Rotisserie Chicken Recipe Over A Fire

It’s camping season bitches! So let’s lets not eat like shit when we go camping and make some delicious rotisserie chicken over a campfire. All you need is the rotisserie and the chicken and you are good to go!

How To Cook Chicken Over A Fire


The first time I saw someone cook a whole chicken over a fire was about 30 years ago when a friend of mine made one on a camping trip. His method was quite rustic and simple. He took three tree branches, cleaned them off and soaked one in the river for a bit. Then he stuck two of the branches in the ground next to the fire pit, grabbed the third branch out of the river, stuck the chicken on it and set it on the other two sticks over the fire. I thought it was genius really, but this is how people did it for years. Unfortunately, we did not have any spices so my friend Darcie and I melted some butter and crushed some Doritos with butter and rubbed it all over the chicken. This turned out to be one of the best damn chickens I had ever had.

Rotisserie Chicken Cooking Gear

Fortunately, my choice of rotisseries has improved over the years. While using sticks can be fun, it isn’t very sanitary and the older I get, the lazier I get so I simplified things and got a battery operated rotisserie instead. This little son of a bitch is the greatest thing since an electric guitar in the hands of Jimmy Page. Awesome!

Rotisserie Chicken Recipe

How does rotisserie chicken make someone an asshole? Well, you fool the shit out of little kids and call it a river chicken. Years ago I went camping with a friend and his fiance’ who happened to have two small children ages 2 and 5. We had set up camp and everyone decided to take a nap except me. I decided I wanted to find some sticks to make rotisserie chicken and get the bird cleaned up for cooking. I meandered down to the river with my sticks and the chicken and proceeded to clean everything up and secure the chicken to the stick. I could hear everyone in camp stirring up so I made my way back to camp. When the kids saw me they were on complete and utter amazement that I had come up from the river with a chicken on a stick. This is when my inner asshole took hold and I told them I had been river chicken hunting and had caught one. I told them all about my ole Native American friend, Darcie, who had taught me all about the ways of hunting river chicken and that it was an ancient and sought-after skill. The kids ate it up hook, line, and sinker.

Needless to say, all the adults were laughing their asses off at this whole thing. When my friend Darcie’s mom heard about it, she took old fishing licenses and turned them into river chicken licenses. And when Darcie got married a few years later, I attended her shower. The shower attendees were asked to bring a 3 x 5 card with a recipe on it. Needless to say, I bought the river chicken recipe. Which by the way, is just butter and crushed Doritos used for the rub.


How To Make Rotisserie Chicken Recipe

Rotisserie chicken needs just a couple of things, a fire, a rotisserie, and a chicken. I know, I had to actually insult your intelligence and tell you that? Seriously though, the chicken still needs some spices for flavor, but that is how damn easy it is to make rotisserie chicken. To make the chicken even better, use a rub or a brine to really bring out the flavor. While Doritos work in a pinch, a good chicken rub recipe is even better, or just keep it simple with just some salt and pepper.

Grill Dog

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The Recipe


Rotisserie Chicken
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Resting Time
20 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins

Don't eat like shit when you go camping, instead make this simple, delicious rotisserie chicken that is fun and easy.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Campfire
Keyword: Campfire cooking, camping recipes, Rotisserie Chicken
Servings: 4 people
Author: Ann Sass
  • 1 whole chicken (or two for more people)
  • 2 tbsp dry rub
  • 1 gal brine (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. If you are making this while camping prep the chicken at home by cleaning out the chicken and bringing if desired. The chickens can be stored in gallon sized zip lock bags. Do not over brine the chicken.

  2. Build a fire and let it burn down a bit to create a good coal base. Alternatively, you can use charcoal.

  3. Place the rotisserie stands in the ground. Try to get them in deep enough that they will not tip over and so that you do not have to build a supertall fire just to cook the meat.

  4. Place the chicken on the rotisserie bar and rub olive oil all around. 

  5. Add your spice rub all around. Place thermometer in the chickens between the leg and the thigh.

  6. Place the rotisserie forks on the bar to secure the chicken and place the bar over the fire on the stands. Add the rotisserie motor and turn it on.

  7. Build the fire up or down to control the heat. If the bird starts to get too dark too fast, spread out the fire. If it does not appear to be cooking at all or turning brown slowly, build up the fire in small stages.

  8. Once the bird reaches at least 165º F it is done or almost done. You might consider cooking it a little longer just to be safe. If you carve into the chicken and it is still pink, place back over the fire until done and juices run clear.

  9. Let rest for about 20 minutes before serving with your favorite side dish.

Recipe Notes

This is very similar to rotisserie chicken over a grill, only you don't have a cover so cooking times will likely be longer.