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Food + DrinkRecipeReview 819

A useless childhood dream: the kebab grill for your home

To cut a long story short: This machine is number 11 on my list if the ten most useless kitchen gadgets that you should put in a box and dump in the cellar. And still, I couldn’t wait to test this thing and I loved it. And stowed it away in the cellar right after I used it. How that makes sense? Read on to find out.

It’s been a childhood dream of mine to slice my own kebab meat. Not with one of those shavers that you see in kebab shops. What I want is to slice the juicy meat with a sharp knife directly from the skewer, applying the precision of a surgeon. I've had this image in my mind ever since I saw these two guys in their kebab shop on MTV:

And now it’s happening – the home kebab grill is making it possible. It’s not as large as the original, but it fits perfectly into my kitchen. I’m living my childhood dream!

I'll have one kebab, please

A look at the price tag of the GOURMETmaxx kebab grill is enough to guess that this machine is rather basic. It has one switch, that’s it. This grill is either glowing and the skewers spinning around slowly or its doing nothing at all. There’s nothing in between; no way of regulating the temperature, the rotation speed of the skewers or the direction they spin in. At least, that makes it easy to assemble this thing: Place the drip tray underneath the skewers and your kebab party is ready to go.

Advice from a pro: Wrap tin foil around the inside of the grill and the drip tray to avoid having to scrub everything clean later on.

This grill takes up to two kilograms of meat and I’m definitely going to max it out. Two kilograms of chicken legs without skin and bones aren’t a regular order at my local butcher, so I need to pre-order it. The butcher has my order ready in two days, so that’s as much time as I get to look for a recipe. Yes, I need to look for one; it doesn’t come with the manual. Just as the grill, the manual is rather basic, too. All it says is: «Cut meat into pieces and layer up on skewers». The good news is this gives me all the freedom I want to find a recipe. I go for the Lebanese version of a kebab: shawarma. I’ve had it before, on Geneva’s «Rue de Berne», which really should be renamed to «Rue de Beyrouth». Why? It’s home to countless Lebanese takeaways. And all of them sell «Assiette Shawarma », a massive plate of meat and countless oriental side dishes at a great price. In the early morning hours, shawarma is wrapped up in flat bread (similar to Dürüm) – your perfect late-night snack after a long night of partying. What’s in this Lebanese flat bread dish? Meat, tahini sauce, fresh vegetables, tabbouleh and pickled cucumbers.

Grilling meat on a vertical skewer dates back to the Ottoman Empire. In 1683, the empire extended from North Africa over parts of the Arabian Peninsula and all of the Levant and Iraq, all of Greece and the Balkans to the gates of Vienna. It remains unclear when exactly Ottoman chefs began to set up their skewers vertically rather than horizontally. The first reports of this technique date from the 18th century. This prevented fat from dripping into the hot embers and inflaming. While the Ottoman Empire broke down, the culinary tradition was preserved in local variations. In Greece it became the Gyros, in Lebanon and the Middle East the shawarma, in today's Turkey the Döner Kebap. Not only the vertical skewer indicates the same origin, but also the origin of the word: döner, gyros and shawarma mean «turning».

Getting down to business

The chicken for my shawarma is marinated the day before in a mixture of yoghurt, olive oil, lemon juice, spices, garlic and onions. I've added the exact recipe to the end of this article. The pieces are very easy to skewer and chicken legs are the perfect size for these mini kebab skewers. Once you're done, switch the machine on and forget about it for a while.

The ingredients of my marinade
Shawarma can also be topped off with an onion

About time to take care of the veggie fillings. I go for red cabbage, cut into strips and salted well, with a little lemon juice and olive oil. On top of that, pickled gherkins (important: Buy them in an Arabic shop, these are not your regular pickled gherkins), tomatoes, cucumbers and tabbouleh.

For the sauce, I mix Greek yoghurt with four tablespoons of tahini, a pressed clove of garlic, some salt and lemon juice. All this can be prepared while the shawarma is grilling along quite merrily. After a little more than half an hour, the meat begins to brown slowly and is turning black at the outermost tips. If this happens, just pick the black bits off. It takes about 45 minutes until the outermost layer is well done and I can finally get to work. I turn off the grill, grab a knife and get ready to rumble. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out as well as I'd like from the start. My barbecue skewer is rather loose, so it's difficult to do one straight cut. It takes some practice until I manage to cut off nice pieces.

After about 45 minutes, the first layer of meat is ready
Finally, my dream is coming true!

After the first layer, it's a breeze: the meat is now well roasted inside and the outermost layer grills within only a few minutes. I'm beginning to sweat; this grill isn't only heating up the shawarma but my entire kitchen.

Shawarma party for eight people

The exotic holiday love

The meat is wonderfully tender and there's plenty of food for eight people. Everyone puts their own shawarma together and I've reached my life goals of slicing my own Döner shawarma meat. Having said that, it's not worth cooking this dish and heating up the GOURMETmaxx Stand Dönergrill for fewer than four people.

You can also prepare a whole grilled chicken or small chicken skewers with this grill, but it's a rather exotic kitchen appliance nevertheless. Compared to the kitchen appliance all-stars, the kebab grill falls short: A raclette oven is used at least once a month in winter and offers a simple meal for guests. A blender masters smoothies as well as soups or sauces and a sandwich maker is a faithful companion on lonely evenings when I don't want to cook anything. With the kebab grill, I have to invite at least four guests, pre-marinate the meat and keep an eye on the machine all the time to make sure nothing burns. That's why I'm not taking this romance any further. It's like a holiday love: It's intense, but as soon as you return to everyday life, it's quickly forgotten.

Recipe: Chicken shawarma prepared with the kebab grill

  • 2 kg chicken legs without skin and bones (pre-order from the butcher)

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 500 grams yoghurt
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Marinate the meat, preferably in a large freezer bag.
  3. Leave to work its magic for 24 hours.
  4. Layer the meat onto the kebab skewer (only as wide as the plate at the bottom of the skewer).
  • Dönergrill 05914
  • Dönergrill 05914
  • Dönergrill 05914
CHF 66.–
GOURMETmaxx Dönergrill 05914


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Simon Balissat, Zurich

  • Editor
When I flew the family nest over 15 years ago, I suddenly had to cook for myself. But it wasn’t long until this necessity became a virtue. Today, rattling those pots and pans is a fundamental part of my life. I’m a true foodie and devour everything from junk food to star-awarded cuisine. Literally. I eat way too fast.


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User Ramon Schneider

User Lizarazu3

Wollte grad auch sagen: Das heisst doch "DER" Gerät, oder?

User hosae

Danke Ramon, bist mir zuvorgekommen.

User adrianbhend

Sachen die die Welt nicht braucht.
Als mein Toaster neulich zu Boden fiel, sieh er auch so aus. Habe mir gleich auf Galaxus einen Neuen bestellt.

User timo

Funktioniert auch bestens im Drehspieß auf dem Gasgrill, ist nur etwas fummeliger den Spieß stabil hinzubekommen.

User Anonymous

Richtig wäre "mit alles mit scharf"

User Aurel Stevens

User Anonymous

Hab noch nie mit ohne scharf bestellt, bin jetzt neugierig