Rotisserie cooking, also called spit roasting, may be the oldest form of cooking. Slow rotation of the food allows the juices to baste all parts for flavor and tenderness. Skewer larger foods on metal rods and place smaller foods in baskets. Buy a separate rotisserie appliance or an attachment for a gas or charcoal grill. The distance of the food from the heat source, and whether the grill is open or covered, affects cooking time.
Rotisserie Cooking Temperatures
When cooking on a gas grill, preheat the side burners on high heat. To avoid flareups, do not use the burner that is directly under the meat. Preheat a counter top rotisserie unit on high heat. With both cooking methods, sear the meat for a few minutes on high heat to seal in the juices. Then lower the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or lower if the recipe recommends. If your unit does not have numerical temperatures, 350 degrees Fahrenheit is the “medium” setting. Some rotisseries may run hotter than others, so monitor the internal temperature of the food and adjust the cooking time as necessary.
Chicken, turkey and duck need to reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. A whole chicken or duck that weighs 4 lbs. takes 70 to 75 minutes to cook. A 3-lb. chicken breast takes 35 to 40 minutes while 3 pounds of thighs need one hour. A 2-lb. game hen needs 35 to 40 minutes until cooked. A small turkey weighing 10 pounds needs from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours in the rotisserie oven.
You can cook a whole pig on an outdoor rotisserie for backyard entertaining. Big John Grills recommends one hour for each 10 lbs. of pork. Pork must reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption. Baby back ribs, parboiled for 15 minutes, will finish in the rotisserie in approximately 25 to 35 minutes. A roast or chops need 20 minutes per pound while boneless ham cooks quickly at 6 minutes per pound.
Beef is safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Spare ribs need 30 minutes per pound while hamburgers, steaks and roasts require 15 minutes per pound. Kabobs take about 20 minutes per pound. Raw sausage on skewers needs 25 minutes per pound.
Lamb and Veal
Cook lamb and veal until the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Lamb roast, leg and chops cook at 20 minutes per pound while veal needs 15 minutes per pound.
Salmon Fillets take approximately 18 to 20 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Thicker fillets need a few minutes longer in the rotisserie basket. All fish should be flaky.
Diane Perez is a writer who contributes to various websites, specializing in gardening and business topics, and creates sales copy for private clients. Perez holds a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Miami.
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