9 Mistakes That Even Experienced Cooks Make When Grilling Shashlik
The quality of a shashlik is affected by many factors, like the marinade, the type of meat, etc. But still many of them depend on personal taste. In this article, we would like to tell you about the general rules you need to follow so you don’t spoil your shashlik in the process of cooking it.
Bright Side would like to tell you how to make your shashlik juicy and delicious.
9. Overpacking of meat on a skewer
Many people spit meat very tightly, so that their shashlik looks more like kebab. But to make sure that each piece of meat is grilled properly, there should be an approximate 0.2 in gap between pieces. If you spit meat too tightly, it won’t roast properly where the pieces touch each other.
8. Cutting pieces in different sizes
Obviously, pieces of different sizes require different cooking times. However, there are those who always forget about this rule and spit pieces of different sizes on a skewer. The meat used for shashlik should be cut into approximately 1- to 1½-inch cubes. If they are smaller than that the meat will be too dry, and if they are bigger, the meat won’t cook through properly.
When you try to fit the pieces on a skewer in an improper way, they could lose their juiciness. Properly cut meat will help you to avoid this issue and maintain the moisture in the meat.
7. Adding vegetables to a skewer
This is a strange habit and its origin is still a mystery. Vegetables obviously cook faster than meat and removing ready-cooked vegetables from a hot skewer is not possible, so they will just burn, leaving charred vegetables and an unpleasant smell behind which will be absorbed by meat. If you are craving grilled vegetables, then grill them on separate skewers. It’s also recommended to cook them after the meat when the heat isn’t as intense.
6. Using lighter fluid
Those who want to save time like to use lighter fluid. But our main goal is to reach stable but not intensive fire so that coals will keep heat as long as possible. Besides, when using lighter fluid your dish will have an unpleasant smell.
5. Using rotten wood instead of good firewood or coals
Some people use old planks from a fence, rotten branches, or anything that they can find at hand, instead of coals and chunks. But the quality of wood affects not only the duration of burning, but also the taste of your shashlik. If you want coals to burn through evenly, use dry chunks of a similar size from broad-leaved trees. If you usually buy charcoal then light it up with a wood chip or paper.
4. Pouring water on coals
First of all, when pouring water on coals their heat will decrease and to achieve the necessary heat we should have been following the above mentioned points. Second, if cold water touches the meat, the shashlik will be cooked unevenly. It’s also better to avoid pouring a cold marinade on the meat.
What you should do:
- If coals are burning very strongly, move the skewers or grate aside, and stir the coals with a rake or a stick.
- If you pour marinade on meat, heat up the marinade first.
3. Cooking on open fire
We all might remember a camping experience when we cooked sausages on an open fire and they got completely charred by the end. The problem is that sausages are actually ready-to-eat food which doesn’t need to be cooked, they just need to be heated up. In the case of shashlik, if you try to cook it on an open fire the meat will just turn black outside, but still be raw inside.
2. Cooking on unprepared coals
You always need to remember this simple rule. Properly heated coals are covered with a layer of ash through which a red-hot core can be seen. They also emit a light metal ringing. So, when coals turn gray and ring, it’s time for cooking.
1. Cutting pieces of meat to check if they are cooked
If you can’t say whether meat is cooked properly or not, you can cut the thickest piece. Just remember that this is a sure way to decrease meat’s juiciness. Never cut every single piece on a skewer. Cooking time depends on what kind of meat you use. If you follow all the recommendations mentioned above, the outside look of the meat will be enough for you to understand whether your shashlik is ready or not.
Have you ever cooked shashlik? Do you have recommendations of your own? Share them in the comments below.