Bug Repelling BBQ Recipe

When traveling to Thailand I came across a home remedy for keeping mosquitos away: lemongrass spray.  Not only is this a great natural bug repellent, it is also a wonderful ingredient that brings a refreshing bright flavor to camp cooking. Lemongrass contains citronella, which is a natural oil that repels mosquitoes.  In addition to using lemongrass in your meal, you can also make a homemade spray to apply to your skin.

Everything needed to make mosquito repelling Lemongrass skewers

How to keep bugs away from the BBQ

This recipe uses Lemongrass in two ways.  The first is mixed in with the Thai dipping sauce.  The second way is to use the lemongrass stalk as a skewer stick.  As the lemongrass stalk heats up on the BBQ the citronella oil will release, creating an aroma that repels bugs.  In the case of a bad infestation I recommend bringing additional bug repelling devices.

Non-natural bug repellent

I love cooking the outdoors, but I hate sharing my food with bugs. When I go camping I always bring my Thermacell Mosquito Repelling Lantern. Thermacell uses a vaporizing mosquito repellent that works similar to an aromatherapy candle, creating a 15×15 foot bug force field around my campsite. Thanks to Thermacell and lemongrass there are no more hovering pests making a meal out of me.

Bug repelling lemongrass
Bug Free BBQ: Lemongrass Skewers with Thai Dipping Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Mosquitos are repelled by the citronella oil in lemongrass. This recipe features lemongrass two ways, in hope that you won't have to share your meal with unwanted pests.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: BBQ, Firepit/BBQ, Propane Stove
Servings: 10 Skewers
Lemongrass Skewers
  • 1 lb. Ground Meat of your choice If you use poultry, take salmonella precautions
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 10 stalks Lemongrass 5 halved stalks
Thai Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 3 cloves Grated Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Chunky Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Grated Lemongrass
  • 1 Thai Chili, finely chopped can substitute with 1/3 chopped jalapeño
  1. Place ground meat in a large Ziplock bag. Add cilantro, garlic and soy sauce, seal Ziplock. Mix the contents of the bag; mush the ingredients together until everything is blended into the ground meat.
  2. Wet hands (to prevent meat from sticking). Remove a palm sized ball of meat from the bag and roll until meat sticks together in a ball.

  3. Stick a length of lemongrass halfway into each ball, then press the meat mixture around the lemongrass to make a shape like a corn dog. Make sure meat is spread evenly throughout the lemongrass stalk, to ensure even cooking.

  4. Use a non-stick spray or oil to lubricate the cooking surface. Cook skewers over a flame or on a camp stove, and rotate every couple minutes. Depending on the heat of your cooking device, it should take about 8-10 minutes to cook skewer. The skewers are done when the outside is golden and the inside is cooked through.

  5. Make Thai Dipping Sauce at home and store in the cooler until ready to use. When skewers are ready remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes, bust out the dipping sauce and enjoy!

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