June 23, 2014

Cooking meat on a spit – timings, servings, tips and advice.

With the holiday season approaching and people across the country planning an outdoor feast we thought we would share some of our tips on spit roasting meat. Below is some guidance on meat sizes and cooking times along with photos from our recent Cooking with Fire course.

The chart below is based on cooking meat over a wood fire using dry wood and turning the spit every 10 minutes. It is not difficult, the hardest thing is not to get distracted from the task!!!


  • 1 x 1.5kg  2 – 3 hours  Serves 4

Rolled belly pork

  • 1.5kg 3 – 3.5hours  Serves 6+
  • 2kg 3.5 – 4 hours  Serves 8-10

Leg of lamb

  • 1.8kg 3 – 3.5 hours  Serves 8 -10
  • 3kg 4 – 4.5 hours   Serves 15

Rolled rib of beef

  • 2.5kg 4 – 4.5 hours Serves15

Whole suckling pig

  • 8kg 4-6 hours   seves 15 +

The timings given are approximate. The cooking time is dependent on the heat of the fire and the proximity of the food to the heat. Turn the meat a quarter turn every 10 minutes for the best results.

The temperatures inside the meat is very important, it is vital that it reaches a safe temperature so that all bacteria are killed and no one gets food poisoning!

The safe temperatures for different meats are below:

Chicken  – 75 degrees C???????????????????????????????

Pork – 65 – 70 degrees C

Lamb/Beef – rare 55-58 degrees C

medium 60 – 65 degrees C

well done 67 – 71 degrees C

It is very useful to have a metal temperature probe for the meat and a watch…maybe with an alarm! The thickest part of the meat will probably take the longest to cook, but check other areas as well and adjust the spit as necessary.

You may wonder why we are not suggesting that you spit roast wild meat, this is really because of the fat content, wild meat is leaner and dries out very easily. It can be done, but pit cooking is usually a better option.

Look out for more dates for our Cooking with Fire course – dates released in autumn for 2015.  Follow this blog and find out as soon as new course dates are announced.

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