Where do you usually spend your weekends? At home watching TV and enjoying some food? Outdoors leisurely strolling at the park? Swim and surf at the beach? Camping in the woods?
No matter where you spend your weekends at or whether you’re alone or with some company, sooner or later someone is going to bring up the subject about what you’re going to eat. That’s interesting to note as humans normally consume 4 – 5 lbs. of food on a daily basis (more if the meals are very delicious) and the weekends are never complete without smoked or grilled food.
Even though the unique way of grilling food (which is called barbecue in America) was originally invented by the Caribbean natives, there is no doubt that smoking and grilling food became one of the most famous American traditions.
But today the cooking style had spread throughout the world and is almost just about in every menu of restaurants that you’ve dined in or will dine in.
Rotisserie, also known as spit-roasting, is a style of roasting where meat is skewered on a spit – a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or roasted in an oven. The rotisserie is used for cooking large portions of meat or the entire animal itself such as chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows etc.
In the Philippines, this type of cooking is called “lechon” where their two favorite animals to cook on the rotisserie are the chicken (lechon manok) and the pig (lechon baboy, lechon de leche and liempo). They are often sold as viands to pair with rice and are a favorite among Filipinos and you can even see thousands of small stalls where they sell roasted chicken or pork in a rotisserie.
The most expensive lechon is the beef (lechon baka), because cows are sold at $200 – $600 per live cattle. So if you’ll ever get invited to a feast and there’s a whole cow being cooked in the rotisserie (the head and tail are removed as those are not edible), then you know that the one who threw the party is probably a wealthy businessman or a politician.
You could say that the lechon cooking method is as much as a Filipino tradition as barbecue is an American tradition. It is even one of the main dishes in almost all of Filipino festivals both local and national levels.
Also, ordinary people cook their poultry and pigs that they’ve raised on their own if they decide not to buy it from a store and just about everybody does it occasionally. Therefore it can be considered a local tradition whereas in other countries people mostly buy the meat from slaughterhouses and cook them or sell them in restaurants.
In most cases, Filipinos cook the pigs on a bamboo rotisserie and not in a steel spike, although the chickens are commonly roasted in a steel rotisserie. That’s another difference between western cooking method and the Filipino rotisserie cooking method.
Adding the Rotisserie to the Charcoal or Gas Grill was only a Logical Step
As early as the 1950s the rotisserie has already been added to the charcoal and gas grills by American grill manufacturers and they were right in doing so. Seeing as how important that feature will become in American homes as national holidays are usually family gathering days also, it was only logical to include it into the design as people will most likely cook whole turkeys during Thanksgiving Day or whole chickens, the pig’s ribs and other large portions of meat.
Today the rotisserie feature can be found on all types of barbecue grills and they are especially common to large commercial grills. American families benefit from it very much as it is their unofficial go-to cooking material for all of their grilled food recipes.
Top 6 Smokers with the Rotisserie Feature
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association published a study that indicated about 45% of American adults considered to purchase a new grill or smoker back in 2016. This is very good news for the barbecue grill industry as it means they can make good profits even in the succeeding years after 2016.
But even better is that it indicates that the barbecue grill products are viewed as good investments by customers and that they very much rather cook their food at home than buy from a restaurant or fast food store. Here are some of the best BBQ smokers with a rotisserie feature:
1.) Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill
The K750HS is Kalamazoo’s mid-size model with 726 square inches of primary cook surface, three immense Dragon Burners and one Infrared Rotisserie Burner. To ensure high-quality grills Kalamazoo built theirs with the 304-gauge industrial grade stainless steel which can make the K750HS last for 5 – 10 years even more!
The K750HS has a fire grilling drawer beside the gas-fed Dragon Burners which allows for wood or charcoal briquette fuel to grill food (in case you don’t want to use the propane tanks or you want to use both at the same time). Gas fired temperatures range from 150°F to over 700°F, but it can be raised higher up to 1,200°F if you add charcoal or wood to the fire drawer.
The cooking grates vary from stainless steel rods to 0.25 inch-thick steel slabs that have been precisely cut (probably by a plasma steel cutter) into beautiful patterns optimized for grilling meat, fish or vegetables. You will see different kinds of sear marks on your meat which will add aesthetics aside from the colorful decorations of the herbs and vegetables that are placed on the recipe.
The rotisserie is driven by an electric motor with a rotating chain to aid in your cooking which requires less attention.
2.) Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
The Weber Summit Charcoal Grill comes with a circular cooking grate with a monster 452 square inches of grilling space and has an impressive purpose-built rotisserie that allows you to spit-roast and smoke meat at the same time.
This charcoal grill has a lot of amazing features, but the few that stands out from the rest include the unique Smoke/Low and Slow Vent Setting at the bottom of the grill. This new feature in the grill design tells you exactly how many cubic inches of air (oxygen) that should flow into the bowl when smoking different types of meat.
This means that you won’t have to guess how you’ll adjust the settings to make the perfect grill recipe!
The next feature that I’d like to highlight is the Two-Position Fuel Grate which, surprisingly, makes air the insulator between the fuel grate and the cooking grates above. This allows you to smoke with cooler air toward the bottom and use the excess heat for direct grilling up above.
Also, the Snap-Jet Gas Ignition System ignites the grill automatically with no further use of lighter fluids or matches.
3.) Memphis Elite Wood Fire Pellet Smoker with the Carson Rodizio Kit
It’s been noted that the Memphis Elite Wood Fire Pellet Smoker is one of the few pellet grills you can actually use for direct grilling, because of the removable plate feature that covers the burn chamber.
This particular model which is the VG0002S has an impressive Wi-Fi controller built into it, which means you can control the settings of the grill via your phone on a local area network (LAN). How’s that for modern technology?!
Although the VG0002S does not have a rotisserie built into it, you can just purchase the Carson Rodizio Kit, which is a contraption of 6 rotisseries that you can just mount on top of a barbecue grill like the Memphis Elite Wood Fire Pellet Smoker.
4.) Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32-Inch Grill
The kamado is actually a Japanese stove used in ancient times, but now the Komodo Company has adopted the name and they have been building kamado-style charcoal grills ever since the company was founded back in 2006.
It’s actually a surprise to know that the company owner is an American man by the name of Dennis Linkletter, who has a Thai wife and they live in Indonesia. Dennis just hired the talented and experienced crew of a ceramic kamado grill company in Indonesia and established his own.
So in actuality, there is not a single Japanese person involved in the creation of these incredible kamado grills, which is ironic.
Made from high-quality gauge 304 stainless steel this grilling monster, which weighs in excess of 500 kgs, is a sight to behold! But don’t be overwhelmed by its sheer size and weight, because the manufacturer ensured that it will be easy for anyone to handle it.
They’ve made the easy-open lid spring with spring-assisted hinge assembly, so that all the force the lid needs in order to open and close its own weight and a little help from gravity. The cooking grates and charcoal basket are 3/8-inch thick 304 stainless rods, and the upper grate is also hinged which allows you to add charcoal fuel without removing the food for continuous cooking.
One great feature this grill has is the rotating dial at the bottom which is actually its air inflow damper, which allows you to adjust the settings to the air inflow to smoke your meat perfectly.
5.) Weber Summit 6-Burner
If you want a top performing bbq with the versatility of an oven and rotisserie, then the Weber Sumit 6-Burner is hard to beat.
Its features include six main burners for efficient grilling, a side burner for when you need to cook other recipes simultaneously, infrared rotisserie burner for spit-roasting whole chicken or turkey or huge slabs of meat, a dedicated sear burner and a smoker box with its own smoker burner.
This gas grill allows you to cook multiple dishes at the same time, so you’ll get to serve all meats hot off the grill in 1/6th of the amount of time it required with regular gas stoves and ovens.
- High heat emanating from its 6 main burners ensures cooking reliability.
- An all-in-one grill with multi-functional grilling options plus a smoker box, side burner, rotisserie and sear burner.
- Quality construction makes it durable.
- Weber ensures repair and warranty support.
- Won’t scratch easily as the electroplating finish on the stainless steel protects the surfaces.
- The handle light has no real use, but is pleasing to the eyes to see.
6.) Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill
At first glance, you’ll think that the Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill is a medieval spinning wheel where people from that time made clothes from it. Sometimes it also resembles a torturing device from the same time period.
Regardless of your first impressions, this gas grill is built around a very large rotisserie, which may, in fact, be its primary purpose. It sports a height-adjustable grill rack 726 square inches of cooking space, is able to set wood or charcoal fuel on the fire in minutes with its high-powered gas starter, and has a motor-mounted rotisserie with 33 inches of spit for slow-roasting meats and poultry.
It also has a double cooktop and twin 16,000 BTU (8900° Celsius) stainless steel burners for maximum heat distribution and efficient cooking.
It’s a very good thing that there are several manufacturing companies for the bbq smoker with a rotisserie feature. The cleverness and ingenuity put into these things make grilling and spit-roasting fun and exciting, and although they are quite expensive kitchen tools, they do make the investment worthwhile.
The rotisserie, in particular, makes cooking almost automatic and seamless with the help of the electric motor spinning the spit. Cooking whole chicken or turkey, pork or even large portions of meat can be done in your own backyard or outdoors while you’re camping and in a rather short amount of time.
Enabling you to serve multiple delicacies in one time for two or more people who may be your guests or campmates.