These Pork Kabobs won't disappoint. You'll love the easy marinade, juicy and tender. This meat skewer recipe will delight your guests this grilling season. Popular for parties, bbqs or family gatherings on a long weekend.
There are many ways to prepare Shish Kabobs, most cultures have their own versions. Russians and Eastern Europeans love eating Lamb Shashlik grilled over hot coals. Greeks have their Chicken Souvlaki, Japanese make Yakitori, and Malaysians Satay. Everyone loves meat skewers!
Ingredients You'll Need
- pork shoulder
- fresh basil
Best Pork Cut for Kabobs
There are two cuts of pork which work great for this recipe. As pictured, we used pork shoulder for flavor.
- Pork Shoulder - tender, juicier and more flavorful because of the fat (more like a chicken thigh). This includes Pork Steak, Boneless Pork Shoulder and Pork Neck Fillet
- Pork Tenderloin - leaner meat, slightly drier and not as juicy (more like a chicken breast). Be careful not to overcook as it will be dry.
How to Make Pork Kabobs
- Prepare the Meat - Chop the pork shoulder into 1½" cubes. Try to keep the meat sizes the same, so they cook evenly
- Slice Onions and Basil - Cut onion in half and thinly slice. Finely chop the basil
- Massage - Place the onions and basil into a Ziploc bag. Massage them inside the bag to release flavors and juices
- Marinate - Mix the pork cubes with the onions until evenly coated. Place in the fridge overnight for flavors to meld together
- Thread - Skewer the pork pieces evenly on a metal skewer. Don't pack them too tightly together
- Grill - it's always best to use a charcoal fire. Light fire and wait for coals to burn white. Place the pork skewers over the coals, flipping over as they cook. Serve with your favorite sides
Metal vs Wooden Skewers
Metal Skewers - when grilling over charcoals, metal skewers are always recommended. They are re-usable, sustainable, easy to clean and perfect when cooking over hot coals. Plus they don't burn and are easy to hold.
Wooden Skewers - soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before use. Wooden skewers often burn and are only recommended for gas bbq grilling, air fryer or pan frying.
Cooking Pork Kabobs
Not everyone has the time to cook kabobs over hot charcoals. Here are some alternative cooking methods.
Bbq Gas Grill Method
- Heat gas grill to medium high. Spray grill with cooking spray.
- Place skewers on hot grill, it might stick to grill before turning.
- Kabobs will start to char, turn skewers several times until cooked.
Grill Pan Method
- Spray griddle pan with cooking spray.
- Heat pan over medium high heat. Place wooden skewered pork on the hot pan.
- Turn kabobs over several times until cooked.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F/190°C and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place skewers about 1 inch apart from each other and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning a few times until cooked.
- Finish with a quick broil to brown your skewers.
Air Fryer Method
- Check length wooden skewers so they fit into the Air Fryer tray, cut if needed before soaking skewers in water. The tray will fit 4-6 skewers.
- Pre-heat Air Fryer to 200°F/400°C and place skewers in tray.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning over once halfway.
- Kabobs are cooked when internal temp reaches 160°F/71°C.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Add Vegetables - add vegetables between the meat pieces on the skewers. Ensure they are cut the same size as the pork to ensure even cooking. Try zucchini, cherry tomatoes and onion
- Don't rush the marinating - it's best to marinate the night before for best flavors. However, if you are in a hurry, you can marinate for 4 hours before cooking
- Prepare the meat in advance - Timesaving tip: If you ever get pork on sale, cut them into cubes and freeze them in a Ziploc bag. Lay the bag flat in the freezer so it's easier to defrost.
- Enlist Volunteers - grab your guests, family, children to help skewer the pork. Many hands make light work, especially if you are doubling or tripling the recipe to feed a crowd!
- Change the Meat - Don't eat pork, no problem! Substitute with beef, lamb or chicken
- Double the recipe - Trust me, you'll want leftovers!
How Do I Know Pork is Cooked?
Cooking meat to the correct temperature can be tricky. Always use a meat thermometer to check pork skewers. If you cook it too long, it becomes rubbery.
Pork is technically cooked at 145°F/63°C if you let the meat rest for 3-4 minutes before serving (as per USDA). If you are serving pork right away (like you often do with skewers) cook it to 160°F/71°C but no higher.
How to Reheat Pork Kabobs
- Air Fryer - easy and crisps up nicely
- Oven - spread evenly on a baking tray and reheat
- Frying Pan - heat frying pan, add pork then a splash of water while it heats through
- Microwave - quick and easy, minimal mess
What to Serve with Kabobs
Like any bbq, serve with your favorite summer sides, or enjoy as part of a Greek Meze Feast! Here is some inspiration for your next bbq party.
This is my cousin Victor's Pork Shish Kabob recipe, with fresh basil as the secret for the amazing taste. You're going to love this Pork Shashlik. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- Charcoal grill/Bbq
- metal skewers
- 2 lbs /1kg pork shoulder
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- Cut pork shoulder into 1½ inch cubes.
- Put the thinly sliced onions, chopped basil, salt and pepper into a Ziploc bag. Gently knead/massage the ingredients to release juices and flavors.
- Place the cubed pork into the Ziploc bag and mix together until evenly coated. Add enough water to meet the top of the pork mixture (about 1 cup).
- Refrigerate to marinate overnight. If in a hurry then minimum 4 hours.
- Thread the meat on the metal skewers, about 4 or 5 pieces.
- Prepare the charcoal grill (mangal). Light the charcoal burn about 20-30 minutes. When charcoal is white, you're ready to cook.
- Place skewers on the charcoal grill and cook until meat is done. Cooking time is determined by the heat, size of meat and height from the charcoal. Don't burn your meat! Keep turning the pork kabobs as it cooks, so it doesn't burn. Pork is cooked at 160°F/71°C.