How to Build a Barbecue Rotisserie

For many decades, a barbecue rotisserie has been used to prepare outdoor-style meals. They are great tools for cooking larger food items that need an equal amount of cooking on all sides of the item.

Preparing a Metal Drum

The first thing you will need to do is find and purchase a 55 gallon metal drum and make sure to clean it properly, making sure that no residue remains. It is essential that it be properly cleaned because many drums have been used to hold explosive fuels, and if it came into contact with fire, as a barbeque will, the results could be disastrous. Do this with soap and water and flush it out several times. Also, find an anti flammable ail remover and use that to clean out the drum.

After the drum has been thoroughly cleaned, you will need to cut it in half with a cutting wheel lengthwise, creating two long halves, around 2 feet by 3 feet.

Creating the Framework

After you are done creating the drums, set them aside and select 2 metal bars that measure 4-feet long each. If you need to cut down your metal bars to make them 4-feet, you can use a cutting wheel to make them smaller, and then use a bench grinder to make sure the edges are smooth. Make sure that you have smoothed out all areas so that there are no rough areas that could injure you in the future.

Once they are cut to the right length, lay them down on the ground to form a square, overlapping each end at least an inch over the other rods. Weld them together with a welding torch; making sure that it will stay together strongly. Make sure that it will not fall apart by attempting to pull it apart or dropping it. If you do not test it and the rods are weak, they could fall apart during the barbeque and ruin your meal.

After the main frame is constructed, cut 4 more lengths of metal that are 2 feet each and grind the edges until they are smooth. Use a bench vice to bend the bars approximately 45 degrees each on one side about 1 inch from the edge. 

Weld the smaller pieces of metal to the large square frame, making sure that the bent parts of the smaller pieces are welded to the corners of the square. This will make the frame be able to stand on legs.

Connecting the Drum to the Frame

Place one drum half into the frame, creating cradle by welding the drum into place. This will serve as a place where you will be able to place your fuel, whether it be wood or charcoal.

Weld two metal lengths of bar that are 3 feet in length on the top and bottom of the drum half. These will be used as the poles holding the spit. You can make holders out of bent metal at 90 degrees and welding them to these poles about 2 ½ feet above the top of the drum.

Making the Spit

You can make a good spit with your bench grinder to smooth out a large length of rebar. If you bend the bar at one side, you will have something that you can turn the spit. Your rotisserie will be complete when you add the spit to the holders.