Best beef kebab marinade recipe

Caitlin Bensel

At the height of grilling season, beef skewers are one of the most fun dishes on the menu. Grilled steak dinners with veggies are great on their own, but put them on a stick and it’s party time! The secret to a perfect beef kebab is a great homemade marinade, and we have one for you. Made with fridge and pantry staples, it’s easy to whip up in minutes, yet tastes like it took all day. New to marinating? Here’s a quick 101 on how to marinate and grill kebabs like a pro.

How do you make a marinade?

The secret to a good marinade is to make sure it contains salt, acid, fat and flavor. This simple marinade relies on balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire for flavor, salt and acid; olive oil, which helps the meat absorb flavors and prevents it from sticking to the grill; plus a little honey and mustard to help the marinade combine. Feel free to substitute ingredients based on what you have on hand. Swap the balsamic for apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar; replace salted Worcestershire with soy sauce; swap the honey for brown sugar.

How long can you marinate beef skewers?

For most cuts of beef, marinate for at least an hour and up to overnight for optimal flavor and texture. Skewers are perfect for marinating, because the smaller pieces of meat allow the marinade to soak almost completely from the surface to the inside of the meat.

Which cuts of beef are best for kebabs?

Since there is a marinade involved, you can use a slightly less expensive cut of beef, such as sirloin, which can withstand sitting in the marinade for up to six hours. If you only have an hour to marinate, opt for a more expensive and tender cut, like the New York Strip. If you’re short on time (and money isn’t an issue!), splurge on the beef tenderloin, which only requires a quick 30-minute soak in the marinade.

Can you assemble beef skewers ahead of time?

Absolutely! Once the beef has marinated for the desired time, thread it onto the skewers with the vegetables, then transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Let them come to room temperature before grilling them.

Can I make beef skewers on a grill pan?

Sure thing! Just be sure to open a window and turn on the fan, as grill pans can get a little smoky. Follow Ree Drummond’s advice for cooking steak on a grill pan and give the beef skewers the same treatment, but skip the rotation and just let the skewers cook for about 4 minutes per side.

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6 – 8


Preparation time:





Total time:





For the pickle:

1/3 tsp.

Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp.

ground black pepper

1/4 tsp.

red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tbsp.

Dijon mustard, divided

For the skewers:

1 1/2 lbs.

sirloin or New York strip, cut into 1-inch cubes

8 oz.

small portobello mushrooms, large stems removed


red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces


green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces


yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces


red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

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  1. For the marinade: Whisk together the vinegar, Worcestershire, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon honey and mustard in a medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup marinade to a small bowl; stir in remaining tablespoon of honey and mustard to make glaze. Reserve the icing.
  2. For the skewers: Put the marinade and the meat in a resealable plastic bag. Close the bag and massage it gently to coat all the meat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours. Take the meat out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling it.
  3. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400 to 450°). Thread meat, mushrooms, onion and peppers onto skewers, alternating as desired.
  4. Grill skewers uncovered until grill marks form, about 4 minutes. Flip the skewers and brush the grilled side with half of the glaze. Continue grilling until grill marks form on the underside, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Flip skewers and brush with remaining glaze; grill until desired degree of doneness (about 135° for medium doneness), about 1 minute longer.
  5. Let the skewers rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

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