When the heat comes, the most important entertainment for us becomes kebabs. We take and go, roast and munch - that's how it looks from the outside, and everyone knows how to do it. But you can do it a little better.
First things first. The main thing for a kebab is to buy the right meat and not to let strangers near it. Second. Marinade, and preparation in general, should be as simple, concise and natural as possible. Third. You should salt the meat when it is already on the skewer. Fourth. You should not string anything on skewers except meat and fat - neither tomatoes, nor onions, nor pickles. Fifth. Anyone can cook shashlik well.
The right meat
The right meat is not determined by its species belonging: you can cook kebab from pork and beef and mutton and even from chicken breast, cursed by many for its dryness. In general, fat content is the main requirement, but not just any fat, not a piece of fat, but in the form of veins and neat inclusions.
This requirement is best illustrated by the pork neck, where for every two centimeters of muscle there is half a centimeter of fat. A piece of beef, permeated with the finest fat web, which makes it look like a marble, can look just as good: this property is called marbling.
Another property, sometimes even overlapping the fat content, is the softness, unrestrained meat. The more this or that muscle worked during an animal's life, the less suitable it is for kebab. And vice versa. Thus, the best cuts for this purpose available in a cow's carcass are loin, thick edge and thin edge; no matter how beautiful a piece of roast beef, a rump or leg for shashlik (and in general for roasting) they are not suitable.
In the case of lamb, the softness of the meat depends directly on the age of the animal. Roughly speaking, either lamb (age under 6 months) or young lamb (age 6 to 9 months) is suitable. The beauty of the situation is that it is impossible to lie about the age of the lamb: if the lamb is too old, then its meat acquires such an odor that no expertise is needed.
With chicken, everything is both simpler and more complicated at the same time. You cannot fry it in a shape of classic shashlik (i.e. cutting it into small pieces and putting it on a skewer) without first making marinade. That is, you can either fry the breasts and legs as there are, putting them entirely on the grill, or prepare them properly. As said before, the preparation should be done independently, without letting anyone else come near.
We can dream about anything, but we have to deal with what we have. It is not a fact that the meat you buy will be exactly as fine as necessary - this should not stop you. Cut off a piece of meat and evaluate it for fat content; have no fear, it doesn't require special education or innate flair, just common sense. If it's pork, and there's a distinct lack of fat in it, there are two ways to fix it, or better yet, a combination of both.
Get a piece of raw pork fat, cut off a strip with a cross section close to a square of about 5 centimeters. Cut this strip into squares about 5 millimeters thick. While threading the pieces of pork on the skewer, alternate them with the slices of lard, and thread the kebab as tightly as possible
Place some slices of sliced meat on the bottom, scatter some onions on top, and then sprinkle lightly with white wine. Just dip five fingers into the bowl of wine, and then sprinkle it over the meat - just like anyone who irons shirts did before the invention of the iron with an automatic sprinkler. Put some more meat, some onions, and spritz with wine again. Repeat until the pan is full.
If some of the meat doesn't fit, don't try to cram it in - the kebab should marinate relatively loosely. Put the pot on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator (I mean, away from the freezer) and leave it until you need it. When it's time to cook, the meat should be salted a bit, and better right on the skewer. By the way, you should never put onions on a skewer - it can make you sick to your stomach.
The best way to marinate chicken and pork in soy marinade. Especially chicken, because when heated the sugar forms a kind of caramel that does not let the moisture evaporate, and the chicken stays juicy. You can also throw in half a glass of Coca-Cola, as blasphemous as that may sound - it makes a hell of a tempting glaze on the meat.
How to broil
There are different views on this question. I believe that for a classic kebab there is nothing worse than liquid kindling and unmotivated stirring. You put the skewer on the grill - that's it, stand back, pour yourself something. Why flip it every minute? Why peek to see if the crust has formed at the bottom? Are you questioning the workings of the universe?