Trek Southwest - Hiking and Camping the Desert Southwest

Campfire Steak Kebabs

in Skillet and Grill Grate Recipes

I really love steak kebabs. There’s something so satisfying about cooking your food on a stick (probably why I think camp cooking is so fun!) Plus I like how easy they are. Only one quick cooking step and your entire meal is ready. The real secret to great kebabs is a big variety of veggies and a top notch marinade. And you can do all of your prep at home with your full kitchen at your disposal. That way – the only work you have to do at the campsite is actually assembling the kebabs and cooking them. And that’s the best part anyway!

Steak Kebabs


I like using top sirloin for this recipe because the meat is nice and lean. And if you make a great marinade and let your beef tenderize long enough – you can’t tell that the meat is so lean. It’ll taste tender and amazing!

The amounts below make a pretty large amount of kebabs (enough for 5 people)…so if you’re only cooking for two – I’d cut these amounts in half.

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 Cup soy sauce (or Bragg’s amino acids)
  • 1/3 Cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 heaping spoonful minced garlic (or less if you don’t dig garlic like we do)

I’m not kidding – use a lot.

Kebab Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs top sirloin steak
  • whole mushrooms (crimini are my favorite)
  • medium sweet yellow onion
  • cherry tomatoes (large handful)
  • can of pineapple chunks (not tidbits)
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 medium sweet pepper (orange, red, or yellow)

What Else You’ll Need

  • metal tongs (for turning the kebabs on the fire)
  • metal or bamboo kebab skewers
  • gallon and sandwich or quart zip-top plastic bags for transporting prepped ingredients to the campsite
  • grate for the fire (plan on bringing one with you if you won’t have access to one at the campsite)
Metal skewers

I prefer the metal skewers to the bamboo variety.


Campfire grate

Dirty but beloved campfire grate

Before You Leave Home

These steps should ideally be carried out 12-24 hours in advance. The meat just gets better with time.

Step 1

Prepare your marinade. Take one of those gallon zip-top plastic bags and dump all the ingredients into it. Seal the bag up and mix it around with your hands. Set it aside for just one minute.

Step 2

Cut your steaks into 1 -2 inch chunks. If you do find any large fat pieces – simply remove them. The marinade does a great job tenderizing this meat with very little fat needed.

Steak chunks

Step 3

Add your beef chunks to your marinade bag. Seal that up making sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible.

Meat and marinade in bag

Use your hands to work that marinade evenly throughout the meat chunks. Now refrigerate the meat in marinade until you head out camping.

All mixed up

Step 4

Wash and cut your veggies into “kebab” size chunks. I leave the mushrooms and cherry tomatoes whole. I typically cut my onion, pepper, and zucchini into 1 inch chunks. While I love fresh pineapple – I only had canned on hand so I just kept that canned until cooking time.

Additionally, feel free to substitute whatever veggies you and your family love. Most veggies do great over the fire because the cooking time is so brief.

Once your veggies are chopped and washed – you can bag them up in plastic bags so they’re ready to be transported to the campsite. I do suggest bagging veggies up separately. Onions tend to smell up the other veggies and mushrooms gets soggy when mixed with wetter vegetables. Keep everything refrigerated until it’s time to go camping.

Kebab veggies

At the Campsite

Step 1

Get your fire or charcoal briquets ready. You’ll need some type of grate to cook these on as well (see above). Like most campfire recipes – this one works best with a mature fire (red wood coals or white charcoal briquets). So you can use the time your fire needs to heat up and burn down a bit to assemble your kebabs.

Step 2

Take a metal skewer and alternate putting ingredients in whatever order you want on it. I tend to put veggie, veggie, meat, meat, veggie, veggie, etc. This is a great step for your kids to help with. The skewers aren’t terribly sharp so kids do great putting these together. And if they get to build their own dinner – they’re more likely to eat it.

Assembled kebabs

Step 3

Once your kebabs are all assembled and your fire has burned down a bit – you’re ready to cook. I lay these right on top of the grate and let them sizzle away on one side for approximately 3-5 minutes. Then using your tongs – you’ll want to flip them to the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes.

At that point – take one off and slide a piece of meat off to check for doneness. If they’re not done yet – simply place it back on the grate. Please be careful of the skewers – they’ll be hot (whether they’re made of wood or metal.)

Kebabs Cooking

I had a little too much orange flame in this shot – found out my five-year old was “helping” the fire by adding paper towels to it. Ha!

Still cooking

Step 4

Take those kebabs off of their skewers and eat up!


RobinGuest Post by Robin Laulainen. Robin writes about camping and other outdoorsy stuff at Trek Southwest, pets every dog she meets, and drinks more coffee than she should. She blogs about her other passion - creating - at Make It Yourself Girl.


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