From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Skewer is a long, thin, pointed rod used for holding pieces of food together during cooking. The term is derived from the Middle English word skew, meaning "to pierce or penetrate". Skewers are typically made from metal or wood, and are a common tool in various cooking methods, including grilling, roasting, and broiling.

History[edit | edit source]

The use of skewers in cooking dates back to prehistoric times, when early humans would use sharpened sticks to cook food over an open fire. This method of cooking was prevalent in many ancient cultures, including the Ancient Greeks, who were known for their love of skewered meats, known as souvlaki.

Types of Skewers[edit | edit source]

There are several types of skewers used in different culinary traditions around the world. Some of the most common include:

  • Metal Skewers: These are durable and reusable, often used in grilling and broiling. They are typically made from stainless steel or other heat-resistant metals.
  • Wooden Skewers: These are disposable and often used for smaller pieces of food or for serving. They must be soaked in water before use to prevent them from burning.
  • Bamboo Skewers: A type of wooden skewer, bamboo skewers are popular in Asian cuisines, particularly for making satay.
  • Flat Skewers: These have a flat shape that prevents food from spinning around when it's being turned. They are often used for grilling kebabs.

Uses[edit | edit source]

Skewers are used in a variety of cooking methods and dishes. They are most commonly used in grilling, where they hold pieces of meat, vegetables, or seafood together while they cook. Skewers are also used in baking, particularly for testing the doneness of cakes and breads. In addition, skewers are used in the presentation of food, particularly in dishes like kebabs, satay, and souvlaki.

Safety[edit | edit source]

When using skewers, it's important to handle them safely to prevent injury. This includes using heat-resistant gloves when handling hot skewers, and ensuring that wooden skewers are properly soaked to prevent them from catching fire.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD