Gyros from scratch

My love for gyros has been going on ever since my dear friend out east introduced me to this amazing home town Greek restaurant. Forever changed.

Recently I decided to try my hand at making my own gyro meat. I tried a few different recipes and all either came out crumbly or lacked flavor. I found this one by Alton Brown on the! Let’s be real. Can’t go wrong with trying one of his!

I did want a bit more flavoring, so continued trying other herb combinations. I came across Rebecca’s recipe on She had some great extra steps to get the flavor to pop. My heart was pretty darn happy after trying it! I decided to adapted it to the portion size of Alton Brown’s.

After tweaking both of them I came to the perfect combination! Big thanks to Alton who’s featured on foodnetwork often and Rebecca from for inspiring this recipie.

So here it is… My final results on making home-made gyro meat!


1 pound ground lamb

1 pound ground grass fed beef

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 tablespoon finally minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon dried marjoram

1 tablespoon dried ground rosemary

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Food prep:

I use 1lb of lamb and 1lb of grass fed beef. 1lb of Lamb can be found for around $10 at the higher end local grochery stores. Lamb is very good healthy meat choice for your body. In addition,

Lamb meat is more likely then not to be treated better then port, beef, or chicken. Because sheep typically are raised in more humane environments then other animals. They are less likely to be raised in confined factory farming conditions.

Add the ground lamb and ground beef to a big bowl. And set aside. It’s important for the meats consistency to keep the meat as chilled as possible till it hits the oven. If you are thawing the meat, keep this in mind.

Chop up the onion. Now transfer to a food processor. Pulse the chopped onion till it’s finally chopped. About 15 seconds. Remove the onion from the food processor onto the center of a clean towel. Gather the ends of the towel to ring out all the extra juices left in the onion. Toss the juice. This step is essential in insuring there is not too much moister in the gyro meat, resulting in it crumbling. Add the onion to the bowl with the meat.

I like it to be full of flavor! So if you’re like me and don’t like bland meat, this will not disappoint! Add in the salt, garlic, and all other herbs to the bowl with the meat mixture.

Useing a wooden spoon, mix it all together.

If time allows, at this stage it’s benificial to put the meat mixture in the fridge for a few hours, or over night.  This allows the salt to soak into the meat, playing a big roll in the proper texture. Also during cooking, it’s this step that helps the meat to hold in the liquid juices that are full of flavor. If you need to skip this step, no worries, you’ll still have enjoyable gyro meat.

Place the meat mixture into the food processor for about 1 minute. You want the texture to feel tacky like a fine paste. It will look similar to this…

Cooking instructions:

Preheat oven to 325F. Start boiling a medium pot of water on the stove. This will be used for the water bath later.

Place the meat mixture into a meatloaf/loaf pan. I use my grandma’s glass Pyrex dish that inherited. You know, the ones that were brown and incomparable to the ones made today! Man I love it!

Firmly pack the mixture in the pan to avoid any air pockets in the meat. This is where using a glass loaf pan comes in handy. If it’s not firmly packed down you’ll end up with crumbly meat.

Now to prepare the water bath. To do this I used the large glass Pyrex roasting pan. Line the bottom and sides with a towel. Then place the loaf pan in the roasting pan.

Place uncovered in preheated oven on the middle rack. Carefully fill with the boiling water till it reaches 2/3 of the way up the meatloaf pan. Check to make sure this water stays at this level while cooking. I keep boiling water ready to add part way through.

Cook between 60-70 minutes. Or until meat tempatures reads at 165F degrees and meat is no longer pink.

Remove from oven. Carefully take the loaf pan from the roasting pan, and pour out any extra juices. Place the loaf pan on a wired cooling rack.

Take a foil wrapped brick, lay it directly on the meat. This step helps to compress the meat. Leave it there for around 30 minutes, give or take. Remove the brick. *This step can be optional if you don’t have a brick.* However, even if you skip the brick, still let the pan cool on wire rack enough before the next step.

Now that it’s not piping hot. Cover loaf pan with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to fully cool for the easiest slicing. Or if it’s winter you can speed it up by placing the covered loaf pan outside for about 30 minutes.

Once fully cooled, remove the gyro loaf onto a cutting board and thinly slice.  Add to a warm pita with Taziki sauce, avacado, lettuce, tomato, onion and feta cheese. Enjoy!!!

*update* I do pan fry the individual slices to get the crispy outer texture. I fry them up using the juices or olive oil.