wooden skewers of homemade sesame chicken, covered in a ketchup and soy glaze and finished with sesame seeds and scallions, on top of a metal baking tray
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

11 Recipes for MEAT ON A STICK

From kabab koobideh to skewered chicken and shrimp, here's how to grill and marinade your meat so you can eat it with your hands.

We don't make the rules; we just abide by them, sometimes. And one rule we always follow is that meat—or any food, really, if the State Fair has anything to do with it—is better when you eat it on a stick. The act of eating meat basically with your hands is infinitely more primal, fun, and active than having to grab a fork and knife and take part in the whole sitting-down-at-the-table shebang. 


No, meat on a stick says you're carefree and having a good time, that you wanna keep one hand open for your crisp summer drink of choice and that you don't care so much if you get a little sauce on your face. (Chances are, you will.) So light up that grill and don't worry that the 300-pack of bamboo skewers is "too many," because it's time to put some meat on a stick. No matter what grilled meat you've got in mind, here are our favorite skewers and kebabs. 

Kabab Koobideh Recipe

Kabab-Koobideh Recipe

MUNCHIES culinary director Farideh Sadeghin knows the key to tender kabab meat: a touch of baking soda in the beef mixture for her kabab koobideh. Throw your skewers and some lavash on the grill, and you've got an easy, flame-charred summer dinner. 

Grilled Sesame Chicken Skewers Recipe

Your favorite takeout meat, on a stick. Plus, once you know how to make your own sesame chicken sauce at home, you might break that money-emptying takeout habit once and for all.

Chicken, Pineapple, and Bell Peppers Skewers Recipe

This grilled chicken recipe has the skewered meat fixings you know and love, but with a soy-ginger marinade that turns into a sticky and sweet glaze once it hits the flames. Skip the dinner utensils if you want—just don't forget the napkins.

Tsukune (Grilled Chicken Skewers) Recipe

Tsukune Recipe

Gas versus charcoal grill is one of those endless debates, and though we see the merits in both, you kinda have to do these tsukune, or skewered chicken meatballs, over charcoal, which gives them the lightly charred flavor you'd expect from any good Japanese yakitori. 


Lemongrass Pork Skewers Recipe

Lemongrass Pork Skewers Recipe

If you're tossing your cilantro stems, you're missing out. Whizz them in a food processor, as we did in this lemongrass and fish sauce marinade, and you'll get intense flavor benefits. For the juiciest meat you'll pull off the grill this season, pair this marinade with pork shoulder overnight. 

Hawaiian BBQ Beef Skewer Recipe

These BBQ beef skewers come from Hawaii-based chef Sheldon Simeon. They're sure to bring good vibes to any backyard barbecue, even if you can't have a beachside Hawaiian summer. 

Beef Chichinga Skewers Recipe

Spice-rubbed, skewered, and grilled, chichinga are a popular street food in Ghana. This beef version, from London-based cook and writer Zoe Adjonyoh, pairs well with a side of spicy, gingery homemade peanut sauce.

Lamb Shank Skewers with Roasted Spring Onions Recipe

Making your own lamb sausages is easier than you think. This recipe uses a mix of ground lamb shoulder and lamb shank for skewer-friendly sausages that barely take any effort and are perfect for cooking yourself over a campfire—time to DIY that entire process.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers Recipe

Grilled Shrimp Skewers Recipe

As they say Down Under: shrimp on the barbie, eh? Inspired by Northern Thai ingredients, this grilled shrimp recipe from LA chef Kris Yenbamroong is full of punchy, delicious flavors well-suited to a hot summer night. 

Sugarcane-Skewered Spicy Grilled Shrimp Recipe

A spicy-sweet Scotch bonnet chile and orange marinade flavors these spicy shrimp skewers with a little Caribbean influence. Sugar cane swizzle sticks will add some flavor to your shrimp and make it not-your-average barbecue, but metal or bamboo skewers work fine if you can't find them.

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