Chicken kebabs are so convenient and fun to eat. Who doesn’t love dinner on a stick? They only take minutes on the grill, but they’re not always as quick to prepare. You have to cut the chicken into identically sized cubes so everything cooks evenly and looks mostly symmetrical. Plus, you have to skewer each piece of chicken one by one.
Here’s an ingenious hack that makes the whole process faster. Food blogger and food stylist Ashley McCrary of Healthy Little Peach offered this tip for quick and easy kebabs on her TikTok.
- Place chicken breasts side-by-side horizontally on a cutting board. McCrary uses four chicken breasts that are about the same size.
- Poke skewers through each breast, connecting them together. McCrary uses four skewers about three-fourths inches apart.
- Using a sharp knife, slice evenly lengthwise between the skewers to create kabobs.
McCrary likes to marinate her kebabs for at least six hours using Italian dressing. Then she places them on the fiery hot grill.
“I am in a busy season of life and always love little hacks that save me time in the kitchen,” says McCrary. She used to make kebabs by cutting each chicken breast into like-sized cubes and then fed them onto the skewers, piece by piece. Never again!
“These are so juicy, so yummy. They’re great for meal prep. They’re great for an afternoon barbecue with friends,” she says on her video. “So simple and delicious!”
The Ideal Thickness for the Chicken Breasts
The one trick to making the kebabs is to be sure the chicken breasts are of the same thickness from end to end and also the same thickness when compared to each other, says McCrary. Of course, they won’t be the same width because of how chicken breasts are shaped.
The first time she made a video demonstrating the kebab trick, one side of the chicken was much thinner than the other. The chicken didn’t cook evenly—the thinner pieces were ready before the thicker ones cooked through. “So pounding out the chicken breast to make it even is super important,” she says. “Make sure it is not super thin, but pound it enough to even it out.”
The ideal thickness is 1 to 1 1/2 inches. “You do want the chicken to be on the thicker side but not too thick,” says McCrary. Any thinner and the chicken will fall apart on the grill. Thicker pieces take longer to cook and that can mean less juicy, dried-out chicken.
2 Tips For Grilling Kebabs
- Soak your skewers: If you are using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least an hour before using them so they don’t catch on fire on the grill.
- How to pack your skewers: The chicken pieces shouldn’t be packed together too tightly or too loosely. If they are crowded, they will take longer to cook. If they are too far apart, they could overcook and dry out. They should just lightly touch.