In addition to the flavor benefits of flame and smoke, cooking over fire has a primal appeal. This may be why 82 percent of all United States households own a grill or smoker, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. Enhance the outdoor cooking experience even more by making your own wooden skewers.
Find a straight stick of preferably "green" or freshly cut wood, which won't catch fire as easily as seasoned wood. The length of the stick you need depends on the application; campfire skewers should be at least 3 feet long, while skewers for grilling can be as short as 6 inches.
Grip the end of the stick firmly in your non-dominant hand.
Trim all twigs and leaves from the stick by drawing a sharp knife along the stick.
Shave all the bark off the stick in the same manner.
Continue shaving the stick until it reaches the desired thickness. For grill use, make it a little thicker than a toothpick. Campfire use will require greater thickness; a diameter of approximately 1/4 inch should work for most foods.
Grip the stick near one end. Whittle the end into a point by shaving the stick at an inward angle until it is sharp and able to pierce food easily.
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- Always move the knife away from your fingers and body, not towards them. That way, if the knife slips, you won't be cut.
Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mike Venture has been writing since 2005. He has written for the RAND Corporation, Sterling & Ross Publishers and Metropol Literary Agency. He has also worked as a technical writer at several software start-ups. Venture holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh.
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