I’m not a fan of making skewers. There’s a quite simple reason: It’s tedious to slide each and every piece of meat and veggie onto the skewer. I don’t mind mise en place but I can’t stand tedious tasks.
If I’m cooking for two — which is my norm — there’s almost zero chance I’ll make skewers, or kebabs, or whatever you want to call them. I’d rather just cook the meat and veggies separately and save myself time. But for a cookout or family meal, skewers are kind of ideal, even if they take a bit of prep. They’re pre-portioned, individual servings that assure everyone gets to taste a bit of everything.
Steak, cut of your choice, so long as it’s at least one-inch thick.
1 red onion
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika
Cut the steak into roughly one-inch by one-inch cubes. If your steak isn’t quite an inch thick, that’s fine, your skewers might just cook quicker so adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Cut the onions, peppers, and jalapeño into large chunks. They should be big enough to easily poke with a skewer while leaving structural integrity in the veggies. One-inch by one-inch is a good guide.
In a large bowl, lightly coat the steak and veggies in a neutral oil. Then season everything with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Carefully poke through the veggies and meat — or just veggies for any non-meat-eating folks — to create skewers. I like to create a pattern. In this instance: steak, onion, green pepper, yellow pepper, jalapeño, meat, onion…and so on. That way, when you eat the kebab, you get a uniform amount of each item.
Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for seven minutes or until the steak is cooked to your preference. Mine was a bit past medium.
The fun part about kebabs is you can make whatever you want. I think you could add zucchini, cherry tomatoes, or really whatever else you want to this base recipe. I went for steak and peppers because I felt the cook times would work out well. You really are at the mercy of the steak because there are few things worse than overcooked red meat. You’ve got to watch the kebabs carefully, using a meat thermometer if you have one handy.
Choosing a cut of steak really comes down to preference and availability. I used a New York strip for my kebabs because it’s what looked good at my grocery store. I think ribeye is fantastic. Flank would probably work. Really any cut will do. Even the pre-cut cubes of sirloin at your grocery store will do well, so long as you don’t overcook them.
With that in mind, if you have the time and energy, I think this recipe is begging for a marinade. Marinades help keep the meat juicy and tasty, which I think would help the kebab air frying process. A personal standby marinade involves some mixture of soy sauce, canned pineapple, garlic, and onion, all blended up. I think that would work toward both keeping the meat moist and flavoring the veggies as it cooks off in the air frying process. Any marinade you like would work nicely.
Otherwise, the process is pretty simple. Load it up, drop it in, and enjoy. Here’s how my skewers turned out.
The verdict? Very good! Honestly, the veggies might be the best part. I’ve always said the absolute best thing you can do with an air fryer is roast veggies. The steak is pretty good but would likely be better with a hard sear from a grill or a ripping-hot pan. Again, I think a marinade would likely be a nice choice but I wanted to keep things simple for the recipe. It’s a base to build off of, should you choose. The real killer part of this recipe is the ease. It’s the simplest way to cook kebabs, that’s for sure.
And I do think these skewers are a perfectly tasty option for folks who might not have a grill, or who live in an apartment and don’t feel like creating a smoky mess with a hot pan. The kebabs would be a lovely addition to any cookout.