Whether you call them kebabs, kabobs, or just plain skewers, these grillable meals-on-a-stick are perfect for camp cooking. Just get the campfire going, prepare your skewers, and then toss them on the fire. Minimal prep work, no dishes to clean up and loads fire-roasted of flavor!
Below we’ve compiled a list of amazing kebabs recipes for you to try out the next time you go camping or what to fire up the backyard grill. But first, a few reasons why kebabs are the best and some gear to get you equipped.
Why Kebabs are Great for Camping
Easy to Make Ahead – Precut vegetables and marinate meat at home, so when you arrive at the campsite all you need to do is assemble and cook.
Minimal Cookware Needed – Kebabs just go straight on the fire, so you don’t need deal with scrubbing out pots and pans after you’re done cooking your meal.
Customizable – If you’re camping with picky eaters or people with dietary restrictions, kebabs offer a unique ability to be customized on a person-by-person basis.
Kebab Pro Tips
‣ While a bright assortment of ingredients on a single stick looks great in photographs, it’s actually better to group like ingredients together onto their own skewers. The reason? Not all ingredients cook at the same rate. So if you want everything to be cooked evenly, you’ll need to have them on separate sticks.
If this seems obvious to you, congratulations. It wasn’t to us! It’s actually something we just recently picked up on. So a lot of our older recipes show interspersed ingredients. So do what we say, not what we (did)!
‣ If you’re planning on making A LOT of kebabs all at once, wood might be the most economical option. If that’s the case, be sure to soak the skewers an hour ahead of time to make sure the wood doesn’t catch fire. Otherwise, we’d suggest getting reusable metal skewers. And if you do, definitely spring for flat skewers! Flat skewers prevent your food from rolling around, so you can actually control what side gets heat.
‣ Marinate and prep at home and assemble skewers on site. We’ve tried marinating ingredients on the skewers – both in a pyrex tray and in zip lock bags – and it just doesn’t work. The former requires an excessive amount of marinade to properly coat everything and takes up lots of valuable cooler real estate, while the latter results in holes being poked in the bag.
Flat Skewers – As mentioned above, these are a must if you want any sort of control over your kebabs. Your food will just spin in place with the round skewers when you try to flip them.
Heat Resistant Gloves – If you’re doing any cooking over a campfire, we recommend a pair of these. Sometimes the easiest way to flip your kebabs is just by grabbing the end by hand.
Metal Tongs – These are also great for picking up and reposition kebabs over an open flame.
Instant Read Thermometer – Having a small, inexpensive instant read thermometer can put your mind at ease that – yes, the chicken is fully cooked.
Camp Chef Folding Grill – If the campfire at your site doesn’t come with a grate, this collapsible grill might just save the day.
Portable Propane Grill – No open flames allowed at all? No worries. If you live in an area that is subject to frequent burn bans (see: The West), propane powered grills like this table top Coleman Grill Stove or the Gonzo Grill are great options.
Delivering bright Mediterranean flavor on a stick, these Greek-style grilled gyro kebabs are a quick and easy meal to enjoy while camping. Combine them with some tangy yogurt sauce and toasted flatbread and you’ve got the makings of a delicious campfire meal. Get the recipe here.
A mainstay of Southeast Asian street food, these satay-inspired Grilled Thai Chicken Skewers can also make great campfire fare. Grill them over an open fire or on your barbecue for a quick and easy camping meal. Get the recipe here.