A question I get from time to time:
How do I use the counterweight that came with my rotisserie?
My answer? Skip the counterweight. You don’t need it.
Why? I’ll get to that in a minute. First, here is how to use the counterweight.
- Set the loaded rotisserie spit in the notches on the rotisserie, then let go. Gravity will take over, and after some rocking, the spit will settle with the heaviest part facing straight down.
- Attach the counterweight pointing straight up. That way, it balances out the weight of the meat.
Note that the motor itself will make this harder - the motor's gearing will try to resist the weight of the meat, and will hold the meat in place unless the roast is very heavy. So, I leave the motor off of the grill at first. I rest the spit in the notches on the grill and let it settle. Then I attach the counterweight, pull the spit back a bit, put the motor on the bracket on the grill, and plug the point of the spit into the motor.
Here's a video of the chicken settling without the motor attached. I should have started it closer to "weight down" - it takes a while to settle.
Video: If the chicken's rocking, don't come a'knocking. Or counterweighting. Or something. (Sorry. It sounded funnier in my head.)
Now that I’ve shown you how to use a counterweight, I have to confess - I never use it.
When I first got the rotisserie ring for my Weber kettle, I would carefully set up the counterweight, rotating the spit back and forth to try to get the weight “just so.”
Then I got the much larger spit with my Weber Summit…and it didn’t come with a counterbalance, just a loop handle. And it came with the same Weber rotisserie motor that I got with the kettle rotisserie.
I worried about this at first - what’s going to happen to the motor? Then I used it for a while without the counterweight, and it always worked. Sure, it struggles a bit lifting heavier pieces of meat on the upswing, and then flops a bit on the downswing. After the motor dealt with everything I could throw at it - turkeys, pork shoulders, and rib roasts, I stopped using the counterweight on the Kettle. Why bother, when I didn't need it on the other grill?
That was over five years ago, and I’m still using the same rotisserie motor with no ill effects. In fact, I’m using the same rotisserie motor on both the kettle and the Summit - I have two identical motors, and I always grab the one in front.
The only time I think about the counterweight is when I have a huge hunk of meat, like the massive 24 pound turkey I cooked last year…um, wait, never mind. I cooked that on the Summit, so I couldn’t use a counterweight. And it worked fine.
So, once again - don’t worry about the counterweight. Everything will be fine.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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