What is a Rotisserie?

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  • Written By: KN
  • Edited By: Marie Grovner
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2019
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It is probable that shortly after early man learned to harness fire, the concept of a rotisserie was born. Early man was undoubtedly the first to put the day's hunt onto a stick and roast it over the fire.

The basic concept hasn't changed much since then, but the rotisseries themselves certainly have. Today's rotisseries come in two basic models: the type that is used over an outdoor grill; and the freestanding indoor appliance type. Every rotisserie has three components: a spit, the metal rod upon which chefs secure the meat; a motor, which rotates the meat to ensure even cooking; and the indirect heat source, which can be electric, charcoal or gas.

Cooking meat on a rotisserie creates succulent and tender meats because the meat is roasted, not grilled over direct heat. As the spit rotates, the meat cooks while being basted in its own juices. Meats prepared on a rotisserie are lower in fat because the natural fat drips off into a drip pan during the cooking process. The method of cooking meats on a rotisserie allows for an evenly brown and crunchy outside, and moist and flavorful inside.


Rotisserie aficionados enjoy the simplicity-and the tasty results-of preparing meats on the rotisserie. Beef roasts, pork loins, chicken, and even whole turkeys, are easy to cook on a rotisserie. The cut of meat is simply skewered onto the spit, secured with side clamps, and the spit is placed into slots on the sides of the rotisserie or grill hood. Once in place, the motor rotates the spit until the internal temperature of the meat reaches the proper temperature. Some rotisseries include automatic timers, so you can walk away and come back when your dinner is ready.

A rotisserie can come in both horizontal and vertical models. Many manufacturers produce rotisseries, including some of the top brands in kitchen equipment. You can purchase a rotisserie for less than $100, or you can opt for the top-of-the-line commercial type that can run into the thousands. If you are shopping for a rotisserie, you can find one at a home improvement store, major retailers, specialty grilling shops, or through online suppliers.

Just as an aside, the word rotisserie can also be used in the context of a restaurant that specializes in serving meats that have been prepared on a rotisserie.



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