We might be on the downward slope of summer, but that doesn’t mean your grilling habit has to end anytime soon. Fall is actually a perfect time to get outside and light up the grill. You won’t be standing over hot coals on a sweltering summer day, plus, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery around you.

Because there’s no more delicious or fun way to get your daily veggies (and meats, too!), here are my top eight tips for grilling perfect kabobs:

1. Pick your stick

There are two major options on which to skewer your meat and veggies: metal or wood/bamboo. I like metal because they’re reusable and the food doesn’t slide around as much. Plus, you don’t have to remember soak them, as you do with wooden skewers — one less thing!

2. Forgo the rainbow

Okay, hear me out because I know a lot of you will disagree here, but for the absolute best results, each skewer should include just one item, like shrimp or mushrooms. Yes, it’s super Instagram-worthy to photograph a colorful kabob on a grill, but those cherry tomatoes take a whole lot less time to cook than that steak. If they’re sharing a skewer, your tomato is going to burst and never make it into your mouth. Foods just have different cook times. There’s no getting around that. If you want each item to taste its best, you’re going to have to skewer them separately and save the mixing for the dinner plate.

3. Don’t forget the marinade

It can be tempting to save time and move ingredients directly from fridge to fire, but a little marinade can up your grilling game big time. Marinate fish for a few hours, chicken for slightly longer, and beef overnight. Eggplant and veggies too! A light marinate will enhance their flavor and mouthfeel.

4. Cut your pieces evenly…

Cutting even pieces of meat and veggies isn’t just to show off for company. Veggies and meats cut in similar shape and size will cook more evenly.

5. … and larger than your grates

Cut your meat and veggie pieces larger than the space between the grills. Trust me. It will save you from a ton of slip-ups.

6. Brush your kAbOb pieces first

Brush the meat and veggies on your kabob with olive oil before placing them on the grill. This way, you run less risk of them getting stuck to the grates.

7. Get creative

If you’re a meat eater, don’t just stop at steak and chicken. Grouper works really well. Try sardines or king crab. If you’re vegetarian, cremini mushrooms and eggplant are a must-make. If you can dream it, you can grill it.

8. Grill consistently

Grilling over medium heat is way better than grilling everything on high. You’ll get tough or scorched pieces if you crank up the heat.

Kabob Grill Times

Depending on thickness:

  • Meats: 12-15 minutes
  • Fish: about 10 minutes
  • Veggies: about 8 to 10 minutes

Also see:  Make sure no one gets sick this grilling season.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.