Last updated: August 17, 2021

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On average, every German uses the barbecue 13 times a year. Besides vegetables, cheese or fish, pork, beef and poultry are among the most popular choices. For this reason, shish kebabs are an indispensable part of barbecuing for many people.

For easier preparation and a variety of possible combinations, there are now different types of skewers. For our product comparison, we have compared different models and worked out the most important aspects.




The most important facts

  • Origin: Shashlik is a popular traditional snack in Russia and in parts of south-eastern Europe such as Hungary. A variation with paprika, paprika powder and onions also comes from here and is considered a classic by many Germans.
  • Material: Basically, you can find skewers made of wood, stainless steel or bamboo in the shops, but they differ primarily in size and durability.
  • Sustainability: The bamboo version is biodegradable because it is made of purely vegetable material that decomposes quickly in nature. This means you can enjoy your barbecue in a relaxed way and protect the environment at the same time.

The Best Shish Kebabs: Our Picks

In this section we have compiled our favourites for you to help you make a buying decision. There will be a suitable skewer for every taste and every need. This can then also be ordered very easily.

Buying and evaluation criteria for shish kebabs

To make it easier for you to choose shish kebabs for your next barbecue, we have summarised the most important criteria so that you can find the ideal shish kebab for you. These criteria are as follows:

We will now explain to you what to look for in these criteria, so that you are ultimately well informed and can make a decision more easily.

Size

Shish kebabs come in a wide range of sizes. From skewers between 20 cm and 80 cm in length, there is basically everything. With this criterion, it is important to know whether you want to place a smaller or larger amount of meat or other ingredients on the skewer and where the skewer will ultimately be prepared.

If you want to prepare less meat, e.g. for one person in a pan in the kitchen, a slightly smaller size is sufficient. For use on a grill, the length should be considerably longer, depending on what kind of grill you have.

Handle

There are many different variations in the shape and design of shish kebabs. From simple wooden skewers with a wider piece of wood as a handle to robust, high-quality wooden handles, everything is possible. With this criterion, you should consider how much value you place on the material and the decoration and how much money you want to invest for this.

If you use the skewers often for barbecuing, for example, a high-quality purchase with robust wooden handles is probably worthwhile. However, if you rarely make shish kebab, you should go for the cheaper version.

Usable space

There are also some differences in the area that can be used. The size depends on the length of the skewer, but also on the material and the shape, because the longer the skewer, the larger the usable surface for meat. Basically everything is available, from flat shish kebabs to round or square skewers.
Flat skewers are mainly found on stainless steel versions. This gives the meat a better grip. It also has the advantage that the pieces of meat do not rotate when turning if the skewer is flat.

Number

The number of skewers in a package is directly related to the material, the quality and also the price. For little money, you can get about 100 simple round wooden skewers, for example, while metal skewers only contain between 10 and 20 pieces, depending on the quality and equipment.

So if you don't want to spend a lot of money or are expecting a lot of guests, you should go for the cheaper wooden version. For a few people or real barbecue fans, however, a high-quality metal set can be worthwhile.

Sustainability

Shish kebabs are mainly available in three versions: wood, stainless steel and bamboo. The wooden version is not reusable and is simply thrown away after the meal. Metal skewers can be used several times and are easy to clean. However, skewers made of bamboo are the most sustainable at the moment, as composting is possible here.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about shish kebabs answered in detail

In this section we explain the most frequently asked questions about shish kebabs so that you are sufficiently informed when you want to buy shish kebabs.

Who are shish kebabs suitable for?

Shish kebabs are everyday barbecue utensils that are suitable for all those people who like to prepare their meat in the pan but especially on the barbecue. But even if you don't eat meat that often, a shish kebab can also be equipped with other delicious ingredients. So there is something for everyone.

What types of kebabs are there?

There are many different types of skewers, which differ especially in terms of material and size. Which type is ultimately suitable for you depends on how you use the skewer in your everyday life.

Schaschlikspieße

Shish kebabs can be used not only in the classic version with meat, but also vegetarian or vegan. (Image source: foodandmore/ 123rf)

Wooden skewers or skewers made of bamboo, for example, are more suitable for preparation in a pan and single use. Skewers made of stainless steel, on the other hand, are usually found on the barbecue and, thanks to their material, offer the possibility of multiple use and sustainability.

What ingredients are suitable for shish kebabs?

Shashlik is actually nothing more than a grilled, often marinated meat skewer. The meat used is usually pork neck or back, but other types of meat are also possible.

There are mainly regional differences in the way it is prepared. In the Hungarian version, which is also a classic in Germany, paprika powder, paprika, onions and bacon are used.

But vegetarian versions with courgettes, mushrooms, peppers and onions or other vegetables are also possible and vegan at the same time.

How are shish kebabs cleaned?

Depending on the material, some skewers are easier to clean than others. Shish kebabs made of stainless steel can easily be cleaned by hand and a little washing-up liquid or detergent, or even in the dishwasher, as stainless steel is rustproof.

Wooden skewers, on the other hand, are particularly suitable for dishes in the pan or oven and are simply thrown away after the meal. Here, therefore, cleaning and multiple use is not possible.

Conclusion

Shish kebabs are a practical tool for grilling meat evenly and efficiently. However, personal preferences and the price play a predominant role in the purchase decision.

(Cover photo: Jessie Beck/ Unsplash)

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