Last updated: August 11, 2021

Welcome to our big barbecue skewer test 2019, where we present all the barbecue skewers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web. With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best product for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a barbecue skewer.




The most important facts

  • A spit for the barbecue is a real extra benefit for some dishes. Gyros, chicken and the like turn out much better on a spit. For some dishes, such as suckling pig, a spit is even a must.
  • Turning spits are available in manual or electric form. An electric motor drives the spit slowly and evenly so you don't have to worry about it.
  • The material, the length and the right accessories make the perfect spit. On the following pages you will find out which options are available and how to choose the perfect model for you.

Barbecue Rotisserie: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a barbecue skewer

Who is a rotisserie suitable for?

A spit rotates above the grill. This ensures that the food is cooked evenly on all sides. This prevents the meat from being cooked on the outside but still half raw on the inside. Large grilled food is usually best on the spit.

A large pig can only be cooked evenly with the help of a rotisserie. (Source: pixabay / skeeze)

What dishes can I make with a barbecue rotisserie?

A rotisserie is the best choice for the following dishes, among others:

  • Suckling pig
  • whole chickens
  • Gyros
  • Kebab meat
  • large roasts
  • Skewers with vegetables and meat
  • Robber skewers

How much does a rotisserie cost?

Turning spits that are operated manually are available for as little as 15 euros. Battery- and electricity-operated versions for home use range between 40 and 80 euros.

As a restaurant owner, however, it is worth investing in the three-digit range.

https://www.grilltiger.de/rotisserie-grill-test/

What alternatives are there to a rotisserie?

Some dishes can be prepared just as well or even preferably on the grill grate. For them, a spit is superfluous. Dishes that do not belong on a spit are, for example, fish and cheese and all other dishes that fall apart easily. Most dishes can be prepared without a spit. However, the spit creates a special aroma. Large whole animals, such as suckling pig, can only be prepared well with a spit. You should buy a spit if you particularly like spit-roasted dishes or if you want to prepare such large dishes.

A long spit can cook many pieces of food for a whole team. (Source: pixabay.com / skeeze)

Decision: What types of barbecue skewers are there and which is the right one for you?

There are basically three different types of barbecue skewers, which differ according to how they are powered. Some models are powered by hand, but most have a small motor. This can be powered by mains electricity or a battery.

Barbecue skewers with motor on electricity

Motor-driven barbecue skewers ensure even rotations themselves. You can sit back and relax and just check every now and then to see if the food is already cooked. The host can then comfortably chat while the food is cooking. However, the necessity of the power supply also has a few disadvantages. You have to make sure that the barbecue is close to a power socket. Often you need an extension cable and there is a risk of someone tripping over the cable. With a powered rotisserie, you have less flexibility overall.

Advantages
  • The food cooks as if by itself.
  • Even cooking is guaranteed.
Disadvantages
  • A power socket must be nearby.
  • Not for mobile use

Battery-operated rotisserie spit

The battery-operated barbecue spit also works without manual labour. The battery ensures that you are independent of both helpers and the mains - the perfect choice for a camping trip. In general, however, battery-operated motors are weaker and cannot meet the requirements of, for example, a folk festival or a restaurant. If you want to cook a whole suckling pig or serve dozens of people, a grill motor with a power supply is the better choice.

Advantages
  • Even cooking
  • No extra effort
  • Independent of mains power
Disadvantages
  • Less environmentally friendly
  • Weaker performance

Hand-operated rotisserie

Here you have to do it yourself and make sure that the spit rotates evenly. For smaller quantities of grilled food, this can also be a good option. Besides, many hobby grillers enjoy being actively involved.

Advantages
  • Fun
  • Inexpensive
  • Independent of electricity
Disadvantages
  • Can be tedious
  • Less even grilling

Skewers without electricity are of course cheaper to get and you don't have to have a socket available or think about batteries. On the other hand, it is more difficult to turn the food evenly by hand.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate barbecue skewers

You can use the following features to compare barbecue skewers and find the best one for you. There is no such thing as the exact right rotisserie. It always depends on what exactly you intend to do with it.

Electric or hand-operated

If you are looking for a more original campfire ambience, a manually operated spit might be the best choice for you. Otherwise, you will probably prefer the electric version, either with batteries or with a power supply.

What dishes will the rotisserie be used for?

Some dishes require special features from the chosen rotisserie. For example, if you want to roast gyro meat vertically, your skewer needs a stopper to prevent the meat from sliding off.

Large dishes also need meat pins to fix them sufficiently.

Dimensions & material

Make sure that the barbecue spit fits into your barbecue. Measure your barbecue before buying. So-called universal models fit into any standard grill. Almost all rotisseries and meat spits are made of stainless steel, cast iron or chrome-plated cast iron. In the following table you can compare the advantages and disadvantages of these materials.

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Stainless steel rust-free, easy to clean, food-safe, temperature-resistant, scratch-resistant expensive, stores heat less well
Cast iron stores heat and speeds up the grilling process, cheaper cannot be cleaned with water or detergent, sensitive to temperature fluctuations, difficult
Chrome-plated cast iron inexpensive can rust, nickel particles can pass onto the food, sensitive to scratches, can cause allergic reactions, difficult to clean

As you can see from this table, you should use a stainless steel spit if possible.

Power of the motor

The grill motor must be able to move the amount of food you are skewering. It must therefore be powerful enough. Some manufacturers specify how much food their motor can move. The voltage of the motor also indicates how much power it has. A whole pig or many meals are best roasted with a strong 230-volt motor. Small dishes such as stick bread already work at 10 volts.

If skewers have to be turned by hand, it is useful if they are equipped with a handle.(Source: pixabay.com / Anestiev)

It is hard to avoid the fact that most grilled food is not uniformly round and therefore sometimes tugs on the motor when turning. When buying a grill, you should therefore allow for a reserve load. The motor should not be constantly at its load limit. In the following table we summarise which dishes are how heavy. This will help you to estimate the strength of the motor needed to prepare your favourite dishes.

dish weight
turkey 4.5-7.5 kg
duck 1.75-2.75 kg
goose 4.5-6.5 kg
roast beef 2.25-2.75 kg
chicken 1.5-2.25 kg

Load limit of the barbecue spit

Some rotisseries are designed for small and light portions such as chicken. However, if you want to hang a whole pig on it, for example, you should make sure that the spit can withstand the load. The manufacturer should provide information about the maximum number of kilos you can spit. You can buy spits that can hold between 1.5 kg and well over 50 kg.

Counterweight

Sometimes the food is unevenly heavy and large. In this case, a counterweight can help. It can be aligned on the spit so that the centre of gravity is shifted back to the middle axis. This ensures that the food is cooked evenly again.

Facts worth knowing about barbecue skewers

How can I build a barbecue rotisserie myself?

The motor should run so fast that the juices are neither thrown away nor drip down. When you buy a motor, make sure that it makes between 2 and 10 revolutions per minute. Skewers are also available without a motor and other accessories. How do I cook dishes on a rotisserie if I don't have a rear burner? A grill with a rear burner is not absolutely necessary to grill with the spit, but it has many advantages. If you use a rear burner, grease burns less often and you get an even grilling result with delicious roasted flavours. But if your barbecue doesn't have one, that's not so bad. You can still conjure up many delicious dishes with your rotisserie.

Which accessories make sense for me?

Basket

A basket can also be hung on the spit. You can make very tasty vegetable and potato dishes in it. A basket should also be made of stainless steel. Make sure that it is finely meshed enough so that your food does not fall off. In this video you can see some delicious examples of dishes you can prepare in the basket.

Thermometer

A meat thermometer is recommended when using a rotisserie, as it is more difficult to check if the food is cooked. The temperature in the middle of the food should be measured 10-15 minutes before the estimated cooking time. This way you can estimate whether it will take longer.

Spit rack

This device is also attached to the large spit and consists of many small spits arranged in a round shape. This way you can extend the space on your spit.

Tub

A tub under the spit catches the remaining gravy so that you can make a delicious sauce out of it.

What should I bear in mind when grilling with a rotisserie?

The food should always be rotated evenly. In addition, it must be distributed as evenly as possible from the spit so that it cooks at the same time. For example, skewer a chicken exactly in the middle. Remember to use a drip tray for juices because juices in the embers are toxic. Food must be defrosted and at room temperature before it is grilled on a skewer. In the following table you will find approximate cooking times.

dish approximate cooking time
whole chicken 60-90 min.
skewer with small pieces of meat 7-8 min.
whole duck 60-90 min.
suckling pig 240-300 min.

Picture: 123rf.com / federicofoto

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