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There’s nothing like kebabs straight from the grill, but messing around with mediocre, splintering skewers kind of takes the fun out of it. While a 500-pack of flimsy wooden skewers may be one of the least expensive options, it’s not the ideal choice. The best skewers for grilling stand up to hearty meat and veggies and make cooking, assembling, and flipping easy. There are stainless steel and wooden options, single-stemmed or double-pronged, and extra-long stems that allow you to pile up the food.
Best Overall: Grill Forge Stainless Steel Skewers
With double prongs, a rectangular spear design, and high-grade 403 stainless steel construction that stands up to wear and tear (and is dishwasher-safe), the Grill Forge BBQ Skewers have it all. You can pierce larger food items with both prongs to ensure they stay firmly in place, or use the prongs individually to double up on small veggies and fruits like cherry tomatoes or fresh pineapple. They also have a 13-inch space-saving design that’s easy to maneuver and rotate on any grill.
But where these skewers really shine is the push slider that sits adjacent to the grip. When you’re done cooking, all you have to do is push the slider down the length of the skewers, and the food easily releases onto your plate—no messy hands here.
Best Metal: Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel Skewers
If kebabs are a regular rotation in your grilling repertoire, you need these stainless steel skewers from Williams Sonoma. Made of forged stainless steel, these skewers are ideal for loading up on meat and veggies. The extra-thick, extra-long prong has a square design that prevents food from rotating as you cook, while the rounded tapered handle is smooth for comfort and support. They also have a sliding disk that you can use to push cooked food off the skewers and right onto your plate.
The stainless steel skewers come in a set of four and coordinate with Williams Sonoma’s other grilling tools, making it possible to have a matching grill set.
Best Wooden: Cuisinart 100-Count Bamboo Skewer Set
Wooden skewers are convenient because you can just throw them out when you’re done, but most of the options out there crack and splinter easily, making the kebab building process a real mess. That’s where the Cuisinart Bamboo Skewer Set comes in. These 12.63-inch skewers, which come in a pack of 100, are made of 100 percent bamboo, so they’re durable and stand up to the toughest meats.
But, arguably, the best part? They come in a storage box that doubles as a soaking case, so you can pre-soak them right where they lie. All you have to do is fill the case up with water, let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes, and then turn it over to drain, and you’re ready to go.
Best for Chicken: OXO Good Grips® Stainless Steel Grilling Skewers
OXO is a leader in cooking accessories for a reason. It’s known for making high-quality tools at budget-friendly prices, and the OXO Good Grips 6-Piece Grilling Skewer Set is no exception. The 13.5-inch stem has a flattened design that prevents food from rolling as you cook, while the finger-indented handle is optimized for loading and flipping. It also ensures a sturdy grip and full control as you evenly rotate heavier meats, like chicken, with a set of tongs.
This design also allows the skewers to nest when in storage, so you can save space in your drawers when you’re not using them. These skewers come in a set of six.
Best for Beef: Goutime Kebab Skewers
The Goutime Kebab Skewers were designed with meat in mind. Unlike traditional skewers that have a rounded design, these hearty skewers are completely flat and extra-wide (almost 1-inch in diameter), so they stand up to thick cuts of steak with ease. The prongs are made of high-carbon 430 steel that warms up quickly and evenly distributes heat throughout the meat so you get that perfectly cooked steak every time. They’re also ideal for Persian-style kabab koobideh, as you can wrap the minced meat around the thick prong.
As an added bonus, this set of seven skewers comes in a leather storage bag, so you can keep them stored together, neatly and safely.
Best for Veggies: Charcoal Companion Stainless Veggie Raft Skewers
Rectangular cut veggies can fit nicely on any skewers, but when it comes to odd-shaped grilling jobs, like asparagus or full bell peppers, you want the Charcoal Companion Stainless Veggie Raft Skewers in your grilling arsenal. These skewers have dual stainless steel prongs arranged in a U-shaped design that makes it easy to load lengthy veggies like zucchini spears or asparagus without chopping them up. You can also use each prong individually to grill your standard kebab add-ons, like tomatoes, onions, or mushrooms.
The brushed stainless steel looped handle lets you easily flip and rotate, while the minimalist design allows them to lie flat on the grill for even cooking. These skewers come in a set of four.
Best for Shrimp: Crate & Barrel Set of 12 Non-Stick Barbecue Skewers
Shrimp have a smaller surface area and tough casing that can be hard to pierce with thicker skewers. However, with their diagonal cut ends, thin diameter, and sturdy metal construction, the Crate & Barrel Non-Stick Barbecue Skewers easily get the job done. These skewers have a looped end that gives you full control while rotating your food on the grill. They’re 16 inches long so you can load up on the shrimp (and other meats and veggies, too) without overcrowding. Plus, the nonstick finish ensures the food slides off quickly and makes them easy to clean—wins all around. They come in a set of 12.
Best for Marshmallows: Aoocan Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
The Aoocan Marshmallow Roasting Sticks have a 45-inch telescoping handle that makes them the top choice for roasting marshmallows over a charcoal grill. The double-pronged design ensures that your marshmallow won’t fall off as it starts to heat and puff up, while the sturdy stainless steel construction of the skewer prevents bending and sagging. They have a heat-resistant rubber handle that makes them easy to grip and stainless steel prongs that make them easy to clean and use over and over again.
These skewers are ideal for marshmallow-lovers of any age, but, thanks to their blunted tips and color-coded rubber handles, they’re ideal for keeping children safe and preventing arguments about whose marshmallow is whose.
The Grill Forge BBQ Skewers (view at Amazon) are durable, dishwasher-safe, and feature an easy-release design—essentially checking all the boxes. If you're looking for wooden skewers, the Cuisinart Bamboo Skewer Set (view at Amazon) is our top choice because it also comes with a storage case where you can pre-soak the skewers before grilling.
What to Look for in Skewers for Grilling
What you like to cook will somewhat determine how you shop for these grilling essentials. If you like to grill mostly vegetables or make kebabs infrequently, you might find that a set of bamboo skewers is sufficient for your use. However, if you grill a lot of meats, you might find that a set of metal skewers would better suit your needs and be better able to handle the weight of the food. Finally, if you're going to serve foods as an appetizer, you'll want ones that are shorter, so they fit more easily on a plate.
Do you need the skewers to be dishwasher safe? Are you OK with them being disposable, or doing a little handwashing if need be? Keep in mind, too, that metal skewers do much better over very high heat, and flat metal skewers can handle heavier pieces of meat more easily.
You want a skewer that will support the weight of the food without rolling around on the grill and that won't lose any food once you turn it. Does it feel balanced once you put meat and other ingredients on it? Is it long enough and sturdy enough to maintain a balance without ingredients falling off onto the grill?
Are skewers for grilling worth it?
If you do a lot of grilling, it's definitely worth the small investment to get a set of skewers that are designed for the grill. It makes the process a lot easier to manage and helps to ensure even cooking, and easy retrieval of your food from the grill.
What happens if you don't soak wooden skewers?
Wooden skewers need to be soaked for 20 to 30 minutes before using them so that when you put them on the grill, loaded with food, they don't catch on fire. If they're waterlogged, they won't become a fire hazard.
Should you oil skewers before using them?
It's a great idea to use a little bit of cooking oil (not extra-virgin olive oil) or a nonstick cooking spray on your skewers before loading them up. This way, ingredients won't stick to them when it's time to remove them.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist who has published 11 books covering various health and nutrition topics, like the keto diet, gut health, and intermittent fasting. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options across all food categories.