Beef Kebabs


What's a summer grill without beef kebabs? Top sirloin chunks, marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, olive oil marinade, grilled with onions, mushrooms, bell peppers.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

How is it that two people can remember things so differently? If you ask my mother she’ll say she’s only made beef kebabs a couple times in her life. If you ask me, one of my favorite childhood memories is my mother’s kebabs (or kabobs), cooked over the little cast iron hibachi grill my parents had on the back porch.

My most vivid memory of them was the time I was recovering from pneumonia, hadn’t eaten anything for 3 weeks, and was allowed for the first time to sip some broth. And sip I did while the rest of the family ate beautiful, smoky, meaty, hearty, beefy kebabs.

It. Was. So. Unfair. I can still smell them now. There was nothing I wanted more in the world at that moment than those kebabs. Sigh.

Funny, the emotional ties we can have with food, isn’t it?

Beef Kabobs

I love, really truly love beef kebabs. Why? They’re fun, they’re on a stick. You can make your own, just they way you want them (lots of mushrooms please). If you’ve marinated the meat properly (several hours or preferably overnight), they’re the most juicy wonderful morsels you could possibly eat.

A few tips that will help ensure your kebabs turn out well. Marinate the meat, the longer the better. Use double skewers to make them easier to turn.

Use bamboo or wooden skewers so that the inside of the steak pieces stay nice and pink. Keep a little space between the items (more space than shown in the photo above, I sort of forgot that part when I did the batch pictured), so that the food grills versus steams.

Beef Kabobs

Most important, keep an eye on them! Do a finger test for doneness, or if the grill is too hot, tap the meat with the end of your tongs to see how much its giving. The meat and veggies will continue to cook a little once you’ve taken them off the grill and they are resting, so keep that in mind.

Beef Kebabs Recipe

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

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.


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 Marinate the meat: 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 skewers in water: Soak the wood or bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling. This will help prevent them from completely burning up on the grill.

3 Thread the meat and veggies onto the skewers: 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 Grill on high, direct heat: 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.

4 Let rest: Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.


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Grilled Marinated Flank Steak here on Simply Recipes

Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers here on Simply Recipes

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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34 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Kris

    I made these tonight on the grill and it was very good. The marinade smelled so good just threading the kabobs on the skewers. I marinaded the beef for probably 36 hours and used top sirloin steak and it’s the most tender beef kabobs I’ve ever made. Maybe not melt in your mouth tender, but quite tender for beef. My husband said he didn’t need any sauce because the marinade is so tasty. I think I will do what others have suggested and use this marinade on some cheaper cuts of meat and poultry. No leftovers tonight and there’s only the two of us. Thanks so much!

  • Amber

    This marinade can be used in oh so many ways! I made these kebabs exactly as recipe stated, and I am still drooling over dinner tonight. My husband is a die hard ranch fan – everything gets ranch on it. He ate TWO skewers tonight without a single drop of ranch! This is a new summer favorite.


  • [email protected]

    This was fabulous!


  • Jeremy

    I was VERY skeptical of the marinade, though I love all the ingredients.
    I was especially skeptical when I couldn’t get the honey to diffuse properly (originally).

    Holy shit! This is amazing! I’m saving this recipe for the marinade alone! It’s so well balanced. I DID, however, use balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar… but damn, man! This is brilliant!

  • Sarah

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

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