Spit Roast Lamb Recipe


In this post, I'd like to share with you a great recipe for spit roast lamb that we use all the time and everyone loves it. The lamb recipe was used by my father year after year for Easter, Christmas, or any other event where he wanted to impress, and that he did. This lamb on the spit recipe has brought our family together for years and we now hope that it will create long-lasting memories for you as well.


1. Olive oil for lathering the lamb
2. 17kg (approximately) whole lamb
3. 200g salt
4. 100g pepper
5. 50g cumin
6. 50g oregano
7. 15 garlic cloves
8. 3 large crushed onions
9. 2 sprigs rosemary
10. Basting mixture:150ml lemon juice, 250ml olive oil
Like with every recipe, these ratios are to be used as a guide and you can always adjust them to your taste.
1. If your lamb is a bit dry, lather it lightly with olive oil so all the spices stick.
2. Sprinkle all the ingredients over the lamb both inside and out.
3. Put the crushed onions and rosemary into the stomach cavity
4. Make small cuts in the legs and insert the garlic cloves

    TIP: Skewer the lamb first before you start to cover it with herbs and spices. Trying to truss the lamb afterwards can be quite messy. The order I go in is as follows:

    1. Truss the lamb but don't sew the cavity

    2. Make small cuts in all thick parts of the lamb, inside and out, and inset the sliced garlic cloves.

    3. Fill the cavity with oil, salt spices, onion and rosemary

    4. Sew the cavity and proceed to season the outside of the lamb

      Take a look at our previous blog post on how to marinate a whole lamb.

      Attaching it to the spit:

      1. You'll need a skewer at least 1300mm long, 2 large prongs, 1 back brace, 2 leg brackets, stainless steel wire and a basting mop

      2. Pass the skewer through the front and back cavities of the lamb

      3. Pierce the back brace through the spine of the lamb so that the U shape of the back brace straddles the skewer and the flat plate is on the back of the animal. Do not over-tighten the back brace and you can snap the spine.

      4. Insert one large prong through each set of legs, front and rear.

      5. Bend the legs to fit inside the V shape of the leg brackets and use some wire to hold them in place if required.

      6. Stich up the stomach cavity either using wire or a needle and thread to seal in the juices from the onions

      7. If the neck on the lamb is long, I'd recommend tieing it down with some wire, otherwise, you'll find that it'll burn

      8. Once the lamb is correctly affixed to the skewer, you're ready to add the whole lamb to a spit.

      9. Make sure the animal is balanced to ensure even cooking. For more information on this, take a look at our video on how to balance the lamb correctly


      Using a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and salt, baste the animal every 20-30 minutes to keep it moist from the outside. Ideally use an enclosed basting jar so that flies and/or other nasties don't help themselves to your marinade.
      Cooking time:
      Many things will affect your cooking time however, allow around 5 hours to be on the safe side. If it's ready a little earlier, you can always push the charcoal to the side and raise the lamb to the top of the spit roaster so it stays warm but doesn't actually keep cooking. Use a cooking thermometer to test the internal temperature of the fleshiest part of the meat (the legs) and once it gets to 75 degrees, you know it's cooked.

      Trust me when I say, once you've cooked a whole lamb on a spit, you'll never be satisfied with a basic leg of lamb in the kitchen oven ever again!

      by: Rhiannon Peterson