A Jamie Oliver rerun on Dabl had some nifty tips for skewering. He lined up four boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, touching, with alternating thick and thin ends. Then he inserted four skewers, evenly spaced, so that each skewer penetrated all four pieces of chicken. He sliced off the uneven ends of meat, then sliced midway between skewers. He stuck the trimmed bits onto the skewers, then hacked at the meat, perpendicular to the skewers, which stopped the blade, so as to create more surface for the marinade to penetrate, and more crispy surfaces.
None of this had ever occurred to me. The method should also work with firm fish steaks, boneless ribs of beef or pork, and certain other cuts of pork, beef, and lamb.
I have a set of two-pronged skewers, which work very well for shrimp - they don’t curl on the grill. Also useful for mushrooms and other things that tend to spin when you turn them. Looks like this:
I don’t have a photo, but I picked up some long thick skewers at a thrift shop and the metal is twisted so food doesn’t rotate much because of the thickness and the design. They are heavy stainless steel I believe. I’ve never seen anything like them.
My Dad had those. Metal handles, not wooden ones like these:
I never understood wood handles on skewers but I’ve never cooked on a hibachi type grill. The wood handles would be ruined on the Weber kettle grill we use!!
I would just hang the handles off the edge, but that also means you have to make sure the fire/coals cover all the way over there as well.
And/or that you don’t thread whatever you’re kebab-ing all the way down the skewer to to the handle…
@retrospek: As for why handles? They’re easier to manipulate than thin metal skewers, even with rings, and they don’t get hot?
The ones I found are really thick metal and twists are bigger - they’re quite long so I don’t have to load them up, but I do get the insulating quality of wooden handles.
This is one of those “Of course - I could have thought of that!” moments. Absolutely brilliant. Simple and elegant are the hallmarks of really good ideas.