How to Cook Rotisserie Chicken on the Grill - Backyard Boss
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How to Cook Rotisserie Chicken on the Grill

I love rotisserie chicken and its crispy skin, and I bet you do too. I’ll also bet you’ve never prepared it on your own. You probably think it’s complicated or time-consuming. But I can guarantee one thing: if you enjoy eating rotisserie chicken that’s been under a warming lamp all day, you’ll be blown away by the savory taste of a rotisserie chicken you cook for yourself at home. So let’s get down to it. The following are the steps needed to make the best rotisserie chicken recipe on your grill. If you want to know more outstanding recipes, try preparing a juicy beer butt chicken!

What You’ll Need

  • A grill – can either be charcoal or gas
  • A rotisserie kit that is designed for your particular grill
  • Wood, charcoal, or gas to fuel your grill
  • A whole chicken
  • A fruit that is the size of a lemon
  • Half a cup of olive oil
  • Half a cup of lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of rosemary
  • Something to protect yourself, such as a hot pad or gloves that are fireproof

Step by Step Rotisserie Chicken Guide

Set up the Grill

Man grilling in his backyard
Image Credits: Askar Abayev z Pexels

If you don’t have a rotisserie kit, you can buy one for most grills. Here’s a low-priced universal kit that should fit most gas grills with a firebox width of up to 32 inches.

    Dyna-Glo Universal Deluxe Rotisserie Kit

rotisserie kit for all grills
    This universal rotisserie kit should get the job done for grills less than 32 inches wide. It's reasonably priced and works great.

Prep the Chicken

Remove all of the contents from the inside of the chicken. If there is any loose skin hanging from the chicken, cut it off. If the goal is to add some flavor to the chicken, brine it first.

Secure the Chicken

Raw chicken ready to be roasted
Image Credits: RitaE from Pixabay

A challenge that comes with cooking a rotisserie chicken is that the center of a chicken is empty or hollow. So, there is not a lot for the rotisserie rod to grasp onto. The problem that this presents is that the chicken may move some as it spins. If it moves while it spins, it could come loose. So place the lemon, or other lemon size fruit, into the chicken and insert the rotisserie rod through the chicken and lemon. This will give the chicken a little more hold and will make it stable.

Because the chicken has a lot of loose parts, it is important to not only make sure that the chicken itself is secure, but also that its legs and its wings are secure. In order to accomplish this, take the chicken and place it on a cutting board. Stick the rod through the chicken going from the bottom of the chicken and out to its neck. Connect the second fork onto the rod. The goal is to guarantee that the entire chicken is extremely tight before you start the rotisserie process. It can be a challenge to get this right the first time, but it is worth it. Any parts of the chicken that are loose or that are dangling around will burn.

Balance the Chicken

Once the chicken has been secured, use the rotisserie kit counterbalance to get it balanced. Once the chicken has been balanced, turn on the rotisserie motor and watch the chicken spin. Make sure that it doesn’t slip on the rod. If the chicken is well-balanced and secure, it is time to start the grill.

Grilling the Chicken

Grilling rotisserie chicken
Image Credit: Canva

Get your grill to around 350 degrees. Remember, a rotisserie chicken is cooked by being grilled indirectly. Pay close attention to your chicken for the first few minutes of grilling to make sure that everything stays secure and well-balanced.

Flavor the Chicken

Using olive oil, lemon juice, and rosemary leaves, kosher salt, black pepper, and brown sugar begin basting the chicken. The basting process should begin about 20 minutes after the chicken has been placed on the rotisserie. Continue this process every 20 minutes until the chicken is almost completely cooked.

How to Tell When the Chicken Is Done

roasted chicken on the table
Image Credits: Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash

A good rule of thumb is that it will take a chicken between 20 to 30 minutes per pound to cook when the temperature is set at 350 degrees. So if you have a four and a half pound chicken, we’re talking about somewhere around two half hours. Your chicken is done when the internal temperature is between 175 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once a chicken is done, all that remains is removing it from the rotisserie, letting the chicken dry on a paper towel for about five minutes, and enjoying a delicious homemade rotisserie chicken.


Crispy rotisserie chicken is as tasty as roasted chicken, but you can easily prepare it on your grill. The whole cooking process is extremely easy and doesn’t require you to be a pro! The cooking time is short meaning you won’t have to wait hours to get it done. You can use a meat thermometer to check if it’s ready, but it’s not necessary – just wait until it’s golden brown. Have fun with the recipe and enjoy your juicy rotisserie chicken!