How to Prevent Wooden Skewers From Burning

Nothing ruins a good smoked kebab faster than burned skewers. Who wants to pick the charred remains of bamboo from every bite?

One fast fix is to opt for reusable skewers made of a material that won’t burn, like stainless steel. But don’t think you have to totally give up on wooden skewers. There are a few things you can do to avoid the irritation of having your skewers burn up on the grill.

How to Prepare Wooden Skewers for the Grill

1. Buy Solid Skewers

What’s the secret to perfect shish kabob? Using premium skewers. You don’t have to spend a ton to get skewers that won’t disappoint you by being too brittle.

Look for skewers made of bamboo. They should feature a pointy end to make skewering cut-up meats, veggies and seafood a breeze. The better the skewers you start with, the better your overall experience will be.

2. Soak Your Skewers

How Long to Soak Skewers for Grilling?

A Grilla Grill is the hottest place to be on your patio or deck, and wooden skewers are not meant to endure high heat for long periods. Yet if you soak them in water for an extended period, you give them tremendous staying power even when you increase your grill temperature. This makes perfect sense since wood is a porous material. If you have ever dealt with untreated wood expanding after exposure to moisture, you know how absorbent wood can be.

Damp skewers will get really hot, but they won’t burn. That’s why you need to soak your high-quality bamboo wooden skewers before threading them with ingredients. How long should you soak skewers? Pop them into a pan of warm water for at least 30 minutes before using them. You can even soak them in beer or wine. They’ll absorb the liquid, which will help protect them when they do their job.

It’s possible to go overboard, though. Don’t let your wooden skewers soak in water overnight. They can start to splinter and get too overloaded with moisture.

3. Drain Excess Liquid From Your Skewers

Prior to loading up your skewers with your favorite ingredients, lay them on a paper towel for about five minutes. The paper towel will pick up any liquid left on the outside of the skewer. Ideally, your skewers should be firm but nicely moist inside.

4. Be Prepared to Babysit Your Skewers a Little Bit

Though kebabs tend to be easy recipes, you may want to give your meal a peek now and then. That way, you can immediately tell if your skewers are burning.

With that being said, if you’ve taken soaking precautions, your bamboo skewers on the grill should be OK.

Alternatives to Wood

Of course, grilling with wooden skewers isn’t your only option when it comes to making kebabs. If you’re feeling very adventurous, soak and dry some fresh rosemary stalks from your garden. Then, thread them as you would a bamboo skewer. You’ll get a whole new appreciation for the versatility of the robust herb!

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558 E. 64th Street
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