Alton Brown's Genius Tip For Storing Wooden Skewers

When you're firing up the grill this summer, don't forget to change things up a little bit. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks are all great on the grill, but don't sleep on shish kabobs. They're a great way to shake up your dinner routine and incorporate more vegetables into your usual barbecue.

The only extra step needed is to cut your meat and vegetables and put them onto a skewer. Metal skewers are a great option for kabobs because they hold heat well, are durable enough for heavy foods, and are reusable (via Delighted Cooking). Unfortunately, their ability to hold heat also means they require some care when handling and removing the food. They are also more expensive than their wooden counterparts — and feeding a crowd may cost a pretty penny.

While wooden skewers are a great, cheap alternative, they do come with their own drawbacks. Luckily, celebrity chef Alton Brown of Food Network's "Good Eats" and "Iron Chef America" is here to help.

Keep skewers in water all the time for less prep

One of the drawbacks to using wooden shish kabob skewers is that any uncovered parts of them tend to burn, and even possibly catch on fire (via Food & Wine). We all love a nice smoky taste, but having a flame that close to your food is never a good idea. The classic solution to this is to let the skewers soak in water beforehand. The added moisture should keep the wood from scorching and burning (via MyRecipes). To work though, skewers need to be submerged in water for roughly 30 minutes before they're loaded up with your ingredients (via Food & Wine).

Alton Brown's remedy to this is to store the skewers in water all the time. Then you're always ready to throw some kabobs on the grill. He recommends using an old water bottle that is large enough to fit the skewers. Fill it completely with water and keep a tight cap on it. Then, when you're ready to eat, he says to simply give the bottle a squeeze and the skewers will float right to the top. This way you can have kabobs any time without having to worry about them getting scorched.