Kabob skewers vary by size, material, and shape, and these variances often affect their cost and usability. Cooks typically take into consideration the types of food that they are preparing, the number of guests for whom they are preparing food, as well as their budget when choosing between different types of skewers. Kabob skewers are typically made either from wood or metal and may also have a handle on one end. They also come in different lengths, with shorter ones often being used for appetizers and hors d'oeuvres, while longer skewers may be used for cooking full meals.
Skewers are often used to hold food in place either for cooking or for serving. A skewer is typically a long stick with the pointed end onto which an individual can string chunks of food like beads on a necklace. The food then may be placed on a grill or in an oven for cooking. In some cases, however, skewers may hold foods, such as fresh fruit, without being cooked. Diners may choose to eat the food directly off kabob skewers, or, in a more formal context, they may simply use a fork to pull the food off the skewer and onto their plate.
Many kabob skewers are made out of stainless steel and are designed for use on open grills and in ovens. The advantage to using metal kabob skewers is that they are durable, can sustain the weight of heavier foods such as chunks of beef, and are often easy to slide food on and off. The downside is that metal skewers can become extremely hot during the cooking process, which may result in burns for cooks and diners alike. They can also be costly, which can make it impractical for many hosts to purchase a large number of metal kabob skewers for a large party or event.
Wooden or bamboo kebab skewers, on the other hand, have the advantage of being inexpensive and disposable, which means that cooks and hosts will not have to clean the skewers after each use. Disadvantages lie mainly in the fact that the wooden implements may not be strong enough to hold heavier foods. In addition, this type of kabob skewer may splinter or crack during the preparation and cooking of food. Diners may also experience difficulty sliding food off wooden kabob skewers, resulting in a less pleasant meal.