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A broiler is a very hot heat source which can be used to quickly sear foods, or to provide a steady source of adequate heat for slow roasting. A rotisserie is a spit roaster, a rotating bar on which foods can be mounted so that they roast slowly and evenly. A broiler rotisserie combines both, offering a source of heat for a traditional rotisserie. Many variants on the basic design are available, from industrial models which can accommodate a high volume of food to smaller personal models designed to roast a single chicken or small cut of meat.
Rotisserie roasting has several advantages. The first is that the slow roasting cooks the meat without drying it out, since the juices are allowed to flow naturally, essentially basting the food while it cooks. If additional basting is required, the food is readily accessible, since the rotisserie is open and the slow turning will present all of the sides of the meat for basting. Traditionally, rotisserie roasting was done over an open fire with a hand cranked spit. A modern rotisserie is electronically cranked, ensuring a slow and steady rate of motion throughout the cooking process.
Although some kitchens continue to use open fires, creating an open hearth rotisserie, many use broilers for rotisserie because they are safer and easier to adjust. A broiler rotisserie includes a broiler which is specifically designed to accommodate the spit roast it is attached to. It may take the form of a totally open and easily accessed spit over a large tray to catch juices and a broiler, or it may be closed, as is often the case with a commercial broiler rotisserie.
In some instances, a broiler rotisserie can be used indoors. Typically, adequate ventilation is required, along with a large amount of clearance since the device can get very hot with prolonged cooking. Others are designed for outdoor use only, and this is usually indicated clearly in multiple places on the body of the broiler rotisserie. An outdoor broiler rotisserie may be outfitted as a broiler grill, including one area on which foods can be grilled directly, and another equipped for rotisserie roasting.
Dressing meat for rotisserie roasting does require some skill. It must be well balanced and tightly skewered, so that pieces of the food do not dangle down and clog the mechanism or become charred before the rest of the food is even cooked. The food must also be monitored while it cooks, to ensure that it is moist enough and not in danger of burning or becoming dry. When well roasted, food from a broiler rotisserie will have flavorful, crackling skin and moist, well seasoned flesh which should not feel greasy or oily.