Rotisserie Chicken

Simple instructions for how to make rotisserie chicken on your grill. These are perfect for a summer BBQ!

Grilled rotisserie whole chickens.

One of my favourite ways to cook chicken on the grill is by using the rotisserie. This is done by sticking the chicken on a metal rod spit and use the included forks to hold it in place. Then it is placed on the grill and stuck into the motor which will turn the chicken while it cooks on the grill.

Using a rotisserie to cook a chicken will result in super juicy, perfectly cooked meat, and crispy skin packed with flavour!

Cooked whole chicken on a platter with vegetables.

Ingredient Notes

  • Whole chicken – rotisserie motors are typically strong enough to turn any size chicken, whether it is a fryer or roaster. I have even cooked smaller turkeys on the spit as well! I like to aim for chickens that are around 4 pounds in size.
  • Seasoning – There are so many different types of seasonings. I usually use my BBQ Rub, which I make a large batch of at the beginning of the summer and use all season long for grilling and smoking meat. You could also make your own or try different store bought seasoning blends. I enjoy herb based seasonings for rotisserie chicken.
Two raw chickens in a rotisserie spit.

How To Prepare A Chicken For Rotisserie

Cooking a chicken on a rotisserie spit is a great way to ensure a delicious juicy bird, as the chicken bastes in its own juices while it turns on the spit. Prior to rotisserie, it is best to truss the chicken (tie it up in kitchen twine) and fold the wing tips under the back of the bird. This will hold the chicken together, keeping the legs and wings from flopping around as it turns on the spit. Some supermarkets sell their chickens already trussed.

How Do I Get A Rotisserie Motor? Many different grills have the option for using a rotisserie motor that is temporarily attached to the side of the grill. Typically grill brands have their own kits that include everything needing (motor, spit and forks). Purchasing the same brand as your grill is likely the wisest choice since you can be sure it will be compatible and properly attach to the grill and the spit will be long enough for the size of grill. Aside from a grill, there are other appliances that offer rotisserie, like some ovens, countertop appliances etc.

Two whole chickens that have been seasoned with a BBQ rub and put onto a spit.

Season The Chicken

Using a nice seasoning will greatly enhance the flavour of a Rotisserie chicken. The skin will be slightly crispy and will taste incredible with the rub seasoned all over. I typically use my own BBQ Rub and it is perfect for this chicken recipe. You could also use a Cajun Seasoning, or even this Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Rub. For a different flavour, try this Curry Rub or this Tandoori Marinade – trust me, the chicken tastes amazing!

Raw seasoned chickens on a rotisserie spit with the flame in the background.

Place The Chicken On The Rotisserie

Once the chicken is seasoned, it is ready to go on the grill and let the motor do the rest. My grill is made with rotisserie as an option, so there is a flame on the back of the grill which is perfect for rotisserie. I fire up the grill using mostly the back burner (on about medium heat). I also have the flame on the regular burners, but only on the outside burners. These burners I keep very low. I find that using these burners on low will help keep the heat even while the lid is closed. I try to keep the heat at around 400F.

Depending on the size of your grill and the spit, it is possible to cook two chickens at the same time, as seen in these pictures. Whether it is one or two chickens, place the spit with them on it on the grill, and stick the spit into the motor (while the motor is OFF).

It is important to make sure that the chicken is centred and in the middle of the back flame. Adjust the chicken(s) on the spit until it is in the middle of the flame and then tighten the forks so they will not move around while turning.

Expert Tip! Rotisserie chicken will drip while it cooks so it is a good idea to place a tray under the bird to catch the drippings. Now, you can turn on the motor and make sure the spit is turning. Close the lid and let the chicken cook.

Cooked chickens turning on a spit on the grill with the flame behind them.

How Long To Rotisserie Chicken?

Cooking a whole chicken on a rotisserie is similar to roasting a chicken. The cooking time should be around 90 minutes, but can vary significantly depending on the size of the chicken and the temperature of the grill.

Instead of judging whether the chicken is done based off of time length, I prefer to use a digital thermometer. Once the chicken has been cooking, 60-75 minutes, I will turn off the motor and stick an instant read thermometer into the chicken breast as well as deep into the thigh portion of the bird. The chicken is finished cooking when the thermometer reads 165F in the deepest part of the bird. If it is not done, remove the thermometer, turn the motor back on and close the lid. Keep checking until the thermometer reads 165F.

Close up picture of cooked chickens and vegetables on a platter.

How To Remove Chicken From Rotisserie Spit

Once finished, remove the spit from the grill and place on a large tray. Let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the spit and forks to cool down slightly. It is time to remove the chicken from the spit. If needed, you can use BBQ gloves. Remove the fork from the spit and then remove the chicken(s). You could let the chicken rest a few minutes more before serving.

Cooked chicken with roasted potatoes, carrots and mushrooms.

Recipes Great With Rotisserie Chicken

If you are looking for some sides that are excellent with this grilled rotisserie chicken, then check out these recipes.

Rotisserie Chicken

Two cooked whole chicken on platter with vegetables.
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Simple instructions for how to cook a Rotisserie chicken recipe on a gas or charcoal grill. Perfect for a summer BBQ!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 4 pound chicken
  • 2 tbsp bbq rub


  • Truss the whole chicken using kitchen twine.
  • Season the chicken all over with the BBQ seasoning rub.
  • Run the rotisserie spit through the cavity of the chicken and use the rotisserie forks to hold the chicken in place on the spit.
  • Fire up the grill, using the rear burner on medium and the lower burners on the sides set to low heat. Preheat the grill to 400F.
  • Place the spit onto the grill with the end into the rotisserie motor. Loosen the forks and centre the chicken to be in the middle of the rear burner. Tighten the forks again to hold the chicken on the spit.
  • Turn on the motor so the spit turns and close the lid.
  • Cook until the chicken is cooked through and reads 165F when checked with a digital thermometer. This should take around 90 minutes.


Per serving:

Calories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 21gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 77mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.1g

Nutrition Disclaimer


Grilled rotisserie whole chickens.

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