How to cook rotisserie chicken in a BBQ

Updated February 21, 2017

Many BBQ enthusiasts agree that the very best way to cook a chicken is by using a rotisserie. The chicken that results has crispy skin, moist meat and that trademark smoky flavor. Cooking chicken by rotisserie not only allows the bird to roast slowly, but also drains away the excess fat.

Buy a rotisserie attachment for your individual BBQ grill. If your grill came with a rotisserie attachment included, simply dig it out and wash it clean. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to attach it to your BBQ.

Prepare your BBQ correctly to use it with the rotisserie. If you own a charcoal grill, you will have to heat the grill to medium-high and also place a drip-pan inside the grill to catch fat droppings.

Prepare a "smoker pouch" if you are using a gas grill. Soak the wood chips or wood chunks in water for at least 1/2 hour, then let them drip-dry and seal them in a foil packet with holes poked in the top. Heat the gas grill on high until it creates smoke and reduce to medium-high. You will add the wood chips to the charcoal grill right before skewering the chicken.

Prepare your chicken for use in the rotisserie. Remove the giblets and fat inside the chicken's cavity, rinse the bird completely under water and pat it dry. Put a pinch of salt inside the cavity. Now truss the bird (tie with string) so that the legs and wings are firmly held against the body.

Force the spit all the way through the bird lengthwise. Slide the tail-end prong onto the spit and firmly over the body of the chicken, then do the same with the neck-end prong. Make sure the chicken is steady and tighten the screw to hold the chicken in place.

Insert the ends of the spit into the motor sockets of your rotisserie, turn on the rotisserie and turn the BBQ to high.

Cook for 10 minutes before turning down the heat to medium. Using a basting brush, brush the chicken with a mixture of melted butter, 1 tbsp. of salt and paprika and 1/4 tbsp. of pepper.

Cook the chicken for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, brushing the chicken with the butter mixture several more times. Use a meat thermometer to test if the meat is thoroughly cooked. Insert the thermometer into the thigh, away from the bone, and remove the chicken when it registers 82 degrees C (180 degrees F).

Place the chicken on a platter and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. This will help seal in the juices.


Rotisserie chicken is a tasty, low-fat option for people watching their weight. You can also roast duck, quail and game hen on your rotisserie. Be sure to adjust the cooking time appropriately.


Because you are cooking at very high temperatures, remain cautious while grilling to avoid being burned by hot implements or sizzling fat.

Things You'll Need

  • Rotisserie attachment for grill
  • Whole chicken -- 1.3 to 2.3 kg (3 to 5 lb)
  • String for trussing
  • Soaked wood chips
  • Foil
  • Basting brush
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Meat thermometer
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