By Sally Cameron – professionally trained chef, recipe developer, author, speaker, and certified health and nutrition coach
Juicy and golden, rotisserie chicken is the best of hands-off summer grilling. Never tried this easy cooking method? Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to rotisserie chicken. Don’t buy it at the store. Do it yourself and enjoy the mouth watering aromas in your own backyard. This works for both a gas grill and a wood-fired pellet grill with attachment.
Rotisserie Chicken Versus Oven Roasted Chicken
Both provide delicious results, and both are a roasting method, just different tools. In chilly weather I oven roast a whole chicken weekly. Oven roast chicken takes about an hour.
Rotisserie roast chicken takes about 1 ½-2 hours. Put the chicken on the grill and walk away, but check occasionally. Before long you will have a gorgeous bronze bird for dinner.
Rotisserie Chicken for a Gas Grill or Pellet Grill
I originally wrote this post for my gas grill, but now have a wood-fired pellet grill. This works for both.
If you have a pellet grill with rotisserie attachment, the only change is this: smear the bird with a light coating of mayonnaise instead of olive oil. I know that sounds strange, but trust me. Season the chicken well and proceed. Set your temperature at 400°F and be sure the hopper is full of good hardwood pellets.
What is Rotisserie Chicken
Rotisserie is a style of roasting. It’s easy to do at home on a grill with a rotisserie attachment. The whole chicken is skewered onto a spit (a long metal rod) and secured with prongs, then roasted while the bird slowly rotates. The rotation provides even, gentle cooking and self-basting. The skin turns a deep, golden bronze and the meat stays juicy and tender.
Step by Step for How to Prep a Rotisserie Chicken
I usually buy a 4 – 4 ½ pound organic chicken. This size will serve four to five for dinner. For us two it means dinner plus great leftovers for lunch through the week.
Ready The Chicken
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to roasting to get the chill off.
- Discard any little bag of innards, rinse the bird inside and out and dry with paper towels.
- Remove any extra fat around the neck cavity and bend wing tips back under the bird.
Season and Flavor the Chicken
- Season the inside of the bird with a sprinkle of the seasoning you plan to use on the outside of the bird.
- Stuff the cavity with half a chopped onion, a few peeled and crushed garlic cloves and a few sprigs fresh thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf. A wedge of lemon or orange is nice too.
- Rub the outside with olive oil (or mayo) and sprinkle generously with your seasoning, turning the bird to coat evenly.