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7 Tips For Better Spit Roasting
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It is thought that spit roasting, also known as rotisserie, is among the oldest methods of preparing food. Spit roasters work by roasting meat on a long rod, also referred to as a spit, that is gradually rotating at a constant speed over a heat source such as charcoal.
Spit roasting, while a slow method, ensures the meat is cooked evenly. The constant rotation forces the meat to baste itself with its own juices, producing a juicy and tender outcome, whereas the hot charcoal gives the food a crisp surface and smoky taste.
Outdoor spit roasts are perfect for backyard parties and if entertaining large numbers of people. The spit roaster functions as a celebration centrepiece, a talking point for all your guests. It also gives everyone something to look forward to, as the entire place is mesmerized the glorious sight and odour of smoky meat. Whole lambs, pigs and chicken are usually cooked with a rotisserie, but smaller prime cuts, kebabs, vegetables and fish are also great spit roasted.
Roasting with a rotisserie is a no-stress way to cook good meals, but it's also very easy to mess up. By following these basic tips and tricks to optimizing the fine art of spit roasting.
1. Use charcoal
I typically use charcoal as assumed to gasoline or briquettes for spit roasting to present my meat that sour flavour. Gas and heat beads are nice, but the tastes are significantly different. A blindfolded connoisseur can tell the difference between charcoal-roasted ones and meat roasted with gas or briquettes.
The amount of charcoal need will depend on the amount of meat to be roasted. As a rule of thumb, use 1 kg of charcoal for each kilogram of meat and other food.
A frequent rookie mistake is adding all of the charcoal at once. Do not do that, as you'll need to replenish the spent evenings throughout the spit roasting procedure. Just mild around 70 percent of those charcoal and use the extra for when you need to add additional. By way of example, spit roasting a 10 kg pig will need 7 kg of charcoal at the beginning. Utilize the remaining 3 kg to include more as the fire begins to dwindle.
Light the charcoal at least 30 to 45 minutes before placing the spit over the fire. When there's a good charcoal fire going, spread it around, making sure to heap the charcoal around the meat. Leave some area in the middle for the drip pan.
2. Prepare the meat
Truss poultry like chicken, turkey and squab with butcher's twine to hold the wings and legs in place. Do not use cotton twine since it will burn and leave behind ugly burn marks and an undesirable taste. Properly trussed poultry prevents the wings and legs from turning to near the charcoal, ensures even cooking and preserves its shape.
Beef tenderloin and boneless roasts must be rolled and attached to form an evenly shaped cylinder.
3. Balance the spit
It's important that you correctly position and balance the spit meat or else you risk damage to the roaster motor. An unbalanced skewer will not turn smoothly and the meat won't cook evenly. Check the spit roaster from time to time although it is cooking. The meat may shrink, requiring a few alterations. Be sure to turn the spit roaster off until re-adjusting the beef.
4. Collect the drippings
Put a metal or aluminium pan with a little bit of water directly beneath the meat. The drip pan is essential as it collects dripping juices and fats that may give rise to a flare-up or kill the fire. The pan helps decrease the direct heat which can burn the outside too fast, while the water increases moisture to the food that is brewed. You may even collect the delicious drippings to make gravy or sauce.
5. Monitor the heat
Do not set the meat too near the charcoal. Too close and the spit-roasted food will burn on the outside. Make sure the meat is placed 15cm from the charcoal and then that you be able to hold your hands between the meat and the warmth for 10 minutes.
Take off your hands before 10 minutes and the heat is too high and you would have to adjust the elevation. On the other hand, if you can hold your hands for more than 10 minutes, then you want to put your meat nearer into the charcoal.
6. Don't forget to baste
Basting the meat ensures that it doesn't dry out while cooking. Feel free to use your own baste recipe as long as it does not have too much oil. Baste every half hour or so.
7. Let the meat rest
After the spit roast is done, do not be in a hurry to stick a knife on the meat right away. Let the meat rest for 10 to 20 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute and ensuring that the meat is moist and juicy all throughout.
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