Campfire skewers are a favorite of mine when I’m camping with a group of people with different food and flavor preferences. Instead of everyone eating the same meal, campfire skewers can easily be adjusted to suit individuals! If you’re crawling the internet looking for some inspiration on camping skewer recipes, it’s also worth noting that some people call these delicious impaled delights grilled kebabs, kebobs or kababs.
What are the best kind of campfire skewers to use?
You can get metal or wooden skewers and each have their pros and cons. Many portable barbeque toolkits come with some skewers included, so if you have these, you may as well use them. Don’t have any metal ones? A bag of wooden (usually bamboo) skewers will do the trick and are cheap and lightweight for your camping trip.
Pros and Cons of Metal Skewers:
- Durable – won’t spinter or burn during the cooking process
- Reusable – you won’t need to remember to buy more when you run out
- Sturdy enough to easily spear your uncooked food on to without snapping.
- Their reusable nature means they will require washing up
- Some metal bbq skewers are longer or even have a heat-proof handle, making them easy to turn and move on and off of the hot plate without burning your fingers. Others are quite short and conduct heat right to the ends so be mindful of this! Use a nice long pair of bbq tongs or some heat proof gloves!
- Long metal skewers also make excellent marshmallow sticks for the second course when you get the s’mores on! (Check out my favorite s’mores recipes here).
Pros and Cons of Wooden Skewers:
- Cheap and easily available at your local supermarket
- No washing up – simply toss them in the fire after you’re done!
- The ends will burn if not treated beforehand (scroll down for my tips on this)
- Usually shorter than metal ones, so you will need tongs to avoid burning your fingers
- Some wooder skewers are pretty flimsy and will snap when you are feeding larger pieces of meat or vegetables on to them.
What to do if you dont have skewers?
I have used rosemary stalks before – I stripped most of the leaves off and chopped them up to use in my marinade with some lemon and garlic. They were just as durable as bamboo skewers.
Another easy option is to just place all the chopped ingredients you would normally feed on to your skewer in a little foil pouch with a drizzle of olive oil and cook on the grill that way instead. You’ll still get all the same great flavours, just minus the skewer holding everything together.
How to stop wooden skewers from burning:
It’s easy to spot an amateur when it comes to cooking skewers on the barbeque or campfire – the ends of the wooden skewers are burnt to a crisp leaving you nothing to hold on to! To avoid this, simply soak the skewers for an hour or two before preparing your meal and it will ensure your skewers can handle the cooking process without blackening and snapping off.
What are the best things to cook on a skewer?
When it comes to campfire skewers, the options really are endless. My typical meat go-to is chicken, with slices of onion and capsicum alternating along the skewer. This combination goes well with a huge range of marinades such as:
- lemon and garlic (with any herbs you fancy thrown in)
- honey, soy and garlic
- sweet chilli
You can substitute chicken for any other kind of meat or seafood (shrimp are amazing) or even do vegetarian options such as tofu, mushrooms and zucchini. Hot tip: Pineapple is an excellent addition to a meat or a vegetarian skewer!
Tips for making the best campfire skewers:
A few tips from someone who has made hundreds of campfire skewers…
- Make sure to pierce the thickest portion of your food and to push it back onto the skewer as far as possible. This will help to prevent slippage so that your food does not accidentally fall directly into your campfire!
- Don;t cram thick pieces of meat too closely together. They need slow, even, but thorough cooking – there’s nothing worst than getting part way into your skewer before realising the chicken isn’t cooked all the way through.
- Aim to cook your skewers slowly, rotating until it is cooked to the right color. If you cook your skewers too fast, the inside will be raw while the outside will get too charred.
- Don’t cook campfire skewers right in the flames. Keep your hotplate to the side or a good distance above the flames to give a more indirect heat.
- When ordering ground meat to form around a skewer, such as for lamb kofta, ask your butcher for an extra fine grind for better cling.
- You need to discard marinades or boil for at least five minutes before using as a dipping sauce because they have raw meat juices in them.
I hope this article has cleared a few things up for you when it comes to cooking campfie skewers. Check out some of my favorite skewer combinations here!