Kebab vs Gyro – Are They The Same?

You can almost conclude kebab and gyro are the same, especially when it’s doner kebab. But, you know, looks can be very deceptive. Then, let’s consider a comparison of kebab vs gyro.

They’re both delicious. To some persons, the doner kebab is like a progenitor, while the gyro is its younger descendants.

In this article, you’ll learn about the contents of both, their similarities, and their differences. You will also see why the kebab is an ancestor of the gyro. 

What is a kebab?

Kebab is a famous Middle Eastern food prepared by mounting pieces of meat with or without vegetables on a skewer and mounting the skewer on a grill. Kebab is a Turkish word that means “grilled meat.”

You can find this food in places like Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, and several other countries in the Middle East.

It is also prominent in locations with a large population of Middle Easterners, such as parts of Britain and the United States. Additionally, in India, people eat Kathi kebab. This kind of kebab is cooked in a tandoor oven.

For many people, the most common form of kebab is the shish kebab. It is prepared with meat which is cut into pieces and lightly spiced up before being skewered.

Meanwhile, for others, adding vegetable chunks such as onions, peppers, squash, and mushrooms to their shish kebabs is the real deal.

You can also find kebabs prepared with long streaks of meat with doner kebabs, prepared by grinding meat, setting it into a cylinder around a skewer, and roasting it slowly.

Although you can use chicken and beef to make kebabs, lamb is one of the most popular meats for preparing kebabs in the Middle East.

The best part is that you can easily make your kebab at home. All you need is either a grill, an oven, or a pan.

What is a gyro?

First, the right way to pronounce Gyro is, ‘YEE-roh,’ which is the Greek word for “turning.” Gyro is a stacked meat dish that is usually vertically spit-roasted. It is usually cooked in front of a vertical rotisserie.

Conventionally, Greek gyro is prepared from pork. However, the American style of the dish commonly comprises lamb, beef, or a flavorful combination of the two.

Both versions are usually jammed between two fluffy layers of pita bread and capped with tomato, onion, and a yogurt sauce. This sauce is called tzatziki.

In the history of the Greeks, the origin of the gyro is credited to soldiers from the army of Alexander the Great. It is recorded that they skewered meat using their swords and roasted it over an open flame.

Many believe that the gyro was introduced to the U.S. by an increasing population of Greeks in New York City in the 1970s.

Kebab vs gyro

Both are extraordinary. How gyro is roasted, and the spicy taste of kebab is so amazing, you can’t even compare. The slight difference is that gyros are thin pieces of roasted meat, whereas kebabs are peppery minced meat skewers.

The meat used in preparing gyro is left to get absorbed in Mediterranean herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano.

Also, the gyros are very related to the well-known doner kebab. Besides, both are cooked on a vertical rotisserie.

Doner kebab vs gyro

The doner kebab is known as an ancestor to its younger offspring; shawarma and gyro. It originated from the Ottoman Empire back in the 1200s. The meat is usually cooked in a large cone-like shape on a vertical spike that turns as it roasts.

At a glance, you’d mistake a doner for a gyro. This similarity also extends to the way the meat is prepared as both are roasted on a vertical rotisserie.

Chicken kebab vs chicken gyro

Chicken kebab is simply kebab made with chicken. On the other hand, the chicken gyro is also a type of gyro prepared with chicken. Some specific similarities include:

  • They’re both popular dishes
  • You can serve them in a similar way
  • They are both healthy options. You can make both of them either by roasting or grilling. This cooking process doesn’t add any fat to the meat.
  • Both are served with healthy ingredients. You can serve them with a lot of fresh vegetables and Greek yogurt.
  • Also, the chicken gyro is thinner and contains more juice, whereas chicken kebab can be dry and thicker.

Kebab vs gyro – which is better?

It all depends on preference. If you prefer the salty, creamy taste of döner sauce and the spicy Turkish flavors, you may say it is better.

But then, if you like that unique flavor of tzatziki and prefer chicken to lamb or beef, you may prefer gyros more.

Furthermore, kebabs have more alternatives. But, gyros are served with only pita bread.


What is another name for English kebab?

English kebab can also be called shish kebab, kabob, or cabob. It is a dish that contains small pieces of meat, tomatoes, onions, etc., worked onto skewers and grilled, commonly over charcoal.

Do Americans have doner kebab?

Yes, they do. It is a popular street food around the world. Even though gyros are generally more popular in the U.S., doner kebab can also be found in America.

Are kebabs a healthy option for you?

Yes, they are. Kebabs are a healthy fast food choice. That’s because kebabs are not deep-fried. Plus, you can serve them with bread and salad.

Nonetheless, the meat used in preparing kebabs contains fat, and the amount of fat depends on the type of meat used.

You can prepare a more adequate quality of kebabs with New Zealand lamb shoulder steak. This meat contains around 10-15% fat.

What portion of the animal is doner meat?

The parts used are; veal leg meat, lamb meat, and lamb tail are the absolute mixture of doner kebab in Turkey and some other countries.

Chefs prefer to use fatty slices to keep the meat moist and tasty as it cooks slowly on the rotisserie. For serving, you can mix thinly sliced meat with ground meat.


Now that you understand kebab vs gyro, you can make your choice and enjoy yourself. Even though they are healthy, you must pay close attention to the type of meat you use. Homemade kebab or gyro helps you regulate the ingredients you use.

Finally, if you always thought beef and steak always refer to the same thing, you should read this beef vs steak comparison.

Thank you for reading.