What Cut of Pork to Use for Kabobs

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What Cut of Pork to Use for Kabobs
Pork kebabs make a delicious grilled entrée. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

One of the easiest ways to barbecue pork is to make kebabs with it by cutting it into cubes, threading it onto skewers and cooking it on the grill. Added bits of onion, bell peppers and mushrooms put on the skewer between each cube of pork give extra flavour. The best cuts of pork to use for kebabs are those that are naturally tender and those that can be made tender with the right marinade.

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Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin comes from two long muscles that run lengthwise down both sides of the backbone. It is extremely tender. Often this cut is sectioned into small roasts of about a foot long. These will get done in the oven in just about an hour. They are also cut into rounds, called medallions, and used in combination recipes. For kebabs, the tenderloin is cubed and placed on skewers with assorted vegetables and then briefly cooked. Tenderloin kebabs cook quickly, in about 10 minutes or so.

Pork Loin

Pork loin is a lean cut of meat that can be a tender choice for kebabs. To keep cubed loin from drying out too much, marinate it overnight in the refrigerator before skewering. The marinade is often made with oil and vinegar and bold flavours. Garlic and peppercorns are particularly good when incorporated into a pork kebab marinade. For extra flavour, a rub can be applied just before cooking.

Pork Butt

Marinated for tenderness, a pork butt supplies plenty of fat to make kebabs flavourful. Get a boneless butt and chill it for a while or partially freeze, then cut into cubes of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches on all sides. Place them in a plastic bag with a marinade such as bottled Italian dressing or a homemade recipe. Cook these savoury kebabs slowly, allowing the meat time to become tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Pork Belly

Pork belly may sound as if it is pure fat from the hog, but this is where bacon comes from. Trendy pork meats such as pancetta and prosciutto are made with bacon. Pork belly meat is very fatty, but this is what gives it such a deep flavour. A good bit of the fat in pork belly is rendered by precooking. The remaining pork belly can be topped with a weight to make it more compact and chilled. To create kebabs from pork belly, cut into cubes and thread onto skewers. Grill time for these precooked kebabs is very short, since the cubes only need to be seared to caramelise the outside.

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