Grilling Jeff, January 13, 2017
Years ago, when Wendy and I started to invite company over for barbecues, the first couple to come to our backyard were Wendy’s brother Rick and his wife Adrienne. My kabobs were an instant hit. My in-laws loved these gorgeous, juicy, melt-in-your mouth kabob appetizers. Ever since, all visiting family expects me to grill these beauties on skewers. Hungry in-laws ready to pounce on the next batch of skewers. It’s a classic vinegar based bbq sauce recipe that looks good and tastes even better. Let me tell you, though – all kabobs were not created equal.
Far too many kabobs fall flat, coming out dry, tasteless, and nowhere near their full potential. Some people I know consistently turn out disappointing kabobs at their backyard barbecues. My neighbour Barry Stevens thinks that putting meat and vegetables on a stick is the easiest thing to do, and I seriously dread his chewy, leathery kabobs. I’d sooner get my legs waxed than suffer through his kabobs. In fact, I know exactly what not to eat in his backyard.
Today I’ll share some tips on how to make mouth-watering tenderloin beef kabobs, from the process of buying meat and vegetables, to cooking them perfectly. And I’ll use a vinegar-based gluten free barbecue sauce with dry rub for steak, both from the House of Q. Follow these tips and be sure to dish out juicy beef kabobs consistently in your backyard barbecue parties.
Eight Tips And Tricks For Deliciously Well-Turned-Out Kabobs
- Buy Local – Always buy local beef to be sure of good quality. Buying at a local butcher also helps avoid the impossible line-ups at Costco. Honestly, the atrocious lineups at Costco and Superstore take the joy out of any savings achieved. Local meat is not necessarily cheap, but it’s high quality, and quality matters a lot here. Inexpensive meat may end up being tough and chewy on your skewers. Your best bet is beef tenderloin, as it can stand the heat of a grill and still remain juicy. Some of the Lower Mainland shops selling local meat are:
- Seafair Gourmet Meats, 8671 No 1 Road #12, Richmond, BC V7C 1V2
- Meridian Gourmet Meat, #935 15355 24th Avenue, White Rock, BC V4A 2H9
- North Shore Quality Meats, 128 14th Street East, North Vancouver, BC V7L 2N3
- Find more shops selling local meat in your nearby location in the Lower Mainland at this useful Store Locator . You can also buy your favorite House of Q products at these stores.
- Trim for Size – Remove the tenderloin from packing, get rid of excess fat, trim off the silver-skin (the tough chewy layer on the outside) and cut them into fairly large cubes of 1-1.5 inch for the grill. Tip – leaving a thin layer of fat allows the meat to remain juicy as it cooks from within.
- Match Those Veggies – All ingredients must be equal in size for a perfect presentation. Cut even-sized cubes from onions and green-yellow-red peppers. Your veggies should also match the flavour of the meat. Think zucchini, tomatoes, squash and mushrooms as other vegetables to skewer.
- Marinade Just Right – Place everything into a large bowl and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, a generous coat of Rock’n Red BBQ Sauce (a gluten free bbq sauce) and season with a generous amount of Peppered Bovine. House of Q packs incredible flavour in every jar. Give everything a nice toss to coat and leave it to marinade covered for about 4-6 hours. Unlike what most recipes will tell you, you do not need to marinade overnight. It overcooks the meat and leaves it dry and chewy after grilling. Do not leave an acidic marinade too long – – unless you want your guests chewing cud like cows and suffering in silence.
- Wooden Vs. Metal Skewers – Soak wooden skewers in plain water for at least 30 minutes. Some of my friends like to use metal skewers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that metal will get heated up, and will start cooking the meat from inside as well. Besides, washing 50 skewers after a barbecue is not my idea of fun in the summer-time.
- Double Skewers – Use the double skewers method – Insert two skewers in each kabob string to ensure that the kabobs don’t slide and roll on the grill. I learned this little trick from my dad years ago.
- Bring ‘em Close – Never mind the order in which to string the vegetables, peppers – onions – beef on the skewers. What’s really important is that you string all the ingredients close together on the skewers. With everything butted up together, chances are that the kabobs will not get overcooked.
- Sear First – My grill, the one Wendy got me for Father’s Day last year, has an infra-red side burner. This is nice to sear meats and vegetables at a higher temperature and give them some nice colour and flavor. Once they have some color, I’ve learned to move them off to the other side of the grill at a lower temperature so I can get the right temperature and doneness. The boys like steak medium while Wendy likes hers well-done and me, rare of course! I can’t do that without a thermometer.
You can follow these simple tips that I’ve learned with years of grilling experience, and save your guests from suffering through disappointing, less than perfect kabobs at your next backyard barbecue. Grilled appetizers of beef kabobs, peppers and onions on wooden skewers will become the highlight of entertaining at your next backyard bbq.
About Grilling Jeff
Our family of Jeff, Wendy, Payton and Dryden is fictitious in nature even though we’ve met people who are really like them. They’ve bought House of Q products at home shows, and never looked back. Jeff’s always been passionate about all things barbecue, and loves to host parties. He buys local and insists on a choice of high quality meat. Wendy and Jeff use House of Q sauces and rubs on pretty much everything – chicken, beef, pork, ribs and grill-able vegetables – to make it sometimes spicy and sometimes sweet. It all depends on the mood. Their kids are very happy with Jeff’s grilling; Jeff will be sharing many recipes with you, so you can come on out and grill like a champion in your own backyard in the barbecue season.