Spun gold – a collection of rotisserie chicken tips


When I posted my glossary of barbecue links here last week, I realized how long it’s been since I spun a chicken on my barbecue rotisserie. How could I have fallen out of such a good habit? I mean, what’s yummier than a juicy, crispy-skinned, smoky flavoured rotisserie chicken?

I spared no time remedying the situation and made these yummy chickens last Sunday when my sister-in-law and her granddaughter came to visit. The next day I shredded the leftover meat and made soft tacos – two fantastic meals!

If you haven’t used a barbecue rotisserie before, here are a few tips you might want to consider before tossing birds onto the spit:

• Choose a rotisserie spit that not only fits your barbecue, but that is made of durable, good quality metal like stainless steel. I had one a few years ago that was chrome plated and as soon as it got very hot, the shiny plating started to flake off onto the food. Yuck!
Line the area directly under the chickens with a piece of foil or an old baking sheet so that as the juices flow from the meat, flare-ups don’t occur. (I had forgotten this step during the first few minutes that these birds were on the spit; that’s why the wing and leg tips are scorched).
Turn off all but the front or back burner on the grill. I like to leave the back one on so that when I reach over the front of the grill to baste the chickens my hand doesn’t get singed.
• Adjust the temperature on the burner so that you can maintain a constant temperature of 300°F (160°C) to 350°F (180°C) when the lid of the barbecue is closed.
• Add a couple of smoking pucks over the ignited burner to augment the smoky flavour if you like.
• The chickens will need about 90 minutes to cook. If you’re going to use a glaze like the chili-lemon one below, brush it over just during the last 15 minutes or so of cooking.
Let the chickens rest for 15 minutes on the spit before removing it and carving the birds.

Chili-Lemon rotisserie grilled chicken glaze

1/4 cup (50 mL) each honey and lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) chipotle pepper sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) each chili powder and chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

Whisk the lemon juice with the barbecue sauce, chipotle pepper sauce, onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper until well combined. Baste the chicken with this glaze during the last 15 minutes of cooking on the rotisserie.

PS: Just to prove that I can learn from my mistakes, here are two Cornish game hens I made to ensure my instructions would work perfectly at your house:


12 Responses to Spun gold – a collection of rotisserie chicken tips

  1. Beth says:

    I need a new BBQ and I’d love to have a rotisserie. What kind do you have? Is it super expensive?

  2. Andrew gave me a rotisserie for my birthday (early June). It’s STILL not installed. I really want to try it but we are soooo mechanically challenged.

    This post is giving me incentive. Those chickens look amazing — scorched wings and all.

  3. jacki Armstrong says:

    Is that the recipe for chicken that you made when I was up??? As an obsessed food fan, I have had my share of chicken prepared in many different ways, too numerous to mention. Never have I had such succulent and taste tantalizing chicken before. Amazing!!
    If it isn’t the same recipe, it would be in my best interest if you would post it.

    Cheers Dana,

  4. jacki Armstrong says:

    I’m a dork… just read the 2nd paragraph again. Yes this was “our” chicken and now I have the recipe! Should I marinate the chicken for some time before burning it (that’s how I cook)? Also Dana, the wings were delish.

    Thanx Dana. 😉

    • danamccauley says:

      Hi Jacki,

      I didn’t marinate it but you could and it would be delish as well. The next night, btw, after you left, I shredded the leftover meat and made soft tacos – the smoky, juicy meat was fantastic served that way. Although I think our dinner was good, I think I enjoyed the tacos, more!

  5. Rosa says:

    Those roast chickens look so appetizing!



  6. Deb says:

    I LOVE chicken and yours looks amazing. Unfortunately we do not have a “real” barbeque here in Umbria yet so I’ll have to wait until we are back in Florida in December to try it out.

  7. Barb says:

    Yum Yum Yum. Looks amazing. My well used rotisserie is in the back of the cupboard and probably all dusty from neglect. Thanks Dana! Your chickens have inspired me to dig it out again.

  8. sisca says:

    Good Job,thanks for share.. 😀 😀 visit my Blog Ya 😛

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