Grilling Guide

How to Use a BBQ Rotisserie

Slowly rotating meat over fire is a cooking tradition that’s been around since the beginning of time. Today, It’s much easier with a BBQ rotisserie grill attachment. Most rotisseries are used with a gas grill but there are attachments for charcoal kettles and fire pits.

When cooking on a rotisserie, meat is simply inserted onto a long grilling spit, which rotates slowly at a consistent speed, allowing the meat to baste in its own fat and juices. The meat is cooked evenly at a constant temperature, sealing the juices inside, creating a deliciously tender and flavorful outcome.

Trussing the meat beforehand will prevent it from being torn apart while grilling and allows it to be cooked more evenly. Use butcher’s twine to be sure the meat is secure. Push your spit fork tightly into the meat. Make certain the meat can spin properly on your rotisserie prior to heating up your grill.

Rotisserie Set Up

An unbalanced rotisserie rod will be repeatedly pulled out of rhythm as the rotating food suddenly flops to its heaviest side. This will cause serious damage to the motor and gears. The steps below will help you properly set up the rotisserie:

  1. Remove the skewer fork closer to the pointy end of your rod, then spit your meat on the rotisserie. Reattach the first fork and secure food in the center of the rod with both rotisserie forks. Make sure they’re deeply inserted into the meat. Tightly twist the thumbscrews on each fork.
  1. Place the rotisserie rod on the bearing points of the grill and pay attention to which side of the meat swings to the bottom. Plug in the motor, connect your rod to the motor, and give the spit a few spins to see if any part of the meat keeps flipping downward.
  1. If the rod stays in place once it stops rotating, then your food is balanced and ready to cook. If not, then attach a counterweight to balance the rod.
  1. Leave your rod in the bearings with the heaviest part of the food facing down. Attach the counterweight (included with rotisserie accessories) to the end of the rod opposite the motor, with the weight pointing straight up.
  1. Balancing the rod may take a bit of trial and error, so set the weight to what looks appropriate and spin the rotisserie again to see if there’s still a heavier end. Adjust the counterweight as needed until the rod consistently stays in place after being rotated.

A balanced rod means it’s time to start cooking. Place a drip pan below the rotisserie rod which prevents fat drippings from getting into the inner parts of your grill and gives you a chance to add aromatics to the mix. You can use wood chips to infuse skewered food with next-level flavors.

Rotisserie Cooking

The average gas grill rotisserie can hold between 10 and 20 pounds, more than enough for a prime rib roast, leg of lamb, a whole chicken, turkey, or ham. Look for uniformly shaped cuts of meat for an even cook. Don’t forget to truss the meat with butcher’s twine to keep the meat secure.

Get food situated in the grill before turning on any burners. Make sure the motor is running and close the lid. Open the lid after 30 minutes to make sure everything is working properly. Until the meat is done, open the lid as little as possible. Stop the rotisserie motor before checking meat temperature with a meat thermometer.

Wear heat-resistant grilling gloves when removing the rotisserie. To take meat off the spit rod, dislodge it from the forks and slide one of the forks off the rod. Then pull the rod out from the meat. Carefully cut off the butcher’s twine and remove it from the meat. This must be done immediately before the crust on the meat starts to harden. Now you can carve and serve the tenderest, juiciest, crispiest meat you have ever eaten.

How does Rotisserie Chicken & Roasted Vegetables or a Rotisserie Prime Rib Roast sound? For the holidays, how about serving a Rotisserie Bourbon & Cane Syrup Glazed Ham. I’m feeling hungry already! So now it’s time to decide what to cook on your BBQ Rotisserie since we’ve covered the basics. Get ready to wow your friends and family at the tailgate or backyard barbecue party.

Rotisserie Chicken & Roasted Vegetables

Image: Deposit Photos, studioM
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 ½ hours Rest Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4-6


3-4 pounds whole chicken

3 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ rub or seasoning

1 stick of Unsalted Butter, melted

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

3-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced

3 pounds red or gold potatoes quartered lengthwise

3-4 carrots chopped

1 large red onion chopped

Set up your grill for rotisserie cooking and preheat to medium-high 375°F.

Remove chicken from packaging and discard innards. Rinse chicken with cool water and pat dry.

Truss the chicken tightly with twine then season the entire chicken including the cavity.  Gently lift the skin and apply some seasoning under that as well.

Mix half of the melted butter, half of the garlic, salt, and pepper, and all the vegetables, then toss into large mixing bowl until evenly coated.

Pour vegetables in a 9-by-13-inch aluminum foil drip pan. Place under the chicken as it spit-roasts. The vegetables will roast in the dripping chicken fat.

Skewer chicken with rotisserie rod, and secure with the rotisserie forks. Attach the rotisserie rod to the motor and set to rotate at a medium pace.

Cook with the grill lid down for 30 minutes, then baste the chicken with the remaining melted butter, salt and pepper. Repeat basting every 15 minutes.

Rotate the vegetable pan after 45 minutes for even cooking and stir from time to time so the veggies brown evenly.

For the last 20 minutes of cooking, turn on the lower burners of the grill to low to help finish cooking the vegetables.

Roast the chicken until the skin is dark brown and crisp. With a meat probe, check the temperature of the chicken at the thickest part. Once the temperature reaches 165°F, it is done.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

Rotisserie Prime Rib Roast

Image: Deposit Photos, bhofack2
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: About 4 hours Rest Time: 15-20 minutes Serves: 8-10


4-5 pound rib roast

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons coarse pepper

2 tablespoons garlic powder

Mix seasonings and rub onto all sides of the prime rib roast. Make sure it is well coated.

Push the long central spit of the rotisserie through the roast from end to end, as close to the center as possible. Slide the rotisserie’s forks into place to grip the roast tightly. Rotate the shaft to check its balance.

Place on rotisserie and cook at 250°F. Place drip pan beneath the meat. Save the juices to make gravy. Keep the lid closed.

Cook to an internal temperature of 110°F for rare or 115°F for medium-rare doneness. Approximately 10 to 15 degrees below your desired doneness.

Raise the lid from time-to-time to check meat temp. Insert meat thermometer into the roast, avoiding fat, bone, and metal spit.

Remove from rotisserie, cover with foil, and allow roast to rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows juices to redistribute, retaining moisture for tender meat. The internal temperature will continue to rise from 10 to 15 degrees.

Slice and enjoy.