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How Do I Determine Rotisserie Cooking times?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 16, 2024
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Many factors can affect rotisserie cooking times. The heat of the grill, the state of the food and its preparation, and even the weather when cooking outdoors can all increase or decrease the amount of time it will take for the food to finish cooking on a rotisserie. In general, rotisserie cooking times for most meats can be estimated around 15 to 20 minutes per pound (per 0.45 kilograms), with the exception of chicken cutlets or whole roasting chickens, which tend to cook within 60 to 90 minutes unless they are quite large. Fish tends to take less time on a rotisserie, especially when fish cutlets are placed in a rotisserie basket, while a whole pig roasted on a large spit can take as little as 10 minutes a pound (0.45 kg), depending on its preparation. Ultimately, the only way to accurately know if food on a rotisserie is fully cooked is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperatures.

When determining the rotisserie cooking times for meats, some factors should be considered. Meat that is tightly trussed will be denser and take slightly longer to cook. Similarly, meat that has a dense stuffing also will cook more slowly on the inside. Room-temperature meat that has been marinated will cook a little faster, as will meat that has been cut into pieces and skewed on the spit, because more surface area will be exposed to the heat.

The heat of the grill can affect rotisserie cooking times. Many recipes call for a grill to be on medium heat, which generally is considered to be from 325 to 350° F (about 162 to 176° C). Special care should be taken with an infrared grill, because there is a possibility that the infrared heat will cook the food at a faster rate than charcoal or gas would.

It is important to note that while estimating rotisserie cooking times, the size of the food matters. Pieces of meat — whether lamb, beef or pork — that are between 1 pound and 3 pounds (about 0.45 kg to 1.3 kg) tend to cook within 15 minutes to 1 hour. The more the meat weighs, however, the less accurate per-pound calculations become, because the heat requires increasingly less time to cook the meat inside the cut. A whole pig, for example, might require less time by weight than just a leg.

No matter how many factors are considered when determining rotisserie cooking times, those times are just an estimate. The only way to be certain that a food is fully cooked is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature. Some caution has to be taken when using a thermometer on a rotisserie, however; if the thermometer touches the spit or a bone inside the meat, then the temperature reading could be artificially high.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Jewellian — On Jan 12, 2014
Cookbooks used to have cooking times and the degrees at which the food was to be cooked, written in the index. I suppose that is old fashioned, now that everything can be found on the Internet.
By SpecialBug — On Jan 11, 2014
When in doubt, use a thermometer to determine if the meat is done. Most cooking thermometers have the temperature and the name of the meat in question on the face. When the needle of the thermometer reaches the name of the meat you are roasting, dinner is served!
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