How to Build Your Own BBQ Spit

Written by sara melone | 13/05/2017
How to Build Your Own BBQ Spit
Spit roast BBQ is a time-honoured tradition for cooking delicious meat. (spit image by poGosha from

Barbecuing is a favourite backyard past time for millions around the world. Spit roasting is just one variation of barbecue that is not only entertaining, but produces tender, delicious and juicy meats. A barbecue spit is also known as a rotisserie and can be done inside with a rotisserie machine or outdoors on a homemade spit barbecue. The BBQ spit gently turns the meat as it cooks to ensure slow, even cooking. As it turns, the juices in the meat work in a self-basting action to keep it moist and flavourful.

How to Build Your Own BBQ Spit
Kegs come in a variety of sizes and can accommodate all kinds of spit BBQ's. (kegs of beer image by AGITA LEIMANE from

Get a metal keg or small metal barrel sized to fit the cuts of meat you plan to cook. Turn the keg on its side and cut out a section from the middle as the lid. It should be large enough to allow room to place the meat, but still leave a good portion of the container in tact to retain the maximum amount of heat.

How to Build Your Own BBQ Spit
The spit rod can be made of metal or bamboo, but it should be sturdy. (skewers image by Jaroslav Machacek from

Drill a hole in both ends of the container. The holes should be directly parallel to each other, and they need to be roughly the same size as the metal rod while allowing a little extra room for the rod to rotate comfortably. If you are using a metal keg, it will already have a hole in one end which will need to be modified to fit the rod. A wood or metal piece can be cut to fill in the larger hole and a smaller hole can be drilled to accommodate the size of the spit rod.

How to Build Your Own BBQ Spit
Choose a heavy duty hinge that will be able to withstand high temperatures during cooking. (old door hinge image by green 308 from

Attach the lid back onto the keg body using the metal hinge. Try to make sure the lid fits as flush as possible so the heat will be retained inside during the cooking process.

How to Build Your Own BBQ Spit
A pile of natural stones can be arranged as a base for the spit BBQ. (Stones image by fotografie-mey from

Build a stand for the keg using a metal or wooden frame. An upside-down saw horse or unused garden bench work very well for this purpose. The keg can also be secured using a pile of stones or bricks. The key is to keep the keg in place and prevent it from rolling away during cooking.

How to Build Your Own BBQ Spit
Thread the meat on the metal rod and turn the rotisserie motor on! (poulet à la broche 2 image by Nathalie P from

Attach the rotisserie motor to the end of the spit rod and test it out. The rod may need to be modified to fit properly into the rotisserie motor. It should turn the rod slowly within the keg. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure the motor is solidly placed at the proper angle and height. Build a wood or coal fire in the bottom of the keg, thread the meat onto the rod and turn on the rotisserie to start cooking.


A BBQ spit can be as simple as stick over an open fire. Try out a few different versions and be as simple or as elaborate as you want!

Tips and warnings

  • A BBQ spit can be as simple as stick over an open fire. Try out a few different versions and be as simple or as elaborate as you want!

Things you need

  • Metal barrel or keg
  • Drill
  • Metal hinge
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Metal rod
  • Rotisserie motor
  • Meat hooks

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