Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Chili Lime Butter
There are few dishes that scream summer more than grilled chicken kabobs, and no better reason to fire up the grill than to cook these beautifully charred, caramelized cubes of deliciousness.
And after a long day in the sun, what could be easier than threading all your dinner onto a stick! A bit of chopping, no long marinating process but still maximum flavor from a chili lime baste. This is a wonderful summer kabob.
They are also super customizable, whether you have a family full of meat lovers, veggie lovers, or picky eaters. Each skewer can be the same or you can cater to everyone’s different preferences.
Where did kabobs come from?
The type of kabobs we are cooking are shish kabobs, whose roots come from Turkey. Lore has it that Turkish soldiers would grill meat on their swords over open fires.
What kind of skewers to use?
You can use either metal or wood skewers, whichever you prefer. Metal skewers will last a long time, so if you are serious about making kabobs, they can be a worthwhile investment.
However, we all know how well metal conducts heat, so be careful with how hot they get. Plus they’re another thing you need to clean up and depending on the type of food you use, it can be a bit of a pain.
Wooden ones are great because you can just toss them, making cleanup a breeze. While you might be concerned that wood is flammable, just make sure you soak them properly. Get a bowl of water that’s big enough to accommodate all the skewers you are using. Soak them for at least 30 minutes and they won’t burn or break due to the heat.
No one wants their skewers to fail during the cook, ruining their food. If you forget to soak them, you might have some broken skewers to contend with. Trust me and my experience, make sure you soak them.
What vegetables go with chicken kabobs?
The beauty of kabobs is their versatility and the many combinations you can use.
Use traditional vegetables like onions and bell peppers or change it up a bit by adding tomatoes, mushrooms, and courgettes. Whatever you have in your refrigerator at the end of the day will probably work, any vegetable tastes great with a bit of char.
You can opt for more chicken for all those meat lovers or extra veges for a more rounded meal.
And just to throw a curve ball in there, add some fruit! Pineapple is always a great grilling option.
How to make grilled chicken kabobs
1. Size does matter
Cut up your chicken, vegetables, and pineapple to around 1½” cubes.
If your meat is substantially bigger than your veggies or fruit, you’re going to have problems. You’ll either have perfectly cooked veggies and undercooked meat (really bad for chicken!), or you’ll have perfectly cooked chicken, but veggies that resemble charcoal.
If the meat takes a few minutes longer, don’t worry, the vegetables will hold up to a few extra moments on the grill.
Carefully thread everything onto skewers, alternating between meat, veggies, and pineapple. If you keep the skewers uniform, you’ll ensure that they all have the same amount of meat/veg ratio.
Drizzle the assembled skewers with olive oil and season them with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
3. Make the baste
To make the baste just mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
4. Fire up the grill
Preheat your grill to medium heat. I used my Char-Broil two-burner gas grill, but any gas or charcoal grill will deliver great kabobs.
Once you’ve put your skewers on the grill make sure you turn them every few minutes to ensure even cooking.
Each time you turn the chicken, brush some of that chili lime butter on the kabobs.
You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken if you would like. Just make sure you cook until the internal temperature clears 160°F without overcooking.
Some of the vegetables may char a bit but that’s okay, it adds to the flavor.
Try some of our other great summertime grills
- Grilled Steak Kabobs
- Mexican Grilled Corn
- 6 Hot Dogs To Make at Your Next Cookout
- Grilled Lamb Chops With Mint Chimichurri
- 2 medium-sized boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
- 2 cups red onion cubed
- 2 cups green bell pepper cubed
- 1 cup pineapple cubed
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper ground
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
Chili Lime Butter
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- If using wooden skewers, place them in a bowl of water and completely submerge them for at least 30 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients for the chili lime butter together in a small bowl.
- Skewer the meat and vegetables, ensuring that each skewer has a balanced amount each. Make sure to alternate as well so you don’t end up with too much chicken in one spot or the same with vegetables.
- Coat each skewer with olive oil (or your preferred oil, such as avocado,) and season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder evenly.
- Place skewers onto the preheated grill grates at medium heat. Turn each skewer every three-to-five minutes, ensuring they don't burn, basting with the chili lime as you turn.
- Cook until chicken is cooked, between 20-30 minutes.