There are few things as lovely and delicious as a colorful steak kabob. Juicy chunks of steak threaded with snappy pieces of vegetables. Is your mouth watering yet?
Kabob? Kebob? Kebab?
They are all right! It really depends on your geographic location. A shish kebab is Turkish and usually means that veggies are cooked on one skewer while meats are cooked on another.
But in the Americas, they are all cooked together and mostly commonly referred to as just a kabob. Do we really care? Just know they are tasty…
Steak Kabob Marinade
The choice of veggies and beef cut is important, but the marinade is the star of this show. I encourage marinating for a minimum of 4 hours, but up to overnight. Since these are thicker (not like a skirt steak or something thin) they need longer to absorb maximum flavor.
Because there is so much surface space, the marinade has more places to soak right on it and tenderize meaning it will produce super flavorful pieces of juicy steak.
The ingredients list is probably items you already have in the pantry.
- balsamic vinegar
- low sodium soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- olive oil
- fresh rosemary
- Dijon mustard
- black pepper
- onion powder
- smoked paprika
- Kosher salt
With so many acidic flavors, it needs to balance with honey, but feel free to leave it out if you want to make it lower sugar. Smoked paprika adds a mild, subtle heat without the marinade being spicy. But if sweating is your goal, substitute this with aleppo pepper or chile powder.
Best Vegetables for Kabobs
This question inevitably comes up- how to pick the best veggies for your kabob. The name of the game here is that you want to introduce color, but the pieces also need to be large and toothy enough for them to stay on the kabob while cooking, but not droop right off.
Ideally, these veggies will have char and snap, but not be fully raw. Picking the veggies is just as important as knowing what degrees of doneness you’ll be cooking your steak.
If you like a rare steak, then something like zucchini won’t have enough time to even char or soften. If you like it well done, cherry tomatoes will blister, pop and burn.
Here are my steak kabob favorites:
- Yellow Squash or Zucchini– Cut thick to prevent falling off, best for medium-well done
- Onion– thread with 2-3 layers to keep it thicker, red, yellow or sweet works
- Bell Peppers- great for color and any degrees of doneness, yellow, red or green
- Mushrooms– use whole button or white mushrooms or large mushrooms cut in half
- Cherry Tomatoes– use the largest you can find, best for rare to medium-rare
- Whole Garlic– If you love garlic, roasting whole cloves is the best, best for medium-well done
- Baby Potatoes– regardless of the degree of doneness, parboil or microwave these to kickstart cooking
- Eggplant- cut into cubes
Best Steak for Kabobs
I like to use top sirloin or New York strip primarily because they are the middle of road on tenderness and fat content. Something too fatty or marbleized has the tendency for fibers to spread and fall off the skewer.
Some cuts, like a petite sirloin, are too thin. They will be charred beyond well done before the veggies are even starting to cook.
Other cuts like a top round, need more time to cook and low and slow, so they aren’t ideal for steak kabobs either.
Flat Top Grill, Griddle and Oven
You can surely make these using other cooking methods.
On a flat top grill or griddle, heat to medium high heat and sear on all sides, rotating for about 12 minutes or until desired doneness.
In the oven I highly suggest using metal skewers instead of wood, as these have the tendency to catch fire. Baking is great, but since these just a need a quick burst of high heat, broiling is best. Place them on a broiling pan and broil on high for 10-12 minutes, rotating to get even browning.
Steak Kabob Tips
- This marinade can be used for chicken, pork or shrimp. For shrimp, only marinate for 1 hour as they have the tendency to get rubbery if left for too long.
- Soak wood skewers for at least an hour before threading. Metal with a spiral texture are also good and prevent foods from falling off.
- Don’t thread veggies too tight otherwise the heat can cook the center leaving it raw.
What to Serve Steak Kabobs With?
Serve bread on the side with dipping oil or even just eat them on their own.
More food on a stick:
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Steak Kabob Marinade
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary , finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary, pepper, onion powder, Kosher salt, smoked paprika and honey.
- Cut steak into large cubes (about 1-2 inch pieces) and add to large plastic bag or a nonreactive mixing bowl.
- Pour marinade over steak, chill and marinate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Remove steak from bag and discard marinade.
- Have your vegetables prepped and wooden skewers soaked, if using.
- Thread steak and vegetables evenly onto skewers.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat and oil grates.
- Place kabobs onto hot grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until desired degree of doneness.
- Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!