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We like to make ground meat kebabs. I usually use all ground lamb, but occasionally will use a mixture of lamb and beef or lamb and bison.

I have tried wooden skewers (both small and large) and metal skewers (both round and small flat). (Sizes refer to diameter, not length.)

The problem I have is that if I lightly rub oil on the skewers to prevent sticking, the meat often times gets loose around the skewer and causes the issues you would expect from this. If I don't use any oil, the meat will stick to the skewers.

The meat mixtures we use leans toward Persian or Iranian styles and do include quite a bit of chopped onion. I've thought about adding a very small amount of oil to the meat mixture but I was thinking that it might keep the mixture from holding together as well.

I also considered not using skewers but I like that with the skewers I can keep the kebabs just above the grill grate and don't have to worry about sticking or so much clean up.

My goal is to be able to slide the kebabs off in one piece for a better presentation. Can anyone share ideas, tips, or tricks? Is there perhaps a different type of skewer that may work better?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Easy! You want fairly broad, flat skewers, which will prevent the meat from rotating around the axis, like these:

Persian-style skewers

Quite appropriately, I've seen these referred to as "Persian-style" skewers. Not having a decent Middle Eastern grocery nearby, I instead use flattened bamboo skewers that I can find at my local Asian market, which look similar but smaller, like so:

flat bamboo skewers

As with any other wooden skewer, you'll want to soak these first so that they don't burn.

The main thing is that the skewers be significantly flat. Stainless steel versions like this which are quite thin look nice, but they don't grip any better than a round model does.

Alternatively, you can find double skewers which do pretty much the same thing, like these:

double skewers

If, like me, you bought a massive pack of cheap, round bamboo skewers before you figured this out, you can approximate by using two of them running parallel. This is basically the same concept as the double skewer without them actually being connected. The only disadvantage here is that you can find up with twisting if you're not careful, and they're a bit more finicky to use.

It goes without saying that any of these options work very well with just about anything else that you care to skewer and toss on the grill.

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Thanks for the great info. While shopping I have not seen these types of skewers. I have seen similar double skewers on a cooking show and had tried using two bamboo skewers to get the same effect. As you noted this is tricky and I found it difficult to maneuver. (I like the double skewers you show in the pic much better than what I saw on the cooking show.) I now have something specific to shop for and, to be honest, they look like a viable solution. Thanks again! –  Cindy Askew Aug 25 at 21:35
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@CindyAskew Ethnic grocery stores are a fantastic place to find stuff like this that might otherwise be considered a specialty. You can also find a lot of commercial-grade equipment which isn't pretty, but it will last you forever. Happy hunting. –  logophobe Aug 25 at 21:38
    
Thanks so much! We have very few ethnic stores here. I really value the items they offer and have purchased some quite unique things that would never be found in the mainstream markets. Unfortunately due to work demands I haven't been able to shop as much in the last couple of years. I am going to make the time to get back out more and look for these specific items. If my local stores do not carry them I can look when I travel to other areas or look online. Thanks again for your help! –  Cindy Askew Aug 25 at 23:50

A traditional appropriate Persian skewer is flat and metal. Maybe butter on very cold skewers so when you "skewer" the meat the butters stays on the skewers. My other thought is- are you cooking enough? Meat releases when it is sufficiently cooked. Are you making the mixture? You may need more fat.

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