also loved the onion wedges. And the green peppers.

    And I did not know about the meat skewer conducting heat idea, nor about using two skewers. Thanks for the tips and the knowledge.

  • Betsy M

    These look so good! For some reason we never ate these growing up and I have only tried them a few times on my own with limited success. Can I ask what you would serve this with for an outdoor meal? Rice or salad? I need a nice meal to make for company next week and this looks perfect. Thanks!

    I would say your typical outdoor picnic salad. ~Elise

  • Guy

    OMG, just looking at the picture makes me want to eat the screen. They look so delicious. I think I am going to visit my local Persian market and buy some Sumac to go with it. Great recipes and great pictures as always Elise. Bises.

  • Kath

    Very interesting tip about bamboo skewers, Elise. I never knew that, but it makes perfect sense. Thank you!

  • Kate B

    Those look amazing! We ate a ton of kebabs when I was growing up…mostly shrimp though. I can actually remember begging my Mom to please convince Dad to grill something, ANYTHING, besides shrimp! Haha, little did I realize how spoiled I was!

  • EXrider

    I also like to add some seeded and ribbed Jalapeno pieces and Pineapple pieces to my kabobs, good stuff!

  • Cathy

    No matter how many times I’ve tried to double skewer anything, I always have trouble keeping the skewers parallel. Is there a trick to this? Thanks.

    I think if you keep the skewers fairly close together, it’s a little easier. ~Elise

  • Rocky Mountain Woman

    It is amazing how emotional food can be! I always wonder if I just remember food more because I’ve always had an obsession or if other people just didn’t pay as much attention.

    It’s definitely kabob time at my house and these are next on the list!

  • Regina

    I use tri-tip for my kabobs, and marinate in equal parts Dales or Moores sauce (whichever is on sale), and Italian dressing….

    I put all meat on a skewer, veggies on another skewer, etc, because the peppers/onions/cherry tomatoes/etc cook at a different rate than the meat.

    I also put the canned whole new potatoes on skewers, and as they are cooking on the grill, “baste” them with squeeze margarine (as if the beef isn’t fatty enough!!), and the potatoes take on a lovely caramelized yumminess!!!!

  • S.

    Ha! You’re right, it is funny how we have emotional experiences with food and remember them! I love Kabobs too. Hard to mess up and always tasty! The marinade looks really good on this. Thanks for the recipe :-)

  • Charla

    They not only look good they are good! In fact I’d say downright delicious. I made them for dinner last night since I had every thing on hand. I added some zucchini and yellow squash to the skewers just because I had it. Served with rice pilaf and a glass of wine …aahhhh. Thank you!


    Thanks for reminding me about kabobs. I sometimes switch the vinegar to the Japanese ponzu for a citrusy taste. Kabobs leftovers are perfect for lunch in the office the next day.

  • SeattleGrrrl

    My husband lightly sautes the vegetables before skewering them. Then you do not have to worry about spacing and you don’t get raw vegetables. You can then pack the skewers and the veges will get carmelized around the edges, and not be raw against the meat. It is nice to space so the meat cooks onto the sides, though. You want to make all the veges about the same size as the width of your meat, or slightly larger.

  • John Cardero

    Beef kaboba, any kabobs really, are great on the grill. They are a big hit with my family and its a way I can get my gets to actually eat their vegetables.

  • Jan

    Forget to soak the skewers in time? When you purchase a new pack, drop them ALL in water and soak for awhile (forever?), then transfer to a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. They will always be ready to go and supper won’t be later…AGAIN. :)

    Great, great tip. Thank Jan! ~Elise

  • Hillbilly Willy

    kabobs any way are good – remembered or not.

    10-4 Willy

  • Jen

    I sometimes add those canned peeled potatoes to my kabobs. They don’t need to cook terribly long and it’s a nice variation.

    Pineapple and tomatoes are optional as well :D

  • Ana

    I have a question, I followed your recipe and marinated the meat overnight, when I went to take the meat out of the fridge the fat from the meat hardened at the top of the dish the meat was in, I’m assuming this is because the 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar slightly cooked the meat?
    do you think my assumption is correct?
    thanks Ana

    No, I don’t think the vinegar had anything to do with the fat hardening. Even olive oil will harden if its emulsified with something else and refrigerated. The fat should liquify once the chill is off the meat. ~Elise

  • Terry

    Simple and delicious. The ginger is definitely a nice touch and gives it a crisp fresh flavour.

  • Helene Dsouza

    I use Ginger Garlicpaste instead of garlic and ginger in small pcs. Garlic is a great tenderizer and the paste will enhance the taste even more!

    I do like to add Frankfurter sausage cut in pcs., to add some variety on the skewer. Kids love those sausages inbetween too!

  • Kristal L. Rosebrook

    Loved the Steak recipe!

  • Yin

    Great recipe, Elise! Made this for dinner last night. Had to omit the mushrooms (forgot to buy them) but it was still a success. Upped the honey to 1/3 of a cup instead of 1/4. Delicious! Am definitely going to make this again soon.

  • Sara

    Could I substitute chicken for the beef? We are grilling steaks so I want to use different meat on the kebabs. Thanks!

    Yes, though you are going to want to make sure that the chicken pieces are cooked completely through. I would use metal skewers in that case, if you have them. ~Elise

  • Susan

    I made these for dinner tonight and they were great! Thanks so much for the recipe. Definitely a keeper!

  • Grace

    Just made these tonight. Everyone loved it. Huge hit!

  • Marc

    I just made it today for bbq, and everyone loved it :) thanks for the recipe! Although I changed the red wine vinegar to white cooking wine, it taste incredible! I love the touch of honey in the recipe.

  • Mark

    I have made these three times and changed it up slightly since i didn’t have all the ingredients. I added some cayenne pepper and Franks hot sauce for an little heat. They were great each time. I found that soaking the meat for 12 or more hours made the meat really tender. I have a Holland grill and they cook really well on it. Thank’s for the recipe. I haven’t had anyone who didn’t like them.
    I am sharing it with my son.

  • Sarah

    This marinade is so yummy! Soaked a round steak in it over night, and even that cheap cut of meat came out great!