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Rotisserie turkey - crisp at end, beginning or keep heat up the entire time?

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    Rotisserie turkey - crisp at end, beginning or keep heat up the entire time?

    First rotisserie turkey coming up on Thursday. Assisted on a 20 lb bird the other day, and did a trial run with a chicken. I thought the turkey ran to hot and the color was quite dark early on. The chicken was run a bit cooler and the meat was great but the skin could have used more crisp & color.

    So the question is, do you start hot to brown the bird or do you get closer to the end and then bump the temps? Or just find a happy medium? I borrowed the rotisserie and don't want to drill a probe hole, but the temps I was running for the chicken at the regular grill height seemed plenty high, like 35-375.

    About 325 +/- the whole time. Works for me. 🤷‍♂️


      I find it's really hard to get a good temp reading with the rotisserie. The bird is spinning, in and out of hot zones, so even if you get a decent reading somewhere, it really doesn't matter much. This is the one time that I use the bimetal dial thermometer in the lid. I generally run it between 300 and 325 the whole time, figuring that the top of the lid, just above the bird, is probably the coolest part of the grill.

      You're gonna love the rotisserie turkey. It's delicious, and nearly idiot proof


      • Grillin Dad
        Grillin Dad commented
        Editing a comment
        And I'm using a Weber kettle, hence the thermometer location

      I wonder if you spatchcock and truss it up for rotisserie . . . best of both?


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        I think spinning a spatchcocked bird would be a trick!

      I'm with Grillin Dad on this one. I go by the dome thermometer and keep it between 325 and 350 the entire cook. I'm planning to spin a 20 pound turkey on Saturday. Spatchcocking a 16 pound one tomorrow.

      Not sure what type of cooker you are using, but I use a Weber Performer (kettle) with rotisserie. If you are using charcoal, make sure your coals are banked enough to the side that the turkey is not directly above the heat, if possible. I did not use the baskets or the SNS last year, and just banked the coals up against the side of the kettle, on the charcoal grate.
      Last edited by jfmorris; November 24, 2021, 08:52 AM.


        Fill 'er up and let it rip. Don't overthink it. Rotisserie birds tend to cook fast. If you are worried about it losing moisture, rub some softened butter under the skin.

        I'm cooking a 21 pound rotisserie in a Weber kettle today.


          Thanks for the tips everyone. Came out great. Brined it with some oranges, peppercorns and some maple syrup for 24 hours

          I used B&B briquets, about 1/2 a chimney and let the temp settle to about 375 at the vent then put the bird on, only took around 6 briquettes per side on two occasions to keep the temp around 350.
          Attached Files


          • Rattlesnake
            Rattlesnake commented
            Editing a comment
            Looks great! I just ordered the Weber rotisserie for my 22” kettle. Looking forward to cooking some chicken. Is that a Weber rotisserie you have?


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