Beef Kabobs are a tasty summertime meal that comes together in minutes. Whether you call them kabobs, kebab, shish kabobs, or steak steabobs, they’re all amazing! These kabobs stand-out from others because of the flavorful fig-balsamic glaze sauce that you baste on the kabobs. No marinating required!
Beef kabobs are a go-to meal for us in the summer. They’re so easy to make. And how can anyone not love beef and veggies on a stick?!!
This beef kabob recipe is unique because no marinating is required. Instead, it uses a flavorful fig-balsamic glaze that you apply to the beef and baste while grilling. This is one of those meals that people will think you worked hours on, but it only took you 20 minutes to make!
Ingredients for steak kabob recipe
- Top Sirloin Steak or meat that is pre-packaged for Beef Kabobs
- Red Onion
- Fig Preserves
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
How to make beef kabobs
- Prepare the skewers: Soak four 10-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes so that they don’t burn on the grill. Metal skewers will cause the beef to start cooking from the inside, which isn’t ideal.
- Prepare beef and vegetables: Cut beef into sixteen 1 1/4-inch pieces. Alternately thread beef and red onion pieces evenly onto skewers, leaving small spaces between pieces.
- Make the sauce: In a small mixing bowl, combine fig preserves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup for dipping. With the remain sauce, brush kabobs with sauce.
- Grill and Baste: Grill kabobs over medium heat. Grill covered, about 7-9 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness. Turn and baste with sauce every 2 minutes for even grilling.
- Serve: Serve with reserved sauce for dipping
What type of skewer is best?
We prefer to use bamboo or wooden skewers instead of metal so that the steak keeps from getting overcooked on the inside. When using a metal skewer, the metal transfers heat and cooks the inside of the meat, so it’s very difficult to achieve medium rare or medium steak.
What cut of meat is used for beef kabobs?
There are lots of beef cuts you could use, but we recommend Top Sirloin steak, cut into 1 to 1 1/4-inch pieces. Alternatively, you could also use beef that’s pre-cut and packaged as “kabob meat.”
If you purchase beef from us, you will often get beef packaged as “kabob meat.” This probably goes without saying, but just to make sure we’re all on the same page, there is no cut of beef on a cow called “kabob meat.”
The term “kabob meat” is used to describe meat that is cut into cubes and packaged together. It can come from a variety of different cuts, , but typically it’s the trimmings of sirloin section of beef pre-cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces.
Should I marinate kabobs before grilling?
Unlike many steak kabob recipe that require you to let beef soak in a marinade with ingredients like soy sauce or worcestershire sauce, this recipe does not require marinating. Instead of marinating the meat, you create a glaze that you will brush on the beef and baste while grilling.
Can you use stew beef cubes for kabobs?
No, we don’t recommend using stew beef cubes for kabobs.
Although it is true that stew meat and kabob meat often look very similar in their packaging, they’re two very different cuts of beef. Kabob meat is from trimmings from the primal cuts, such as sirloin. Stew meat comes from trimmings of the chuck section of beef.
Since stew meat comes from trimmings from the chuck section, it needs to be cooked for a long time in liquid (think stews and soups) so that the connective tissues break down and the beef becomes moist and tender. If you try and cook stew meat quickly over a grill, it will be very tough.
Kabob meat is trimming from primal cuts like sirloin.
How to know when Beef Kabobs are done?
An instant read thermometer is the only way to tell a steak’s doneness, not the color or the “feel” of the steak. If you don’t own an instant read thermometer, please get one right now! You will quickly make back any money you spent by never overcooking another piece of expensive meat again. Here’s our favorite and we use it every day. Yes, we really use it Every. Day.
Once you have an instant read thermometer, be sure you’re using it correctly. Insert the thermometer most of the way through the steak, and draw it out slowly. As you do, you’ll see the temperature change as you move the probe through the steak’s temperature gradients. The lowest number you see is the best indication of the internal doneness of that steak. Be sure to pull the steak off the grill about 5°F BEFORE it reaches the desired temperature. This allows for carryover cooking.
Steak doneness temperature guide
Remember, you can always put the meat back on the grill if it’s too rare. You can’t undo cooking if you overdo it. Here are the temperatures to look for when using an instant read thermometer.
- Rare: 120-129°F A rare steak is usually very red in the center and can still be cool to the touch. It’s just past raw in the center.
- Medium-Rare: 130-134°F A medium rare steak has a warm red center. It’s many people’s preferred doneness.
- Medium: 135-144°F A medium-cooked steak is very warm and usually pink, not red. The steak will have a slightly drier and chewier.
- Medium-Well: 145-154 °F A medium well steak is usually just slightly pink in the center and has lost much of its juices.
- Well Done: 155°F+ A well done steak has no pink. It’s much tougher since all the juices have been cooked out of the beef.
Note that the USDA recommends cooking whole cuts of beef to an internal temperature of 145°F
Beef Kabobs with Fig-Balsamic Glaze
- 1 lb 1 boneless sirloin steak cut into 1 1/4 inch pieces (approximately 1 lb of steak); OR 1 package of beef labeled kabob meat (approximately 1 lb)
- 1 red onion sliced into 12 large pieces
- 1/2 cup fig preserves chopped
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Soak four 10-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes so that they don’t burn on the grill. Metal skewers will cause the beef to start cooking from the inside, which isn’t ideal.
- Cut beef into sixteen 1 1/4-inch pieces. Alternately thread beef and red onion pieces evenly onto skewers, leaving small spaces between pieces.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine fig preserves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup for dipping. With the remain sauce, brush kabobs with sauce.
- Grill kabobs over medium heat. Grill covered, about 7-9 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness. Turn and baste with sauce every 2 minutes for even grilling.
- Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.
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One More Thing!
Do you want to learn more about beef? Join our weekly e-newsletter where we share farm happenings, recipes and beef availability. Sign-up and get a cheat sheet with 9-must-ask questions before buying beef directly from a farmer. Or, we have an entire ebook about beef that goes through purchasing and preparing beef from a cattle farmer’s perspective.
Here are a few other links you may like:
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
- Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Ground Beef and Asparagus Pasta Toss
- Easy Chimichurri Sauce
- What everybody ought to know about beef cuts
- Homemade dry rub (the secret 8:3:1:1 ratio)
- Defrosting Meat: 4 Safe & Easy Ways
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