What Part of Lamb is Doner Meat?

Doner Meat

Farming Base (farmingbase.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.

The giant punching bag-sized kebab meat rotating round and round often makes one wonder what exactly it is? Meat or fillers? In different countries, Doner Kebabs are made mostly from beef or lamb.

Homemade doner meat kebabs are quite difficult to make as it requires specialized equipment and a lot of room.

However, it would help to know what goes into making this delicious recipe. Read on to know what part of lamb is doner.

What Part of Lamb is Doner Meat?

This world-famous dish is often prepared with lamb meat. Some doner kebabs are made from a mixture of different meat types.

When talking about the traditional doner kebab, it is made with lamb meat.

Usually, the meat is taken from the lamb leg for preparing this dish. A small portion of lamb tail fat is also added to the mix, especially in Turkey.

In different countries, this kebab is made differently with varying ingredients and cuts.

Often, some chefs include surplus lamb off-cuts, offal, feet, ears, tongues, and other unusual parts not readily available in butcher shops.

Doner kebabs made entirely out of lamb meat are quite expensive than other meat alternatives.

It is not easy to decipher the taste of lamb doner kebab as it is aggressively processed and seasoned with different ingredients.

The spices, preparation, and cuts used in making doner kebab vary from place to place.

Doner Kebab – Beef or Lamb

Though Doner Kebab is particularly associated with street food and lamb meat, not all chefs use lamb to prepare this delicious recipe.

The meat of doner kebab comes from lamb, beef, veal, or chicken but not pork.

Mostly, chefs use cheap supplies and meat alternatives to make doner kebabs therefore, chicken and beef mixture is widely used.

Lamb meat is expensive and not readily available, that’s why it is convenient for cooks to go for common options.

The beaten piece of meat used in the kebab often comes from beef or veal or mixed with lamb. It is fluffy meat not bone meat like a lamb shank or lamb chops.

Food watchdogs tested that one out of thirteen kebabs had lamb, whereas others had chicken or beef.

Following the traditional recipe, the doner kebab should be made from the leg meat of the lamb in combination with the tail fat.

What Type of Meat Cuts Are Used in Doner Kebabs?

Doner kebabs are cooked from the meat of beef/lamb or with a combination of ground meat (beef mince) and soft beef or lamb steaks.

High-fat meat cuts are also used to keep the meat from drying out.

Due to the huge amount of fat, this is not a healthy option as a single kebab has approximately 2000 calories.

If not lamb, chicken, veal, turkey, and beef are used for the dish. These meat alternatives are cheaper but just as tasty.

Veal leg meat, lamb meat, and lamb tail is the ultimate combination of doner kebab in Turkey and some other countries.

Fatty cuts are chosen to keep the meat moist and flavorful as it slowly cooks on the rotisserie.

The thinly sliced meat is combined with ground meat for serving.

The percentage of ground meat in a doner kebab is fixed in some countries, for instance, in Germany, it can not exceed 60%.

part of lamb is Doner Meat

When is Doner Kebab not a Doner Kebab?

If we follow the Oxford English Dictionary, Doner Kebab is a Turkish dish of spiced lamb served in slices with pita bread.

As it can be seen, the definition uses the specific term ‘spiced lamb’, therefore, it is customary for the doner kebab to contain 100% lamb or sheep meat only.

If the kebab has meat other than lamb or mutton, for instance, stuffed with beef or chicken, it should be called beef or chicken kebab.

Many people believe that doner kebab can be of any meat type, it is not true, this kebab should only contain lamb or mutton.

The term ‘doner kebab’ does not qualify for beef and poultry.

Doner Kebab From The Leg of Lamb

This flavorful kebab dish is prepared by spit-roasting a leg of lamb on a vertical spit or rotisserie.

Better suited to street food, the cook simply shaves off thin slices of outer layers as they cook.

In many regions, chefs do not cook the whole leg but combine it with some inferior cuts to save some cost.

Since it is intensely flavored, there is no way for people to identify the cut or source of meat.

The lamb doner meat is high in fat, so, when vertically roasted, these fats naturally percolate through the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.

This kebab is served in a piece of flatbread with a variety of sauces or mayonnaise.

Many stalls serve them with a hot sauce, yogurt-based sauces, as well as garlic, herbs, or vegetables. Doner dinner with salad and rice attracts many customers to the stalls.

Why Does Doner Kebab Taste Different in Different Countries?

If you have eaten doner kebab in different countries, you are familiar with the fact that it tastes different in different regions.

The taste of the Doner kebab is heavily dependent on the quality of meat (lamb or beef), the ratio of meat and fat, and how slowly it is cooked.

Every state, country, or region prepares the meat with its local herbs and spices for the distinctive flavor.

The meat-type or combination used affects flavor. Doner kebabs would taste slightly different when made from lamb, beef, or both.

The higher the fat content, the more flavorful these kebabs will be. Fats infuse them with flavor and keep the meat moist.

Many health-conscious people avoid it because of the high-fat proportion. How it is prepared, seasoning and cooking methods also influence the taste.


Many people mistake doner kebab for Middle Eastern Shawarma because of the same cooking process. Shawarma is a lot spicier and usually made from chicken meat, unlike the famous Turkish Doner Kebab. It has a taste of its own, often including multiple cuts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.