How to make a spit roasted barbecue grill

Updated April 17, 2017

If the image of a whole pig roasting over an open flame makes your mouth water, a spit-roasted barbecue grill might be a worthwhile backyard project. Spit-roasting allows large pieces of meat or even whole animals to be slowly rotated and cooked for hours, producing tender results. This method of cooking is especially convenient during the hot summer months when you want to avoid turning on your oven, or as a way to feed a crowd of family and friends.

Dig a fire pit if you don't already have one in your yard. Choose a spot in an area of your yard clear of wood or plant life. Dig a pit at least 60 inches wide. The depth depends on whether you plan to use charcoal or wood for your grill. If you're using charcoal, you'll only need to dig the pit about 6-inches deep. If you're using wood, the pit should be at least 1.5 to 2-feet deep.

Stake the two metal Y-shaped rods into the ground on either side of the fire pit. These will form the base of the barbecue spit. You may want to drill holes or notches into these rods so you can adjust the height of the spit. For best cooking, the pit should be at ground level and the meat should be as close to the ground as possible so it will cook evenly.

Lay the 70-inch metal rod across the two Y-shaped prongs. The metal rod will act as your spit. The spit can stay there while not in use, but to use it as a spit, you'll take the rod and push it through the meat or the length of the carcase you're barbecuing, then lay it over the Y-shaped prongs to cook.


While cooking, you may want to place a dripping pan under the meat to collect juices and fat that drip from it during cooking, especially if you are roasting a whole carcase. You can use these drippings to baste your meat and make it more tender. Collecting the drippings will also help prevent flare-ups during cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal bar, 70-inches long
  • 2 Y-shaped metal rods
  • Shovel
  • Drill
  • Charcoal or wood
  • Dripping pan (optional)
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About the Author

Michelle Labbe has been writing online and for print since 2004. Her work has appeared in the online journals Reflection's Edge and Cabinet des Fées as well as in Harvard Book Store's anthology, "Michrochondria." She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing at Emerson College.