Gyros were very popular a few years ago. Luke Bryan and Jimmy Fallon even made a song about their very controversial pronunciation (It’s YEE-RO, by the way).

They are an easy-to-make addition to any foodservice operation’s menu. They’re popular at fast-food restaurants, concession stands, and Greek restaurants, but can be served anywhere. They consist of thinly sliced meat and vegetables wrapped in a pita or flatbread drizzled with Tzatziki. Many restaurants offer the customer the option to choose which meat they use, providing sandwiches with chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and even fish! The traditional option, however, is lamb.


Gyros, in their current form, were first served in New York in the 1970s. Before that, they are believed to have originated from Greece though they are very similar to Turkey’s “Doner Kebab” and the Middle East’s “Shawarma.”

The word gyro comes from the Greek word “gheereezo” which means “to turn.”

How They Work

Gyro machines are also called vertical broilers and they are used for preparing meat. They work by:

    1) Sliding the meat of choice onto the machine’s pole
    2) Turning all the machine’s heating elements and motor on so that it can even cook the meat
    3) Cooking the meat until the exterior is crispy and the interior meets proper serving temperatures
    4) Carving the meat off the pole and onto a catch tray

Once this is done, you can prepare the gyro or sandwich by placing it on the bread and stacking it with various ingredients and preferred sauces.

A gyro machine is worth the investment because it speeds up the process of preparing the meat while ensuring it's done but not overcooked.

Features to Consider

When choosing a vertical broiler, you should consider what features you want. Most come with the ability to both cook and hold the meat at proper serving temperatures.

Spit capacity is the most important consideration before purchasing. You’ll need to know what types of meat you want to prepare and roughly how much you’ll need to prepare at once. Once you know the size of the meat you’ll be cooking, you can choose a machine to accommodate your business’ needs. You can choose it by noting the length and weight capacity of the unit's spit.


Gyro machines are either gas- or electric-powered. Whichever you choose, they both use radiant heat to prepare the meat. If you choose gas, make sure you have the appropriate gas lines for natural gas or liquid propane. If you choose electric, make sure the outlet you’ll use matches the voltage you purchase.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

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