Cooking Techniques, Rotisserie

Once you know how to set up your rotisserie, cooking is as easy as placing the meat on the shaft, turning the motor on, and sitting back to relax with family and friends. To be successful every time, follow these simple steps.

Getting Ready

Rotisserie cooking can be done on gas or charcoal barbeques, and can be done on an open grill or a hooded barbeque. Be sure you have everything you need:

  • Rotisserie kit, including shaft, prongs and motor
  • Batteries or power for rotisserie motor
  • Open grill or hooded barbeque
  • Drip pan (if hooded barbeque is being used)
  • Clean pair of pliers and oven mitts
  • Basting brush
  • Meat thermometer

Prepare The Rotisserie

First, assemble the rotisserie and place the food on it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Next, ensure the food is balanced on the rotisserie by placing the shaft in the motor and turning the motor on. If the shaft doesn’t turn smoothly, or makes a struggling sound as it turns, the meat is not properly balanced. If this happens, reset the meat on the prongs until it is balanced. Cooking with an unbalanced shaft will eventually burn the motor out.

Indirect Cooking Method

Using indirect cooking, there is no direct heat on the food. Instead, the heat source (gas burners or charcoals) is to the side of the food, and the hood is closed to keep in the heat and flavour.

  1. For gas barbeques, remove the cooking grates and clear the rocks from the centre of the rock tray to allow the drip pan to fit. For charcoal barbeques, move the coals aside.
  2. In the space created place the drip pan on the rock (or charcoal) tray along the axis of the rotisserie shaft and centered under the food.
  3. Fill the drip pan one inch high with water and add your favourite fruit juice, wine or beer.
  4. The drip pan’s contents can be improved by the addition of cinnamon, bay leaves, rosemary, star-anise cardamom pods or lemongrass. This will add flavour and keep the meat moist.
  5. Now cook using the techniques described in “Baking and Roasting”
  6. Remove the balanced shaft from the barbeque.
  7. Preheat the barbeque until ‘hot’ registers on the heat indicator.
  8. Place the shaft in the motor and turn on.
  9. If you are using a gas barbeque, turn the burners directly under the roast off and leave the remaining burners on low. For charcoal barbeques, adjust the air control for low heat.
  10. Now close the hood. Try not to open the barbeque too often to look at the meat. Doing so adds to the cooking time. For heat circulation and flavour retention ensure the hood is kept closed, and maintain a medium cooking temperature.
  11. Cook indirectly until meat thermometer registers a cooked temperature. (Do not leave the meat thermometer in the roast during cooking).

Direct Cooking Method

You may also use a rotisserie on an open grill barbeque where there is heat directly under the food.

  1. For gas barbeques, turn the burners on directly under the food. For charcoal, ensure there are hot coals under the food.
  2. Place the balanced rotisserie shaft in the motor and turn on.
  3. Cook the food with a medium heat, being careful to avoid burning. Turn the burners towards high or low depending on the height of the food above the grill.
  4. Baste the food a few times during cooking to keep it moist.
  5. Cook until meat thermometer registers a cooked temperature. (Do not leave the meat thermometer in the roast during cooking).
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