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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated
to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.
Rotisserie chicken occupies a unique place among slow cooked meals: it’s the quintessential “quick fix meal”. Whether you’re grabbing one from the grocery store or some kind of restaurant, already completed rotisseries chickens are a common lazy meal you can get from pretty much anywhere.
But they don’t have to be that way. While a premade rotisserie chicken is actually pretty good, like everything else homemade is always going to be miles better than store bought, and you can change this quick fix meal into something that is healthier and far tastier than anything you could buy from the store.
And, surprisingly enough, the process is very simple, though is going to vary based on whether you have the right appliance or not. Let’s go over the three primary ways to make a rotisserie chicken: in an actual rotisserie oven, a rotisserie attachment for your grill, and in your normal oven for a very convincing faux rotisserie that tastes just like the real thing!
1. Making Chicken in a Rotisserie Oven
The process here is by far the simplest, as you might expect.
First, ensure that the giblets have been removed from your chicken, whether they’re already packaged up or you’re butchering the chicken yourself.
Then, truss it up with a little twine to make sure it stays nice and tight. Not only does this help keep it on the rotisserie and reduce strain on the device, it will help ensure that the chicken cooks evenly all the way through, and stays nice and moist.
Choose your spice rub. This can be pretty much anything you want; just about everything tastes good on chicken after all. Go wild if you want, but make sure you’re using a dry spice rub and you very liberally coat the outside of the chicken. Feel free to inject some kind of baste into the interior as well if you like, though the chicken should come out quite juicy and flavorful already.
Skewer the chicken, and make sure it’s completely stuck onto the rotisserie spit.
Hang it up on the rack and choose your temperature. If you need to set it up manually, you’ll want a temperature somewhere over 400 degrees Fahrenheit; 425 or 450 degrees both work well. Many rotisserie ovens will simply have a “Rotisserie” setting that does this automatically, however, and should also set your timer automatically.
Cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful not to overcook, as the skin could burn and the interior dry out.
And you’re done!
Read more: Best rated rotisserie ovens in the market.
2. Making a Grilled Rotisserie Chicken
Making a chicken using your grill’s rotisserie attachment is going to be very similar to making it in your rotisserie oven, with most of the same steps.
You still need to remove the giblets, truss up your chicken, and spice it up however you want before skewering the chicken.
The main difference is going to be when choosing the temperature, your options will vary quite a lot depending on what kind of rotisserie attachment you have.
Many grills (particularly electric and gas grills) will have an infrared cooking attachment, which will have its own temperature settings. It will cook fairly quickly compared to other options, most likely. It could be as little as a half hour for a very small chicken, but could take the normal time as well.
If you have a charcoal grill instead, figure out whether you want to try and smoke or simply grill the chicken. Make sure to put your heat probes in the chicken so you can monitor its progress either way.
This is especially important if you plan to smoke the chicken, as it will take a whole lot longer than any other method of rotisserie.
In both cases, the chicken will be cooking via indirect heat, but if grilling quickly make sure the flames have died down to coals as usual. If smoking, add wood chips of your preferred flavor and light.
3. Making “Rotisserie” Chicken in the Oven
Start the same way you would for making a rotisserie chicken; truss it up, spice it, and get it ready to go. However, instead of skewering it, place the chicken in a cast iron pan large enough to hold it.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the chicken inside. While you wait for it to cook, prepare some kind of baste; butter, sauce, whatever tickles your fancy.
Every 10 to 15 minutes or so make sure to baste the chicken. As it’s being cooked in the oven on a high temperature, it’s going to start drying out, so new moisture needs to be introduced regularly. However, you can’t cover up the chicken with foil the same way you might when roasting it; one of the key features of a rotisserie chicken is that it has a crispy skin, and covering it will keep the skin moist and squishy (all around unpleasant to eat, though still tasty).
If you have a hard time keeping up with the frequency of basting, lower the temperature to 425 or even 400 degrees; it’ll take a bit longer to cook, but will ultimately get there. At 450, the standard 45 minutes to an hour applies, and may also for the 425 degrees temperature. At 400, add an extra 15 to 30 minutes.
No matter which method you use, let the chicken rest for a bit before cutting the chicken. It will let a lot of the juices reabsorb into the meat and increase the flavor. Take the 10 minutes or so this will take to prepare a quick gravy with the drippings if you like, incorporating the juices of the previously removed giblets to add extra flavor.
Serve hot, and store any leftovers for later!