How to make shashlik like a pro

A spring break, summer vacations and weekend – what can be a better occasion for going outside? And what can be a better food to eat outside than shashlik! Its flavors make everyone’s mouth water and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a mutton, pork, chicken fish or even vegetables shashlik (if you are fasting or a vegan). Follow our rules for making shashlik to enjoy it yourself and impress your friends.

Step 1. Choose and prepare meat

Any meat is fine for shashlik as well as fish and vegetables. Here we are going to talk about traditional meat shashlik. Ideally, the meat should be fresh but if you are going to roast defrosted meat, follow these steps first:

1. Defrost meat in the fridge (not using a microwave oven).

2. Cut it into chunks or cubes to marinate at room temperature or even better leave the meat for some time at room temperature and only then cut it.

3. Try not to make shashlik when you are in a hurry, always plan ahead. Buying ready-made shashlik in a supermarket is not a good idea. It’s not a secret anymore that packaged meat is often old or even spoiled but a lot of spices and vinegar hide its awful flavors.

Step 2. There’s an art to marinade

Water and vinegar, wine, mayonnaise, beer, sour cream or kefir, juices (lemon, pomegranate, grape) and even oil are all options for making a marinade for shashlik. Be careful with vinegar as too much of it make your meat tough. And mayonnaise, on the contrary, will make your meat too soft if you leave the meat to marinate for a nigh. Onion is the only ingredient which is never too much.

A tip: make layers of meat and onion, add spices and you will have an amazing shashlik that was marinated in its own juices.

Step 3. Not all types of wood are equal

Choose the wood that is good for roasting meat. Ideally, fruit trees (cherry, apple, plum). Never use conifer as the burning resin may be hazardous for your health. Don’t use building wood, plywood etc. as charcoal cook foods are dangerous.

When you are not sure what trees are growing in the place where you are going to make shashlik, buy charcoal for grill in a supermarket.

There is an art to make a fire, too. To make the heat uniform, start with wood chips, then add some woods and wait until they turn into charcoal.

Consider the height of your outdoors grill, it’s important. We recommend 7-12 cm from meat to charcoals.

Step 4. Skewer properly

The mistake everyone makes is to skewer meat and vegetables onto the skewers together. Remember that meat needs more time to be done than vegetables. Just imagine what your tomatoes and onion will look like after a long time of roasting. So, skewer meat and vegetables separately and skewer larger chunks in the middle and smaller cubes in the ends of skewers. This way, you will have evenly roasted chunks of meat. Do not leave much space between the chunks. Roast vegetables placing the skewers at the edges of your grill or just remove them earlier than meat.

Step 5. Making yummy meat

The last step is to roast meat correctly. The secret is simple – keep your eyes open and turn the meat over in time. However, don’t turn it over too often. One more mistake is to pour more marinade or wine over the meat. Doing this, you lower the meat temperature and prevent thorough cooking. You will need liquid only in one case – when the fire is too big and you want to put it out with water. Remember that we make shashlik over charcoal but not over an open fire!

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