Don't Make This Grill Mistake When Cooking Kebabs

While many people in the U.S. associate grilling kebabs with poolside summers and parties with friends, the dish actually has deeper origins than warm weather fun. Not to be confused with souvlaki, kebabs are a relatively simple meal of meat skewered on a stick and cooked atop an open flame, kebabs originated in Turkey hundreds of years ago. According to DesiBlitz, legend has it that kebabs were born when 14th-century Turkish soldiers used their swords to cook meat over fire. Several centuries later, kebabs have endured as a popular and accessible style of cookery all across the globe.

These days, we have high-tech grills and stainless steel skewers instead of swords, making cooking kebabs as easy as ever. But that doesn't mean all the guesswork has been taken out of the cooking process. When it comes to grilling kebabs, there's a lot to consider like cooking time and temperature, marinade options, the size of the meat chunks and veggie slices, skewer type and treatment, and more. Still, there's one kebab mistake in particular that most grill masters aren't aware of, and it can have a big effect on the quality of your kebabs.

The placement of your kebabs on the grill matters

Grilling great kebabs has to do with the way you place them on the cooking surface, and it's a method that probably sounds contrary to the way most people were taught. Even though placing kebabs parallel to the grate might be intuitive, especially for beginners, it's actually the worst way to cook skewered meat and veggies on a grill, according to Food & Wine. The biggest problem is that when skewers are laid in line with the grate, they don't get any grill marks. The problem with that? No char on your kebabs equals less flavor, not to mention less visual appeal.

Fortunately, this is a common kebab grilling mistake that's easy to correct. To improve your grill game, ditch the parallel or even perpendicular placement of your kebabs and place your skewers diagonally instead. When the kebab is ready, simply rotate it 180 degrees for that perfect X-mark every grill master dreams of.