A classic way to prepare a turkey, the rotisserie method is great for an evenly golden brown turkey, because the turkey is able to rotate fully over the heat source. Learn how to cook whole turkeys and boneless roasts using the rotisserie methods below.
Rotisserie Cooking a Whole Turkey
You should only rotisserie cook turkeys that weigh 12 lbs. or less.
Remove the giblets and neck from a thawed fresh turkey. The turkey should be completely thawed for even, safe cooking.
Drain juices and blot with paper towels.
Do not stuff your turkey. Cook stuffing separately in a casserole dish in the oven.
Tie the wings and legs to the body to prevent flopping. Be sure the neck skin is pulled back and caught under string or skewered back.
Place one spit prong on a spit. Insert the spit from the neck to the tail. Insert the second spit prong and secure it tightly. For the most secure balance, position one prong at a right angle to the other prong.
Test the balance by rotating the spit in your hands. If it’s unbalanced, re-thread it and tighten the prongs. The turkey must be balanced for even cooking.
Brush the turkey with vegetable oil or spray it with cooking spray for best appearance.
Place the spit on the rotisserie and grill according to the type of rotisserie being used:
Cook the turkey to an internal temperature of 180° F in the thigh and 170° F in the breast as measured with a meat thermometer.
Covered Grill Time
Balances best if the spit is slightly toward the backbone since the breast cavity is hollow. Place the turkey in the center of the spit.
Should be of similar size and shape for the best balance. Mount them on the spit by butting the two turkeys head to tail.
Covered Charcoal Grill
Arrange coals around the outer edge of the fire pan with the drip pan on the rack adjusted to the lowest position. Maintain medium heat (325° F). For square cookers, adjust the lid to half open. If the cover is closed, open vents.
Uncovered Charcoal Grill
Arrange coals around the outer edge of the fire pan with the drip pan on the rack at the lowest position. Maintain medium heat (325° F).
Gas or Electric
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s best to use the oven thermometer on the rack to determine the setting to maintain 325° F.
Did You Know?
When cooking two turkeys at one time, the cook time is not doubled. Time is according to individual weight of each turkey, not combined weights.