Rotisserie For A Traeger Grill
Traeger doesn’t currently offer a rotisserie accessory for any of their wood pellet grills. They claim that the indirect heating method and convection effect of the smoke do pretty much everything a classical rotisserie does.
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For the most part, this is true, but without the rotation of the rotisserie spit, you don’t get the same internal self-basting effect of a classic rotisserie spit jack.
Compounding this problem is that most aftermarket “Universal” rotisserie accessories are designed to fit gas and charcoal grills where you can leave the lid open. If you do this with a Traeger, you lose much of the heat potential of the wood pellet grill, while also burning through a very high volume of pellets per hour.
It’s also worth noting that if you attempt to make any permanent changes to the interior of the grill’s cooking chamber, it will likely void Traeger’s warranty coverage.
If your Traeger is past the warranty period, you could attempt to add an aftermarket universal rotisserie by carefully drilling at least one hole through the sidewall of your Trager grill. You can then run the spit jack through the hole to the external rotisserie motor. Though this is a permanent change that could affect the performance of your Traeger in the future.
Though a larger Traeger grill, like the Timberline, the Ironwood 885, and the Costco Silverton 810, might be able to accommodate an aftermarket universal rotisserie inside the primary smoking chamber. Though you’ll need to use a cordless battery-powered rotisserie and wrap it in heavy-duty foil and some type of insulative material to protect it from the heat.
This is a great way to preserve the natural juices inside whole broiler-fryer chickens, Cornish game hens, deboned legs of lamb, and even classic kebabs for a gyro. Just make sure to measure the internal dimensions of your Traeger’s cooking chamber to find the right rotisserie to fit.
Can You Get a Rotisserie for a Traeger?
Traeger doesn’t offer a rotisserie accessory, and a lot of aftermarket universal accessories won’t fit in a smaller Traeger grill. Though you might be able to fit a small, battery-powered rotisserie in the primary smoking chamber of a larger Traeger like the Timberline, the Ironwood 885, and the Costco Silverton 810.
Since it will need to be inside the smoking chamber, you’ll need to take steps to insulate the motor from the heat. You can get by placing the majority of the motor inside a silicone shell, such as an improvised grill glove with just the spit jack portion exposed. Then wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
You might have to put the rotisserie at an angle to make sure that it fits. Ideally, you want a small broiler-fryer chicken, Cornish game hens or a similar lighter piece of meat, to keep from stalling out the electric motor.
What Can You Cook on a Rotisserie in a Traeger?
With some improvisation, you can either fit a small battery-powered universal rotisserie inside a Traeger or mount one by making a hole in the sidewall of the wood pellet grill. This opens the door for a lot of great rotisserie options.
A small broiler-fryer is one of the most obvious things you can make on a rotisserie in a Traeger grill. Though you might want to place a drip pan with quartered red potatoes under it to make cleanup easier.
A pair of Cornish game hens are also a great way to get some of that succulent rotisserie chicken flavor. They also tend to be lighter, with less risk of stalling out the electric spit jack motor.
Classic Kebabs made from layers of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or lamb shoulder are also great on a Traeger Grill.
Boneless trussed leg of lamb with an herb crust does exceptionally well on a rotisserie. Though in a Traeger, you’ll need to remove the bone to get it to cook all the way through.
Small beef roasts like a three-pound prime rib, or a small pork sirloin roast will also benefit from rotisserie cooking inside a Traeger grill.
Traeger Rotisserie Chicken
When choosing a chicken for rotisserie cooking in a Traeger grill, you want to go as light as possible. Ideally, the bird needs to be no more than 3 to 4 pounds to keep from stalling out the rotisserie’s electric motor.
You can then prep the chicken for a Traeger rotisserie using the following steps.
Step One: Preheat your Traeger grill to 350 degrees.
Step Two: Clear the cavity of the chicken of any giblets. Lightly wipe it clean and salt the interior. Then pat the exterior skin of the bird with some clean paper towels.
Step Three: Apply a generous amount of salt and your preferred poultry rub seasoning.
Step Four: Use butcher’s twine to tie the entire bird into one tight package to keep the wings and legs from dangling when it roasts on the spit.
Step Five: Run the spit through the cavity of the bird. Then secure it in place with the spit forks. Tighten the set screws to keep it in the middle of the spit.
Step Six: Install the rotisserie in your preheated Traeger grill at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature of thigh meat reaches 165 degrees.
It’s also a good idea to put an aluminum pan under the chicken to catch all the drippings. Adding some quartered red potatoes is also a classic touch that you see French chefs do with rotisserie chickens. The potatoes then cook in the chicken drippings.
Why Would You Need to Use a Rotisserie on a Traeger Grill?
Rotisserie cooking is a handy way to cook slightly larger cuts of meat and whole birds evenly.
The internal basting created by rotating the meat also helps hold more of the natural juices inside the meat to keep it succulent when served.
Where Can You Get a Rotisserie for a Traeger?
Online portals like Amazon, BBQ Guys, and hardware stores with a large grill department like Home Depot, are the best places to find a rotisserie that will fit a Traeger grill.
You’ll need to have a clear understanding of the dimensions of your Traeger grill to find the right size universal rotisserie to fit inside it.
At this time, Traeger themselves doesn’t offer a specific rotisserie accessory for their wood pellet grills. Though with a larger model like a Timberline, Ironwood, or a Costco Traeger Silverton 810, you might be able to improvise an aftermarket universal rotisserie that will fit.
However, a lot of aftermarket “Universal” rotisserie accessories are designed to fit gas and charcoal grills with the lid left open. So, you’ll have to find a universal rotisserie that is small enough to fit completely within the primary smoking chamber of your Traeger grill.
Also keep in mind that any modifications you make to the grill, such as drilling a hole in the side wall, will likely void Traeger’s warranty coverage. If you choose a battery-powered rotisserie, you’ll have to take steps to prevent the electric motor from being damaged by the heat.
Once you find a rotisserie accessory that fits your Traeger, you can roast things like small broiler-fryer chickens, bones leg of lamb, Cornish game hens, and even a small prime rib roast. It’s a great way to add extra smoky flavor to the meat while preserving more of the natural juices.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
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