Have you heard of Shrimp Kebab Tetris? It’s not a real game, but if you’ve ever tried to cook with straight skewers on a round grill, you’ve probably played it at least once. Here’s how it goes: You spend a lot of time loading up traditional metal or bamboo skewers with a beautiful selection of perfect prawns and colorful in-season vegetables. You pile your uncooked creations on a platter and head outside to grill. Maybe you even make your dad’s tired “shrimp on the barbie” joke in a truly terrible Australian accent. You start to load your skewers onto the grill only to realize the last few won’t fit because geometry. At that point you’re left with two options: save the surplus skewers for a second round of grilling, or try taking enough ingredients off of the last few kebabs to ensure all of the raw meat actually makes contact with the hot grill grates (which really only works if you’re not planning to close the lid).
Luckily, there’s a better way and that way is bendy skewers.
More formally known as “flexible skewers,” these handy grilling accessories are a game changer when you’re trying to grill more than a few kebabs on a round grill. They’re made from stainless steel cable and they’re usually much longer than traditional skewers. That extra length can be used to make a monster kebab or it can be tucked off to the side to make more room for other skewers (or anythingelse you want to put on the grill). You can also drape the long end off of the grill so it stays cool to the touch. Flexible skewers also make it possible to marinate kebabs in a bowl or freezer bag, then transfer them straight to the grill when it’s time to cook.
There’s really no wrong way to use them or bend them, and with the right bendy skewer arrangement you can fit twice as many kebabs on a round grill as you might with straight skewers—proof that it always pays to be flexible.