Mankind has been enjoying the tender, juicy results of turning meat over a smoldering blaze ever since man discovered fire. Twenty first century man is still cooking on a spit over a fire but the fire is likely to be an enclosed gas, electric, or briquette fired grill with an electrically powered spit rotating at precisely the correct height above the heat source. Today, the mouth watering scent of a savory roast or chicken on the rotisserie carries on the breeze across backyards and patios all over the world.
While not an issue for our caveman forefathers, rotisserie cooking has become a favorite method for today’s health conscious chef not only for the delicious flavor it imparts, but for its very real health benefits as well. Since no extra fat is needed for searing or browning the outside of the meat and excess fat drips into a tray below as the meat turns on the spit, this is one of the lowest fat methods of preparation known for cooking meat.
Rotisserie cooking over the grill is a healthy and delicious method of preparing almost any meat. It is a preferred preparation method for such inherently fatty meats as lamb, beef or pork ribs or hams. Tougher cuts of meat such as shoulder, rump or chuck roasts are also favorites for the slow cooking on a spit over a grill. Juices are held inside the meat while the outside becomes browned and flavorful.
Unlike grilling over a backyard BBQ or an open flame, rotisserie cooked meat browns, but never burns. The meat browns slowly and evenly while turning at a safe distance above the heat source. This assures there are no deadly carcinogens, a real hazard with many other types of cooking.
Rounding out the meal with vegetables is another healthful choice. Some vegetables can be skewered directly on the spit while others are best cooked in a special vegetable basket. All develop the healthy and delicious flavor typical of rotisserie on the grill as they slowly turn over the fire.
With roasting on a spit replacing simple grilling as a preferred preparation method, most new grills either come with a rotisserie attachment or have one available as an add-on. Older grills can almost always accommodate an attachment with a spit. In any case, adjusting the distance of the spit above the grill for more or less browning is a simple task.
The cook’s job couldn’t be easier than when rotisserie cooking over a grill; skewering the meat on the spit, adjusting the grill heat to low and setting a timer is all that is needed. Most chefs also insert a meat thermometer to assure the desired degree of doneness before removing the meat for slicing and serving.
Seasoned broth injections, marinades or seasoned rubs can add a tasty difference to meats as do special BBQ sauces or treated chips for briquette burning grills. There are endless variations of seasonings and cooking methods for the creative chef and all guarantee a healthy and delicious meal.