Rotisserie cooking, also known as spit roasting is a style of cooking where food is skewered onto a long steel rod and cooked over fire, charcoal, heatbeads etc. The meat is slowly spun by a battery operated motor allowing the meat to self-baste in it's own juices, this keeps the meat succulently moist and juicy and cooks it evenly all over. And to be honest you can't beat sitting back with a cold beverage watching a large cut of meat spin and glisten as the self-basting juices hit the coals with a sizzle.
Tips to get the most out of your rotisserie:
- Balance is of utmost importance when cooking on a rotisserie. It is imperative that the spit rod is skewered dead centre into the middle of the meat to allow for even rotation. Uneven balance of the spit will place a heavy load on the motor which in turn will wear out the batteries faster and may also cause premature failure of the motor. Meat that is out of balance will also cook unevenly as one side (the heavier side) will drop down faster as it spins meaning the lighter side will be in contact with the heat for longer.
- If possible fire your Ozpig up in advance to build a large bed of coals as the best heat source for rotisserie comes from coals rather than lots of flames. Alternatively you can use heat beads or charcoal as your coal bed and add small pieces of timber for extra flavour or as extra heat is needed eg: for crackling a pork roast.
- Ensure your meat is well secured onto the spit and won't fall off into the fire. Butchers twine or stainless steel wire are both great for tying back chicken legs or wings. Butchers elasticized netting on boned rolled roasts can often burn through easily so it is best to add some extra ties to hold it together
- While it is important the have your meat evenly balanced on the spit it's also vital to have the meat centred evenly over the heat source from left to right, unevenly centred meat will mean one end of the food may not be over the same level of heat leading to uneven cooking.
- Getting the right temperature for rotisserie cooking is something that will come with experience and practice but a general rule of thumb is to hold your hand at the level of the meat being cooked. Aim to be able to hold your hand at that spot for 5-8 seconds before it gets to hot to hold it there any longer. This should give a good temperature for rotisserie cooking.
- The rotisserie works great in conjunction with the char grill,, not only can you grill some vegetables as your meat cooks it also provides a larger area for drips to be contained from burning on the side of the Ozpig.
- The Ozpig heat diffuser is great to pop under your meat when to regulate the fire when it is a little too hot or the juices are creating large flareups.
- The Ozpig heatbead basket takes the rotisserie to the next level with long cook times combined with extremely low fuel usage when using charcoal or briquettes. A basket full of briquettes will provide approx 3 hours cooking time; long enough to cook most roasts without needing to top up or maintain the fire leaving you free to prep other food or entertain your guests.
- Experiment with different bastes, marinade and rubs that combine well with the flavour from the timber or charcoal being used. Using bunches of herbs such as rosemary or sage as a basting brush can add extra flavour as does burning some fresh herbs on the coals as your meat cooks.
- Try to go light on sugar in rubs or marinades when spit roasting as the can easily burn and give your food an unattractive appearance and taste.
- Rotisserie isn't just for meat, try our whole glazed pineapple recipe here.