The rotisserie’s capacity should match the operation’s peak demand. Different variables will help determine which size rotisserie best suits a particular operation. These include the size of the operation or number of seats, business hours, and whether the foodservice operation will offer carryout service or catering.
Operators also need to determine the size of the products they will cook in these units. To accommodate larger meats, like whole pigs, full-size turkeys and roasts, units with removable interiors may be necessary.
Some of these units are able to operate as two separate cooking areas to allow for staggered batch timing or for the preparation of different products without comingling the individual food flavors.
Before choosing a model, operators first need to determine how much space is available for the oven. Location is an important factor with rotisseries as these units can be used in the back or front of house.
Another consideration is whether the rotisserie will serve as a merchandising tool. In these instances, proper placement becomes key. Bringing cooking food items closer to customers will show off the product, create enticing aromas and increase impulse sales. Operators need to determine whether floor or counter placement is available and better suited for a particular operation.
Also consider utility hookup requirements. Both gas and electric rotisseries generally require ventilation. Ventless hood options available with some electric units allow operators to take the rotisserie out of the hood space and locate it in areas where customers can see it. Self-cleaning units will require a water supply and drain.
Labor issues may dictate the type of unit and necessary controls. Shorter spits may be easier to handle, while longer spits may require two people to lift. Also, units with automatic controls may require less labor. Those with programmable modes offer preheating and holding capabilities.
To facilitate easier cleaning, consider drip pans, spits and drains that staff can remove without tools. A water bath system on some units produces humidified air to facilitate easier cleaning.
Some rotisseries may have heated cabinet displays for holding food underneath prior to purchasing or serving, so operators need to determine if this is needed.
Operators can choose from a number of energy-efficient features. Units with multiple burners offer the ability to utilize only those that are needed at a given time, cutting down on gas use. Batch units with forced-air burners create a high velocity of oxygen and gas, which can provide as much as 35% energy savings, per some manufacturers. Newer spit designs include gas heat that cooks food from the inside out, which not only helps kill bacteria but can also increase yield and shorten cooking times. On some units, a self-cleaning feature will help keep convection fans clean, which can decrease cook times and provide energy savings