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

Kebab Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds 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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  • Emmmmm

    This is a very very good recipe. Just smelling the marinade you could already tell. We made about 60
    Of these and they were gone! It was everyone’s favorite.


  • Penny

    Great recipe!

  • Ava

    This was amazing!!! Thanks!


  • Sarah

    Have made these so many times. And had so many people ask for the recipe. It is my go to recipe for entertaining. Thank you for such a reliable and terrific tasting meal.
    If you’re making them for a party, consider looking each element separately on the grill, and passing two skewers instead of one. It’s much easier for the grill person to cook things evenly. You can also display the food on a flat tray in colorful rows. It makes things simpler for us. (I usually serve it with an arugula salad, rice for the kids and cole slaw and other veg salads for the grown ups. )


  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Grace

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

  • Susan

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

  • 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

  • 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.


  • Kristal L. Rosebrook

    Loved the Steak recipe!

  • 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!

  • Terry

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.


    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.

  • 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!

  • 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!!!!

  • 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

  • EXrider

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • Katie

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

  • Lady Amalthea

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

  • 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.

  • 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.