How to Soak Bamboo Skewers

Bamboo skewers photo by Martin Harvey / Getty Images
Bamboo skewers photo by Martin Harvey / Getty Images

The good news is, bamboo skewers are cheap and easy to use. The bad news? Well, there isn't any, really. They're cheap, and bamboo is a replenishable resource. If they aren't too charred, you can even reuse your bamboo skewers.

How to Use Bamboo Skewers

Unlike metal skewers, bamboo skewers do need to be soaked before you put them on the grill. Here's how to soak bamboo skewers.

  • Fill a pan with water and place the bamboo skewers in the water. Make sure the skewers are fully submerged.
  • Allow the skewers to soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, and up to 3-4 hours.
  • For a gourmet presentation and an added depth of flavor to your grilled meals, experiment with soaking skewers in wine or juice.
  • Another tip for frequent grillers: When you buy a pack of bamboo skewers - soak them all, then drain well, place in a sealable plastic bag and stick them in the freezer. They'll keep just fine, and you'll be able to get your goods on the grill quicker. In particular, vegetarians and vegans will find skewers helpful for holding tofu, seitan, and vegetarian kabobs in place on the grill and they're great for grilling cheeses and just about any vegetable.

Recipes to Try

Alternatives to Bamboo Skewers:

You may prefer to use metal skewers, which come in longer lengths, have a convenient handle and can be reused. It's a personal preference.

If you prefer metal skewers, look for the metal skewers with flat edges, as they tend to prevent the food from slipping and sliding around a little bit better than the metal skewers with round edges.

See also: No skewers? No problem!

More help for what to grill and how: