Best Meat for Rotisserie (7 Top Cuts & Cooking Benefits)

Jayden Lawson
Published by Jayden Lawson
Last Updated On: December 1, 2023

As an experienced home chef, I know how important it is to get the most out of your favorite meats. I find the rotisserie is a great way to cook meats, allowing them to stay juicy and tender while being grilled.

When done correctly, rotisserie cooking can enhance the flavor and texture of all types of meat. In this article, I will use my years of experience to discuss which types of meat are best suited for rotisserie cooking.

Of course, you can't grill rotisserie style without a good quality rotisserie. Make sure to check out our roundup of the best rotisseries on the market.

Quick Summary

  • Chicken and beef cuts are the best for rotisserie grilling, along with duck, cornish game hens, ham, and other pork cuts.
  • Rotisserie cooking offers an excellent combination of tenderness, juiciness, and taste.
  • Preparing meat with marinades and rubs can enhance the taste.

What Is Rotisserie Grilling?

Chickens being cooked in a rotisserie grill

Rotisserie grilling is a type of food preparation where food is cooked by being rotated on a spit over a direct heat source. This type of grilling has been around since ancient times.

Rotisserie grilling is still popular today, but it's often done using an electric rotisserie grill, gas grill, or oven instead of an open flame.

This type of oven allows the food to be cooked evenly by rotating it at a consistent speed as it grills.

The rotating motion of rotisserie grilling helps ensure that all sides of the food are cooked evenly while providing a more consistent flavor throughout.

Melting fat and juices drip off as the food turns, leaving behind perfectly cooked, succulent meats.

7 Types of Meat to Cook on the Rotisserie

A close up shot of a whole chicken with spices and vegetable in the background

Here are my top cuts to use on the rotisserie.

1. Chicken

Chicken is the classic meat to cook on the rotisserie, and it's one of my favorites. A whole chicken is relatively inexpensive and can be seasoned in a wide variety of ways to bring out its flavor.

I like adding the chicken to a bold marinade consisting of lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, and oil. This gives the chicken a distinctly South American flavor while still providing that classic rotisserie taste.

"Rotisserie chicken is a healthy choice for people that want a lean source of protein, but either don't have the time, interest or skill to cook."
- Lisa Andrews, Registered Dietician

2. Beef Cuts

A raw prime rib roast perfect for rotisserie grilling

Beef is another excellent option for rotisserie cooking; it's usually best if you use thick cuts with plenty of fat and marbling.

A prime rib roast is my #1 choice for beef rotisserie, although short ribs in a rotisserie basket can make for a particularly delicious meal.

I recommend rubbing the beef down with a salt, pepper, and herb blend before placing it on the spit.

I start cooking beef at high heat to put a nice crust on the outside of the meat, then lower the heat to medium until the center of the roast hits the correct internal temperature - usually at about 15 to 20 minutes per pound.

3. Pork Cuts

Pork is a less frequent meat choice for the rotisserie but deserves consideration. Pork shoulder and pork belly are large cuts of meat with a good amount of fat; this fat helps keep the meat moist and flavorful as it cooks.

I also will use pork loin or chops, but these require more attention while grilling because they do not have the same high fat content as the shoulder [1].

For example, a pork loin can dry out quickly if the heat is too high.

In general, pork cuts are best suited for rotisserie cooking when they have been marinated or rubbed down with a flavorful combination of herbs and spices.

Read More: Pork Butt vs Pork Shoulder

4. Fish

A raw trout with vegetables on a wooden board

Fish is perfect for rotisserie cooking if you're looking for a light and healthy option. The slow speed of the rotating spit means that it won't dry out as quickly as other methods like baking or grilling.

However, fish can be tricky to grill on the rotisserie because it's prone to falling apart. For this reason, I often will use a rotisserie basket to hold my trout or other fish filets in place as they cook.

That said, a large enough fish can go directly on the spit. I love making spicy salmon on the rotisserie; simply rub it down with a blend of cayenne, garlic, and paprika before cooking. This gives the fish a nice kick that works well with the rotisserie.

5. Lamb

Lamb can often be tricky to grill, but it's surprisingly easy on the rotisserie. Like pork, this meat is generally high in fat, which helps keep the meat moist and flavorful as it cooks.

I usually choose a leg of lamb for the rotisserie, marinating it in a mixture of fresh thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. This gives the meat a nice Mediterranean flavor.

I also use the rotisserie for lamb that I have marinated in red wine, vegetable stock, rosemary, sage, onion, and garlic. This tastes amazing with a bit of mint jelly on the side.

6. Turkey

A top view of raw turkey with different herbs and spices on the side

Like chicken, turkey is delicious when prepared on a rotisserie. It's large enough that it won't dry out quickly, and because of its size, it can be stuffed with all sorts of goodies like sausage stuffing or wild rice.

I also love to brine my bird before putting it on the spit. This helps keep the meat extra juicy and flavorful.

One word of caution: ensure your rotisserie spit and motor are designed for the size and weight of your turkey so that the bird does not damage your equipment.

7. Other Options for Rotisserie Grilling

Certainly, poultry, rolled boneless rib roast, pork butt, pork belly, rib eye roast, or some other cut of beef are the most common items placed on a rotisserie grill. However, there are many other things to try.

Ham and bacon are a great option if you are looking for something other than pork tenderloin.

Duck is a good choice if you are tired of always putting chickens on the rotisserie grill.

The Benefits of Rotisserie Cooking

A close up shot of a chicken meat being grilled in a rotisserie

Rotisserie grilling has many benefits that make it worth considering for your next meal.

For one thing, rotisserie recipes are straightforward to prepare; you simply need to season your food before placing it onto the spit and letting it cook.

Because this method requires minimal effort from you - other than placing the ingredients in the oven - it's perfect for busy weeknights when you don't have the energy to spend hours in the kitchen.

The self-basting nature of rotisserie grilling means your meat also retains more moisture than cooking by other methods [2].

Also, the food cooks more evenly, and there's less chance for unevenly cooked or dry spots in your final dish.

Finally, this cooking requires minimal cleanup since the drippings can be conveniently collected in a drip tray that can be easily removed and washed.

Also Read: What Is the Healthiest Way to Cook Meat?

FAQs

Is Cooking Beef on a Rotisserie a Good Idea?

Yes, cooking beef on a rotisserie is a good idea. In fact, one of the best meats for the rotisserie is a beef prime rib roast. Beef ribs, rolled boneless rib roast, rib eye roast, and an eye of round roast are other cuts of beef that have the same rich flavor and are well suited for this slow roasting process.

Is Rotisserie Chicken Healthy?

Yes, rotisserie chicken is healthy for you. It is high in protein and has no added fat. As long as you season it lightly and avoid adding high-fat sauces, the meat will remain low in calories.

Can I Put Vegetables on a Rotisserie?

Yes, you can put vegetables on a rotisserie. There is a special rotisserie basket that you can use to keep them from falling off the spit. This way, they will get cooked evenly without burning or sticking.

How Do You Get Crispy Skin on a Rotisserie?

To get crispy skin on a rotisserie, you must ensure that the meat is dry before cooking. To maximize the crispiness, pat it down with paper towels both inside and out and then place it in the refrigerator overnight to allow any water to drain.

 


References:

  1. https://zgrills.com.au/tips-to-help-you-choose-the-best-cut-of-pork-for-rotisserie/
  2. https://www.napoleon.com/en/us/grills/blog/science-bbq-how-rotisserie-cooking-works
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About the author

Jayden Lawson
Reviewer/Editor
Jayden is a CPW certified lifestyle writer, father of two, and a self-taught culinary artist with a passion for Southern cooking. His readers enjoy the expert interviews, success stories, and tips he shares about anything delicious, meaty, and thriving.
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