How Much Charcoal do you Need for a Spit Roaster
Cooking on a spit rotisserie isn't something most people do every week so it's easy to forget how much charcoal you need to cook on your spit rotisserie.
As a rule of thumb, you need around 1kg of charcoal for every charcoal of meat. This will vary on weather conditions i.e. which way the wind is blowing and depending on the thickness of your meat. For example, if you're cooking gyros, cooking time will be very different depending if your gyros affixed to your skewer thick and fat, compared to long and thin.
Once you've calculated approximately how much charcoal you need, you add around 1/2 of the charcoal initially and leave the remaining 1/2 for top ups. Once the charcoal is ignited, you can simply throw more charcoal onto the existing lit charcoal at any time. You can however not do this for heat beads as they are manmade and have chemicals added during processing with emit fumes that you don't want burning into your food. If you insist on using heat beads, we recommend using a charcoal chimney fire starter so you can pre-light your heat beads that you're going to be using for top ups.
See our below video to show how to use a charcoal chimney fire starter
Once the charcoal is burning and your meat is cooking, use the 8 second rule to determine whether you need to adjust the height of the spit or whether you need to add more charcoal.
See our video on how to use the 8 second rule
Using a small metal rake or shovel, redistribute the charcoal around the spit rotisserie as necessary. When you're cooking a whole animal, have larger mounds of charcoal near the hips and shoulders as this is where the majority of the meat is. Only a small amount of charcoal is required for the stomach.
If you're cooking different types of meat on the one skewer of various sizes ad you want them all to be ready at the same time, simply move more or less charcoal to the meat you want to cook faster or slower
by: Rhiannon Peterson