Spit Roast BBQ

By Jim Smith

Having a spit roast barbeque is a spectacle for your guests. Even though I am partial to roasted pigs, one of my favorite spit roast BBQ’s was a steamship round. Some neighbors invited us to the backyard event and we could see the massive beef from afar. It was slowly cooking and the designated roaster stood by with tools ready. He would mop the beef with a “secret sauce” to keep it moist and flavorful.

Every so often he would declare a layer of beef was ready and he would slice off large slabs of beef — from rare to medium well done — to meet everyone’s desire. He had a sharp chef knife for that task and a cutting board below to cut it into serving size chunks.

The sharp knife was primarily used to slice the steamship round roast but from time to time it was used as a deterrent to a hungry group of guest contemplating how to distract the roaster while they grabbed at the massive roast before it was ready to be served. But overall, a spit-roast BBQ is a great way to entertain a large group at a backyard picnic or family reunion.

I also used that spit one year to roast a pig. The slowly rotating pig dripping fat into a bed of hot embers is a traditional look that is somehow awe-inspiring and impressive to everyone attending. Fortunately the spit was turned by a motor, otherwise someone needs to tend the BBQ roast while slowly rotating it by hand — not my idea of the way to spend a party day! But a spit-roast barbeque is a fun event regardless. There is something wonderfully primitive about seeing a skewered mass of meat slowly roasting over a bed of hot coals. Try it and watch the reaction from the crowd!

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