Thread Number: 70372  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Speaking of rotisserie...
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Post# 932864   4/17/2017 at 02:20 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

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After Ralph's thread on his vintage GE rotisserie toaster oven, and getting out my old Baby George rotisserie-only appliance, I set this weekend to rotisserie a 14 lb turkey in the semi-outdoor propane rotisserie grill out on the covered patio.

I've done this many times before, but after observing again how the Baby George gets by with just a rear heating element, I made a slight change. Previously I'd run one of the lower burners in addition to the rear panel rotisserie ceramic burner. Mainly because I was concerned that the oven temp (yes it has a good thermometer in the lid) wasn't getting above 100F.

However this caused other problems, such as the heat from the lower burner causing the dripipings into the drip pan to scorch and such. So I'd have to add water to the pan, and then that sort of defeated the whole notion as the water would take time to heat up and suck heat up in the process.

Anyway this time, while I did preheat the entire BBQ to over 450F, once I got the turkey in place (Mrs. Dash dry rub, light coating of avocado oil) I only used the rear rotisserie burner.

In the past by using the lower burner plus the rear burner, these turkeys would get done in a fairly short amouont of time, like 2-3 hours. However without that extra heat this one took a full five hours finally for the breast meat to come up to about 165. I was worried about that, but then I realized that I slow cook meats in the crock pot for more hours than that. And that when it comes to meat and poultry, slower times and lower temps can mean better results.

In the case of this turkey, it was true. When it was finally done, let it rest for about 30 minutes, and then carved some off to sample. Moist and tender, and fully cooked. I was impressed. And the drippings were not scorched and will make for a delicious gravy.

So in future I'll just have to allow more time for rotisserie cooking, since I do like the results.

This turkey may have been slightly different, though. Purchased frozen, it's a "White Honeysuckle", which of course if just one of those meaningless brand names. However the packaging it mentioned that the turkey had already been brined so to if more brining were done, to reduct the brine salt by half. Well, I generally don't brine so I just used it as is. When I sampled the final result I liked the slightly salty taste. Whether the brine made for a more tender bird I don't know.

Post# 932933 , Reply# 1   4/17/2017 at 12:52 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Nice job, Rich.


I stopped buying outdoor grills with rotisseries included because they invariably couldn't handle anything as large as a 14-pound turkey due to clearance issues of one sort or another.  I'd like to do a rotisserie turkey sometime, but even if I had a grill that could accommodate one, it would probably burn through a lot of propane.  I'd be interested in hearing how much gas you think it took for your bird. 

Post# 933277 , Reply# 2   4/19/2017 at 00:04 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

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Thanks, Ralph.

This BBQ/Grill/Rotisserie is a Virco brand, "Classic", and it's never had much of a problem handling 14 lb turkeys (14 lbs is the recommended maximum size). In order to fit a drip tray, I remove the grills and put the drip tray directly on top of the heat shields over the burners.

As far as propane usage, I just put a newly filled tank on the grill for this bird. However I didn't think of weighing it first, which would be necessary to measure how much gas was consumed in the process. I suspect it may be a bit less than using the previous method which involved using one or two lower burners in addition to the rear rotisserie burner, even though it took a lot longer. I say that because probably less heat was lost to the environment with the slower, lower temp method. But I can try weighing the tank before and after cooking the next turkey. I just don't know when that will be.

FWIW, I picked up two of these "White Honesuckle" 14-15 lb turkeys at Safeway last December. That's a good time to buy them, because they are generally discounted during the holiday season. I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

Post# 933280 , Reply# 3   4/19/2017 at 00:14 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Didn't Virco make folding metal chairs?  I recall seeing that branding on the backs of many of them at church and school functions when I was a kid.

Post# 933285 , Reply# 4   4/19/2017 at 01:19 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

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No idea. The name was not familiar to me. I got this grill around 2000, as I recall.

Here are some shots of the grill I found on the net. I have some of my own photos as well, but these will do. It looks like Virco is no longer making - or at least putting its name on - this grill.

There's a rotisserie motor that mounts on the right, as well as a handle. On the left under the small lid is a side burner, which I rarely use, but is nice looking with brass and stainless construction. If you lift the lid. I found the manual on-line (not sure where the original is) and saw that there's a side shelf that attaches to the left hand of the grill, but I don't recall seeing it - or I didn't mount it for space concerns and have since stashed it somewhere and forgotten where).

I also got a natural gas conversion kit for this mill. I haven't installed it because first I'd need to run a gas line to that location. It's on my list. For the past 17 years. LOL.

Post# 934162 , Reply# 5   4/23/2017 at 21:48 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

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I was reviewing the owner's manual for the Virco, and saw that the rear rotisserie burner is rated at 10,000 BTU/hr full blast.

Given that I recorded it took 5.5 hours to cook the turkey using just the rotisserie burner, and that there are about 91,000 BTU/gal propane, cooking this turkey probably took about 55,000 BTU, or about 0.6 gal propane.

Propane refills for 5 gal containers seems to average about $2.5/gal in this area. So, the cost of fuel to rotisserie this turkey would be about $1.5. I'll have to check the corner gas station where I usually refill the propane cylinders. As I recall, their prices in the past have been quite a bit higher than $2.50, but maybe prices have come down in the past couple of years.

Even at $3.50/gal, the turkey wouldn't have cost much in fuel to rotisserie: $2.10. I can live with that!

I also note that modern rotisserie grills from DCS have 14,000 BTU/h and 18,000 BTU/h rear burners. Perhaps an upgrade would be a good idea at some point, if I could get one of those more powerful burners and bolt it in the Virco. But other than taking a long time, the current setup gave very good results, with a dark golden brown skin and the previously mentioned tender and juicy meat. Low and slow, perhaps better.

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