Homemade Auto Turner Rotisseries

Updated March 23, 2017

Barbecue and rotisserie cooking has become a competition sport. But for the less enthusiastic, it can still be an easy and fun form of outdoor socialising and entertaining. A spit rotisserie placed over a gas, charcoal or wood barbecue grill or pit allows for even and flavourful cooking of anything from chickens to whole hogs. The consistency of the cooking process relies on the regularity at which the rotisserie turns. Historically, rotisserie spits were hand-cranked, but these days making a motorised spit is relatively easy for the handy amateur with a few hours to spare.

Make an elongated shaft with a sharp prong at one end for spearing foods. You will attach a motor at the other end of the spit. Use a steel rod at least 0.5 inches in diameter and approximately eight inches longer than the grill, so that it sits safely in the upright holders either side of the grill. Use a grinder and a file to sharpen one end to a pencil point-like sharpness by shaving metal away.

Build the uprights to support your spit at either side of the grill. Use two pieces of 1/2 inch metal bar, long enough to ensure that the spit sits at least one foot above the heat source, and at least a three feet above the heat source if you are planning to cook whole hogs. Weld your uprights to feet if you will be grilling on concrete, or plunge them into the ground if you will be grilling on grass or dirt.

Attach a 1/2 inch metal bracket approximately four inches from the top of each bar. The brackets will hold the spit.

Find a battery-operated motor drive. The heavier the meat you intend to cook, the more powerful the motor drive will need to be. If you are interested in cooking whole hogs, or intend to do a lot of rotisserie cooking you may want to invest in a heavy-duty rotisserie motor with multiple speed settings.

Attach your motor to its mounting bracket and mount this to the upright at the right hand side of the grill with a bolt and clamp fitting. Insert the spit into the motor drive and test for consistency of rotation. When you are satisfied the rotisserie spit is rotating well, you are ready to start cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 inch steel rod
  • 1/2 inch metal bar
  • 1/2 inch metal brackets
  • Motor
  • Metal clamp
  • Motor mount bracket
  • Cutting wheel
  • Welding torch
  • Hacksaw
  • Metal file
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About the Author

Helen Harvey began her writing career in 1990 and has worked in journalism, writing, copy-editing and as a consultant. She has worked for world-class news sources including Reuters and the "Daily Express." She holds a Master of Arts in mass media communications from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.