Balancing a Rotisserie Chicken
December 21, 2006 8:39 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to balance a chicken on a rotisserie?

My wife and I were given a rotisserie oven for our wedding and it makes the best chicken; tender and juicy every time. The only problem I have is getting it balanced on the rod properly. With the wide openings front and back it inevitably will flop around a bit while cooking and I'm worried about burning out the motor.

Also, what's the best way short of sewing the back shut to keep garlic and other goodies inside the chicken? I tried tying it tightly, but the peristaltic motion from the chicken flooping around forced the cloves out the back. It looked like the chicken was crapping garlic.

Any suggestions?
posted by beowulf573 to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
Well, there should have been a set of prongs for the rod that stick into the meat to hold it in place, thusly:

That should prevent flopping.

Here's a photo of the prongs from one of my cooking experiments.
posted by Argyle at 9:15 AM on December 21, 2006

Oh, I guess you can't use img src tags in a reply. Funny, it showed OK in preview.

This is how it should work
posted by Argyle at 9:17 AM on December 21, 2006

The oven did come with a set of prongs but they are much narrower than yours and don't seem to help much other than keeping the meat from moving left/right. I may see if I can find some that are wider and fit the rod.

posted by beowulf573 at 9:30 AM on December 21, 2006

(Is there a reason that sewing the chicken shut isn't an option? I'd say get some kitchen string and a good big needle and go at it.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2006

You have to truss it, to both keep the insides in and stop it from flopping around. Video.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:27 AM on December 21, 2006

Here’s what I do…..give the chicken the shaft centered as to weight as best as possible. Secure it with the forked prongs on each end. Tie kitchen string to one of the prongs and begin wrapping the string around and around the bird seven or eight times and tying it off on one of the prongs at the other end. Think “chicken in bondage” I also have an adjustable counter weight that came with mine to fine tune the weight distribution.
posted by mrleec at 11:28 AM on December 21, 2006

My grandfather has the Ronco rotisserie, and that came with a set of elastic ties that seem to hold the chicken together pretty well. They sell them here, although I suspect you could find a better deal elsewhere or make your own from food-safe elastic cord.

As far as the garlic, perhaps you could wrap it in a bundle of cheesecloth before you put it in the cavity. I think the flavor would still pass through to the chicken (maybe presoak the bundle in water or chicken stock), and a larger package might be easier to keep inside the chicken.
posted by concrete at 12:23 PM on December 21, 2006

The sewing comment really was because I'm just lazy. I may try trying around one prong, around the chicken a few times, and to the other prong, that seems like it work the best. I don't know if just trussing it would be enough to the weight from moving around.

"Chickens in Bondage"...sounds like a photo series i need to do if I ever get the time.

posted by beowulf573 at 12:44 PM on December 21, 2006

maybe try the garlic cloves slipped under the skin, instead of in the cavity?
posted by twistofrhyme at 10:22 PM on December 21, 2006

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