ReWild Recipe #1: BBQ’ed Rotisserie Duck

One of the very best ways to cook meat is on a rotisserie. This ancient form of cooking has been rediscovered.

One of the very best ways to cook meat is on a rotisserie; this ancient form of cooking has been rediscovered, with most modern gas barbecues usually fitted with a spit.

The very best thing about this style of cooking is that it gives you a great opportunity to use some of those frozen ducks you have stored away since last May, and these cooked birds make a great festive dish.

Care is required, the biggest problem you’ll find when cooking over the grill is that the fat drips onto the flames, which can very quickly lead to a fire. Here are some tips to help you control the cooking.


8 – 10


2 ducks

1 teaspoon sea salt

Fresh thyme, rosemary or herb of your choice, or your preferred spice rub (optional)

2 teaspoons honey


Tie the legs tightly together using cotton string – not nylon, as it will melt.

Place the skewer through the duck and skewer on both sides with the sliding skewers. Tighten the screws. On most rotisseries you will be able to cook 2 ducks.

Rub salt into the duck; you may wish to use a herb or spice rub instead of, or as well as.

Turn on the barbecue to low and start the rotisserie, with the ducks turning over the open grill side of the barbecue. Lower the lid.

After 10-15 minutes the juices will start to drip and it is then that some flames will start flashing. This does provide the initial flavouring you are after, but watch closely; if it gets too hot, turn off the gas. If you leave it too long and the duck does start burning, take the skewer off the grill, turn off the gas and restart as follows.

At this point leave the gas going only under the griddle part of the grill so there is no direct flame for the sizzling juices to drop onto. The gas should only be on low. Drop the cover and cook at between 150˚C and 200˚C.  If you do not have a griddle part on your barbecue, place an old roasting tray underneath the ducks to collect the juices to prevent them from hitting the flames. Brush the ducks with watered-down honey towards the end of the cooking.

The ducks will be beautifully cooked after 1 ½ hours. Each barbecue is different, but if you have these notes handy I’m sure it will work for you. 

Chef: Tony Smith, Riversmiths NZ 
Photographer: Deborah Aspray 
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