Rotisserie chicken is delicious, but it’s also an affordable and very convenient way to feed your family. Walk into any grocery store these days and chances are you’ll see a hot case of tender roasted rotisserie chickens ready for you to grab and go. Since it’s so easy to walk in and buy a fully cooked chicken, you don’t see many people getting excited about doing their own rotisserie chicken roasting at home. My guess is that for the uninitiated, rotisserie roasting seems complicated and time consuming, but the truth is quite the opposite. Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at how the process works, and just how easy it is.
How Rotisserie Chicken Works
Rotisserie roasting is a very simple process that’s been around for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Meat is placed on what’s known as a spit and rotated over an open flame until it’s cooked to perfection. Constantly rotating the meat leads to even cooking and a beautifully crisp, evenly-charred skin. Rotisserie meats can be some of the juiciest, most tender main courses around when done correctly. Long ago, someone was required to hand crank the rotisserie, oftentimes for hours, but today we have the convenience of electric rotisseries to do the work for us. This is what makes rotisserie such an easy and convenient way to cook your food.
There’s only one caveat to rotisserie, and that’s the fact that you’ll need to purchase a rotisserie attachment for your grill. Don’t get discouraged yet, because rotisserie setups aren’t that expensive and many models are also made to fit a wide variety of different grill types. For this blog, I spent a mere $50 to get a universal rotisserie kit that worked perfectly on our test kitchen barbecue. After ordering your new rotisserie, getting down to business is as simple as purchasing a chicken.Rotisseries consist of a few simple parts: mounting brackets to attach the unit, a spit, two prongs sets to hold the meat in place, and a motor to spin the spit. Setting up the kit is simple, all you need to do is bolt the brackets onto your grill and mount the motor. After the rotisserie is in place, just place your roast on the spit, secure it with the prongs, and begin roasting.
Advantages of Rotisserie Cooking
There are a few advantages to rotisserie cooking that make it one of my favorite ways to grill a large piece of meat. First off, it’s a great way to ensure even cooking. Granted, it has to be set up correctly for this to work but we already covered just how easy it is to set up. Second, rotisserie roasting is a relatively hands-off way of cooking. After getting the meat set up, it just needs be checked a few times during cooking to ensure everything is going as it should.
Tips and Tricks
After several tasty rotisserie chicken dinners, I learned a few helpful tips about the process. For the most stress-free first attempt, pay attention to the following:
- When you assemble your rotisserie kit, ensure that all screws and nuts are securely tightened. Any screws or nuts that are loose will likely get worse as the spit rotates.
- Use little or no flame directly below the item you’re cooking. Too much flame directly underneath your roast and you’ll probably burn it. If you need extra char or a crispy skin, wait until the meat is almost finished before applying high heat.
- Truss large roasts and chicken with butcher’s twine before placing them on the spit. This will help to further promote even cooking.
- Don’t overload the spit. Always check the rotisserie instructions to be sure you aren’t putting too much meat on the spit. Overly heavy loads can cause damage to the rotisserie motor or other hardware.
Credit to Nick Wellhausen the Culinary Manager for The Companion Group