August 2017 — The Kebab Issue

Lamb Kebabs on the Hybrid Fire Grill

I was recently asked about my favorite things to cook for a casual summer barbecue when I realized it has been quite some time since I’ve made kebabs. They are a great way to venture into a wide variety of flavor profiles at one party. I realize it is not very traditional to combine meats and vegetables onto the same skewer but, I think it is more fun to create these combination kebabs. There are a couple of keys to success. First, size the meats and the vegetables so that you can cook them together over the same heat for the same amount of time and reach the desired doneness. Second, ensure that the vegetables are not so large that they prevent the meats from resting directly onto the grill grates. When choosing between browning your steak and browning your bell peppers, you want to go with the steak!

We’ve created four new kebab recipes for you, and I think each one is absolutely delicious. There is no clear favorite among these because they are all just so good. We are sharing Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs with Garlic Butter, bacon and jalapenos, Bourbon Ginger Beef Kebabs with mushrooms and red onion, Harissa-marinated Lamb Kebabs with squash and sweet potato, and for dessert, Maple-glazed Stone Fruit Kebabs with Bourbon-spiked Whipped Cream.


Russ Faulk

Russ Faulk Girllmaster Signature

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs with Garlic Butter

Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs

The shrimp is marinated in a flavorful blend of cilantro, lime, garlic and tequila, then threaded onto skewers with bacon and jalapeno, and grilled over a hot fire. These kebabs are quick and easy to make, and absolutely perfect for a casual summer barbecue. I recommend using a Kalamazoo Hibachi (Plancha) Surface in your grill for these kebabs. See more info in the recipe instructions.


For the Cilantro Lime Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup blanco (silver) tequila
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Kebabs:

  • 16 large shrimp, about 1 pound, peeled, deveined and partially butterflied (I suggest also removing the tails)
  • 8 slices of bacon, cut in half
  • 4 large jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and cut to 1 inch by 1/2 inch rectangles
  • 8 10-inch-long bamboo skewers, soaked in water

For the Garlic Butter:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grey sea salt


To make the marinade, combine the ingredients in a food processor and process until the cilantro and garlic are very fine. Transfer to a small-to-medium sized non-reactive bowl and add the shrimp. Gently toss the shrimp to coat evenly, then cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Prepare the grill for cooking with two cooking zones: a medium-hot zone with a cast iron griddle, a steel plancha, or Kalamazoo Hibachi surface; and a hot zone with a regular grill grate (or a Kalamazoo meat-pattern laser-cut cooking surface). This method will allow the bacon to cook fully without over-cooking the shrimp. The bacon will wrap to just one side of the skewer, and the shrimp will be exposed to the fire on the other side. The bacon side is cooked first, directly on the griddle. When you flip the kebabs move them to the open grill grate to cook the shrimp over the open fire.

Shrimp skewers grilling on the hibachi surface

To assemble the kebabs, start a pair of skewers into one end of a slice of bacon. Each shrimp will be half-wrapped in bacon, with the bacon all on one side. During assembly, wrap the bacon along the bottom (against the work surface). We almost always use pairs of skewers to keep the ingredients from rotating on the skewer, and that is particularly important for this recipe. Add a curled piece of shrimp on top of the bacon, passing the skewers in through the top of the shrimp and out through the back of the tail as it is curled tightly. Add a piece of jalapeno against the tail, matching the curve, and then pass the skewers through the jalapeno. Finally, pull the end of the bacon tight around the shrimp and jalapeno, and then pass through the skewers. Trim off any excess bacon. Repeat this process to make 4 kebabs with 4 shrimp each. Reserve the marinade.

Combine the garlic butter ingredients in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan on the edge of the grill, or on a cooktop, to melt the butter.

Place the kebabs, with the bacon sides down, onto the hibachi surface, plancha or griddle over medium heat. Use a silicon basting brush to load up each kebab with a generous amount of the reserved marinade. Dispose of the remaining marinade. Cook the kebabs until the bacon is fully-browned on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Move the kebabs to the open grill grate over high heat flipping them over so that the shrimp sides face down. Continue cooking until the deepest part of the slit in the back of the shrimp turns opaque, about 5 minutes more.

Serve the finished kebabs with the garlic butter on the side.

Shrimp and bacon skewers grilling on the Hybrid Fire Grill

Bourbon Ginger Beef Kebabs

Grilled Bourbon Ginger Beef Kebabs

A ginger-loaded, sweet and savory marinade caramelizes beautifully around the tender beef on these flavorful kebabs. Mildly-spicy poblanos, sweet red onions and earthy baby bella mushrooms are welcome additions, making these kebabs a festive entrée.


For the Bourbon Ginger Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 5 tablespoons finely-grated fresh ginger (using a micro plane or a ginger grater)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Kebabs:

  • 2 pounds beef tri-tip
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1 1/2 large red onions
  • 12 large baby bella mushrooms
  • 8 10-inch-long bamboo skewers, soaked in water


To make the marinade, combine the sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce in a saucepan. Heat on a cooktop over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the bourbon, ginger and salt. Allow to cool and reserve.

Cut the tri-tip into 16 equal pieces, ideally in the form of 1 1/2-inch cubes. Place the beef in a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag and add the marinade. Remove the air, seal, and refrigerate for 4 hours.

As grilling time approaches, fire up the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.

Prepare the vegetables. The goal is for the cut vegetables to be no larger than the pieces of beef, so that the beef on the kebabs is in solid contact with the grill grates when cooking.

First, cut off the two ends of each onion. Quarter the onions through the ends. Discard the outer layer(s). Separate the remainder into pairs of layers with the layer pairs still tight together. (You will not be able to use the very center layers of the onions.) Cut these pairs of layers into squares just a little larger than 1 inch until you have 12 squares of layered pairs for your kebabs.

Stem and seed the poblanos, removing the inner ribs as well. Cut the poblanos into 12 squares the same size as your onion pieces.

Clean the mushrooms and discard the stems.

To assemble the kebabs, start by threading a cube of beef onto a pair of skewers. We use pairs of skewers to keep the individual pieces from rotating independently. Add a piece of poblano and a paired square of red onion, aligning these with the cube of beef. Taking the time to align all the pieces allows you to more easily grill the kebabs on four sides for even browning. Slide on a mushroom, passing it through the skewer from the top and out the bottom. Continue by adding another piece of beef, then vegetables until you have a kebab with four pieces of beef and three groupings of vegetables. Assemble the remaining three kebabs.

Discard the marinade.

Grill the assembled kebabs over direct heat, turning to brown all four sides, about 10 minutes total cooking time. Target finished temperature for the beef is Medium at 140°F. Remove from the grill at 135°F.

Ginger Bourbon Beef Kebabs gilling on the Hybrid Fire Grill

Harissa-marinated Lamb Kebabs

Harissa-marinated Grilled Lamb Kebabs

These intensely-flavorful lamb kebabs are easy to make, but will impress at any gathering. The harissa marinade is adapted from a recipe by Steven Raichlen for North African Hot Sauce, which is rich with paprika, coriander and cumin. For even more flavor, we marinate the vegetables separately in garlic and herbs, and serve the kebabs with a refreshing yogurt sauce.


For the Harissa Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons hot paprika
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

For the Vegetable Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

For the Kebabs:

  • 1 boneless lamb shoulder, between 3 and 4 pounds
  • 4 very small zucchini (just over 1 inch in diameter)
  • 4 very small yellow squash (just over 1 inch in diameter)
  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 3 or 4 large red bell peppers
  • 16 12-inch-long bamboo skewers, soaked in water

For the Yogurt Sauce:

  • 10 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


To make the harissa marinade, combine the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Reserve. Do the same with the vegetable marinade.

Cut the lamb shoulder into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Combine with the harissa marinade in a non-reactive bowl, cover tightly and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into cubes 1 1/4-inches in size. You will want 8 cubes total. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato cubes and par-boil for 10 minutes. Drain immediately and cool under cold running water.

Cut the zucchini and yellow squash into 1-inch slices (full rounds). You’ll want 8 pieces from each. Note, we want the vegetables to be sized smaller than the pieces of lamb so that the lamb can rest firmly on the grill grates for even browning. If you cannot find small enough squash to do fully-round slices at the needed size, then cut the rounds into halves or quarters as needed.

Cut the bell peppers into 24 square pieces 1 1/4-inches in size, removing the ribs and seeds.

Combine the vegetables with the vegetable marinade in a non-reactive bowl. Cover tightly and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.

To make the yogurt dipping sauce, stir the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate until serving.

As grilling time approaches, fire up the grill for direct grilling over high heat.

To assemble the kebabs, start by threading a piece of lamb onto a pair of skewers. We use pairs of skewers to prevent the individual pieces of the kebab from rotating independently. Add the other ingredients, such that a finished kebab is arranged in the following order: lamb, red pepper, yellow squash, lamb, red pepper, sweet potato, lamb, red pepper, zucchini, lamb. Starting and ending each kebab with lamb helps ensure the vegetables do not fall off the ends while cooking.

Grill the assembled kebabs over direct heat, turning to brown all four sides, about 10 minutes total cooking time. The target finished lamb temperature is Medium Rare at 130°F. Remove from the grill at 125°F.

Serve with cold yogurt sauce on the side.

Grilled Fruit Kebabs with Maple Glaze and Bourbon-spiked Whipped Cream

Grilled fruit kebabs with grilled pound cake

Our Master of Culinary Experiences Polly Ho inspired this recipe. An assortment of seasonal stone fruits are grilled over a hot fire, rendering them softer and sweeter as the maple and vanilla glaze caramelizes, turning these beautiful kebabs into a light and sophisticated treat. Polly is an extremely talented baker and loves to use our grills for this purpose. To complement the fruit kebabs she made a delicious buttery pound cake using the Hybrid Fire Grill. The pound cake was then sliced and lightly toasted on the grill. To top things off, the dish is served with a Bourbon-spiked Whipped Cream.


For the Kebabs:

  • 2 apricots, halved and pitted
  • 2 white nectarines, quartered and pitted
  • 2 yellow peaches, quartered and pitted
  • 8 10-inch-long bamboo skewers, soaked in water

For the Vanilla Maple Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup amber maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine gray sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Serving:

  • 1 loaf homemade pound cake
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 freeze-dried raspberries, crumbled into small pieces


Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.

Slide the fruit onto pairs of skewers for grilling. Using pairs of skewers keeps the fruit from rotating on the skewers and makes it easier to grill everything evenly. Use care to align all of the fruit as evenly as possible so that each piece makes good contact with the grill grate.

Combine the Vanilla Maple Glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk and reserve.

Prepare the whipped cream by first whipping the heavy cream into soft peaks. Then, add the sugar, bourbon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix well to combine. Reserve.

Slice the pound cake into 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices. Grill until lightly browned. Reserve.

Grill the fruit kebabs over the medium-hot fire. Turn after 3 minutes and brush with the maple glaze. Continue cooking for 9 to 12 minutes more, turning and glazing every 3 minutes until the fruit is soft and browned at the edges.

Serve each kebab while still warm, with a slice of grilled pound cake, a hearty dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of freeze-dried raspberry crumbles. Enjoy!

Innovation is at the heart of every Kalamazoo product. Each part of the collection – from grills and pizza ovens to refrigeration and cabinetry – represents a significant departure from the established norm. Our passion for outdoor cooking and our fiercely independent design philosophy drive us to establish new industry benchmarks. Consequently, our list of exclusives and innovations speaks for itself.

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