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No Gas Please Just Give Me An Open Fire

Reviewing: Texsport Rotisserie Camp Grill  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Yard & Garden Expertise:
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The Texsport Rotisserie Camp Grill is just about as perfect a set-up as a campfire cooking purist could ask for.

I love to cook dinner over an open wood fire. Nothing can beat slow-roasted corn on the cob and some real hamburgers. How about a chicken– rotisseried to golden, juicy perfection?

A few years ago I asked for this for Christmas. My family just rolls their eyes, allows that I’m crazy, and buys me weird stuff that I want. So I got my grill, and yes, we cooked out in the snow that very week!

This is a very simple, but well-designed product. It consists of two welded steel, upside down Ts which are the uprights. A grate is suspended between them. The grate is welded to square tubing which can slide up and down the uprights to adjust the height of the grate. The grate is held at any particular location by means of one thumbscrew on each side. The grate is 16 x 24 inches. It comes with a black coating which you need to burn off before cooking food on the grill. After that I just started spraying it with a spray oil whenever I wanted to cook something directly on the grill. The mesh is small enough that hamburgers or hot dogs don’t fall through.

At the top of the uprights are two more fittings. These can accommodate two removable swinging arms on which you can hang a coffeepot or bean pot to keep them warm. I haven’t ever really needed these, I just set things off to the side of the grill or the fire. But if you were cooking for a lot of people these might be useful. These two fittings also hold the rotisserie arm if you want to use it.

The rotisserie arm is stainless steel, and has one bar which lies completely across the top of the grill unit, and another pointed one to pierce the chicken, or whatever, and hold it so it doesn’t simply slip around the bar and always rest at its center of gravity. Due to an ingenious design of the fitting, you can position the rotisserie arm at any of the four 90-degree angles and leave it for a few minutes so that you don’t have to continuously be rotating the meat by hand. You can also adjust the height of the rotisserie similar to the way you adjust the grill.

Because the Ts are as wide as the grate the whole unit is very stable. I suppose it might tip if you hung a heavy bean pot on one swing arm, but you are expected to have a little common sense if you are going to cook over an open fire.

It is really easy to lift this entire unit away from the campfire circle after the cooking is done so you can enjoy the campfire without it looking like a kitchen.

We have indeed done a rotisseried chicken (but I don’t have a picture). Yes, it was a long afternoon project, but it’s all about the experience! And it was yummy. The chicken did not break loose from the bar, and I was able to cook it evenly. We’ve done all the usual camp cooking stuff, plus shish-ka-bobs, bean pots, etc. You are only limited by your campfire cooking imagination and skills. This is a wonderful family-sized campfire kitchen essential.

I use mine at home. But since it all comes apart so easily you could break it down and store it in some sort of bag to take on car camping trips easily enough. Spray the non-cooking surfaces with WD-40 to keep it rust free over the winter. (Mine’s a little rusty because I leave it out all the time, but it hasn’t been a problem)

The only things that are less than perfect about this are:

- the thumb screws really need a pair of pliers on them to get them tight enough and then loosen them, so I have to remember to keep a pair handy.

- it’s much easier to run the spatula under hamburgers with the grain of the grate rather than crosswise

- since the rotisserie bar and the swinging arms are removable, they can get misplaced

What are you waiting for? It’s gone up in price a little bit since I got mine, but if you want to cook over a campfire this will be the best $40 investment you ever make!

Sportsman's Guide