What Are the Different Types of Kabob Meat?

Lori Kilchermann

There are plenty of individual and combinations of meat which can be featured in a kabob, and they are typically cooked on a grill. Beef, chicken and pork are common types of kabob meat. Just about any meat that can remain on a skewer while being cooked can be featured in a kabob dish, including Polish sausage, kangaroo and steak wrapped in bacon. Kabob meat is typically cut into uniform-sized cubes to enable all the meat on the skewer to cook at the same rate. Other types of meat suitable for cooking on a skewer include shark, rattlesnake and moose.

Chicken can be used on kabobs.
Chicken can be used on kabobs.

Although different cuts of chicken can be used to make kabobs, boneless and skinless breast halves are often thick enough to allow the meat to be cut into uniformly-shaped cubes. Honey chicken, garlic chicken and Dijon chicken kabobs are all made with chicken breast halves cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) cubes. Grilled stuffed chicken breast rouladens are made with chicken breasts butterflied, stuffed and tied shut before being skewered.

Beef kabob cubes should be cut into even sizes to ensure even cooking.
Beef kabob cubes should be cut into even sizes to ensure even cooking.

Beef sirloin and beef chuck are common kabob choices, as they can be seasoned, marinated and easily cubed. Beef tip, flank steak and round steak are also suitable for kabobs. Beef can also be combined with other meats in a kabob recipe, such as wrapped in bacon or placed alternately on a skewer with pork.

Pork is a versatile meat and several cuts lend themselves to kabobs. Pork tenderloins are thicker cuts of meat and can be cut into large cubes which are suitable for kabobs. Pork chops and pork shoulder are also suitable kabob meat.

Kabob meat can also be more exotic than common beef or chicken. Fish, such as sea bass and halibut, can serve as kabob meat. Other seafood kabob meat options include tuna steak, swordfish and shark. Lobster tail can be cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm)sections, with the shell left on, to be used as kabob meat. Crab, large sea scallops and medium shrimp are also seafood kabob meat options. Lobster or shrimp are often paired with steak on a kabob skewer.

Goat, lamb and venison are also used as kabob meat. Goat kabobs are typically grilled, and venison is often marinated to give it added flavor, such as smoky or sweet. Meat from big game, such as moose, bear and caribou, can also be used to make kabobs. For duck kabobs, mallard breast is cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) chunks. Rattlesnakes can be cut into sections suitable for kabobs, as can kangaroo and ostrich meat.

For a surf and turf option, lobster and prawns can be paired with steak on a kabob skewer.
For a surf and turf option, lobster and prawns can be paired with steak on a kabob skewer.

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Discussion Comments


You know, meat kabobs are great, but a good veggie kabob can be amazing too. If you use the typical kabob veggies or substitute in some of your own favorites you can make a delicious, filing, and flavor packed meal that has no meat at all. The veggies get this great grilled flavor and taste even better if you marinade them first.

Has anyone tried lamb on a kabob? I have never tried grilling lamb so I am not sure how well it would hold up on the skewer.

Does anyone have any good recipes for marinades that I can use of kabob meats? I have been using plain Italian dressing for a long time but it is starting to get boring.

In particular I am looking for sweeter marinades. I usually use chicken meat and I think a sweet, spicy marinades would go well with it.


Personally, I like steak kabobs the best. The steak always turn out so well, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Plus, the steak fat coats all the veggies which gives the entire kabob this decadent, rich flavor.

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