The 10 Best Rotisseries

Updated May 25, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

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Spit-grilled grub isn’t just for kebab restaurants and professional chefs. You, too, can get your cooking juices flowing at home with one of these rotisseries. Many are multifeatured, including convection, frying, and toaster settings, but all are designed to do at least one thing: whet your carnivorous appetites with crisp, juicy, and succulent meat. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best rotisseries on Amazon.

10. Grizzly Spit

If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen with the Grizzly Spit. Completely portable, this unit runs on two D-cell batteries. Just drive the upright poles into the ground on either side of a fire, add the 36-inch crossbar, and you’re ready to get cooking.
  • perfect for camping and hunting
  • comes with canvas storage bag
  • difficult to insert in hard dirt
Brand Grizzly Spit LLC
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. NutriChef Rotating Kebob Cooker

With the NutriChef Rotating Kebob Cooker, you get a vertical-style oven that’s great for skewers, shawarma, and chicken. It’s got an auto-off feature for the forgetful -- or just busy -- as well as an easy-to-clean grease drip tray.
  • good choice for meat cones
  • adjustable timer
  • pricey for number of features
Brand NutriChef
Model PKRTVG34
Weight 13 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Cuisinart CVR-1000

Not only functional but elegant as well, the Cuisinart CVR-1000 is a vertical-style model that gives you five preset temperature settings and simple touchpad controls. The removable drip tray and nonstick interior offer cleanup in a snap.
  • includes poultry tower
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • helpful interior light
Brand Cuisinart
Model CVR-1000
Weight 20.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Hamilton Beach Countertop

The Hamilton Beach Countertop cooks like a regular oven, but it can also give you extra preparation options with its convection and rotisserie settings and accessories. The rotisserie, in fact, self-bastes as it turns and can hold up to a 5-pound chicken.
  • can also accommodate 2 small pizzas
  • quality name in kitchen items
  • takes some time to preheat
Brand Hamilton Beach
Model 31103A
Weight 25 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Ronco EZ Store

The Ronco EZ Store features a unique nesting design for storage, but is compact enough to leave out for everyday use. It cooks well, with precise rotation that circulates heat efficiently, and the glass door allows you to monitor your meal’s progress.
  • auto shutoff timer
  • multipurpose basket included
  • could be more durable
Brand Ronco
Model ST5250SSGEN
Weight 19.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Waring Pro TF200B

Feeding a large family should be simple with the Waring Pro TF200B, since it holds up to an 18-pound turkey. Rather than the standard heating units, this model continuously cooks the bottom section of the roast as it rotates, providing that cherished deep-fried flavor.
  • basket works well for clambakes
  • stainless-steel vented lid
  • not ideal for those on low-fat diets
Brand Waring
Model TF200B
Weight 25.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

4. OneGrill Heavy Duty Universal

Modify your backyard barbecue with the OneGrill Heavy Duty Universal, which has a three-piece bracket set that’s designed to fit most gas or charcoal grills. It’s powerful, too, with 72 inch-pounds of torque. It comes in three sizes, so measure your unit carefully.
  • holds even heavy meats
  • four-prong spit
  • some assembly is required
Brand OneGrill BBQ Products
Model 4PS71
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Cuisinart Convection Toaster

The Cuisinart Convection Toaster is ideal for kitchens where space is at a premium. It has 12 cooking functions, with special settings for broil, roast, and pizza, and it can accommodate up to a 5-pound duck or a 4-pound chicken.
  • high-wattage model
  • completely bpa-free
  • precision heat sensor
Brand Cuisinart
Model TOB-200
Weight 28.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Gourmia S2000

The Gourmia S2000 is a professional-quality appliance that would be right at home in a restaurant. A high-powered convection fan circulates air heated by 1,700w of power. It has an impressive 1.5 cubic feet of space, enough to hold a bigger bird than most consumer models.
  • highly accurate temperature controls
  • can replace your toaster oven
  • great for baking anything at all
Brand Gourmia
Model S2000
Weight 40 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Ronco Showtime 5000T

The Ronco Showtime 5000T ensures that your meal is excellent every time, with a range of features, including a removable heat shield for easy browning, quick-heating elements, and a digital timer, just to name a few. It even comes with an instructional DVD.
  • dishwasher-safe glass door
  • holds two chickens at once
  • exterior handle stays cool
Brand Ronco
Model ST5000PLGEN
Weight 22.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Reasons Why Rotisserie is Better

The rotisserie is a method of roasting meat by rotating it over a heat source. The meat is skewered along a spit that turns evenly to cook it from the outside in. The spit is a long steel rod designed to hold the weight of the meat and puncture through without damaging it. Rotisseries like these are primarily used for larger animals to be roasted whole; pig, turkey, and chicken are prime examples of optimally roasted meats.

While there are a number of ways to cook meat, roasting by rotisserie has many advantages over flat grilling. Flat grilling is often associated with the idyllic summertime barbecue with the patriarch supervising hot dogs on a gas or charcoal grill. These grills are prone to flare ups, burning the outside of the meat, and undercooking the interior.

A flare up is when juices from the meat fall off into the coals and further stoke the fire. The result is larger flames crisping the skin and preventing the inside of the meat from being fully roasted. The rotisserie eliminates this issue; the juices don't leave the meat, and a more juicier cut is the result.

Rotisseries are more predictable with grilling times, whereas a closed grill has the cook supervising frequently and often overcooking the meat. Basting is not necessary with a rotisserie method. Since the meat is always rotating, the juices inside rotate as well, and no moisture is lost. As another bonus, the rotisserie can be a cleaner option. I'd rather suspend my meat over a flame then plant it on a dirty, rusted rack that has been exposed to the elements.

Don't Stop Spinning Now!

There are a few options and styles of rotisserie. The most common method is a horizontal rotisserie, which you may have seen before in your local grocery store's deli, whereas a shaved lamb for a gyro would be on a vertical rotisserie. The latter is more common in Middle Eastern cuisine; Doner kebabs and shawarma come to mind. The vertical spit needs the heat source to come from the sides, so a campfire would not work.

This spit is beneficial, however, for greasy meats like lamb and al pastor, which are drained by gravity. Also, seasonings and sauces can be added to the top of a vertical rotisserie to drip down and flavor the meat below. A simply example would be pineapple juices running down and caramelizing with the meat, creating a delicious combination. The horizontal spit is more commonly found as an attachment to a grill or as a stand-alone unit to be used over an open flame.

Some modern models are simply convection ovens that come with spits for the option of rotisserie. They may be vertical or horizontal spits. While versatile, these small ovens cannot fit chickens or other meats larger than 4 or 5 lbs., which can be rather limiting, not to mention the fact that they need electricity to work. If you chose a non-electric model, you will need to supply an open flame or have a grill. It is the consumer's preference as to which model will be preferable.

Depending on the use of your rotisserie, a manual model will differ from an electrically operated model. The open flame rotisserie is ideal for camping, BBQ grilling, or a large outdoor event such as a pig roast. The rotisserie might be as simple as a spit skewer to lay across a gas or charcoal grill. The rotation of the spit may be operated manually, although some clever rotisseries rotate by an electric motor which keeps the roast at the same revolutions per minute.

The rotisserie oven is for smaller meats that don't require the time and energy to build a fire (or for the smart city slicker who doesn't have the space or means to build a flame or operate a grill, for example). They take up less space and operate indoors with ease without creating any smoke.

No Spring Chicken

The earliest recorded literature about roasted chicken comes to us from the Medieval period in France. In the 12th century, King Richard the Lionheart was a large supporter of grilled chicken, and of course its popularity grew.

In Medieval times, using a spit for cooking meat was the preferred method, particularly by the working class. An individual, usually a young boy, would stay by the fire and slowly rotate the meat by hand. This task was given to an assigned spit boy or spit jack.

As technology improved, different power sources were implemented to ease the process. Mechanical turnspits, steam power, shifting gears, and even dogs on treadmills were all used at one point or another to turn the golden meat. Luckily today, some spits are electric to ensure a slow, even roast with minimal supervision and energy. Much to your pooch's delight, I might add.

Since the 1930s, the rotisserie chicken has been available to the American public via supermarkets. It has steadily been a consumer favorite, particularly with signature markets in Costco. You should note that all displayed chickens in the market are treated with a water and salt solution; otherwise, they would not survive the extended roasting period. As fast food rose to prominence in the 1960s, home use of the rotisserie began to fade. Boston Market re-invigorated the method in the 1990s, as a way to meld fast food with home cooking.

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Last updated on May 25, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is a writer and hopeful entrepreneur who hails from a tiny town in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she spent a few years in Southern California before moving back to the east coast (but she misses LA every day). An avid and enthusiastic home cook, she is somewhat of an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer.

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