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It’s hard to believe that the original spit roasters took turns in rotating the rotisserie skewer by a crank handle! Thank goodness someone thought up a solution and developed the modern spit rotisserie motor we use today.

Most commercially made motors for spit roasting as direct drive motors which means that the skewer attaches into the motor via a male/female connection. Some older style motors operate using a pulley system, however, most people now enjoy the convenience of the direct-drive motors rather than having to struggle with pulleys that may break or come loose.

There are 3 main options when selecting a direct drive spit rotisserie motor.

3v battery operated spit rotisserie motors 

These motors are designed for cooking kebab skewers or small rolls of meat for a family or small group. A 3-volt battery-operated motor can only handle a maximum weight capacity of 8kg. You can pick one up pretty cheap with most battery-operated motors priced between 30 to 50 dollars. These motors typically have nylon gears so they will need to be kept further away from the fire. Also, ensure that they have a metal case rather than a plastic case that can melt

12v spit rotisserie motors

A great choice for campers without access to the main power source. A 12-volt rotisserie motor offers portability and convenience and has a limited weight capacity of 20kg. Perfect for cooking a good few roasts or a small animal.  

240v spit rotisserie motors

A 240v rotisserie motor is recommended for most rotisserie users who will be having a spit roast at home or where 240v power mains are available. The weight capacity varies widely with 240 volt motors able to handle anywhere from 20 to 100kg depending on the make and model. Because of the extra weight these motors can turn and therefore the extra time they will be operating for, these motors should have an inbuilt cooling fan to prevent overheating.

What Kind of Food Will You Prepare?

Knowing what kind of meat you want to cook is the most significant factor you have to consider when choosing a BBQ rotisserie motor.

If you just want to BBQ roast a chicken every so often then you might get away with a 3 volt battery powered motor with an 8kg weight capacity.

If you want to cook some decent sized roasts you will want a larger 12 or 240 volt motor that has the capability to turn up to 20kg .

If you want to cook a whole pig or for more than 50 people then a 240 volt motor is a must.

Spit Rotisserie Motor Warranty

Ensure that any type of spit rotisseries motor you choose comes with a one-year minimum (preferably 2 years) warranty.  Also, if repairs are done to the house you will find that should you encounter any issues with the motor, you will get it back quicker than if the work is outsourced.


To keep the motor from overheating, make sure it has an inbuilt fan for cooling. Your motor will be in close proximity to a gas or charcoal flame and can heat up very quickly during cooking.

You may also be surprised at how quickly the total weight of your meat increases from the start of the cooking process to the finished product. Make sure you select a motor that has enough capacity to handle the weight of the meat you want to cook. To increase the lifespan of your motor, using a counterbalance weight is highly recommended. Failure to balance your load correctly will result in uneven cooking of your food and potential stripping of the gears on your motor


BBQ Spit Rotisseries has been selling Flaming Coals branded motors for more than 8 years. These motors have been sold commercially and have been proven to stand the test of time. 

We've put together the ultimate spit roaster buying guide packed full of useful hints and tips to help you A. choose the right spit roaster or B. get the most out of your existing spit roaster. The whole guide can be downloaded here


  Rhiannon Peterson   By: Rhiannon Peterson


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