Grilled Beef Kabobs

Is there anything more delicious than a perfectly grilled beef kabob? You know, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth skewered beef that’s perfectly seasoned… it’s time to get grilling friends!

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. Recently, I had the opportunity to learn from the masters themselves how to make the best beef grilled kabobs and I’m here to share all the details with you.

Since grilled beef is one of our go-to Summer meals, why not learn how to improve what’s for dinner?

image: Large red tray piled with grilled beef kabobs.
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative

Say goodbye to dry or overcooked beef skewers. Today we’re going through everything you need to know about kabobs so that yours will be the talk of the backyard BBQ.

Best Steak for Kabobs

Relatively tender, Sirloin is lean, budget-friendly, and doesn’t need marinating for tenderizing purposes. You can also use Flat Iron, Strip Steak, or even Tenderloin cuts of beef.

image: Woman in apron explaining different cuts of beef
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative

One of my newest discoveries: slicing a Rib Eye Steak and turning it into skewers!

Image: rib eye steak with different parts circled and labeled.

This was lifechanging because my husband loves rib-eye steaks, I do not. By separating the two parts, slicing them into chunks, I was able to create smaller, super juicy, and tender skewers from the classic rib-eye steak.

image: laura,smiling skewering raw beef to make grilled kabobs.

Make sure that when you’re slicing your meat to make kabobs you cut against the grain and try to keep each piece of meat around the same size. This will help make sure the beef cooks evenly and you don’t have some pieces overcooked while some still need some more time on the grill.

Here’s a quick video to show you the best method for slicing steak against the grain to get the right cut for your grilled kabobs.

Prepping the Kabobs

Before skewering your meat, you will want to do a little bit of prep on the skewers themselves.

image: closeup view of hands slicing fat off a cut of beef.
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative

If you are using wooden skewers or planks soak them, completely submerged, in water for 30 minutes before grilling so that they don’t burn.

After the wood is soaked and the meat is sliced, add pieces of meat one by one to the skewers and brush them over with a bit of olive or vegetable oil before placing them on the grill.

image: Women with cutting boards cutting beef chunks for kabobs side by side.
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative

Should you Marinate Beef Kabobs or not?

This really depends on the type of meat you are using and whether or not you want to inject “flavor” into the beef fibers.

When yo use a tender cut like the Sirloin or the rib and eye sides of the “rib-eye” steak, you don’t need to marinate it to break down the muscle for tenderness. You are doing this strictly for flavor.

For food safety reasons, always marinate in the refrigerator. If you’re going to marinade before grilling, anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes before grilling is great. See below for my favorite recipe.

How Long to Grill Beef Kabobs

Make sure that your grill is preheated before you begin to cook your kabobs. I’ve found that the best temperature is around 375F.

Grilling the meat consistently over medium heat is better than blasting them with high heat. Your meat will burn if you increase the heat to over 400F so be sure that you stay safely below that temperature the entire time you’re grilling your beef skewers.

image: Large tray piled high with freshly grilled beef skewers
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative

The official cooking time will, of course, depend on how large you cut your beef chunks, but on average 8-10 minutes is the time you’re aiming to get that deliciously grilled steak.

When in doubt, use a meat thermometer. For medium-rare kabobs, the internal temperature should be 145F. Remember, that the meat will continue to cook a little more and gain a few more degrees once you remove the skewers from the grill onto the platter.

How to Flip Kabobs on the Grill

If you’ve grilled kabobs before then you already know that getting the meat to stay on the skewers while flipping is the most challenging part of the whole meal.

Once you place the skewers on the grill, don’t touch them or try to lift them until they are ready to be flipped, about 6 minutes in. Raw meat will stick to the grill and you might end up pulling the stick out accidentally.

By the way, today I’m using a tabletop Yakatori Charcoal Grill.

image: beef skewers on a grill with smoke coming off the top
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative

There are several ways to flip a kabob, but I like to keep it simple and use tongs to lift the skewer and a flat metal spatula underneath to lift. This helps me avoid burns since I’m able to keep my hands a little way back from the grill, and the spatula helps keep everything in place for the flip.

What to serve with Beef Kabobs

I love serving grilled veggies along with perfectly grilled beef kabobs. Some of my favorite veggies to grill are:

  • Mushrooms
  • Onion chunks
  • Peppers
  • Zucchinis
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
image: closeup of peppers, onions and mushrooms on skewers being grilled
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative
image: mushroom and onions on skewers ready for the grill
Photo by Amanda of Arrae Creative

If you want a little something on the side that doesn’t come from the grill, try one of these recipes:

Now that you know the basics, you can print this recipe below and start up the grill. If you want to do grilled vegetable skewers or chicken, along with the beef I will walk you through temperatures and tips for grilled veggie and chicken kabobs in this post.

Grilled Beef Kabobs Marinade

All the secrets to perfectly grilled beef kabobs every single time. Plus, the most delicious marinade for your next BBQ. 

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef sirloin, cubed
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil (or Italian seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon ground white (or black) pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large zip bag, place all ingredients and shake to combine. Insert beef chunks in the bag and marinade 15 to 45 minutes before grilling.
  2. Remove beef from the bag, poke through skewers, and discard marinade.

Notes

Nutritional information data is for 1 (4 ounce) serving of marinated beef sirloin, after marinading, and marinade discarded.
 

Nutrition

  • Calories: 160
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 72.8mg
  • Fat: 5.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 25.4g
  • Cholesterol: 67mg

Keywords: beef skewers, beef kebabs



5 thoughts on “Grilled Beef Kabobs”

  1. Sandra says:

    This was the best marinade for my grilled beef kabobs. I followed your recipe step by step and they turned amazing. Usually I dry them out. I’m a fan of using a thermometer now.

  2. This was so helpful! Using two sticks is such a great idea, the meat didn’t twirl when I tried to turn it. Super moist, will do this again!

    1. Laura Fuentes says:

      I’m so glad this recipe worked well for you, Melissa! The two skewer thing was a great tip I learned as well!

  3. kate moses says:

    Thanks for the recipe.
    Pls what kind/brand of grill is that.I love the pink color

    1. Laura Fuentes says:

      Kate, that is a Yakatori outdoor grill. I love it! You can check it out here.

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