Sweet & Spicy Bourbon Steak Kebabs

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These Bourbon Steak Kebabs are perfect for summer grilling, and absolutely delicious! Sirloin steak is skewered with veggies, and sprinkled with seasoning, before being cooked and basted with a sweet and spicy bourbon-laced barbecue sauce. This recipe is definitely one to make for your summer barbecues – everyone will be wanting to come back for more!

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Bourbon Steak Kebabs

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Bourbon Steak Kebabs

Kebabs are various cooked meat dishes, with their origins in Middle Eastern cuisine. Many variants are popular around the world.Wiki

When I think of kebabs, I think of skewers of cubed meat that are grilled over hot coals and enjoyed with pita bread and salad. But then, that’s because I’m of Greek-Cypriot heritage, and that’s what a kebab is to us Cypriots!

However, kebabs (also known as kabobs) come in many different guises, using different meats, vegetables, fish, and seafood – and even cooking method.

The Wikipedia quote above has a link to the full article which I found really interesting to read. (I love learning about food origins and history).

But back to these Bourbon Steak Kebabs which are a cinch to make, and full of delicious flavour!

Try my Perfect Chicken Kebabs next!

A plate of stacked steak kebabs

Ingredients used in this recipe

For my UK readers: When I go on vacation to the USA, I like stock up on my favourite American food products and ingredients, so you’ll find them used in some of the recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog. However, we can buy lot of American ingredients online these days, and in supermarkets (check the World Foods aisle!) which is awesome! (Although sometimes the price can be on the high side…) When I use American ingredients in recipes that I share on my blog, I always aim to suggest British alternatives, or include Amazon affiliate links to where you can buy them online.


All good kebabs start with good meat, and these kebabs use sirloin steak. It is one of my favourite cuts of steak.

Sirloin has a bigger, beefier flavour than fillet or rib-eye steaks, meaning it is more suitable for highly flavoured sauces, including those with onion or a small amount of chilli. BBC Good Food


Skewered between the steak are pieces of bell pepper and red onion, with whole mushrooms on the ends. Use whatever colour of pepper than you like.


The kebab skewers are seasoned with a Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning from McCormick, and one of those ingredients that I have bought on trips to the US.

The ingredients in this seasoning blend include sea salt, brown sugar, spices, molasses, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, paprika, and malted barley whiskey extracts.

You can buy Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning on Amazon. Or you could substitute it for a steak seasoning which is likely to have similar ingredients – minus the whiskey extracts, and probably the sugar and molasses too.

But don’t worry too much, as the barbecue sauce that is also part of this recipe contains whiskey, brown sugar and molasses so you’ll get that flavour from that.

What is bourbon?

You can’t have bourbon steak kebabs without bourbon, and you’ll find a cupful of it in the barbecue sauce. But first, what is bourbon?

Bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskies are bourbon… confused? Don’t be!

Simply put, bourbon is produced in America. It is made by distilling grains that must contain at least 51% corn – the rest being barley, and rye or wheat – an aged in new charred oak barrels; whereas whisky (Scotch) or whiskey (Irish) is made with malted barley.

Bourbon brands include Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Knob Creek.

But honestly, if you’ve got a bottle of Jack Daniels in the house, or even a bottle of Scotch or Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, you can use that in place of bourbon and it’ll be just fine!


BBQ Sauce Ingredients

In addition to bourbon you will also need the following ingredients to make the barbecue sauce for this steak kebab recipe.

  • onion
  • water
  • brown sugar
  • ketchup
  • tomato paste (US)/tomato purée (UK)
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • balsamic vinegar
  • molasses (US)/black treacle (UK)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • liquid smoke

Liquid smoke is a water-soluble yellow to red liquid used for flavouring. It is used as a substitute for cooking with wood smoke while retaining a similar flavor.

For my UK readers – I have seen it listed on Tesco’s website -but it’s unavailable for me in my area when I sign in, so if you shop at Tesco, check! I’ve also found it on Waitrose online

However, If you don’t have it, or can’t buy it – don’t panic, it can easily be left out.

Bourbon Steak Kebabs

Equipment used in this recipe

This recipe uses American cup measurements. Since I use this type of measurement often, I find it handy to have a set of measuring cups in the kitchen.

You are also going to need a couple of chopping boards (one for meat, and one for the veggies), as well as a sharp knife.

You will need skewers to thread the steak and vegetables onto. You could use bamboo skewers (remember to soak them!), or if you plan on making kebabs often, I think a set of metal skewers are worth the investment.

I use both wooden and metal skewers on the barbecue – don’t forget the metal will transfer the heat to the center of the meat, so they’re great for chicken which needs to be cooked through; but if you like rare or medium-rare steak, wooden skewers tend to be better.

For the homemade barbecue sauce, a container with a lid will be helpful (but a bowl covered with food wrap or foil will work); and a dish to place the kebabs in while the dry seasoning does its work.

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How do I make Bourbon Steak Kebabs?

Start by making the barbecue sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan and placing on a medium heat. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Leave to cool slightly before transferring to an airtight container in the fridge.

Then you simply chop the pepper and red onion in 1 inch (or thereabouts) pieces, and the same with the steak. Leave the mushrooms whole – unless they are really big – halve or quarter as appropriate.

If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes, as it will help to prevent them burning when on the grill.

To build the kebabs, thread a mushroom onto a skewer, then alternate with cubes of steak, pepper, and onion. Finish with another mushroom.

Make sure to leave some of the skewer showing on each end so that it can be picked up.

TIP! If you feel that the kebab ingredients are too heavy for the skewer, double the skewers up!

Once you’ve made all the kebab skewers, place them into a dish, drizzle over a little oil, and sprinkle with Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

When ready to cook, place the bourbon beef kebabs on the barbecue grill – either coals or gas – whatever it is you have, and cook until the meat is browned and cooked to your liking.

Turn the skewers often, and baste with the barbecue sauce during the cooking process.

Depending on the heat of your barbecue, and how you like to eat your steak, the cooking time could be anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes.

When the kebabs are cooked, remove from the grill and enjoy!


Make It A Meal!

You’ve made the kebabs, but now need sides, drinks, and dessert to go with it! Here are some of my suggestions to turn these bourbon-glazed steak kebabs into a complete meal:

Bourbon Sweet Fire Steak Kebabs

Sweet & Spicy Bourbon Steak Kebabs

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

These delicious sweet and spicy Bourbon Steak Kebabs are a perfect summer grilling recipe.


For the BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp of crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp molasses
  • ⅛ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke

For the kebabs

  • 1kg/2lbs sirloin steak, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, deseeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning
  • 8 (12 inch) wooden skewers


    1. Place all the BBQ sauce ingredients into a small saucepan on medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Cool and transfer to airtight container in fridge until needed.
    2. Thread your meat onto the skewers alternating with pieces of bell peppers and onion. Top each end with a mushroom.
    3. Place the kebabs into a dish and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    4. To cook, place kebab skewers on the barbecue grill - either coals or gas - and cook until the meat is browned and cooked to your liking. Depending on the heat of your barbecue, and how you like to eat your steak, the cooking time could be anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes.
    5. Turn the skewers often, and baste with the BBQ sauce during the cooking process.
    6. Serve immediately and enjoy!



You can also cook kebabs under a broiler/grill in the oven if you wish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 748Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 839mgCarbohydrates: 57gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 3gSugar: 45gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 52g

This site uses an outside source (Nutritionix) to provide estimated nutrition. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Once you’ve made these yummy steak kebabs I know you’ll be looking for more kebab recipes – here are some for you to take a look at:

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