Size, Weight, Heat: Choosing the Best Spit Roaster for Your Backyard BBQs

Certainly, most kitchen ovens are capable of roasting or grilling a nice cut of meat to perfection. Having said that, there's something undeniably alluring about food fresh from the backyard BBQ. Spit roasts take the BBQ to a whole new level, and it can be almost hypnotic to watch a juicy, succulent cut of meat slowly rotating on the spit, with the happy knowledge that it will soon be ready to be enjoyed. Often seen as the domain of hardcore BBQ enthusiasts or catering companies, spit roasts are not particularly complicated to set up or operate. The only really complicated thing is making the right decision when it comes to choosing a spit roast. Size definitely matters in this department (and so does weight). The method of heating the grill is also an important factor. 

Gas or Charcoal

If you're new to spit roasting, it can be easier to buy a gas roaster. While charcoal gives the meat a distinctive (and delicious) smoky taste, a gas roaster is easier to operate and involves less mess. It takes a little more effort to regulate the heat when cooking with charcoal, so it can be a little tricky for the uninitiated. It's really a matter of personal preference though.

The Length

When space is not an issue and you plan to be cooking for a crowd, opt for a spit roaster that is at least 130 cm in length. This allows you to roast an entire animal on the spit, such as a lamb or a suckling pig. The next size down is a roaster that is 75 cm in length, and then 50 cm in length. With these smaller sizes, you will have to remove portions of the animal before you can comfortably fit it on the spit (although your butcher can probably do this for you).

The Weight

You also need to be mindful of the weight restrictions of your potential new spit roaster. A whole lamb carcass can weigh around 21 kg, and a pig can be even heavier. You need to ensure that the rod (the actual spit where the meat is held during cooking) can support this weight. You also need to ensure that the spit's motor can support rotations at the intended weight. While some spits will be long enough to hold this much meat and have the strength to support it, the engine might not be able to support the rotations necessary for turning the meat during the cooking process. Spit roast motors come with a weight rating, and it's vital to ensure that you buy a roaster with sufficient engine capacity for your intended purposes.

For more information, contact Victorian Golden Roast or a similar company.