These chargrilled beef shish kabobs take 10 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to grill on an open flame. They are incredibly easy, tender, and perfect with some fresh pita bread or chopped salad (like this Persian Shirazi Salad).
Kabobs are popular all over the Middle East! Chicken shish kabobs, like this Lebanese shish tawook, are my fave! Every kabob goes great with some toum garlic sauce.
What You Will Love
These beef kabob skewers grill on an open flame in under 5 minutes, which makes dinner super quick! These are delicious and versatile- get creative with what you want to add to the kabob skewers.
- Steak chunks: Use any type of steak- sirloin, New York strip, ribeye, or tenderloin. For higher quality meats, you can skip the marinade and just salt the kabobs.
- Onion: Red onion, yellow onion, sweet onion, or white onion work great for skewers. Cut the onion into chunks the same diameter as the beef cubes.
- Bell pepper: Use any type of bell pepper. I like changing the colors for the presentation.
- Tomato paste: Use jar, tube, or canned tomato paste. Tomato sauce can not be substituted.
- Fresh lemon juice: I recommend fresh lemon juice always. Substitute with lime juice.
- Dried herbs: Use any kind of dried herbs. I went with store-bought dried Italian herbs which is a blend of dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, and dried parsley.
- Garlic powder: I recommend garlic powder and not garlic granules, so it disperses evenly into the marinade.
- Oil: Use high-temperature oil like vegetable oil or canola oil. We use just a little bit to help the steaks from sticking to the grill.
- Salt and pepper
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
Make the marinade by mixing everything in a large bowl, skewer the meat and chopped vegetables, and grill on a hot open flame.
How To Make Beef Kabobs (Step By Step)
Add the tomato paste, lemon juice, dried herbs, garlic powder, oil, salt, and pepper to a large bowl.
Mix until the marinade is fully combined.
Cut the beef into 1.5" (about 4 cm) chunks. Add the beef to the marinade.
Fully coat the beef in the marinade.
Peel and cut the onion into a similar diameter as the beef. Cut the bell pepper.
Skewer the cubed meat, onion, and bell pepper.
Place the skewers on a baking sheet.
Heat the grill to a high temperature. If using charcoal or wood, prepare the fire. Place kabobs on the hot grill grates. Flip once they begin to char.
Pro tip: These kabobs cook quickly! They can easily burn if you set them and forget them. I recommend standing by and flipping quickly. Depending on the grilling environment (and how well done you want the kabobs), these can cook for 1 to 4 minutes on each side.
Remove the kabobs from the grill onto a clean rimmed baking sheet. Serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks
These steak kebabs taste the best on an open fire. I prefer a wooden fire, with a charcoal fire coming in second. A gas grill also works; just make sure to get it hot.
Watch the steak shish kabobs carefully on the fire. They cook quickly!
Variations and Substitutions
- Use different vegetables for the skewer. It's fun to play with different flavor combinations such as cherry tomatoes, juicy pineapple chunks, mushrooms, and zucchini.
- Try different cuts of meat for these beef shish kebabs. Try sirloin tips, top sirloin steak, beef tenderloin, ribeye, strip steak, fillet mignon,
- Use chicken or lamb. The chicken needs to cook on a less hot flame, but the lamb can be cooked the same as the beef.
You need a grill that gets very hot. It doesn't matter if it's a gas grill, charcoal grill, or wood grill. Just make sure the grill is hot before adding the steak kabobs.
Use any kind of skewer- wood skewers (like bamboo skewers) or stainless steel skewers.
The best beef for shish kabobs is fillet mignon or beef tenderloin because it's tender and flavorful.
If the marinade has oil, you don't need to brush the kabobs with anything. If grilling the meat without a marinade, brush the kabobs with a high-temperature oil like canola oil or vegetable oil.
Serve with potato salad, rice pilaf, pita bread, butter roasted potatoes, baba ganoush, fatoush, or tabouli.
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Chargrilled Beef Shish Kabobs
- 3 lbs steak ribeye, strip, sirloin, or tenderloin
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 onion
- 4 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 whole small lemons, squeezed about 4 to 5 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste to taste
- Squeeze the lemon. In a large bowl, add the tomato paste, lemon juice, garlic powder, dried Italian herbs, oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Cut the beef into 1.5" (about 4 cm) cubes. Add the cubed beef to the marinade bowl. Mix until the beef is coated.
- While the beef is marinating, peel and chop the onion into chunks in similar diameter as the beef. Cut the bell pepper as well.
- Skewer the beef chunks, onion, and bell pepper. Lay the skewers on a baking sheet.
- Heat the grill to the highest temperature. Once the grill is hot, add the skewers. Grill until they start to char, then flip to the other side. Cooking time depends on how hot your grill is and how well done you want your steak. For this video, I grilled about 1 to 2 minutes then flipped for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Use sirloin, ribeye, tenderloin, New York strip, picanhe, or any other cut of meat you like.
- Cut the beef chunks not large than 2". Because we are grilling these quickly, anything thicker will undercook on the inside of the kabob.
- Use other ingredients on the skewers like mushrooms, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. Just pick something that has a quick cook time. I wouldn't recommend potatoes.
Making these tonight!