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[Photographs: Nikki Goldstein]

I always think that grilling is a great group activity. That is, until twenty hungry stomachs show up and you realize that the grill can only hold six burgers and a few hot dogs.

It may not be the end-all solution to the problem, but Fire Wire makes flexible skewers that are fantastic space-savers in this kind of situation. They're made from stainless steel cable–style wire, which means they're sturdy enough to be used and reused but bendy enough to be wrapped around whatever configuration of meatiness is already cooking away.

I had my first encounter with Fire Wire skewers several weeks ago when I saw them at a local kitchen goods store. I looked at the price tag--$10 for a pack--but when I noticed that a pack only included two skewers, I passed, thinking I'd never be full off of two kebabs. But the thought of them kept lingering in my mind and eventually, I knew what had to be done--if they were that intriguing, it was time to put them to the test.

My reluctance that a single pair would be sufficient was quickly rendered moot. As it turns out, these babies are more than twice as long as your average skewer, so they hold quite a bit of food after all. Their tips aren't sharp, which is both good and bad: It's a little frustrating to thread so many veggies, but it's safe enough for the kids to take over. Their flexible nature means they can be coiled up and set into a bowlful of marinade--a nice perk.

Once I set them on the grill, I was pleased to find that they did make more efficient use of the space. A particularly nice feature is that the length is just right so you can configure your food as necessary but still leave the ends to hang over, keeping them cool to the touch for easy flipping.

When you ultimately take these flexible skewers off the grill, there's a lot more food to go around than there would be with regular skewers. The result? Fewer hungry bellies complaining.

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