Trussing the meat (and especially larger whole animals) to a spit is as important as any operation in assuring a successful rotisserie roast. If the meat is not properly secured, it could start "flopping" during the cooking causing undue strain on the motor and even causing the meat to come loose and be dislodged from the spit. There are many methods for trussing and various hardware and accessories to ensure that the meat will stay secured to the spit even after long cook times and the centrifugal turning forces that are part of rotisserie cooking:
- Forks - These are the best known and most popular way of securing meat on a rotisserie spit. They are best suited for solid cuts of meat (roasts, primal cuts) or smaller whole animals (chickens, turkeys). Using them for larger whole animals (over 60 lbs.) can be effective but only up to a point. As the meat cooks, it softens and the fork might loose it's hold without a way to re secure it. And, at best, forks will only secure the ends of the animal - they will not be able to secure the middle part. For larger animals we recommend using forks along with other trussing hardware. It is also important to make sure that the forks fit properly on the spit (inside diameter should be only slightly larger than the spit) and that the fork is designed properly for the meat you are cooking. Smaller 4 prong forks are good for small roasts, chickens, turkey, etc., larger heavier 2 prong forks will fit better into a larger whole animal and have the strength to hold it without breaking.
- U-bolts - A whole animal is hollow. The center of the carcass is a cavity that can span up to 3 feet. U-bolts are used to lash the spine of the animal at the top of the cavity to the spit so the drive energy from the turning of the spit is transferred directly to the meat. this is the most effective way to secure the middle section of a whole animal. u-bolts can also be tightened throughout the cooking if necessary.
- Spit pins - If your spit has holes in it you will be able to use pins to secure the large sections of meat (shoulder or leg set). Pins are driven through the meat, through the spit and then the meat again and secured on both ends. They are able to be tightened when necessary and because they engage the spit directly are the most effective way of trussing a larger whole animal.
- Hose clamps - You can use hose clamps for either lashing the legs to the spit or banding a section of meat (usually the front or hind quarter) to keep sections from separating late into the cook.
- Trussing needles - A large needle is available for stitching the backbone to the spit (an alternative to the u-bolt but not as effective) and a small needle for stitching up the belly or securing the ears.
- Shackles - Shacklles are used as a better way to secure the legs to the spit.