The Best Skewer Sets for All of Your Summer Grilling Needs
It's officially grilling season, and if kebabs are part of your summer meal plan, you'll want to invest in a solid set of skewers. There are several different types of kebab skewers on the market made for grilling (flat, round, metal, bamboo, short, long), and the type you choose will depend on your setup, budget, and personal preferences.
For Daniel Daley, food and beverage director at Letty's Tavern in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, flat metal skewers sprayed with nonstick oil are always his preference. "When food cooks, no matter what it is, it changes shape in some way either from water loss, fat burning off, or protein strands shortening," he says. "A round bamboo stick will go on fire—even if put in water—and a round stainless steel stick will make it so that food is either stuck to it (like shrimp) or slides around it (like mushrooms). Proteins and vegetables grill more consistently with flat metal which is what you want and need because fire is anything but consistent."
Flat bamboo skewers are the pick of Russell Moore, owner of The Kebabery in Oakland, California. He uses them at his restaurant for grilling chicken, ground lamb, king trumpet mushrooms, and more. "For me, if a skewer is too long it's tricky to get the whole thing over even heat," he says. "If you have a perfect setup, long metal skewers are great, but if you are juggling lots of different things on a grill, shorter ones are a bit easier." While flat skewers are ideal to keep your food from spinning around, if you only have round ones, Moore recommends double skewering for an extra secure kebab.
Palestinian American chef Mona Leena Michael, owner of Lulu and The Mana'eesh Lady, loves grilling kofta kebabs in the summertime, forming the meatballs directly on flat, super long metal skewers. "When in doubt, use flat metal skewers," she says. "They work with any protein or vegetable you chose, they don't need to be soaked in water to hold up against the fire of a grill, and the best part: zero waste!"
Read on to find out our picks for best in class, from budget-friendly to splurge-worthy.
Best Flat Skewer
Rotate meat and vegetables with ease using these sturdy 16-inch skewers made with high quality stainless steel. The flat blade keeps food from falling off the skewers as they're moved around the grill, while the angled tip makes it easy to load food onto the sticks without burning your fingers. These skewers are dishwasher safe and feature a push bar to slide food off of them. They also come with a storage bag, so they're great to take with you on camping trips.
Shop Now: Flafster Kitchen Long Flat BBQ Skewers, $23.99 for eight, amazon.com.
Best Easy to Grip Skewer
A finger indent on these stainless steel skewers offers a comfortable, sturdy grip for when you're flipping them on the grill. It also allows the skewers to nest when storing. They measure 13 inches long and have a thick, flat blade for loading a variety of foods.
Shop Now: Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Grilling Skewers, $10.39 for six, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Best Double Prong Skewer
These skewers feature a double pronged design that helps keep food in place. They measure 17 inches long, so you can load them up with plenty of vegetables, meat, and shrimp, and they have a push bar for taking the grilled food off the skewer. This option is also dishwasher safe. The listing notes that these skewers get hot when heated, so be sure to wear gloves or use tongs when flipping them.
Shop Now: Lucalda Long Double Pronged BBQ Skewers with Push Bar, $23.99 for six, amazon.com.
Best Splurge-Worthy Skewer
These stunning stainless steel skewers––say that five times fast––are sure to wow at your next barbecue. Each skewer measures 17 1/2 inches long and has a sliding disk that helps you push whatever you've grilled right onto a plate in one smooth, controlled motion. The skewers are flat, with a pointed tip that helps pierce through food, which makes them ideal for cooking a variety of different foods.
Shop Now: Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel Skewers, $49.95 for four, williams-sonoma.com.
The longest of the long (at least, as far as this roundup is concerned), these skewers measure an impressive 20 inches in length. They have flat stainless steel blades and comfortable rosewood handles that stay cool. Since these skewers are so long, you''l be able to load plenty of food onto each one and keep your hands away from the heat of the grill or open flame.
Shop Now: Outset Rosewood Skewers, $11.99 for four, homedepot.com.
Best Bamboo Skewer
Available in various lengths (from 5.9 inches to 11.8 inches), these flat bamboo skewers are a level up from the round ones sold in a grocery store. These are the exact skewers they use at The Kebabery, and if they're good enough for the pros, they're definitely good enough for us. To help keep them from burning, be sure to soak the skewers in a container of cold water in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight––they'll float at first, but then they'll sink.
Shop Now: BambooMN Green Natural Bamboo 9-Inch Flat Skewers, $7.25 for 100, bamboomn.com.
Best Budget-Friendly Skewer
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