Rotisserie chicken

So you either sprung the big bucks for a high-end grill with a rotisserie attachment or you figured out that you could buy a darn good cheap one that fits on your kitchen counter. Either way you are in for a real treat. There’s something about a spit, heat and chicken that spells yum!

Believe it or not, I almost didn’t get the rotisserie attachment. It was my wife who insisted. She pointed out that if we were going to get the fancy grill we might as well do it right. We had just bought our house and I was in cheap mode. My wife claims that I never got out of cheap mode. What she doesn’t know is that I’ve always been of the frugal persuasion. Eventually I gave in and spent the extra dough on an attachment I was sure we would never use. Boy was I wrong. I’d spit-roast pizza if I could figure out how. Every thing tastes better when it is spit turned in front of heat and chicken tastes best of all. So grab yourself a whole chicken get some dry rub and get cooking. And if you don’t have either a rotisserie attachment or a cheap counter top model then run, don’t walk, to your closest grill supplier and get one. You’ll be glad you did.


  • 1 whole chicken, I recommend air-chilled
  • Touch of olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Old bay seasoning
  • What ever floats your spice boat


  • Rotisserie (No ro, no go. Sorry Bro.)
  • Small knife
  • Jar or small bowl
  • Pan to catch the glorious drippings
  • Kitchen string
  • Trenched cutting board


  1. Mix your dry rub. If you have a store bought mix that you love, then more power to you. You can skip ahead to step two. If you mix you’re own version, then please share it in the comments below. I like a healthy dose of Paprika so I start with that and add the rest of the spices listed above adjusting for taste. There’s no science here, simply adjust and taste.
  2. Place your chicken on the spit. When you secure the bird, do your best to balance it as much as possible so that it turns easily.
  3. Truss your bird. Simply take some string and tie down the wings and the legs so they won’t flop about when the spit turns.
  4. Pour a touch of Olive Oil on the chicken and rub on the skin.
  5. Sprinkle a healthy coating of your dry rub and pat it on. You want to cover the bird.
  6. You’re ready. That’s it. It’s that simple. Put the chicken on the grill, place a pan underneath, light up your fire, hit the power switch and close the top. On my grill it takes about 20 minutes a pound.
  7. The easy way to know when your chicken is done is to tug on a wing when the skin is crispy. If it falls off the bone, you’re ready to go. The smart way is to pop a meat thermometer into the thigh. When it reads 170 F it’s done.
  8. Remove to the cutting board and let stand for ten minutes before serving so that the juices have time to settle. Make sure the cutting board is trenched so that glorious juice is prevented from running all over the floor.

What you should know

Balance is critical. Once when I was in hurry to take my kids to the park, I rushed the bird onto the grill. The chicken wasn’t balanced and sure enough the spit jumped out of the groove the holds it in place. The motor was running but the chicken wasn’t turning. When I got back from the park I had a bird that was burned on one side and raw on the other.

Don’t ask me why, but the chef’s string doesn’t burn. The first time I used it I was sure it would. But sure enough, the string held fast. Clearly they know what they are doing over at the string factory.

Why air chilled chicken. The short answer is because it tastes better. The slightly long answer is that since the chicken is frozen in air, it absorbs no water. So not only does it cook a little faster and taste a lot better, but you are getting more of what you pay for and less of what you get out of your tap at home.

Re: Rotisserie chicken

Andrew, next time you do a rotisserie, try my fragrant herb marinade for chicken. Works great on a roast, I’m guessing it would be even better on a rotisserie. Let me know.

Re: Rotisserie chicken

Every easter we do a huge lamb on a rotisserie that we made from some old appliance parts our old motor broke and we didn’t have time this year to get a new one we did lamb kokoretsi and some other amazing food.

Re: Rotisserie chicken