A classic way to prepare a turkey, the rotisserie method is great for an evenly golden brown turkey, because the turkey is able to rotate fully over the heat source. Learn how to cook whole turkeys and boneless roasts using the rotisserie methods below.
You should only rotisserie cook turkeys that weigh 12 lbs. or less.
- Remove the giblets and neck from a thawed fresh turkey. The turkey should be completely thawed for even, safe cooking.
- Drain juices and blot with paper towels.
- Do not stuff your turkey. Cook stuffing separately in a casserole dish in the oven.
- Tie the wings and legs to the body to prevent flopping. Be sure the neck skin is pulled back and caught under string or skewered back.
- Place one spit prong on a spit. Insert the spit from the neck to the tail. Insert the second spit prong and secure it tightly. For the most secure balance, position one prong at a right angle to the other prong.
|One Turkey||Balances best if the spit is slightly toward the backbone since the breast cavity is hollow. Place the turkey in the center of the spit.|
|Two Turkeys||Should be of similar size and shape for the best balance. Mount them on the spit by butting the two turkeys head to tail.|
- Test the balance by rotating the spit in your hands. If it’s unbalanced, re-thread it and tighten the prongs. The turkey must be balanced for even cooking.
- Insert the meat thermometer into the thigh, but not touching the bone.
- Brush the turkey with vegetable oil or spray it with cooking spray for best appearance.
- Place the spit on the rotisserie and grill according to the type of rotisserie being used:
|Covered Charcoal Grill||Arrange coals around the outer edge of the fire pan with the drip pan on the rack adjusted to the lowest position. Maintain medium heat (325° F). For square cookers, adjust the lid to half open. If the cover is closed, open vents.|
|Uncovered Charcoal Grill||Arrange coals around the outer edge of the fire pan with the drip pan on the rack at the lowest position. Maintain medium heat (325° F).|
|Gas or Electric||Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s best to use the oven thermometer on the rack to determine the setting to maintain 325° F.|
- Cook the turkey to an internal temperature of 180° F in the thigh and 170° F in the breast as measured with a meat thermometer.
- Thaw the roast completely. Do not remove the inner netting.
- Insert the spit lengthwise through the center of the roast.
- Test the balance by rotating the spit in your hands. If it’s unbalanced, re-thread it and tighten the prongs. The roast must be balanced for even cooking.
- Insert the meat thermometer into the center of the roast at an angle, almost parallel to the roast. Be sure the tip does not touch the spit.
- Brush the roast with vegetable oil or spray it with cooking spray for best appearance.
- Place the spit on the rotisserie and cook over medium heat (325° F) to an internal temperature of 170° F.
- Wrap the roast in foil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes for easier netting removal and carving.