Chicken, Grill Tips, grilling, Que&A

How to Load a Rotisserie Skewer

How to Put a Whole Chicken On a Rotisserie Skewer

Does the idea of rotisserie chickens, briskets, juicy pork tenderloin, or leg of lamb make your mouth water? If so, you are certainly not alone. There is nothing juicier and more flavorful than sinking your teeth into a slow cooked rotisserie-style meal.

(Not to mention, it’s just fun watching your food spinning around and around in its own juices.)

The fact is, a rotisserie kit can open up a whole new side of the menu to explore, but before you try it for yourself, let’s walk through 3 important things:

  • How to load your rotisserie skewer the right way.
  • How to use your rotisserie kit.
  • How to make your rotisserie work double duty.

In this example, we’re going to walk through how to load up a Nexgrill Universal Rotisserie Kit. Now let’s get cookin’!

full chicken on the rotisserie
Some rotisserie kits may differ in detail, but the instructions in this article should still apply no matter what brand of rotisserie you’re spinning with.

How to Load Your Rotisserie Skewer

You’ve probably seen rotisserie spits used for cooking large joints of meat, like a rib roast or a rotisserie ham? Maybe you’ve even eaten lamb shawarma or tacos al pastor, two dishes where a large cut of meat is prepared on a vertical rotisserie.  

For this example, we’re going to focus on probably the most popular rotisserie dish in the U.S.: the whole rotisserie chicken. Let’s jump in…

Before loading that beautiful bird on your rotisserie spinner, the first thing to do is truss your chicken. Trussing a chicken means to tie it (usually with butcher’s twine or unflavored dental floss) so the legs and wings are snuggly pressed against the body. Don’t skip this step because trussing leads to even browning with really flavorful crispy skin. There are some great guides online if you need some guidance.

seasoning full chickenRemember to truss rotisserie chicken for more even browning and cooking.
With your chicken properly trussed, set it aside and pick up your rotisserie skewer. Notice how it has a long rotisserie spit with two roasting forks? Pull the two roasting forks off the rotisserie spit, and grab the main spit rod (the “skewer”), and follow these steps: 
  1. Carefully slide the spit rod through the head end of your chicken until the bird is positioned at the center of the skewer. If you have multiple chickens, be sure to center them.
  2. Slide one of the roasting forks over the skewer, and deep into the meat of the bird. Tighten the thumb screw to secure the fork.
  3. Slide the other fork into place, deep into the meat, and secure it with the screw.

Pro-tip: To get a nice evenly cooked meal, it’s important to balance your ingredients evenly on the rotisserie skewer. If there’s too much weight on one side, the rotisserie may not turn smoothly, and your food may not cook evenly.

How to Use Your Rotisserie Kit on the Grill

Now that your bird is loaded up, it’s time to hit the grill. 

Open the lid to your grill. Place one end of the rotisserie skewer into the motorized spinner. Then lower the entire rotisserie (chicken and all) into the grill.

how to place a whole chicken on the rotisserieBefore you plug it in, rest your rotisserie spit so it sits nicely in the notches on each side of the firebox. 

Before you fire things up, plug in the rotisserie motor and turn it on. Check to see that your meat is centered on the grill, and watch it spin a few times to make everything is well balanced. 

Again, if you notice one side is heavier than the other, pull out the forks and adjust the chicken as best you can until it feels balanced on the skewer.

Once it all feels balanced, we’re ready to fire up some flavor. Turn on the rotisserie motor, ignite your grill, and set the heat to about 300 to 350. Cook until the chicken is nice and brown, about 20 minutes per pound, and the internal temperature on your digital meat thermometer reads 170º fahrenheit.

Getting More Out of Your Rotisserie

Now that you know how to load up your rotisserie skewer with a delicious, juicy rotisserie chicken, you can try your hand at briskets, roasts, chucks, tenderloins, and so much more.  You can even throw a pineapple on there!

And for bonus points, try placing a drip pan with root veggies beneath your meats. This is like making your rotisserie work double duty. While your meat spins on the spit, the fat will render and drip down onto the veggies so they roast in pure flavor!

Related Recipe:  Try This Rotisserie Recipe for Buttermilk Brined Chicken

We hope this helped you learn how to load your rotisserie skewer with confidence. For more grill tips, techniques, and Que & A videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and explore on

Looking for a Rotisserie Kit for Your Grill?

If you’re looking for an easy and reliable rotisserie kit, check out the Nexgrill Universal Rotisserie Kit. The skewer is adjustable to fit grills up to 32 inches wide, so it works even if you aren’t using a Nexgrill. Plus, it has a motorized on/off switch that keeps your meals turning as long as the power is on. A 22” Rotisserie Kit also available.