The Best Beef Cuts for Delicious Kabobs

Kabobs are a fun and tasty way to enjoy beef off the grill. Pieces of tender, juicy beef are threaded onto skewers along with vegetables, fruits or other ingredients, then grilled to perfection. But what type of beef makes the best kabobs? Here are the top cuts to use for flavorful, tender kabob success every time.


Sirloin steaks are one of the best options for beef kabobs. Sirloin offers these advantages:

  • Tenderness – Sirloin has the right amount of marbling for tenderness without excessive fat.

  • Flavor – The beefy, robust flavor of sirloin pairs well with other kabob ingredients.

  • Versatility – Cuts from the top sirloin to the tip sirloin work well.

  • Budget-friendly – Sirloin costs less than premium cuts like tenderloin.

  • Lean – Sirloin fits into a healthy diet without too much saturated fat.

Sirloin cuts like top sirloin, tri-tip and bottom sirloin steaks are perfect for flavorful, budget-friendly kabobs. Remove any visible fat or gristle, then cut sirloin into 1-1.5 inch chunks.


The tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. While more expensive than sirloin, tenderloin makes incredibly tender, buttery kabobs:

  • Very tender – With little connective tissue, tenderloin has a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

  • Mild flavor – The mild taste lets other kabob flavors shine. Enhance with a marinade.

  • Juicy – Due to tenderness, tenderloin stays juicy when grilled over high heat.

  • Lean – Almost fat-free, so watch cooking closely to avoid overcooking.

Whole tenderloin or tenderloin steaks can be cut into cubes or strips for tender kabobs. Use a marinade to boost flavor.

Strip Steak

With its perfect balance of tenderness and robust flavor, strip steak (NY strip) is a premium choice for kabobs:

  • Tender – Fine marbling provides juiciness and tenderness.

  • Beefy flavor – Rich, bold flavor that pairs well with other ingredients.

  • Versatile – Can be cubed for skewers or cut into longer strips.

  • Juicy – Holds in natural juices well during grilling.

Strip steak is on the higher end for cost, but provides great texture and big steak flavor. Cut into 1-2 inch pieces for kabobs.

Flank Steak

Flank steak offers these benefits for kabobs:

  • Inexpensive – Far less costly than premium cuts like tenderloin.

  • Flavorful – Deep beefy flavor when marinated and grilled properly.

  • Textured – Loose fiber structure takes well to slicing or cutting into strips.

  • Lean – Low in fat, so slices and strips grills up quickly.

Flank steak needs to be sliced across the prominent grain after grilling. Cut slices or strips for flavorful kabobs on a budget.

Flat Iron

This value cut makes excellent kabobs:

  • Tender – Second only to tenderloin in tenderness due to minimal connective tissue.

  • Juicy – Enough fat marbling to keep it moist during grilling.

  • Beefy flavor – Robust steak-like flavor, especially when marinated.

  • Affordable – Far less expensive than premium cuts.

  • Versatile – Can be cut into cubes for skewers or longer strips.

Flat iron steaks offer premium kabob texture and taste at a budget price point. Remove any gristle then slice or cube the steak.

Top Round

Top round offers lean texture and mild flavor:

  • Lean – Has less fat marbling than fattier cuts, for a leaner kabob.

  • Mild flavor – Benefits from marinades and spice rubs.

  • Affordable – One of the more economical cuts of beef.

  • Firm texture – Holds up well to grilling over high heat.

While not as naturally tender as pricier cuts, top round can make tasty budget kabobs. Cut into 1-inch chunks and marinate before grilling.

Chuck Eye Steak

This flavorful steak makes satisfying kabobs:

  • Tender – More tender than other chuck cuts because it’s the shoulder cap.

  • Juicy – Enough fat marbling to keep it moist during grilling.

  • Beefy flavor – Robust, rich chuck eye steak flavor.

  • Value – More affordable than premium cuts.

Chuck eye steak offers good texture and juiciness for the price. Remove gristle, cut into cubes or strips, then marinate before threading onto skewers.

Skirt Steak

While lesser known, skirt steak has advantages for kabobs:

  • Inexpensive – Far cheaper than premium cuts.

  • Flavorful – Intense beefy flavor from constant use.

  • Textured – Loose grain absorbs marinades well.

  • Thin – Easy to cut into strips or small pieces.

To prevent skirt steak strips from being chewy, slice very thin across the prominent grain after grilling. It also benefits from acidic marinades.


Brisket isn’t typical for kabobs but can work with the right preparation:

  • Moist – Thorough trimming and slicing across the grain helps tenderize.

  • Smoky flavor – Lightly smoke the brisket first before cutting for kabobs.

  • Value – Inexpensive cut of beef.

  • Hearty – Substantial texture and flavor.

Trim brisket completely and smoke or braise first until tender. Chill, slice very thin across the grain, then cut into small pieces for kabobs with other hearty ingredients.

The most flavorful cuts like sirloin, tenderloin, strip steak and flat iron work best for kabobs. Their tenderness, texture and beefy flavors shine when grilled. For budget kabobs, flank steak, top round and chuck eye offer good results. With the right prep, even brisket can make tasty kabobs. Skewer up a flavorful feast with these top beef cuts!

BEEF SHISH KABOBS (with the best marinade) for the ultimate summer grilling recipe!


What is the best beef cut for kabobs?

1. Tri tips and sirloin steak tips are the pointy ends of rump and sirloin respectively. They are ideal for kebabs because they have great beef flavour, hold up well in a cube shape, are juicy cuts and are more economical than expensive steak cuts that I reserve for cooking as steaks.

What round of beef for kebab?

A good kabab should be cut from the sirloin tip or top round, which have enough muscle integrity to allow it to stand up to a marinating process . As an added bonus, because there is a lot of top round and sirloin tip on a beef, kababs are often much less expensive than a piece of sirloin or tenderloin.

Will beef stew meat work for kabobs?

Yep, stew meat is pre-cut kabob pieces perfect for grilling! Now, in making a full confession, I did tenderize the stew meat after it was thawed. I use a meat tenderizer with blades that cuts the grain of the meat into smaller fibers.

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