Where Does Doner Meat Come From?-Know More

Doner meat often brings to mind a huge, delicious chunk of meat cooked over an open fire and when it is ready to be served is cut into tiny strips and dished up with bread, fresh salad, and chili sauce. Although the popularity of this meal is not in doubt, there is a bit of an argument over where exactly the doner meat comes from?

Where Does Doner Meat Come From

According to The Guardian, doner meat is traditionally made with lamb and originates from Turkey before it became a highly sought-after fast food in other parts of the world. Nowadays, in most sandwiches and kebab shops, you can request a doner kebab and eat a variation of this popular food. 

Originate From

There have been disputing claims over the history of doner meat, however, the earliest records point to the ottoman empire in Turkey as far back as the 17th century. Immigrants from Turkey brought the recipe to Germany where it was adopted and then refined, it has also made its way to being a staple fast food in other countries.

The usual method of making it is as follows: the seasoned meat is stacked and prepared with the rotisserie method of cooking which could be either horizontal or vertical. 

What Animal Is Doner Meat Made From

It was initially made from only lamb but in modern-day versions, It can also be:

  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Veal
  • A combination of different cuts of meat

Even with the various types of meat that are being used to prepare the doner kebab, pork meat is exempted from use and is only an option on very rare occasions.

The Other Variations of Doner Meat

It has undergone a lot of transformations throughout the years with each culture putting its spin on the dish. 


A variation that originated from Greece and is served in Tzatziki sauce.


This version is marinated in middle eastern spices and served in the Arab regions.

Iskender Kebap

It was served with butter and yogurt on a plate.


It was served in a bed of rice. 

Durum doner:

Slices of doner meat put into flatbread.

Methods of Cooking

It was is roasted or grilled slowly over an open fire but home cooks can also achieve a degree of this flavor by using an oven or an outdoor grill to prepare the meat slowly. Slow cooking ensures that all parts of the meat are tender and have maximum flavor before they’re served up to be eaten.

Pros and Cons

There are some advantages and disadvantages that come with consuming it and they are as follows:


  • Adequately prepared doner meat is a good source of protein
  • When served with fresh vegetables, it is a nutritious meal.
  • It offers different types of meat that are packed with flavor.
  • Preparing your doner meat at home ensures that you know the final product that you’re consuming.


  • There are various health concerns associated with the way it is being prepared.
  • Some restaurants do not follow the safety regulations while preparing it.
  • The combination of various types of meat might cause a buildup of unhealthy fat.
  • There is no sure way to ascertain the exact meat you are eating.
  • it is sometimes preserved with phosphates which have been linked to heart diseases.

Finding out where it comes from is just half the fun, the next step is to go ahead and eat a well-prepared doner kebab. It is rich with history and so the method of cooking it all boils down to personal preference, it also should be made according to the existing health regulations so that unwanted diseases can be prevented.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the difference between doner meat and gyros?

It originates from the turkey while gyros are part of the Greek cuisine, It is served with very little spices, however for gyros, the meat is marinated in Greek spices and served with a Tzatziki sauce on flatbreads. Gyros originate from Greece and are a different variation of the doner meat.  

What is the difference between doner meat and shawarma?

Shawarma is derived from this but it is prepared with spices from the middle east alongside a tahini sauce. Shawarma is always served in a wrap while it can either be served in a wrap or as a side dish. Shawarma is a preferred fast food in the Arab region.

Why does doner meat not include pork?

Doner meat does not include pork due to religious restrictions, pork is a type of meat that is not allowed to be eaten by Muslims and so it is exempted from use when preparing the doner kebab.

Where Does Doner Meat Come From?-Know More

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