How to Build a Rotisserie Smoker (In 5 Steps)

Nothing beats a weekend enjoying delicious BBQ with your friends!

Plus chicken always tastes better on a rotisserie!

Many of the fanciest pellet smokers, electric smokers, and charcoal smokers can’t compare to what a rotisserie smoker can do. 

It’s amazing how meat on a stick and cooked over a fire can significantly make it tastier!

Unfortunately, buying a rotisserie smoker can be quite expensive, making these bbq outings few and far beyond. 

However, you can build your own rotisserie smoker, and we’ll show you how to do it! 

What is a Rotisserie Smoker? 

A rotisserie smoker is used as an outdoor cooking appliance that smokes and cooks the meat by rotating it thoroughly on a spit.

This handy outdoor cooking system saves you hours of cooking on your meat in an oven in the kitchen.

The rotisserie smoker also infuses a smokey flavor in the meat better than most cooking methods can pull off. We love throwing lamb on it or some chicken!

As a result, you’re left with a juicy and tender piece of meat. 

What Are the Advantages of Using a Rotisserie Smoker? 

The rotation of meat on the rotisserie allows it to cook the entire surface evenly.

Also, the continuous rotation ensures the meat is basted externally and internally due to the slow cooking process.

As a result, rotisserie-cooked food is incredibly tender, succulent, and has a smokey flavor.

Why You Should Build One?

Brand new rotisserie smokers are quite expensive. Digital versions can cost upwards of several thousand dollars.

These expensive options may come with unique settings and variable-speed motors.

However, the rotisserie smoker is a simple device that can be built rather easily. 

Can You Just Add One To Your Smoker?

Most grills don’t come with a rotisserie. However you can buy an after-market attachment. They are easy to install.

Materials and Tools Needed 

Every rotisserie smoker has four essential parts: body, pit lid, and grill. Each part requires specific materials to build them. 

You’ll need the following materials:

BBQ Body: 

  • 25 pieces of 8″x8″x16″ standard blocks 
  • 4 to 8 pieces of metal stakes 
  • 22 pieces of 12″x12″ patio stones 
  • 4 pieces of 8″x8″x8″ half blocks 
  • 15 pieces of 8″x8″x16″ cap blocks 
  • String or flagging tape 

Pit: 

  • 2 to 3 cubic feet of gravel or sand 
  • 2 pieces of 4’x1.5″ metal pipe 
  • 6 to 8 pieces of 24″ rebar
  • 16’x12″ wide expanded steel

Lid: 

  • 7’x12″ and 1/8″ steel plate
  • High-heat flat-black BBQ spray paint 
  • 20’x15″ angle iron (bed frames are also good) 
  • 4 pieces of 5″ x 5/16″ Bolt (with washers and nuts) 
  • 2 pieces of 2’x1/2″ threaded rod (with washers and nuts)
  • Food-grade steel drum
  • Wooden hockey stick 

Grill: 

  • 2 pieces of 1″ x 64″ steel pipe
  • Expanded steel 30″x48″

Tools Needed: 

  • Measuring tape 
  • Metal cutting discs
  • Masonry cutting discs
  • Old chisel or axe
  • Shovel
  • Carpenter square 
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Permanent marker
  • Hammers
  • Safety glass
  • Hand-held grinder 
  • Gloves
  • Long level
  • Short level 

How to Build a Rotisseries Smoker? 

Follow these steps to learn how to build a rotisserie smoker from scratch in the comfort of your backyard. 

Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Location

The place of the rotisserie smoker should not be blocking paths and shouldn’t cause any smoking disturbances to neighbors. When choosing a location, consider the soil where you’ll dig a pit.

Ideally, you’ll want a location away from tree roots to prevent it from catching fire. 

Step 2: Build a Solid Foundation

Concrete blocks are the perfect material for the foundation since they can support the smoker’s weight.

First, dig and level the ground around where the smoker will be placed. 

  • Use the patio stones to produce the ground level. Use the stakes and tape to measure and map out the patio stones area. 
  • Dig a one-foot pit and utilize metal stakes to ensure the pit is lined up properly. 
  • Consider using a sol thin new and steel beams for a more secure foundation. 

Step 3: Build a Structure 

Once you’ve made a strong foundation and secured it, it’s time to lay the structure. 

  • Fill the pit with sand. Then lay the concrete blocks (also known as cinder blocks) tightly against each other and level the ground with a chisel and hammer.
  • Feel free to use the hammer to chip off any extra bits on blocks to keep it smooth. Make sure the row of blocks lines up evenly. Consider using half blocks if needed. 
  • The 1st-row blocks should be cap blocks since they don’t contain holes, but the others will contain holes for proper air intake. 
  • Hold the rotisserie skewer in place. Drill a 1/2″ hole for the hinge brack on the top row. Make sure to leave space in the wall of the concrete blocks. 

Step 4: Managing the Support

Next, it’s time to make the spit.

  • Use an 8-foot steel pipe with holes to place across the length of the structure. Also, weld a gear on one end to install the rotisserie motor.
  • Make sure there is a horizontal steel arm that controls the pipe and has supports on both ends. To accomplish this, hammer two other steel pipes with welded horizontal arms to support the large 8-foot pipe. 
  • This keeps the pipe stable while rotating the food. Use a bolt or long pin if additional items need to be attached to the grill. 
  • Also, you can make the rotisserie smoker have an adjustable height. Simply slide two sizes of pipes in one another. This allows the grill to be raised for warming plates and pots or lowered for traditional cooking. 

Step 5: Cap the Bbq Pit With a Steel Dum 

  • Slice the steel drum in half. Then create the hinged lid using the angle iron and threaded rods. 
  • Weld the thread rods onto the rear of the lid and have them connected to the hinge bracks of the cinder blocks. This prevents heat from escaping. 
  • Cover the entire length of the bbq pit and attach it using bolts. 
  • Consider using high heat paint on the exterior along with the inside surface of the capping to protect the steel from rusting. 

Building a DIY rotisserie smoker allows you to create modifications to meet your needs and requirements. Not only that, you save yourself a few thousand dollars from buying one. 

Now it’s your turn to build the rotisserie smoker and enjoy delicious smokey-flavored meat.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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