The Best Cuts of Meat for Shish Kabobs

Updated April 17, 2017

Shish kebabs are a healthy, delicious way to enjoy meat and vegetables together. Typically, you marinade the meat and put it on skewers with different vegetables. They're perfect for putting on the grill and can also make for a tasty appetizer if you prefer mini kebabs. Various cuts of meat are better for particular dishes, and when it comes to shish kebabs, the more tender, the better.


Tenderloin is a cut of meat taken from the lower back part of the animal and because the muscles aren't active in that area and there is little connective tissue, it produces very tender meat. Fillet mignon comes from this part of the animal and if you want tender shish kebabs, tenderloin is the way to go. It is also a more expensive cut of meat. Pork tenderloin is also the best cut if you are preparing pork shish kebabs.

Rib Eye

Rib eye is cut from another part of the muscle that produces tenderloin. However, the rib eye section has plenty of marbling, which gives it flavour and makes it tender. These can be bought boneless or with the bone in and cut into pieces for the kebabs. Remember that marinating meat also helps to make it tender and can be marinated up to 24 hours beforehand. Rib eye is on the more expensive side but will make for a tasty kebab.


Sirloin is a cut of meat also from the back section of the animal, but behind the tenderloin. Sirloin tips are the best cut of the round section of the meat and is also very lean. It's a good cut for those watching their weight and is also a good meat for marinating. Although not as tender as the tenderloin, it will still make excellent kebabs.


If you plan on having chicken on your shish kebabs, the breast and the thighs are the best part of the chicken to use. Because the breasts are a leaner cut, it's also a healthier cut, but can dry out faster. Thighs are good for kebabs because they contain more fat which leaves them tender and juicier. You can always use a combination of breast and thigh meat or have skewers with just breast meat and some with only thigh meat.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Cee Donohue started as a comedy writer in 2004. She has written for "One to One Magazine" and the "South Hollywood News." Before moving to Los Angeles, Donohue attended the University of the Arts.