What Is a Electric Rotisserie?

B. Turner

An electric rotisserie is a small kitchen appliance used to cook food that has been speared on a steel rod, or spit. Unlike traditional meat smokers that consume wood or gas for fuel, the modern electric rotisserie relies on electricity to generate heat for cooking. While the average rotisserie is small enough to fit on a tabletop in a residential kitchen, some commercial establishments may maintain larger rotisseries in areas where gas or wood cooking is not practical.

A rotisserie chicken.
A rotisserie chicken.

These types of rotisseries are often used to roast chickens, turkeys and pork products. The meat is speared on the spit, then placed into the body of the appliance. The spit turns during cooking to rotate the meat and ensure even cooking. Many electric rotisserie models also include trays and baskets that allow users to cook smaller items like potatoes and vegetables as the meat cooks.

An electric rotisserie uses electricity to generate cooking heat.
An electric rotisserie uses electricity to generate cooking heat.

Buyers can choose from many different sizes and designs when choosing an electric rotisserie. One of the first decisions to make involves selecting the right size rotisserie to meet one's cooking needs. Generally, larger units can be used to cook larger chickens or meat selections, while smaller models are best-suited for small fowl. These models may be arranged so that the spit is positioned vertically or horizontally, and the choice between these two configurations is largely a matter of personal preference. Buyers should also consider the accessories available with each unit, including trays, baskets and specialty spits.

One of the most widely touted advantages to cooking with an electric rotisserie is that it results in even, consistent cooking. As the spit rotates, oils and other juices are redistributed over the bird to create a moist and flavorful chicken or turkey. Rotisseries also tend to result in food with less fat, as much of the fat and oil falls away from the bird throughout the cooking process. An electric rotisserie also allows for fast cooking, and eliminates the need for a costly gas or propane connection.

Despite their many advantages, electric rotisseries may not be the right choice for every cook. One of the primary drawbacks to electric cooking its inefficiency and cost compared to cooking with gas. This means higher utility bills and increased pollution. Small appliances like an electric rotisserie can also increase clutter in the kitchen and take up counter space, especially when one considers that these units are used relatively infrequently. Like all appliances, rotisseries must be cleaned regularly, often after each use, which may discourage some users.

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