How to Spit Roast Lamb on a Spit Rotisserie

How to Spit Roast Lamb on a Spit Rotisserie

Spit roast lamb can be a daunting process but with some preparation, planning, and patience, it can be done by any home cook.

Pick your lamb

You will need to know the size of lamb you require. A good rule of thumb is 1 kilogram of meat per guest. This may sound excessive but after shrinkage during cooking, trimming and bone removal, the amount is still plenty for everyone.


Once you have secured your lamb, it will require seasoning. Lamb meat doesn’t require much in the way of seasoning but the addition of olive oil, lemon, mint, basil or oregano might be welcome. The herbs and spices are up to you and the flavors you wish to impart to the meat.

One method is to soak the lemons and spices in olive oil a few days before applying the oil to the lamb. This gives the oil a chance to absorb the flavors of the herbs. This can be done while waiting to acquire the lamb so when you have your lamb on hand, oil will be ready to apply.

Another way to add flavor is stuff the lamb with onions, garlic and/or lemon and sew the lamb closed with heavy cotton thread. The lemons, garlic or onions don’t require much prep beyond simply slicing in half. Onion/garlic skins do not need to be removed.


To spit roast lamb, you need a space about 2 feet high, larger than the typical home barbeque unit. You will need a larger rotisserie unit or a large barrel grill for cooking. Prices on these vary but neither is cheap so if spit roasting a lamb is not something you do on a regular basis, you might want to check into hiring one for the day.

Here is where patience comes into play. Once your lamb is on the spit, spit roast lamb can take between 4-6 hours depending on size. The lamb has to be roasted at a low temperature so that the interior and exterior are cooked at the same time. Too high a temperature and the outside will cook first and burn before the inside is done. Low and slow are the watchwords for spit roast lamb. You can baste the lamb with your marinade mixture for extra flavour while cooking.

Spit roast lamb is not a quick process but the flavour is well worth it. After the first time, once you taste the smoky, juicy meat, you may find yourself cooking spit roast lamb for all of your special occasions.

 By: Rhiannon Peterson