Rotisseries are capable of cooking food by radiating heat onto the surface and allowing it to penetrate. The food is usually placed on a skewer or a spit that rotates above a heat source like heating coils or flame. They are used commonly for roasting meats like chicken, lamb, and beef. Older models were turned with clockwork mechanisms or hand cranks, but modern ones use electric motors.
There are rotisseries that have skewers horizontally placed over the heat source and those are known as the horizontal models. They are used for cooking large pieces like sides of beef and pork or large chickens. You can buy them in single and multiple-spit models, with the latter usually meant for commercial use. However, the food needs to be perfectly balanced on the spit so it can rotate normally.
These have standing skewers that rotate in front of the heat source. The food is heated directly from the side in most models, but some use convection heat for heating the food from the bottom upwards. This type of rotisserie is ideal for cut meats used commonly in steak sandwiches, tacos, and kebabs since they do not require equal balance. That feature also makes them easier to use compared to horizontal ones.
Check the heat source
Choose rotisseries with a radiant or convection heat source so the food cooks slowly but evenly. For faster cooking with a smoky flavor, choose the coal-heated or flame model. You can also choose a rotisserie with electronic heating, which provides more control on cooking times and temperatures.
Check the controls
Your rotisserie should allow you to set the rotation speed and temperature so pick one with automatic shut-off and timers to save power especially for slow and long cooking. Remember to look for indicator lights so you can be alerted when cooking is done or when the temperature reaches critical levels.