Skewers are thin rods of wood or metal with pointed ends used as a serving suggestion to hold small pieces of food together while grilling. The common, widely-recognized skewer dishes are known as kebabs.
A long shaft or thin rod inserted through pieces of meat and other foods to hold several pieces together while cooking over a grill or roasting over a fire. Skewers are most often used when grilling foods such as kabobs (or kebabs) that thread pieces of meat and vegetables onto a skewer for cooking. In addition to commercially produced skewers made of wood or metal, skewers made from natural materials are also available. Examples of some of the natural skewers include: bay branches for cooking beef and pork; cinnamon sticks for cooking chicken, pork, or fruit; lemongrass stalks for chicken, duck, prok, scallops, shrimp, and tofu; rosemary branches for chicken, lamb and shrimp; and sugarcane stalks for chicken, pork or shrimp.
When grilling meat using wooden skewers, it is necessary to soak the skewers in water before use to prevent burning. Make sure that food placed on skewers for grilling is properly trimmed and bite sized—the smaller the better.
Pre-seasoned wooden skewers are available from online gourmet sites.
For skewer recipes, there is a book entitled Skewer It!: 50 Recipes for Stylish Entertaining by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford.
Alternate Uses for Skewers
In the Good Eats Episode True Brew 2: Mr. Tea, Alton Brown recommends putting a wooden skewer in a mug of water when microwaving water for tea. The skewer allows the water to boil more easily in a microwave.