This varies depending on how you wish to cook the meat. Ideally you are looking for a temperature of 150° - 190°C degrees. You may also choose to start out with a higher temperature to get the meat seared, and then wind it back for cooking.
Drip trays are great for catching the juices that fall from the roast. They should contain about an inch of liquid and will help prevent flare-ups. The juices caught by these can then be used to create a gravy to go with the meat or alternatively use marinades, beer, juice, etc to create a flavoured steam which will add flavor to the meat.
Cooking time will vary depending on the diameter and weight of your spit roasted meat, however as a guide:
- Small roast 15cm diameter - 2.5 hours
- 2kg chicken – 2.5 hours
- Roast 25cm diameter – 4 hours
- 10kg lamb/pig - 4 hours
- 15kg lamb/pig - 5 hours
- 20kg lamb/pig - 6 hours
- 2kg chicken - 1.5 hours
To ensure your meat is cooked to perfection you are best to use a meat thermometer and test the temperature of the meat. Ideal temperatures are:
BEEF & LAMB: Rare 60°C Medium 65°C Well Done 70-75°C
PORK: Medium 65°C Well Done 75°C
CHICKEN: At least 75°C
Extremely. You want your meat to run along the spit and ideally have it weighted as centrally as possible. If the meat is unbalanced it will put stress on the motor and shorten the life span of the unit.
The easiest way is to get hold of a piece of pvc pipe from the hardware store 30 cm long should be adequate. Make sure the pipe has a big enough diameter to accommodate the size of the roast. Pull the netting over the pipe & pull one strand of the netting to form a knot at one end only. Drop or push the meat through the end of the pipe (without the knot) & when it comes out the other end pull another strand to make it tight. Cut the excess netting off.
You can identify that your meat is fully smoked by the distinctive color that develops as a result of the carbon compounds combining with the meat pigments.