Rotisserie Spit Rods
Rotisserie spit rods are available in many lengths and thicknesses. To ensure that the spit rod will fit your barbecue: measure the grills length, then add 4 inches. That would be the shortest rotisserie spit that would fit your grill. For example if your grills length is 36 inches with the added 4 inches added it becomes 40 inches The next spit rod size up from that is 45 inches that would be the one you need.
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If weight is an issue the smaller diameter 5/16 rotisserie spits will carry up 15 to 20 pounds (depending on length) and the 1/2 spit rods will carry up to 30 pounds comfortably (again depending on length)
Believe it or not we get a lot of questions about rotisserie spit rods, so here is everything you need to know about rotisserie rods but were afraid to ask.
A spit rod is typically made from steel stock and plated with nickel; there are some entirely stainless rods on the market but those are few and far between and very expensive. A chrome-plated rod will last a very long time if properly taken care of. The best thing you can do to help it last is to move the spit forks around instead of screwing them in the same spot every time. This will reduce the stress on the plating of the rotisserie spit.
Most standard spit rods are 5/16 wide (thicker then a pen, thinner then your pinkie) there are also 3/8 and half inch rods available as well. Even these larger rods are typically machined down at both ends to fit a standard 5/16 rotisserie motor and handle.
The first thing you need to know is never cut a plated spit rod! Because they are plated metal the metal will flake at the end you cut and the exposed surface will eventually rust. If you cut a spit rod you will end up throwing it away, maybe not at first but eventually.
Secondly spit rods are not rated for weight. There is some logic to this; if they were to rate spit rods for weight what would you be looking for? How much weight it would take before it bowed or before it bent permanently? The answer to either of those questions would depend on how far apart it is supported on both sides and how the load is distributed across the span of the rod. This I do know the 5/16 rod will significantly bow at about 25 pounds while the ½ inch thick rod bows significantly when the weight reaches the 30 pound range.
The weak point of any halfway decent rotisserie is the rotisserie spit (with a cheaper rotisserie the weakness may be the motor). After all they hold all the weight, are exposed to the extreme heat of the grill and get all the hardware screwed to them.