Immerse Your Kebab Skewers Like Alton Brown For Hassle-Free Grilling

What could be better than dinner on a stick? Kebabs are the ultimate in portable, skewered meals. Grilling kebabs can be an easy way to whip up a quick and tasty meal — so long as you soak the skewers beforehand. Though this part is often skipped, it is a crucial step to ensure your kebab cooks evenly and quickly.

Alton Brown took to Instagram to give his tip for a quick and convenient skewer swim. Grab an empty plastic bottle, fill it with water, and stick your skewers in to soak. This creates a contained and mess-free solution — plus it provides an easy dispensing system when you're ready to start assembling your kebabs. As Brown said, "just give the bottle a little squeeze and they'll pop right up."

This hack is sure to come in handy during grilling season, but there are still some things to be aware of when preparing your kebabs and immersing your skewers.

Prepping for kebabs

Skewers should be entirely immersed in clean water for at least 10-30 minutes. Wooden and bamboo skewers are pretty brittle and they're likely to catch fire or get charred –- particularly on gas or charcoal grills –- if they are not properly soaked beforehand. Moist skewers can keep your meat nice and juicy, and distribute the heat through the middle of the kebab, creating an even cook. 

The longer a skewer is going to stay on the grill, the longer you're going to want to leave it in water. Consider leaving your skewers to soak overnight for particularly long grilling sessions. Don't leave your skewers for too long, though. After a few days, the wooden skewers are likely to start turning to mush, contaminating your water and making the skewers ineffective and unsafe to use.

Try using Brown's tip to soak your kebabs before you head out for work in the morning. When you return home, hungry for some kebabs, you can get right to grilling!

Tips for the perfect skewer

Before you use this hack, be sure you're aware of a few things. Wash out your bottle before use, you don't want any leftover Diet Coke particles being sucked into your skewers. Get skewers on the thicker side because thin skewers are likely to dry out and char even when properly soaked.

If you're a regular kebab consumer, or just really into reusable products, consider upgrading to metal skewers which can be used over and over again without any waste. Metal skewers can also help your kebab to cook evenly, as the heat from the metal will assist in cooking your kebab from the inside.

Metal skewers don't need to be soaked, just clean! Vegetable oil helps to get those skewers clean, plus, a small coating before grilling makes it easier to get your goodies off the skewer once you're ready to eat. Pro-tip for metal skewers: the square, flat, or twisted shape skewers hold onto the ingredients and keep them from spinning better than round skewers where the food can easily slip off while grilling.