Rotisserie, or spit roasting, is a method of cooking lamb that works by roasting meat on a spit (otherwise known as a long rod). The spit continuously turns the meat at a constant speed, ensuring the meat cooks at the same temperature – and evenly! Rotisseries are commonly used for cooking whole animals, like chicken, or large joints of meat, like legs of lamb.
Many choose to spit roast as it results in moist, tender meat. This is because the meat sears at a quick rate and locks in its own juices.
Whether you’re a novice at spit roasting or have spit roasted before, it’s never too late to amp up your rotisserie game! Check out our top tips for spit roasting lamb below.
The first thing you need before cooking lamb on a rotisserie is the right equipment. Rotisseries come in all sorts of sizes – from small models to larger models that can roast whole animals.
Your grill will need a rotisserie attachment, and we suggest finding one with a powerful motor. However, there are now lots of grills on the market that come with rotisserie attachments already included. If you’re lucky, some come with features like a special rotisserie burner. This burner provides indirect, even heating.
Always read the instruction manual that comes with your rotisserie. Ensure that you’re using it correctly, and that you’re following safety instructions to prevent any harm.
Here one of our favourite lamb rotisserie recipes!
When spit roasting, it isn’t a good idea to have the fire right underneath the meat. As parts of meat you cook can be quite large, there’s a good chance they’ll get too close to the fire. The end result will be burnt meat – an undesirable and inedible outcome!
For those with a charcoal grill, take your time with medium heat. Patience is the key here! For those with a gas grill, be sure to keep the burners low. In order to avoid flare ups and keep the meat at a safe distance from the heat, we recommend using a drip pan.
When using a rotisserie, the keys to successful spit roasting are balance and security. To achieve this, put your cut of meat in the middle of the rod. Next, you’ll want to fasten it as firmly as possible. If the meat isn’t secured properly, it can move and flop around as the spit turns, causing different sections of the meat cook unevenly or burn.
It’s likely that your rotisserie has a counterbalance to get the perfect balance of the meat. Once the meat is secured to the rod, we suggest using the palms of your hands to roll the rod to test if the meat has good balance. When performing this, roll it slowly. If you feel that one side is heavier than the other, the rod is unbalanced. An unbalanced spit will put stress on the motor of the rotisserie, and will give you unevenly cooked meat (since the heavier side will turn slower than the other). Adjust the meat until you find a good balance between both sides.
Why ruin a deliciously rotisseried dinner by undercooking or overcooking? To prevent this, we discourage against leaving cooking times to your best guess. This is because the cooking time will vary depending on humidity, air temperature, wind, and even equipment. In addition, the size of the meat you’re cooking affects the length of cooking time.
Since it’s harder to test whether your meat is cooked to your liking on a rotisserie, we recommend stopping the rotisserie 15-20 minutes before the estimated cook time. Then, you’ll want to use a thermometer to test the internal temperature. A thermometer will provide you with an accurate temperature, and thus, indicate when the meat has been cooked for long enough.
Letting The Meat Rest
The last step before you dig in Allow the meat to rest for approximately 10-20 minutes after it’s finished cooking. Doing so will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, and keep your meal tender and juicy.
If you follow our tips for spit roasting, we’re sure you’ll end up with evenly cooked, juicy rotisserie dinner!