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A rotisserie is a method of roasting in which the meat to be roasted is skewered to a long rod, called a spit rod. Large joints of meat or entire birds or animals are cooked by this style of cooking. The spit rod holds the meat, rotates it over heat or fire, and the meat gets evenly cooked on all sides. A rotisserie unit can be used in a grill or open broiler, a conventional oven, or an industrial oven. High-end ovens either come with the rotisserie feature or are compatible to attach a rotisserie kit. The rotisserie unit comes with the spit and a motor. The length of the spit and the power of the motor are the main factors to consider while selecting a rotisserie kit. This largely depends on the weight and the kind of food it will be used for. A larger spit and a powerful motor is needed for roasting large birds and any meat that weighs much heavier.

History of Rotisserie

The rotisserie style of cooking is traced back to the medieval period, where larger households preferred to cook this way. A male servant was employed to manually turn the metal rod and cook the food slowly over fire. Later, a mechanical form of rotisserie such as the roasting jack was invented. Advancing technology allowed for better inventions, and the spits used in modern times are powered by electric motor.

How to Use the Rotisserie

A rotisserie kit comes with a motor, a spit rod with fork prongs, and sometimes a dip tray. These attachments are available for all types of grills – charcoal, gas, or electric. Whichever grill is being used, the important thing is to set up the spit and place the meat on it in such a way that it does not fall.

  • The spit rod usually contains two fork prongs to hold the meat in place.
  • One fork prong is positioned on one end of the spit rod.
  • The meat is slid through the rod in the center and along the longest part, to make it well balanced.
  • After making sure that the meat is firmly fixed to the prong on one side, the other prong is also positioned to hold the meat securely.
  • Now, this spit rod with meat is placed in the grill.
  • It is checked to see if the meat is well balanced and if it is in the center of the rod.
  • The lid of the grill is closed.
  • The motor is switched on and the meat is roasted according to the desired temperature. Most rotisserie recipes mention the ideal temperature required to cook.
  • After some time, a meat thermometer is used to check if the meat is done.
  • Once done, the spit is removed using a pair of barbecue mitts.

Benefits of Rotisserie

A rotisserie constantly turns the meat and roasts it evenly on all sides. Thus, the meat retains all the juice and is browned on all sides. It is tastier and healthier too.


A rotisserie unit should be cared for and maintained well.

  • The rotisserie unit should be set up on a stable surface. Using it on an unstable surface can damage the unit.
  • The dip tray is covered with a foil, so that the juice drips onto it. This makes cleaning up easier.
  • It is recommended to clean the rotisserie immediately after it is used. Delaying cleaning will make the job much more difficult as the food hardens and sticks on to it.
  • The rotisserie is to be cleaned as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • If the parts are dishwasher safe, cleaning is a breeze.
  • If the rotisserie has a non-stick surface, then wiping it with a damp cloth is recommended.
  • Once cleaned, the unit has to be stored in a safe place until further use.


Commercial rotisseries can accommodate up to 100 chickens at a time. They can even hold an entire ox, which is one of the attractions in Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, Germany.