Review – Russian Skewers:
A couple of years back a number of people started posting pictures on Twitter with some awesome looking, long and hefty skewers. I asked what they were and found out they were Russian Skewers from Manchester Vac’s so I rushed off and placed an order – £7.99 plus delivery. I have cooked a number of dishes with these since I bought them and really rate them as a quality item for the BBQ. Time for a Review – Russian Skewers.
What are they?:
Stuart from Manchester Vac’s is a keen BBQ cook, frustrated at the poor quality, short, flimsy skewers available in this country he was looking for similar quality skewers to the ones found in the Baltics, Scandinavia and Russia. On previous trips to these parts he had bought a number of sets to resell in the UK and they had always sold quickly. His favourite set had come from a trip to Russia and on a return trip he tried to find the original seller but with no joy, it also wasn’t possible to find the factory that made them either. The only option left was to get some made using his favourite set as the reference for the build specification.
The factory suggested they were over-engineered, too heavy and too thick for domestic use. They suggested making them thinner and out of a cheaper metal to bring them in at a lower price point but Stuart rejected that as he wanted them to be exactly the same as his favourite set from Russia, even down to using a spectrometer on the metal to get the right grade!
The skewers are made from catering grade 3mm thick stainless steel and are 70cms long (flat blade length 55cm) x 1cm wide x 3mm thick. Due to the length of them you can rest them over both sides of the bowl on a 57cm Weber Kettle which is exactly how I use them!
Many cultures around the world use skewers to cook cubes and slices of meat and veg directly over a fire. By cooking with smaller cuts of meat you can cook the meat quicker than if it was cooked as a big lump. You also get more flavour from the sauce/rub/marinade covering a larger number of surfaces on the smaller cuts and from the flames/heat charring those surfaces.
Cooking with skewers allows you to rotate the meat as it cooks to ensure each surface is evenly cooked and the meat is cooked all the way through.
Why these Skewers:?
With the smaller, cheaper skewers the food sits directly on the grate as you cook it which can cause the meat to stick to the grate or even rip off the skewer. As the skewer itself is directly over the charcoal it can be too hot to touch and they generally don’t sit in the position you want them to so one side gets more cooked than the others!
The benefit of these skewers is that they are very long so they sit on top of the BBQ bowl, hanging off each side. This additional height keeps the meat off the grate, stopping it from sticking and the wider blades make it easier to rotate the skewers and keep them in the position you want them in. Another bonus from the skewers being so thick is that they conduct the heat which heats up the whole blade, helping cook the meat from the inside to reduce the cook time further.
All my cooks with the Russian Skewers can be seen here: http://kungfubbq.co.uk/category/kit/accessories/russian-skewers
Some of my favourite cooks so far:
I have raved about these enough. They are pretty cheap but great quality. Once you use them you won’t want to go back to the cheap knitting needles skewers in your kitchen drawer!
If you want to buy a set of four skewers they are available from Amazon:
Otherwise you can buy them directly from Manchester Vacs for £7.99 plus delivery.