Alton Brown’s Brilliant Kebab Tip Makes Grilling Easier

published Aug 13, 2019
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Credit: From left to right: Jude Domski/Getty Images; Maria Siriano

Grilling is one of summer’s greatest activities. And kebabs in particular make the perfect crowd-pleasing app or entrée, as you can cook a bunch at once, they offer a ton of variety (think: steak, chicken, tofu, veggie, or even fruit), and they’re easy to eat — no sitting with a plate and silverware required. 

The only problem? If you’re a fan of bamboo skewers to make kebabs, they have the potential to burn on the grill if they haven’t been properly soaked in water.

You see, wooden skewers need about 10 to 30 minutes in a warm water bath before they can handle heat exposure, and while those minutes doesn’t seem like a brutally long time to wait to get grilling, the time wasted can actually make a difference when you are in a rush and need a quick meal. That’s why it’s smart to be prepared and prep beforehand.

This is where our friend Alton Brown comes in. He has an amazing tip that’ll help you always have wet, ready-to-use bamboo skewers available when the grilling mood strikes. All you need is some warm water, your bamboo skewers, and a recycled water bottle.

“Keep skewers in a recycled water bottle full to the top with water. That way the skewers will always be ready for grilling. Just give the bottle a little squeeze and they’ll pop right up,” Brown says on his blog and Instagram.

Brilliant! Brown doesn’t specifically say how long you can keep the skewers in the recycled bottle, so we asked Associate Food Editor Meghan Splawn, and she said that with the lid tightly sealed, you could store them for a week in the fridge. Go ahead and get grilling!