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Most rotisseries are used for cooking chicken or other poultry. The chicken is skewered with a metal rod, then rotated above a fire, inside an oven, or above a grill. A rotisserie basket is a convenient tool for grilling, taking the concept of a rotisserie skewer and making it usable for smaller, more delicate foods.
A rotisserie basket is made up of interlocking metal wires. It is usually made of stainless steel, so it can be safely rotated above a fire or a grill. They are sometimes made of chrome-plated aluminum, which is less expensive but may not be as sturdy.
There are two types of rotisserie baskets — tumble baskets and flat baskets. These have different functions and are used for different foods. Each can produce great results, however.
There are virtually endless grilling possibilities when using a rotisserie basket. Tumble baskets are round baskets that have a door for inserting the food. You might use a tumble basket to grill vegetables, shrimp, or chicken legs.
As the rotisserie rotates, the food will tumble around inside the basket. This helps the food cook evenly. Since food can dry out, however, it is best to marinate the food first and then coat the food with the marinade a second time before it is done cooking. The basket will help the food to self-marinate as it rotates.
Spraying the marinade on the food as it rotates is another option. This way you won't need to take the food out of the basket. Of course, this is only possible if your marinade doesn't include chunks of fruit, herbs, or vegetables.
Another suggestion is to place a sliced lemon in the rotisserie basket with the food. The lemon will provide a natural seasoning. This is an especially good tip when grilling fish.
The second type of basket mentioned above, a flat rotisserie basket, is best for grilling fish or other delicate foods. It is generally a square, flat basket with an adjustable top that presses down on the food to keep it in place while rotating. This allows you to cook foods of various thickness without having to purchase multiple baskets.
A few final tips might help you cook with a rotisserie basket. No matter what kind of food you are cooking, be sure to place a drip pan underneath the rotisserie basket. Some owners also suggest spraying the basket with a non-stick cooking spray first, to ensure that the food does not stick to the sides which will make cleanup easier.