What You Need To Know About Rotisserie Grilling For Your Next Cookout

There’s something irresistible about perfectly seasoned foods rotating on a spit, self-basting slowly over an open flame to create a crispy outside that envelops an enticing scrumptious inside. Just thinking about it makes your mouth water.

At WiseGuys our customers rave about our spit roasted meats. Our chicken, prime rib, and duck rank high as menu favorites. We were thinking that with grilling being almost a religion in the Lowcountry that it would be informative and fun to share our expertise about rotisserie grilling. With this information you’ll be able to up your grilling game. Just think how impressed family and friends will be when you incorporate some rotisserie foods at your next gathering. Let’s dive in!

Thinking About Rotisserie

When you think about all the things you can rotisserie, your thoughts likely go straight to chicken, and you’re definitely not alone. In 2021, more than 950,000 million rotisserie chickens were sold by food service outlets and retail stores in the US. But it’s not just chickens making rotisserie grilling a widespread activity among BBQ aficionados; you can rotisserie all of your favorite meats, fish, vegetables, and even fruit!

When it comes to selecting the choicest cuts of meat for rotisserie grilling on a spit, choose larger cylindrical cuts with higher fat profiles for the most luscious delectable results. For smaller pieces and cuts that are less fatty, or for vegetables and fruits, a rotisserie basket may work better than a spit. Essentially, it doesn’t really matter what you want to grill on your rotisserie, you can usually do it all, there is always a way.

Before we take a look at some of the best cuts of meat for rotisserie grilling, let’s take a closer look at how rotisserie grilling works.

How Does Rotisserie Grilling Work?

Rotisserie motors are regulated with preciseness between 3 and 6 revolutions per minute. Whether you have a special rotisserie burner or are rotisserie grilling without an exclusive burner, rotisserie cooking utilizes less direct heat than normal grilling. Whatever you’re grilling will cook slower, giving it a chance to self-baste and cook from the inside out while it turns.

The slow roasting method blocks the collagen in the meat from compressing too rapidly. Rather, the collagen breaks down and absorbs more water to produce a gelatin. That, along with the melting fat, can be slowly discharged from the inside to drip over the meat’s surface, resulting in a meat that is luscious on the inside and crisped on the outside.

Now that you understand how the process works, let’s take a look at some cuts of meat you can grill with your rotisserie.

Best Cut of Beef for Rotisserie

In our minds, the best cut of beef for rotisserie grilling is prime rib roast. Turning the meat on a spit lets all of those mouth watering juices baste the outside of the roast, locking in the indulgent, melt-in-your-mouth, prime rib flavor.

Prime rib on the rotisserie takes about 15 to 20 minutes per pound to cook. For optimal cooking, sear the exterior of your prime rib roast on high heat on your grill top until you have a nice crust on the outside. Reduce the heat to medium, place the roast on your spit, and fire up the rotisserie till you reach the desired internal temperature (130 degrees – 135 degrees F for medium rare).

Beef ribs, back ribs, or short ribs are a close runner up to prime rib when it comes to choosing the best cut of beef to rotisserie. Since some beef ribs have so much meat on the bone, they’re often called “brisket on a stick.” The easiest way to rotisserie ribs is to put them in a rotisserie basket.

Pro Tip: No matter what beef you’re planning to use, always select high quality beef for the best flavor.

Best Cuts of Pork for Rotisserie Grilling

From bacon to ham and sausage to loin chops, pork is a versatile meat that works well with many sides and can be delicious for any event. When it comes to deciding which pork cuts to use on your rotisserie grill, select cuts with a little more fat marbled throughout like shoulder, spare ribs, or back ribs.

Pork shoulder (aka blade shoulder) is one of the most popular for rotisserie grilling because of its higher fat makeup, which helps it stay moist and full of flavor. The other reason pork shoulder is ideal on the rotisserie is because of its size; this large cut is perfect for feeding large groups of people, or if you want leftovers.

Pork Belly, which is often used in bacon and pancetta, is another smart choice for the rotisserie, again because of its high fat content. Like pork shoulder, pork belly is large and thus suitable for large groups. But look out, pork belly comes from the underside of the pig so it can be expensive.

Bone-in pork loin is another cut used on the rotisserie, though it has a little less fat than the other cuts. While it doesn’t have the succulent taste of the shoulder, pork loin is still flavorful when cooked using a rotisserie, and it’s a good choice for feeding large groups as well.

Best Cuts of Chicken for Rotisserie Grilling

We all know that whole chickens are great on the rotisserie. They self-baste to delectable excellence, giving you crispy dark skin on the outside and juicy moist meat on the inside. A whole chicken can serve an entire family and some rotisseries can accommodate the weight of two chickens if you’re grilling for a crowd.

Flavor your whole chicken with a dry rub or marinade it with your favorite dressing, oils, and spices. Depending on the size of the chicken, a rotisserie chicken takes 1.5 to 2 hours (approximately 20 to 30 minutes per pound) to cook on the grill.

Chicken Wings are another good choice for rotisserie grilling because they’re easy to cook as long as you have a flat rotisserie basket attachment on your grill. They’re always a hit at a backyard cookout. Remember to put a pan below the wings to prevent fat from dripping on the grill, which can result in a flare-up

You can place about 10 to 12 chicken wings in a rotisserie basket. They’ll take about 30 to 40 minutes to cook.

Other Foods to Try on Your Rotisserie

There are many more things you can cook on your rotisserie grill. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Turkey: Either whole or split (just make sure your rotisserie can handle the weight) or cut up and put in your rotisserie basket
  • Duck: (A Wise Guys favorite) We recommend cooking a whole duck with a dripping pan underneath to catch all those delicious juices
  • Lamb: Some of the best cuts for rotisserie are leg of lamb, rolled shoulder, and whole lamb roast
  • Fish: If the fish is large enough (like small salmon or large trout) you can cook it whole on the rotisserie. Otherwise, for smaller whole fish (like perch, snapper, and branzino), use a rotisserie grilling basket. If you are grilling fish steaks or fillets, choose cuts that are at least three-quarter-inch thick, and grill them in a rotisserie basket.
  • Pineapple: Cooking pineapple on a rotisserie caramelizes its natural sugars and intensifies its already sweet flavor.
  • Potatoes: Rotisserie grilled potatoes are the perfect side dish for your rotisserie meal

To Wrap Things Up

At WiseGuys we serve the finest rotisserie grilled meats on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton. We are rotisserie grilling experts and are happy to share our insights with you. Your next cookout is sure to be hit now that you know the ins and outs of rotisserie grilling.

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