An easy beef shish kabob recipe that’s packed with amazing flavors. Learn all the tips and tricks for making the best shish kabobs at home.
We are adding a new series of recipes to our Mediterranean recipes: Shish Kabobs! Today I’m going to show you how to make beef shish kabobs and we will continue with chicken shish kabob, salmon shish kabob and veggie shish kabobs. So many kabobs and so little time!
What is shish kabob?
Shish kabob, also known as şiş kebap in Turkish, is a term that means grilled meat on skewers. Shish kebab originated in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions and is one of the many types of kabobs that’s common there. However, in the US, kabob usually refers to shish kabob and it can be made with different types of meat such as beef, fish, veal and chicken. In the middle east, families usually use lamb to make shish kabobs because of its tender texture and rich flavor.
What is the shish in shish kabob? Shish (spelled şiş in Turkish) simply means skewer. As for kebab, there are several ways to spell it such as kabob, kebap or kebob. No matter how you spell it, this is a tasty Mediterranean beef kabob recipe that you don’t want to miss!
What kind of meat do you use for shish kabob
When it comes to making shish kabob sticks, the first thing you should know about is the cut of meat you’re going to use. You want a cut that is economic (fillet mignon won’t work for a crowd) but also a bit tender and easy to work with. I suggest using sirloin tip or top sirloin as shish kabob meat since they have enough fat to give flavor. These cuts are easy to work with and make delicious steak kabobs. I usually cut the beef into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
Beef shish kabob ingredients
Now that you have your cut of meat sorted out, it’s time to prepare the rest of the ingredients. This includes spices and olive oil for the marinade and vegetables such as bell peppers and onions for the skewers.
Beef shish kabob marinade
The marinade for beef shish kebab recipe is the most important part of the recipe since it gives all the flavor to the meat and makes it tender as well. For this shish kabob marinade recipe I used Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spices such as cumin, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric and cardamom. Mix the spices with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to make the marinade for the steak cuts.
How long should the beef marinate for? Since beef is a tougher meat compared to chicken and fish, it requires longer marination time. It’s best to marinate beef for shish kabob between 4 to 8 hours so the cuts absorb all the flavors and tenderize as well.
How to make beef shish kabobs
First step is to marinate the beef chunks. Once your ready to cook, turn on the grill (charcoal or gas) and make sure it’s on high. As the grill is heating, take the marinated beef out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will help the beef chunks to cook evenly.
Next, start threading the meat on the skewers and reserve the marinade. Place all the skewers on a tray or baking sheet and start grilling.
It’s important not to over cook the shish kabobs as they’ll become chewy and tough. Flip the shish kabobs a few times to make sure they’re cooked evenly on all sides. Brush them a few times with the reserved marinade as well.
How long should I cook beef shish kabob sticks?
This really depends on how large the beef pieces are, but usually for medium beef shish kabob, 8 minutes total (4 minutes on each side) is enough. If you would like them to be mediuam-well to well, then grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Make sure they’re not over cooked otherwise the kabobs will be tough.
Can I make beef shish kabob in the oven?
One thing that I love about this easy beef shish kabob recipe is that you can make it easily in the oven. Broiling in my preferred method when making shish kabobs in the oven. Broil the beef shish kabobs three inches under the broiler for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, making sure they won’t burn.
What to serve with beef shish kabobs
If you’re planning to turn this beef shish kabobs recipe into a party, then you’re in the right place! Shish kabobs come together in a short time and you can serve them with different sides such as Mediterranean oven roasted vegetables or Mediterranean salad. You can also serve it with dips such as muhammara, baba ganoush or tzatziki sauce. We love to turn it into a sandwich using homemade pita, hummus and some tahini sauce. The possibilities are endless!
Notes and tips to make shish kabob
- Beef shish kabob is best served right after cooking. However, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container and reheat on the stove or microwave for a short time.
- If grilling steak kabobs, make sure the grill is on high heat since the you want to cook the meat on high heat for a short time to get the best texture and flavor.
- You can use either metal or wooden skewers to make shish kabob. If using wooden skewers, make sure to submerge them in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.
- If you would like the vegetables to be completely tender and fully cooked, thread them on separated skewers since their cooking time is different from the beef.
- Is it your first time making shish kabobs? Prepare and grill one skewer first, try it to make sure you like the tenderness and texture of the meat before grilling the rest.
Best Ever Beef Shish Kabob
- 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 lemon juice of
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1 lb beef sirloin tip cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 onions cut into chunks
- 2 bell peppers cut into chunks
- Mix olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, paprika and turmeric in a large bowl.
- Add in beef chunks and using tongs, mix them well so they're covered with the marinade.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to 8 hours.
- Turn on the grill and set it to high heat. Take the marinated meat out of the fridge and place it on the counter to come to room temperature.
- Thread the beef chunks and vegetables on skewers, alternating between the meat and the vegetables. Sprinkle with a little salt.
- Grill the beef shish kabobs for 4 minutes on each side for medium and 5-6 minutes on each side for medium well or well.
- Serve warm with different side dishes (see the post for side suggestions)
- Turn on broiler to high. Place the prepared skewers on a baking sheet lines with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray.
- Broil 3 inches from the broiler for about 7-8 minutes on each side or until they're cooked.