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5 Tips for Using Your Rotisserie Burner

Nothing says “summer” like firing up your grill and getting out your rotisserie.

Rotisserie grilling may look intimidating and complicated, but it’s actually a simple, delicious spin on traditional grilling (pun intended).

A rotisserie consist of two pieces:

  1. The spit: A device consisting of two or more metal bars upon which the meat is skewered.
  2. Two prongs or forks: These prongs or forks are screwed to either side of the meat to hold it in place.

Also known as “spit roasting”, rotisserie grilling isn’t technically “grilling” – it’s more like roasting. Your meat will self-baste in its own juices as it rotates on the spit, which is why rotisserie grilled meals are so juicy and delicious. The rotation of the spit also ensures even cooking, and results in that perfect, crispy skin we all love so much.

Rotisserie grilling is perfect for cooking larger cuts of meat like whole chickens, lamb legs, and roasts. Any recipe that calls for indirect heat is suitable for rotisserie, as long as your meat isn’t so heavy that your rotisserie can’t rotate. In most cases, the cooking time and the temperatures will remain the same for rotisserie roasting.

Once you’ve skewered your meat and set up your rotisserie, follow these tips for a perfect cookout:

1. Use a drip pan

Rotisserie Tip #1 (Blog)Remove your cooking grate and place a drip pan large enough to fit your entire rotating entrée on top of the heat plates. Make sure the drip pan is positioned directly under the meat, and that it is full of basting liquid at all times.

The drip pan serves two purposes:

  1. It prevents your meat from drying out and keeps your meal moist and delicious.
  2. It collects fat drippings. If these fat drippings drip directly into your grill, it can cause a grease fire. Make sure your drip pan is always full of liquid like water, broth, or even wine – if it dries out and heats up, dripping fat can still cause a grease fire even if you’re using a drip pan.

For added flavour, fill your drip pan with beer, wine, juice, or even chunks of chopped vegetable. You can even use the drippings for gravy!

2. Keep your grill lid closed

Rotisserie Tip #2 (Blog)Rotisserie grilling is similar to grilling over indirect heat. If you open your grill’s lid too often, heat will escape and your meal will take longer to cook.
If you have an infrared rotisserie burner like our Cuisinart® Ceramic 850 Barbecue, your rotisserie burner will produce a very focused heat and lose less heat to the surrounding air. As a result, you may have to slightly adjust your cooking times.

3. Secure loose bits to prevent burning  

Rotisserie Tip #3 (Blog)If you’re preparing a meal that has lots of loose bits, such as a whole chicken, securely truss your protein so that any smaller portions don’t overcook. Thin cuts like wing tips and legs cook quicker than thicker cuts like breasts and may burn if you aren’t careful.

4. Make sure your spit is balanced

Rotisserie Tip #4 (Blog)If your spit is improperly balanced, your meat won’t rotate evenly. This also means it won’t cook evenly, and you’ll also overwork your rotisserie motor.

5. Use a probe thermometer to check if your meat is properly cooked

Rotisserie Tip #5 (Blog)A meat thermometer is the best way to make sure your meat is fully cooked before you pull it off the rotisserie. Try not to take your meal’s temperature too often – the more you poke in the probe, the more juices may escape.

Rotisserie Right!

Don’t be intimidated by your rotisserie! Rotisserie grilling is just as easy (and delicious) as traditional grilling.

Try this recipe for Rotisserie Honey Roasted Lemon-Thyme Chicken.

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