When you open your fridge on a hot summer day and see a hodge-podge of ingredients, what should you do? Why, think grilled kebabs, of course!
Kebabs are a great way to utilize those extra veggies and small pieces of meat: reinventing a colorful appetizer or healthy main dish.
Spring and summer are also packed with opportunities for sunny grill-outs— and kebabs are a must-have at any outdoor picnic or get-together.
Since we’re the mushroom experts, we wanted to share some tips for grilling kebabs with mushrooms specifically, but we’ve also included grilling advice for almost any ingredient you can dream of kebabin’!
Here are five easy steps for cooking kebabs with mushrooms:
Step 1: Cut and wash your ingredients.
Grab your ingredients out of the fridge and get prepping. To make kebabs, you’ll need bite-sized pieces, so we’ll start off with some chopping. Rinse off your produce or meat in a colander and let it drip dry.
If the veggie is larger than 1.5”, cut into 1x1 inch cubes. For meat, slice into 1.5 x 1.5-inch squares.
Mushrooms require a different kind of prep than traditional kebab favorites. You never want to rinse mushrooms directly under water, as they’re made up of 95% water. Their porous texture will absorb the moisture and ruin your fungus’ texture!
To clean your mushrooms, gently wipe with a damp paper towel or lint-free cloth. Check out our mushroom preparation tips for a complete guide on proper cleaning and for tips on checking the freshness of your mushrooms (which is especially important if they’ve been sitting in the fridge for a while!).
Now, grab that knife. If the mushroom cap is 1.5” or smaller, leave it whole. If larger than 1.5”, cut the shroom in half. If it’s larger than 2.5”, cut into quarters. If grilling the mighty Portabella cap, slice 1” thick to kebab or cook and serve the whole cap as a side.
Step 2: Decide whether to marinate, season or baste.
Kebabs can taste even better if marinated in a flavorful bath before grilling.
Should you choose to whip up a marinade, be sure to give the ingredients adequate time to soak before hitting the grates. For vegetables and mushrooms, marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature. Meat or poultry should have at least an hour soak in the fridge— overnight for a more robust flavor. Seafood like fish and shrimp are also best to refrigerate while marinating, but only up to an hour.
If you prefer to season or baste your kebabs, skip to Step 4 before dressing your veggies or meat. It’s much easier to lather them in oil or herbs when they’re on the skewers rather than struggling with sticky or slippery fingers.
Step 3: Prepare and preheat grill.
Depending on what type of grill you’re using, now is a good time to light it up or to stack the briquettes. First, be sure your grill is clean by brushing down the grates.
If you’re using a gas grill, go ahead and turn it on high.
If you’re using a charcoal grill, follow the steps below:
- Stack briquettes in a chimney grill starter over wads of newspaper. You’ll need enough briquettes to evenly cover the bottom of the grill.
- Light briquettes from the bottom and watch those babies burst into flames.
- Wait 10 minutes, and then check. Once your briquettes start to turn grey, dump into the bottom half of the grill.
- Once all coals are grey, you’re ready to start barbecuing.
Gather all your tools, such as tongs, your hot pad, a meat thermometer, and any of the items listed in the image below:
Step 4: String your skewers.
After your ingredients have marinated (or before seasoning them), string the chopped squares onto your skewers. If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in a water bath for 20 minutes prior to skewering to prevent them from catching fire while barbecuing!
Get creative and alternate your squares to give your kebabs the perfect rainbow of colors or balanced aesthetic.
Once your skewers are assembled, if you did not already marinate, brush your kebab ingredients with olive oil or butter. Then, sprinkle with your favorite seasonings, like salt and pepper or fresh herbs.
Step 5: Get grillin’!
Toss your skewers right on those sizzling grates for that smokey flavor we all know and crave. Be sure to rotate the stick every few minutes, or until the ingredients are charred to your desired doneness. If basting, brush your kebabs once grill marks are established and after every turnover.
Learn more about the difference between direct and indirect heat on the grill and how to get those perfect grill marks by reading our linked article— and never overcook your kebabs again.
Easy Kebab Recipes with Grilled Mushrooms
If you’re looking for an excuse to use your grill more often this year, you’re in luck. We’ve got a ton of mushroom-friendly grill recipes for you to try as well as a hand-selected list of our favorite mushroom-inspired kebabs.
If your heart is set on kebabs, download our free cookbook, 10 Ways to Kebab with Mushrooms— which includes more helpful tips for how to grill kebabs with mushrooms in addition to providing more delicious kebab recipes!