What Is a Commercial Rotisserie?

Dan Cavallari

Restaurants and other food distributors rely on many different types of machines to cook food thoroughly and in such a way that taste is enhanced or preserved. One such machine is a commercial rotisserie, which is a type of oven used to cook various types of meats. The meats are speared with long metal poles called spits; these spits are then secured within the oven and attached to cogs that rotate as a motor or chain drive system activates. The commercial rotisserie will therefore turn the spits, rotating the meat so every side of the meat is evenly exposed to a heat source.

Commercial rotisseries can cook several cuts of meat simultaneously.
Commercial rotisseries can cook several cuts of meat simultaneously.

What makes a commercial rotisserie different than a consumer rotisserie is the size: most commercial rotisserie models are able to cook several pieces of meat at once, while a consumer model is likely to only be able to handle one or two pieces of meat at a time. The consumer model will usually only feature one spit, while a commercial model can feature two or more. Chickens are commonly roasted using a rotisserie, and a commercial model is likely to be able to handle three or more chickens per spit.

Most commercial rotisserie ovens are made from stainless steel because this material is exceptionally resistant to corrosion and damage from moisture. It is also usually fairly easy to clean and durable enough for regular use. Steel is fairly efficient at helping to contain the oven's heat within the oven, though a fair amount of heat will be lost during the cooking process.

Like most ovens and stoves, two types of power sources are generally used to power the commercial rotisserie. Some models feature gas hook-ups to power the flame, while others are electric models that can be plugged into a wall outlet. A gas-powered rotisserie will have a pilot light that will need to be started and kept lit at all times to allow the burners to start when necessary. An electric rotisserie will not feature such a pilot light; instead, the oven can be turned on and off as necessary, as long as the machine is plugged in and power is turned on within the building. The best type of power source is really dependent on the preferences of the cook.

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