Often known as shish kebabs, kebabs are a versatile summertime favorite, perfect for days when it's too hot to turn on the stove. Affordable tri-tip steak, tender and dripping with flavor, makes kebabs that keep your guests coming back for more. Serve kebabs with a tossed green salad and fresh fruit for a simple but complete meal.
Tri-tip steak is cut from the tri-tip roast, a triangular-shaped roast at the tip of the bottom sirloin. This relatively inexpensive cut of meat is known by a number of names, including bottom sirloin, sirloin butt and sirloin tip. Lean but tender and flavorful, tri-tip steaks work well for grilled kebabs and other dry cooking methods because the meat is thick and well marbled.
Cut tri-tip steak into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks. Because tri-tip is tender, marinating isn't absolutely required, but a marinade brings out the flavor of the meat. Tough cuts should be marinated for longer, often as long as overnight. Tri-tip is best marinated for no more than two hours and a longer time may result in mushy, tough meat. If you prefer not to marinate the meat, flavor the tri-tip chunks with seasonings, such as salt and freshly ground black pepper, paprika or steak seasoning.
A simple, slightly tangy marinade accentuates kebabs without masking the flavor of the meat. For example, start with soy sauce and then whisk in small amounts of olive or canola oil, brown sugar, black pepper, minced garlic and onion and fresh lemon or lime juice. Discard the marinade after marinating the meat. If you want to use marinade as a dip or basting sauce, set aside enough marinade in a separate bowl so it doesn't come in contact with the meat.
Grill tri-tip steak kebabs over medium heat, about 4 inches above the heat source. If dripping meat juices cause a flare-up, move the kebabs to the side until the flame settles down, then return the meat to the center of the grill. The kebabs are done when the meat is evenly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the kebabs registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It usually takes about four to six minutes to cook kebabs. If you want to skewer vegetables, cook the vegetables separately, on their own skewers, to protect them from the meat juices.
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- The New York Times: Tri-Tip: A Steak Worth the Hunt
- Cattlemen's Beef Board: Tri-Tip Fact Sheet
- PBS Parents: Summer Grilled Beef Kabobs
- The University of Wisconsin Extension: Temperature Rules for Cooking Foods at Home (Safe Internal Temps):
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