By Jack Stone

Most everyone who has ever grilled or eaten grilled food is familiar with the skewer: a long wooden or metal pole that holds various vegetables and meat to form a shish kebab. Those who have cooked with skewers, however, know how quickly a skewer can scorch if not previously soaked in water. Follow these instructions to ensure quality grilling every time.


Fill a bucket or pan with liquid. You can use all water; this is the most common and accomplishes the basic purposes of soaking skewers. However, you can also soak skewers in beer, juice, wine or other liquid to impart some of the flavor to the skewers. Fill the bucket or pan halfway with water, then top off the liquid with your choice of liquid.

Soak the skewers. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours before you begin grilling food on skewers, place the skewers down into the pan or bucket. The skewers should completely submerge below the surface so that there is no part of the skewers protruding above the surface. If you are soaking the skewers for a long period of time, such as more than four to six hours, check the skewers to ensure they are not getting pliable under the water.

Remove the skewers and load with food. Once you are ready to grill, drain the liquid from the skewers and line them with various meats, vegetables or other foods. Place them close together, as the spaces left between some food may burn in the intense heat of the grill. Although soaking should prevent the skewers from burning, ensure the kabobs are full before placing on the grill. Once cooking, turn the skewers delicately; wood is more fragile than metal skewers, and the skewers could easily break if you do not exercise caution. Grill until the meat is finished and the vegetables are tender.