When summer rolls around and you start firing up the grill, be sure to make some great memories with your deer meat from successful hunts last season.
Kebabs are super ways to enjoy your venison. They’re also fun to eat, easy to prepare and you can make them ahead of time or just before putting them on the grill. Kids can get into the cooking fun, too, by prepping their own skewers.
Here are some tips to enjoy your kebab grilling parties this year.
Stab Your Stuff: Wood doesn’t heat up and raise the temperature inside the meat, but you do risk having your skewers burn if you don’t do one important thing. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use. Personally, we prefer metal skewers for our kebabs at home. They have a loop on the end, so I can pick them up easily. Because metal conducts heat, though, keep an eye on how long you leave the skewers on the grill.
If you’re camping then wooden skewers would be perfect. Just toss them into the fire when you’re done and it’s one less piece of trash to haul out. Metal skewers might come in handy in case you run into zombies, though.
Chunk Your Venison: If you’ve ever looked at pre-packaged skewers in the grocery store then you may see some with different sized chunks. You’ll have one (usually beef or chicken) that is 2x2x2 and another on the same skewer smaller. The small chunk cooks faster than the big one, which may not cook long enough (for some folks) and then your Aunt Myrtle says, “Ewww, blood. You’re going to get worms!” and won’t eat.
Make sure all the meat is cut the same size. Ditto for the vegetables. Keep everything about the same size and it’ll all cook, for the most part, at the same rate. Some items such as tomatoes, onions or bell peppers with more water content may scorch a little so keep an eye on them.
Fruit? Yes, Fruit!: If you’ve ever had crème brûlée (one of my favorite deserts) then you know how tasty caramelized sugar can be. It’s like the ultimate sweet flavor to combine with a savory flavor. You can get this with grilled fruit, too.
Pineapple works great on a grill and has a high sugar content. You’ll get some super flavor and nice char marks that add even more flavor. Peaches and plums also are good possibilities. If you’re making guacamole for appetizers, seed and slice an avocado and then put them on the grill for a few minutes.
Surf and Turf: Venison is great alone, of course, but don’t forget about fish. A little surf and turf gives your family and friends an extra option; some may want just fish or they may want both. Splurge at the store or your fish monger for something firm that will hold up on the skewers — salmon, tuna, mahi mahi, swordfish. Another option is to grill venison kebabs and also have a side of fish; my family loves redfish on the half shell, which is fantastic and easy to make.
Marinades? Certainly! Some folks prefer only salt and pepper on their venison, others like to whip up a marinade. I love both so I don’t have any preference. However, with my marinades (or anyone’s) I’d rather have something light and tasty. Too many herbs or liquids covers up the delicious flavor of venison.
Citrus has long been a great addition to fish and chicken, but it’s a great flavor enhancer for your kebabs. Lemon, limes or oranges can give your venison kebabs an extra zing. Or mix the juice of half a lemon, lime or orange into your marinade.
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