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What Is a Rotisserie Burner?

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  • Written By: Glyn Sinclair
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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A rotisserie is a device for cooking or roasting meat products like chicken or lamb. A metal rod is typically run through the meat and then turned so that the food is cooked evenly on all sides. A rotisserie burner is a heat device that is attached to the cooker to cook the meat. The heat source can be electrical or gas-powered. One of the benefits of this form of cooking is that there are no flare ups from the meat as is typical with coal-fired barbecues.

Some of the burners produce their heat through infrared means. This method focuses the gas flame through small holes in a ceramic tile. The tile then absorbs and traps the heat and this creates a high, even, and more sustained heat than is usually produced in a regular cooker. Most of these burners heat quickly and stay hot for the duration of the cooking. There are some burners that are able to cook at lower temperatures; however, these tend to be a little more expensive.

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The infrared method of cooking tends to cook meat more quickly and keep the juices intact and so retain flavor. A drip pan below the meat catches the run-off fat and there are no flare ups and spatter from juices and fat coming into contact with hot coals. The cooker is easier to clean, and there is less grease spatter on the sides and bottom of the cooker. The burner also allows small amounts of heated air to escape through the holes in the ceramic tile and this serves to create a super-heated environment to maximize cooking.

Burners and food can also be mounted vertically. With this method the meat is skewered on a rod and stands vertically, with the rotisserie burner in a vertical position as well. This style of rotisserie cooking is often used when cooking Middle Eastern and Mexican-style food, such as shawarmas and tacos. The meats are typically stacked high upon a rotating rod and can include lamb, beef, chicken, and even mixed meats. Once the rotisserie burner has fully cooked the meat on all sides it is then shaved off in thin slices with a cutting device.

The rotisserie burner is usually attached to the back wall of the cooker and is easily removed when regular coal grilling or barbecuing methods are desired. The burner may then be cleaned of any residual grease and quickly and easily reinstalled.

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