How to Cook with Bamboo Skewers

Bamboo skewers are first used in Japan to cook chicken, beef over an open flame.  They became popular in the US following World War II.

So what is a bamboo skewer?

Bamboo skewers are thin, pointed sticks used to grill kabobs of meat, vegetables and seafood, or a variety of ethnic foods such as satay. Depending on your preferences, you can use round or flat skewers as short as 6 inches or as long as 12 inches.    Some bamboo skewers have a twisted or knotted end that makes handling easier.  Bamboo disposables are inexpensive.

For first cooking experience,  find the flat wider skewers.  Using it will reduce the spinning of the meat or vegetables while on the skewers and they will catch on fire less easily as well.


1.  Immerse bamboo skewers in a bowl or a tray with water.  Soak for 30 mins.  Soaking bamboo skewers will keep the skewers from burning on the grill.

2.  Prepare foods for your skewers.  For meat,  cut it into uniform, bite-sized chunk.  For vegetables, wash first before cutting into bite-size chunks.

3.   Thread the food on the soaked bamboo skewers alternating chunks of meat and vegetables. Don’t place quick-cooking vegetables on the same skewer with large pieces of meat. Place similar foods on each skewer, or precook meat before grilling so the meat and vegetables will finish cooking at the same time. Leave a small space between each chunk of food to allow for even cooking.

4.  Preheat your barbecue or grill to medium or medium-low heat. Place the filled barbecue skewers on the grill.

5.  Sprinkle water, oil or lemon juice over the skewers to keep the meat and vegetables moist. Turn the bamboo skewers often so the food cooks evenly.

6.  Remove the bamboo skewers from the grill with tongs, then place the skewered food on a plate or platter. Buy bamboo plates, for an added presentation to the food.