Once I first began engaged on a cookbook about seafood, I dreaded the thought of together with grilling fish — a notoriously finicky course of that most of the time leaves massive chunks of the meat caught to the grate. Then one of many cooks contributing a recipe to the e book fully modified my thoughts: “Skewers had been by no means designed to make direct contact with grill grates,” wrote Bonnie Morales, the chef of the much-loved Kachka in Portland, Oregon. Skewers originated in cultures that use grills, usually charcoal — like a Turkish mangal or Japanese robata — that hold the skewer elevated above the grate.

However even after getting realized the secret’s within the grill setup, you continue to want to decide on the suitable skewer. “A ‘good skewer’ is one that matches the consumer’s wants,” explains Jen Liao, one of many co-founders of Xiao Chi Jie (XCJ), the direct-to-consumer frozen soup dumpling firm that not too long ago expanded into shāo kǎo (Chinese language BBQ skewers). As a result of they had been providing a ready-to-cook skewer with the meat already on it, they used an ordinary 10-inch disposable bamboo skewer that had been trimmed — each for ease and since it imitated what they knew from night time markets in China. However for house cooks accountable threading the meat on themselves, they discovered that crucial factor, throughout all kinds of skewers, was that it was correctly pointy. “Like a pointy knife, you need a sharp skewer,” Liao says. 

Berk Guldal agrees that sharpness is essential: the previous sous chef at SingleThread, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Sonoma County now runs a pop-up referred to as Hamdi in Seattle, serving the meals of his house nation, Türkiye (previously Turkey), and centered on grilled meals. However to him, the fabric of the skewer is crucial, whereas sharpness — together with size and sturdiness — is secondary. 

To completely perceive the assorted benefits of every of those variables, we requested Guldal, Morales, and the crew from XCJ to suggest their favourite commercially out there skewers and what they like to make use of them for. Learn on to be taught extra about the perfect grilling skewers that that may work greatest for you.

Our High Picks

Finest General: + HOM 1″ Wide Skewers

Materials: Stainless-steel | Form: Flat and huge | Size 23.5 inches


  • Sturdy
  • Lengthy and Thick
  • Include case


  • No deal with, so much less snug for flipping

Why we selected it: This massive, flat, skewer works properly for grilling massive meat kebaps good for events.

These skewers, Guldal’s favorites, are an inch huge and virtually two ft lengthy, making it straightforward to form floor meat onto them or thread rooster wings and put them over a scorching grill. The set of six comes with a useful carrying case to soundly retailer the sharp steel, and the sturdy materials makes them final by means of heavy use.

Finest Worth: BearMoo V-Shape Metal Barbecue Skewers

Materials: Stainless-steel | Form: V | Size 17-inch


  • Twisted loop deal with for simple flipping
  • Reasonably priced
  • Dishwasher protected

Why we selected it: This set makes a low-priced entry level to utilizing better-shaped skewers than the same old spherical or bamboo variations.

When you’re not able to shell out for the beefy (pun meant) best-in-class model that Guldal recommends, this set of v-shaped skewers exhibits off the advantages of stainless-steel, and provides the v-shape that Morales likes, as a result of it retains the meals from rotating round while you flip it. The looped and twisted deal with makes it simpler to maneuver on the grill, and permits for hanging the skewers when wanted. The draw back to the deal with formation, although, is that the precise size of the skewer is far shorter than the 17-inches it’s listed at — virtually 5 of these inches are usually not useable for the meals.

Finest for Fish: Bas Metal 28″ Fish and Liver Kebab Stainless Steel Skewers

Materials: Stainless-steel | Form: V | Size 28 inches


  • Lengthy
  • Sturdy
  • Good for delicate meals

Why we selected it: These skewers are heavy responsibility, however in a approach designed particularly for delicate meals, making them an excellent alternative for individuals trying to grill seafood.

When you wish to grill fish — or greens or softer meats like liver — these hardy skewers are particularly designed to assist be sure that the meals stays firmly in place as you prepare dinner it, even when it’s important to flip it over. These tremendous sharp skewers will show you how to thread the fish on (or anything) with out tearing the meat, which might make dropping meals extra doubtless, which suggests you’ll be able to refill many of the prolonged skewer. Like the perfect worth ones, the deal with is included within the size, but it surely nonetheless provides you mainly two ft of meals house, plus the twist and loop deal with makes it straightforward to easily flip these over.

Finest for Greens: Korin Stainless Steel Skewers

Materials: Stainless-steel | Form: Spherical | Size 14-inch


  • Minimalist
  • Very reasonably priced

Why we selected it: These easy skewers work properly for smaller meals and the value makes them price stocking up on. 

These skinny skewers have not one of the bells and whistles of larger or costlier variations. The straight, handleless steel is lower than a tenth of an inch thick, and every skewer prices lower than a greenback. They make a great different to disposable bamboo skewers, as they’re the closest factor in each value and form, however with all the benefits of steel. Guldal likes these for grilling greens in addition to seafood and smaller meats, like little cubes of lamb livers.

Finest for Full Equipment: Yavuz Professional BBQ Set

Materials: Varied | Form: Varied | Size Varied


  • Full grilling set
  • Craftsmanship

Why we selected it: This entire professional-level set consists of every little thing it’s worthwhile to get began grilling all kinds of meats, seafoods, and greens on skewers.

Guldal tipped us off to this assortment of assorted shapes and sizes of skewers that covers all of the bases, in skilled high quality. It consists of the sq. skewers that he likes for cubed meats, in addition to the broad, flat ones he makes use of for kebaps, and the thinner model for greens, plus all of them are available in a useful carrying case. The general result’s a simple one-stop buy for all types of skewers and grilling.

Finest for a Fast Meal: Honshen 8-Inch Stainless Steel Skewers

Materials: Stainless-steel | Form: Spherical | Size 8 inch

Why we selected it: Brief and sharp, these skewers make threading on meat a fast job.

The XCJ workforce preferred these skewers greatest as a result of the sharp factors and the quick size allowed for speedy threading of the meat for the Chinese language-style skewers they make. Within the analysis they did, they realized that folks like grilling skewers for events, however few individuals wish to spend all day placing meat onto the sticks — these ones assist clear up that downside.

Runners Up

Morales additionally recommends the website she purchases skewers from for all skewers in addition to the mangal — grill — she likes to make use of.

How We Selected These Merchandise

We requested three specialists from a wide range of skewer-using culinary cultures to elucidate how they select skewers and what their favourite ones are: Bonnie Morales, who cooks the meals of her Soviet heritage at Kachka in Portland, Berk Guldal who cooks Turkish meals at Hamdi in Seattle, and Jen Liao of Xiao Chi Jie, which sells frozen Chinese language-style skewered meats on to customers. We researched every aspect and seemed for the perfect supplies, costs, shapes, and lengths for the house prepare dinner.

Options to Preserve in Thoughts When Purchasing for Skewers for Grilling


Delicate variations within the form of a skewer make all of the distinction on the earth: our specialists work with spherical, sq., flat, and v-shaped skewers, relying on the merchandise that they’re engaged on. By utilizing both a flat and broad or v-shaped model, Morales finds that meats don’t spin round on the skewer and that you’ve got rather more management. Guldal and Liao each fluctuate their form relying on what they’re cooking. Guldal makes use of the thinnest skewers he owns for seafood and greens, “Primarily as a result of they’re extra delicate gadgets and simpler to overcook. Much less floor space touching the fish permits for extra management over cooking the within versus the skin.”

Liao factors out that in case you’re having an enormous get together, it may be extra enjoyable for friends to serve smaller parts off a bamboo skewer that may then simply be tossed out, whereas it may be simpler on the host to only pack meat onto the longest metal skewer you’ll be able to handle and grill it suddenly. 


For Guldal, materials is crucial factor, and he prefers sturdy steel skewers, as they assist hold the warmth even, which in flip ends in extra even cooking. Whereas bamboo skewers are usually frequent for his or her straightforward cleansing (or, quite, disposability), the truth is that for good cooking, each one of many specialists most well-liked steel skewers. The convenience of cleansing additionally will get nullified by a better time dedication on the opposite finish, as wooden skewers require soaking previous to cooking.  

Number of Lengths

Numerous the significance of the size of skewers comes from the dimensions of the grill. Nonetheless, Liao says that “Usually, longer is extra versatile.” The draw back of an extended skewer is that it could forestall you from having the ability to shut the lid of the grill, if it’s worthwhile to throughout cooking. Shorter skewers will be a lot faster to string although, which is essential as a result of XCJ discovered of their market analysis that the majority People used skewers for cooking when internet hosting gatherings, so doubtless doing an honest amount. Guldal additionally says that it is dependent upon the dimensions of the time you might be cooking — meat, vegetable, or fish — however he, too prefers longer skewers, as it’s extra snug and protected to your arms, since you might be farther from the warmth. 

Simple Cleanup

Cleansing up after bamboo or different disposable wooden skewers is infinitely straightforward: it simply requires throwing them out afterwards. That stated, they require extra time up entrance, as they should be soaked, and all of our specialists suggest steel skewers for the perfect outcomes. To scrub steel skewers, you simply want a scrubber, cleaning soap, and scorching water. One factor to recollect, provides Guldal, is that you just don’t wish to go away them to soak and to ensure to dry them instantly so that you just don’t get rust in your steel skewers.

Ask the Consultants

Q: Ought to I oil skewers earlier than utilizing them?

“Not wanted!” says Guldal.

Q: Do I’ve to soak skewers earlier than grilling?

Although Guldal primarily makes use of steel skewers, which don’t require soaking, he does advise soaking wooden ones to keep away from burning or harm in the course of the grilling. Liao additionally suggests overlaying the ends in tin foil as an alternate choice.

Q: Can I put skewers within the oven?

“Provided that you’re determined,” says Liao at XCJ. Even then, she suggests utilizing the broiler. And Guldal agrees, saying, “You’ll be able to if it’s worthwhile to, however the flavors are at all times higher over coals!” When you do want to make use of the oven, although, he advises ensuring you set a tray beneath to catch the juices. 

Our Take

A very powerful takeaway from our specialists was that steel skewers are actually the perfect, and for anybody trying to grill skewers, that is what ought to be used. The opposite takeaway was that to actually get skewers proper, it’s worthwhile to discover the one that matches what you intend to grill, and your grill itself. There isn’t a “one-size matches all” reply for the perfect skewer. 

Each product is independently chosen and vetted by editors. Belongings you purchase by means of our hyperlinks might earn us a fee.

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