A long shaft or thin rod inserted through pieces of meat and other foods to hold several pieces together while cooking over a grill or roasting over a fire. Skewers are most often used when grilling foods such as kabobs (or kebabs) that thread pieces of meat and vegetables onto a skewer for cooking. In addition to commercially produced skewers made of wood or metal, skewers made from natural materials are also available. Examples of some of the natural skewers include: bay branches for cooking beef and pork; cinnamon sticks for cooking chicken, pork, or fruit; lemongrass stalks for chicken, duck, prok, scallops, shrimp, and tofu; rosemary branches for chicken, lamb and shrimp; and sugarcane stalks for chicken, pork or shrimp.
Since metal skewers retain the heat of the grill or fire, make sure food is never eaten directly from the metal or it may cause a severe burn if making contact with the skin. The flat metal skewers, rather than the round rod skewers, are typically better at keeping food solidly positioned so the food items can be turned without rotating on the rod. Wood skewers, most often made of bamboo, may require an aluminum foil wrapping to be placed on the areas not covered with food and exposed to the heat. This will reduce the chance of igniting the wood as the food cooks.