#45 – At-home Doner Kebab

#45 – At-home Doner Kebab

Are you familiar with Gyros, Shawarma, or Al Pastor? All of these lovely dishes – which I’ve most often experienced as street foods – share a commonality with Doner Kebab in that they are all seasoned meat that is then put on a spits and carved as it cooks. 


To recreate the actuality of this type of kebab cooking would require some serious thinking and equipment. That’s why I’m calling this “At-Home Doner Kebab” instead. The way we make it is similar to regular meatloaf, except the meat is much more mixed down and results in a loaf with a much tighter grain. It’s not a true replacement for getting the real deal, but if you love this type of food, it’ll tide you over. 


The other thing I like a lot about this recipe is it’s something you can make before hand and then continue to cut slices from over the course of a couple of days. The process of making doner makes you realize that other processed meats, like bologna, are things you might be able to make at home – if only you mix enough!


You’ll need a 9×5 Loaf Pan

About 2.5 total pounds of ground meat made up of lamb, beef, and/or pork. 

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black pepper

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp curry powder

2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tsp cayenne pepper or jalapeno powder (optional) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. The key to this recipe is mixing and mixing and mixing the meat. You want this to be well past sausage consistency. If you have a stand up mixer, that is the way to go. But I often make this by hand and still like the results. Err on the side of overmixing. 
  2. Once the spiced meat mixture has reached a very sticky and somewhat tight consistency, begin to pack the meat into the pan, slapping and pounding the mixture down to make sure you get rid of as many air pockets as possible. Tap the pan on the counter to release air pockets. Then shape the loaf with a slight depression in the middle so that it doesn’t round up to an extreme extent while cooking. 
  3. Place into the oven in a bain marie – meaning a larger dish filled with water – this allows the concoction to cook more steadily. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. 
  4. With caution for the bain marie, removed from the oven. Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and let rest for at least 10 minutes. For best results, refrigerate the loaf completely.
  5. Slice thin pieces of the doner and brown them in a hot skillet. 
  6. Finally, serve on a pita with tzatziki sauce and fresh vegetables.


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