If you want to make the juiciest and best tasting grilled chicken kabobs all summer long, you’re at the right place. In today’s post, you’ll learn how to make these epic skewers a staple in your summer meals.
For us, chicken is a top protein and when the temperatures pick up and I need something to grill outside that can turn into a full meal, skewering is the way to go! Even the kids can help bring our usual chicken dinner up a notch and make kabobs.
I’ll admit that my first few tries resulted in overcooked and over charred chicken pieces -and let’s not talk about the veggies. Oh.my.gosh. They resembled coal.
Over time I learned all the tips and tricks to making perfectly cooked chicken kabobs, all of which I’m sharing with you in this post.
How to Grill Chicken Kabobs
While I have a delicious recipe for steak kabobs, chicken is where it’s at for when you want a more affordable and leaner meal.
The meat is tender and takes on the flavor of whatever marinade and spice rub you use. Here’s how to make flavorful, juicy chicken kabobs happen:
Cube 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into even-size pieces. Somewhere in the area of 1 to 2-inch cubes.
Choose your marinade and combine ½ cup with the chicken in a large zip bag. Seal and marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Before grilling, soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.
- Fire up the Grill
Preheat the grill to 375F.
Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, alternating with your choice of veggies if desired. Lightly brush the kabobs with olive oil before placing them on the grill.
Place the kabobs onto the preheated grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. After searing the chicken on one side, close the grill to cook the skewers until you’re ready to flip them. After flipping, sear the other side with the grill open before you finish cooking the chicken skewers with the lid down.
Remove from heat and allow the kabobs to rest for 3 minutes before serving.
Prepping the Skewers
If using wooden skewers, they will need to be soaked in water so they don’t erupt into flames. Submerge the skewers into room temperature water for 30 minutes. This can be done while the chicken marinates.
If using metal skewers, no soaking is required.
How to Cut Chicken for Grilling Kabobs
The key to evenly cooked chicken kabobs is cutting the chicken into even-sized pieces. Cubing boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs into 1-inch pieces is recommended for the most delicious and perfectly cooked results.
It’s important to cut the chicken into even-sized pieces, so each skewer cooks simultaneously with the others.
How Long to Grill Chicken Kabobs
It’s important to start with a preheated grill and 375F is a great temperature for grilling chicken kabobs. They can take anywhere from 12-14 minutes to cook through. However, this will vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
You’ll want to flip your skewers halfway through, or when the chicken meat doesn’t stick when you gently lift the skewer from the grill.
While it’s tempting to turn up the heat, anything over 400F and your chicken will be tough and dried out. Keep it lower and leave the skewers about the same time on the grill for each side, so you get those beautiful char marks on each side.
How to Keep Chicken Kabobs From Drying Out
Cooking by internal temperature is the best way to prevent dried-out chicken. Once removed from heat, meat continues to cook, so it’s best to catch it before you risk overcooking.
I recommend using a digital meat thermometer to check around the 10-minute mark. Insert the thermometer tip into the thickest part of the chicken piece, and once it reads 165F, time is up.
Another tip for keeping grilled chicken kabob moist is to allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving. This time period locks in any moisture and cooking juices.
How Long to Grill Beef Kabobs
If you’re going grill both chicken and beef kabobs at the same time, the good news is that generally speaking, the meat will take just as long as the chicken to cook through.
When grilling white chicken meat (breasts) chicken will need to be cooked to 165F and beef to 145F for medium.
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 to 8 minutes in. Raw meat will stick to the grill and you might end up pulling the stick out accidentally.
I’ve found that sliding a grill spatula under the skewers, then lifting the kabobs with a pair of tongs to be the most useful way to flip them without burning your fingers on the open flame.
Best Marinade Recipes for Grilled Chicken Kabobs
The best marinade is one you know your family will love. You can use a vinaigrette-based marinade, something spicy, sweet, or something in between. I’ve linked my best chicken marinade recipes below:
When marinating chicken aim for at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours. While the longer it marinates the more flavor it has, if too much time goes by, the vinegar/acid in the marinade will begin to cook the meat, creating tough, rubbery chicken.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables
Mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and zucchini are perfect veggies to add to your chicken skewers. Or, you can make separate veggie kabobs, and have several options.
The secret to the evenly cooked chicken and veggie kabobs is selecting vegetables that can be cut into similar shapes and sizes. Below are my top choices for grilled veggie kabobs:
- Cherry Tomatoes
What to Serve with Kabobs
Grilled kabobs are delicious all by themselves but we still want a few yummy sides to serve along with them. Below are some options that can be assembled and made ahead:Print