What Is The Best Cut Of Beef For Shish Kabobs


What is the best cut of beef for shish kabobs? That’s the question we’re answering today along with other common questions about how to cook shish kabobs and what are some shish kabob recipes for dinner. You look a little pale writing this intro, can I get you a glass of water?

Are you planning to grill shish kabobs for dinner? If so, you’re probably wondering what is the best cut of beef for shish kabobs . meats that are great for grilling include steaks, chicken, and pork chops. But do you know the best cut of beef for a shish kabob?

Tips & Recipes for Grilling The Perfect Kabob

Beef kabobs are a winning pick for your next backyard grill out. Quick and easy to make and extremely versatile with nearly infinite ingredient variations, kabobs are sure to delight guests of all ages. Seriously, who doesn’t love eating beef on a stick?! However, without basic grilling or skewering know-how, even the best-intended efforts can turn out dry or lackluster.  Kick up your kabob grilling game with these seven tips, along with recipe suggestions, that produce consistently delicious results.

1. Choose the Best Beef Cut for Kabobs

After years of trial and error, I’ve found that the various cuts of Sirloin are the best for kabobs. Relatively tender, without a need for extensive marinating, Sirloin (from top to tip) is lean and fits into a balanced diet — plus, it’s budget-friendly . Other good beef choices for kabobs are Flat Iron or Strip Steak and even Tenderloin.

2. To Marinate Or Not

Sirloin doesn’t require marinade to break down muscle fibers for tenderness. But, if you’d like to impart a distinctive flavor, pour a marinade (bottled brands are fine) on your beef cubes for about 15 to 45 minutes prior to grilling (discard marinade after use). Or, keep life super simple and let the beef flavor shine through with just a little sprinkling of salt and pepper or a steak seasoning. Pro tip: For food safety reasons, always marinate in the refrigerator. Never marinate at room temperature or outdoors when grilling

3. Co-mingle Consistently

Allowing beef and produce to co-exist on the same skewer is perfectly fine, and it also looks beautiful. Keep beef chunks, and similar-density vegetables and fruits cut into approximate 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch pieces for even cooking. For example, beef, onions, squash, or pineapple chunks would be paired well on the same skewer, as they can all handle the same heat and cooking time.

4. Separate Strategically

If you have distinctly smaller or larger ingredients or produce that is extremely delicate (like tomatoes), these should be skewered separately and removed from the heat earlier. Hearty ingredients like raw potatoes or chunks of corn-on-the-cob can be partially cooked prior to grilling and placed on their own individual skewers or threaded alongside the beef.

5. Give Space

Human nature directs us to cram all we can fit onto a single skewer. But, by leaving a small amount of space between each ingredient (1/4-inch), heat can better circulate and cook food evenly.

6. How Hot, How Long

Grill kabobs over direct heat of approximately 400°F. Kabobs with 3/4-inch cubes require approximately 8 to 10 minutes of total time on the grill, flipping halfway through. Bigger chunks will take a few more minutes. If you notice that some skewers are cooking faster than others, move them toward a cooler zone or to indirect heat. For medium-rare kabobs, the internal temperature should be 145°F after you’ve completed cooking. Protip: Kabobs will continue to cook a little more and gain a few more degrees while resting on the platter.

7. Make It A Party

Create a skewering station and ask guests to each bring a bowl full of their favorite produce prepped into bite-sized pieces.  You can also provide popular veggies such as mushrooms, colorful peppers, squash, tomatoes, and onions or experiment with Romaine lettuce, asparagus, brussels sprouts and more! Fruits that hold up well on the grill include pineapple, citrus with skin on and stone fruits — grapes and watermelon are good too!

How to Make Shish Kebab: Tender Beef Shish Kebab Recipe

Teaches Modern Middle Eastern Cooking

Middle Eastern shish kabob is the perfect easy-to-make food for outdoor grilling.

What Is Shish Kebab?

Shish kebab is a dish of small pieces of meat grilled on skewers, sometimes with vegetables. An ancient cooking technique in the Middle East, the term “shish kebab” comes from the Turkish şiş (skewer) kebap (roasted meat). This method of quickly grilling meat is similar to Indonesian satay and Greek souvlaki.

What Kind of Meat Is Used for Shish Kebab?

Shish kebabs are traditionally lamb or mutton, but you can make kebabs with everything from beef tenderloin to chicken breasts to quick-cooking veggies like cherry tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, and zucchini. In Turkey and Greece, kılıç şiş is made with cubes of swordfish. The ideal cut of meat for a shish kebab has enough fat to stay juicy and is tender enough to cook quickly. For beef kebabs, try sirloin steak; for chicken kebabs, thighs.

How to Serve Shish Kebab

Shish kebab is a versatile dish. Try serving it with warm flatbread such as pita bread. Add a bowl of hummus, tzatziki, or tahini for dipping extra pita bread. Or, serve shish kebab alongside a simple Mediterranean rice pilaf. For some added acidity, slice a large red onion and marinate in freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of sumac, and serve with shish kebab.

Perfect Beef Shish Kebab Recipe

Rating: 4 stars




20 min


1 hr 40 min


20 min


  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for oiling grates
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, such as Aleppo pepper
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds sirloin steak
  1. 1Make the marinade. In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients: olive oil, black pepper, red pepper, yogurt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, salt, tomato paste, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine.
  2. 2Cut the steak into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the steak pieces to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container and pour the marinade over the meat, making sure each piece is coated.
  3. 3Marinate the beef at least 1 hour and up to overnight. If refrigerating overnight, bring to room temperature an hour before you plan to cook.
  4. 4If using wooden skewers, soak them in water 30 minutes before cooking. Thread meat onto skewers, leaving enough space at one end to easily turn the skewers.
  5. 5Preheat the barbecue or grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. When the grill is hot but not smoking, add the skewers. Cook until each side is well browned, about 5 minutes per side. You can also check for doneness using an instant-read thermometer (120 degrees Fahrenheit for rare, 130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium).


An easy beef shish kabob recipe that’s packed with amazing flavors. Tender beef is marinated with olive oil, lemon and spices to make a delicious meal that you can enjoy any day of the week!

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. Make sure to check out our other kabobs such as chicken shish kabob, salmon shish kabob and veggie shish kabobs. These shish kabobs are tender, flavorful and anything but boring! Serve with a side of rice, potatoes or salad for a complete meal!


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.

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!

In the US, kabob usually refers to shish kabob and it can be made with different types of meat such as beef, fish, veal, pork and chicken. In the middle east, families usually use lamb to make shish kabobs because of its tender texture and rich flavor.

Close up shot of a grilled beef skewer


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 but are also not too expensive. These cuts are easy to work with and make delicious kabobs. Cut the beef into chunks that are not too  big or too small. I usually cut the beef into 1 ½ inch pieces.


For this recipe you need beef chunks, olive oil, spices and peppers.

Beef – As mentioned above, you need sirloin tip or top sirloin for this recipe. A little bit of fat adds a lot of flavor to the kabob. 

Olive oil – Just a little bit of olive oil makes the meat absorb the flavors better. 

Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice makes the beef tender and adds such bright flavor. 

Spices – The spice mix we used for this recipe is made of warm spices such as cumin, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric and cardamom. This combination gives so much flavor to the beef. 

Vegetables – If you like to grill some veggies alongside the beef, try onions and peppers. Once grilled, these vegetables turn sweet and tender. 



Cut the beef into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the spices with olive oil and lemon juice, pour it over the beef and mix to combine. Marinade for 4 to 8 hours. 


Once you’re ready to grill, 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


Grill the shish kabobs on the grill over high heat until cooked to your liking (medium rare or medium). Turn the skewers a few times for the meat to cook evenly. It’s important not to over cook the shish kabobs as they’ll become chewy and tough. Brush them a few times with the reserved marinade as well.

Marinate the beef in spices and olive oil. Then thread and grill.
read and grill


How long should I grill the shish kabob?

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 medium-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 this recipe in the oven?

It’s pretty easy to make this recipe in the oven using your broiler. Marinade the beef chunks as instructed and once ready to cook, thread them on skewers. Broil the kabobs three inches under the broiler for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, making sure they won’t burn.

How long should the beef marinate for? 

Since beef is tougher compared to chicken and fish, it requires longer time to marinade. 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.

Beef 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.


  • 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. 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 flavor, tenderness and texture of the meat before grilling the rest.

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