The Ingredients You Will Need
For the chicken, we love going with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. We think the dark meat has a wonderful flavor, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts are great as well.
Go with your favorite veggies. We love summer squash, zucchini, and colorful bell peppers.
Heres what youll need for a flavorful marinade:
- Lemon juice
- Smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Shake the marinade ingredients in a jar with a lid. And mix it all together!
Avoid These Common Chicken Grilling Mistakes
It can be tough to get your chicken to come out right on the grill , especially if youre not used to grilling it.
The first thing I want to mention is to make sure that you get good quality chicken. Check the expiration date and look for signs that the chicken might have gone bad, like discolouration and changes in texture.
You also want to season your chicken before putting on the grill . You can use something as simple as salt and pepper as your rub, or you can use more complex chicken rubs.
One important thing to keep in mind about how long to cook chicken kabobs on charcoal grill is that its very easy to overcook it or cook it at too high of a temperature. Not all grills make it easy to control the temperature precisely, and its an easy mistake to have the heat too high.
What this does is cook the outside of the chicken much faster than the inside, creating a dried out skin thats overly tough and an interior that isnt cooked all the way through. Remember, you dont have to slow cook this meat, but you definitely want to use a low heat with an ideal temperature of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also make sure you flip the chicken partway through so it can cook evenly on both sides. This is especially important for the larger, thicker cuts of meat. Its a good idea to keep part of the grill turned off so that you have a cool area to move the chicken to.
Now you know how long to cook chicken kabobs on a gas grill
The No 1 Mistake In Kabob
First things first: Wed like to dispel a common kabob-making myth. Multicolored kabobs loaded up with alternating pieces of meat and vegetables look gorgeous, but youll end up sacrificing flavor for beauty. Meat and vegetables cook at different rates, so its better to make separate skewers for meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. Its OK to combine items with similar cooking timeslike onions and peppersbut it would be a mistake to put potatoes and shrimp on the same skewer.
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How Do You Grill Kabobs
- Soak the skewers and thread the marinated chicken and vegetables through, alternating.
- Heat the grill or griddle to medium-high heat
- Grill the kabobs anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, turning the skewers about until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Chicken is ready when internal temperature registers 165 degrees.
How To Brine Chicken Breast Prior To Cooking
Brining the chicken prior to grilling, roasting, and smoking helps the chicken keep its moisture. It takes just 15 minutes of your time for such small pieces of chicken, and although its optional, its totally worth it in my opinion.
You CAN buy brined chicken at the grocery store, so make sure to check the label. But if not, you can totally do this yourself.
To brine the chicken, you will need to dissolve ¼ cup of salt in 4 cups of room temp water. That is enough for 4 chicken breasts. Brine for at least 15 minutes , then rinse the chicken with fresh water and pat dry with paper towels.
To learn more about brining, check out my chicken brine recipe post. Its a basic skill that every home cook needs to know about and take advantage of!
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How Long To Marinate Chicken
If you have the time, I highly recommend you let the chicken marinate for 2 to 4 hours in the fridge But if you don’t, at the very least for 30 minutes.
Time will allow the chicken to soak up as much flavor as possible, it also helps tenderize the chicken, particularly if you are using chicken breast like I am.
Tips For Amazing Chicken Kabobs:
- You can use the same marinade for the vegetables as you do the chicken simply double the marinade and marinate the veggies in a separate container or zip lock. While not at all mandatory, this results in super flavorful grilled vegetables.
- If youre using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before skewering your chicken and veggies for grilling. This will ensure the wooden skewers wont burn during the grilling process.
- Preheat the grill to high heat. While you are looking to grill the chicken between 375 and 400 degrees, the grill will lose heat quickly once the lid is lifted. Preheating to a high heat will ensure you get those amazing grill marks and the cooking process will go quickly. If you preheat to 375, youll likely end up actually grilling around 300 degrees, which is too low for grill marks and the grilling process will take much longer.
How To Make The Greek Chicken Marinade
This greek chicken marinade is my favorite go-to recipe for anything and everything chicken and it does double duty as a dressing for salads too.
The chicken is adequately flavored in just 15 minutes, or let it soak in all that Greek flavor for up to three hours in a bowl or a re-sealable gallon storage bag. I generally dont go longer than the 3 hour mark to avoid the chicken becoming mealy.
Heres whats in this Greek marinade:
- Greek yogurt: This is a new addition to my regular Greek marinade. I added the yogurt after making my Easy Chicken Gyros where the yogurt tenderizes the chicken for a very nice, juicy bite.
- Lemon juice + zest: The acid from the lemon also helps break down the tough fibers of the chicken as it adds a flavorful zip to each bite. Adding the zest of one lemon to the marinade amps the flavor up even that much more.
- Garlic: Because hello, garlic.
- Olive oil: Olive oil adds a bit of fat and helps create a barrier while the chicken is on the grill. However, youll still want prepare your grill with additional oil and rotate your skewers so the chicken doesnt become too charred or burn.
- Oregano: Because dried herbs are stronger in flavor than fresh, Ive found that dried oregano works best for this marinade, and a healthy dose of it is definitely required.
A Delicious And Unique Combination Of Flavors
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are marinated in herbs, spices and a few other wonderful ingredients: garlic, cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, fresh ginger and olive oil. Half of the mixture is used for the marinade and the other half as a basting sauce while the chicken is grilling.
I like to cut up the thighs and thread the meat on skewers, but if you’re in a hurry, you could leave them whole and grill them without the skewers.
I usually serve these Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers with this Peruvian Green Sauce, although they’re perfectly delicious 0n their own too!
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How Do You Make Chicken Kabobs Using An Indoor Grill Pan
Variations Of This Recipe
- SPICY if you like a little more heat, add some cayenne pepper to the rub and/or use a spicy bbq sauce!
- OTHER MEAT Ive used chicken breasts here because my kids prefer white meat, but boneless chicken thighs would be amazing, and even juicier! Cubed pork tenderloin would be another amazing option, as would shrimp!
- OTHER VEGGIES the sky is the limit on what veggies you can add. Peppers and onions are a pretty common variety, but zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, etc are also delicious! Mango would also be amazing used in place of the pineapple.
- while its pretty to have the alternating chicken, fruit and veggies, it can be a little tricky to make sure the meat is fully cooked and the veggies and fruit arent burnt. If youre new to grilling, or simply want this meal to be even easier, do separate skewers of chicken/bacon, and veggies/fruit.
- STORE-BOUGHT RUB there are so many great pre-made rubs out there nowadays, and you can certainly use one of those if youd rather not make your own.
- HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE if youd rather use a homemade bbq sauce, you can absolutely go for it! I really love my Bourbon BBQ sauce on these kabobs.
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What Temperature Should You Use
Another factor that affects how long to grill kabobs chicken is the temperature you use. How hot should the grill be for cooking kabobs?
This isnt a dish you need to slow cook. You can use a heat of 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for chicken. If youre cooking beef, seafood, or lamb, your grill temperature may vary, as well your cooking times. So, how long does it take to grill chicken kabobs at about 160 degrees Fahrenheit?
This should take around 10 to 15 minutes, but you dont want to rely on just the given time for this dish. Always be sure to check the internal temperature of your meat to make certain it is cooked all the way through.
The minimum safe internal temperature for chicken is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check this with your kitchen thermometer by sticking the centre of chicken. Remember that the centre is where the chicken will be the coolest and will give you most accurate reading.
If you dont have a thermometer to check the internal temperature, you may be wondering if theres another way to determine how long to cook chicken shish kabobs on grill . How do you determine if the chicken is done if you cant check the internal temperature?
An easy way to check is to cut the chicken open down the centre and see if the inside is white or pink. If you see any pink or clear looking meat, then the chicken is not done yet and should cook for a while longer.
How To Make It
*Full recipe at the end of blog post.
- Combine marinade ingredients, coat chicken pieces well and marinate for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator. Make the basting mixture.
- Preheat the grill. Thread chicken pieces on skewers and arrange them on the grill. Place vegetable skewers as well.
- Grill the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes on each side until nicely seared on the outside but juicy inside. Baste all skewers with basting mixture.
- Serve with rice, flatbreads, pickles and sumac.
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Tips For Skewering With Success
You can make these chicken kabobs with metal skewers or wooden skewers.
- If usingmetal skewerslike these or these, be sure not to touch the skewer ends after the kabobs are cooked, as they will be HOT. Use a hot pad or tongs to hold the skewer end while you remove the chicken and vegetables from them prior to eating.
- If usingwooden skewerslike these, soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes prior to grilling to prevent them from catching on fire.
- My other big skewer tip is not to crowd the vegetables and chicken together too tightly when threading. The chicken and vegetable pieces can lightly touch, but you want to make sure the heat can circulate so that the chicken cooks through.
Make Ahead / Meal Prep
Prepare chicken ahead of time, as per instructions in the recipe and refrigerate. Make basting mixture and saffron water ahead as well. Combine all ingredients for the marinade in advance, without adding onion and garlic. It is better to grate these vegetables fresh before adding to marinade and chicken.
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What Are The Best Skewers For Kebabs
When it comes to skewering chicken for kebabs, I always reach for 9- to 12-inch metal skewers. Heres why.
- Unlike bamboo or wooden skewers, which need a 30-minute soak before hitting the grill, metal skewers are ready at a moments notice.
- They can be used again and again, making them a great no-waste option.
- Their pointy tip can easily pierce chicken . Just be sure to use tongs or an oven mitt when turning metal skewers, because they will get hot over the flames.
If you choose to use bamboo or wooden skewers, remember that they dont conduct heat as effectively as metal, so the chicken may take an extra minute or two to cook. I recommend soaking an entire package of at the start of the summer, then wrapping the bundle in plastic wrap and freezing. The moisture stays in the skewers and you can use them straight from the freezer.
Is It Okay To Cook The Meat Separately
A question that comes up when talking about how long the grill chicken shish kabobs is whether you can cook the meat on its own. Thats actually not a bad idea if your meat is frozen or if youre using a meat that takes a long time to cook.
Chicken tends to cook quicker compared to beef, but thick cuts of meat will still take a while to cook.
How long to cook chicken kabobs on grill if you cook the meat first? You can simply cook your chicken ahead of time, grilling it on its own. Dont cook it all the way but only most of the way, and then add it to your kabobs and grill it with the rest of the vegetables.
This way, you are only grilling the entire kabob as one for a few minutes- just long enough to put char marks on the vegetables and chicken.
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For The Chicken Kabobs
- Chicken Breast or Thighs Choose your favorite pieces of chicken, marinate them, and then cut them into 1 chunks to grill.
- Vegetables I chose zucchini, yellow squash and red onions, but asparagus, corn on the cob, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, or cauliflower are also great grilling veggies.
- Skewers I prefer metal skewers that I can use over and over. They also heat up and cook the chicken from the inside as well, which is nice. But you can use wooden skewers if you want to, just make sure to soak them for at least 30 minutes before using so they dont catch on fire.
How Do You Grill Chicken Breast On A Gas Grill
Preheat gas grill before cooking to medium-high heat, or 350-400° F. Lightly grease grill surface and add chicken. Close lid and cook 8 minutes, or until bottoms are browned with sear marks. Rotate chicken, close lid, reduce heat to medium, and cook 7-10 minutes more, or until internal temperature reaches 165° F.
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Serving Suggestions For Chicken Kabobs
Now that you have a plate of delicious chicken kabobs to serve, what should you serve them with? You cant really go wrong, but these are a few of my favorite summer sides for kabobs:
- Tzatziki Sauce: Serving chicken kabobs with BBQ sauce is always a safe choice, but I also love to serve them with homemade Tzatziki sauce!
- Rice: Keep it simple and serve your kabobs over a bed of rice. You can go with white rice, brown rice, quinoa, or some other type of grain whatever best fits your preferences!
- Pita Bread: If you like tzatziki sauce with your kabobs, why not make some pita bread as well? Its super easy, and its such a versatile appetizer/side dish.
- Salad: Sometimes I like to chop up the grilled veggies and toss them in a light green salad. You can also make some more roasted or grilled veggies to go on the side of your kabobs if you like .
How Long To Grill Chicken Wings
Like thighs and breasts, the USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Using an instant-read thermometer is the best way to know when your chicken wings are done, but you can use this estimated cooking time as a guide:
- Whole chicken wings: 25 minutes total, flipping occasionally
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How To: Chicken Kabob
Skewer some chicken, vegetables, and even fruit for a light and tasty meal.
Lets get grilling
Bamboo skewers are cheap and readily available. But because they are made of thin pieces of bamboo, they are flammable and will catch fire during grilling. To prevent this, soak your skewers in water for at least one hour prior to assembling your kabobs.
Whether using white chicken breast meat or dark meat from the thigh, its important to not cut the chicken into chunks that are too small, or else they will dry out quickly on the grill. Larger chunks of 1 to 1½ inches are ideal. Add them to a dish and pour on your favorite marinade. A marinade with a high oil content will not only flavor the chicken, it will also help keep the chicken from drying out on the grill. Then cut your vegetables into chunks that match the size of your chicken chunks, 1 to 1½ inches. You can go with classic vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, or add fruit like pineapple or peaches. If you want to marinate the vegetables, do so in a separate container from the chicken.
Start threading the chicken chunks and vegetables on the kabobs. Its important not to pack the skewers too tight or too loose. If the chicken and vegetables are too snug, the skewer will take too long to cook. If too loose, the chicken and vegetables may overcook. Ideally, the chicken and vegetables will touch each other but not be too crowded.