Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Spitjack


slkinsey
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://www.spitjack.com

It's a rotating spit (either mechanical or electric) that you can stand in front of your fireplace for roasting. I've wanted one of these since I saw my landlord using his girarrosto to roast a pheasant on his hearth. Le sigh... if only I had a fireplace.

Is this cool or what?

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.spitjack.com

It's a rotating spit (either mechanical or electric) that you can stand in front of your fireplace for roasting.  I've wanted one of these since I saw my landlord using his girarrosto to roast a pheasant on his hearth.  Le sigh... if only I had a fireplace.

Is this cool or what?

I have a similar one from Florence called a FUF. I purchased the mechanical verson because 1\ the electricity is different over here. and 2\ I was afraid of wires so close to the heat.

Do check the timing on the mechanical. On the FUF, I find I have to rewind every 8 or 9 minutes. This gets very annoying because if you're not there your birds can't call you and they just char.

Other than that you are going to love it.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to their site, the mechanical spitjack goes for around 12 minutes between windings and a bell sounds when it is nearing time for a rewinding. Needless to say, however, it's not something you should expect to set and then go to another room for a nap.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

"According to their site, the mechanical spitjack goes for around 12 minutes between windings and a bell sounds when it is nearing time for a rewinding. Needless to say, however, it's not something you should expect to set and then go to another room for a nap."

I've been investigating the spit options for some time, as my new kitchen will, when finally finished, have a waist-high, cook-in fireplace in front of which I plan to spit-roast as often as possible. Spitjack does not carry the heavy-duty FUF, which timer supposedly runs for 25 minutes before it must be wound - a slight improvement on the 9 minutes. It will also hold 18 kilos, good for me, as I hope to be able to do a pork leg.

I visited the FUF of my dreams at Bartolini in Florence this summer, and just recently ordered it and the copper drip pan directly from the web site. I should be up and running by Thanksgiving.

Note that William Rubel (author of the excellent "Magic of Fire") has a website with much discussion of this topic, much of it between he and I on the ideal design for a fireplace that is built for cookin', and the issue of whether spit-roasting should take place OVER or IN FRONT OF the fire. There is almost as much discourse and disagreement on this topic as there are recipes for cassoulet...

For anyone as interested as I am:

www.williamrubel.com

Please visit my new blog, Roadfoodie.

There's driving, and then there's Driving.

The chronicles of a food-obsessed traveler: her exploits, meals, and musings along the highways of America and beyond.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't really help you out (my father made ours), but until you do get one you can look at this.

Occasionally, 19th C clockwork vertical jacks show up on ebay.

Like this one.

These are cool as they hang from the mantlepiece, and you can suspend basting fat above the roasting bird, so it basically self bastes. Like this (scroll down).

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To think that I hadn't yet found that site on historic spit-roasting -- thank you! I can see that as a brand new member, I'll be able to waste (oops, spend) endless time searching topics and discoursing on various arcane and modern subjects.

I particularly like the suspended bits of bacon fat above the vertical spit-roasting chicken. Note that the Fuf rotisserie comes with two spits that can both be mounted at once. The idea being to thread the top spit with salt pork chunks and let them drip onto the item below.

They skim over the issue of correct balance when spit-roasting on that web site, but it can be a real bear...especially with large items which don't have an obvious center of gravity, or, as in the case of the legs of pork I've spit-roasted, the bone inconveniently runs right through the center of gravity. In the case of one pork leg, I had to re-mount the thing halfway through because so much fat had rendered out of it that the center of gravity had changed.

Edited by Brigit Binns (log)

Please visit my new blog, Roadfoodie.

There's driving, and then there's Driving.

The chronicles of a food-obsessed traveler: her exploits, meals, and musings along the highways of America and beyond.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The International Cooks' Catalogue" had some wonderful French Clockwork BBQ's. No longer seem to be available though.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the opportunity to watch an Umbrian shephard and chef (same guy) cook an 8lb lamb using a device that looked exactly like one of these spits. Arguably the best meat of any kind I've ever experienced. I've been hunting for a device like his ever since. This is a godsend. I am so excited. And $225 poorer as of a few moments ago.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, Ned. Another aficionado (sp?). For which spit-roaster did you part with your hard-earned dough? A Fuf? Or a vertical from e-bay? Fuf is not the most organized web-ordering environment I've encountered, but they did indeed finally charge my credit card today, 9 days after I ordered my Mechanical Spit #6. I hope to be a proud owner within a few weeks.

On my favorite subject, that of balance, I'd think your 8-pound Umbrian lamb would be relatively easy to mount. Smaller bones and all that. Note that on Adam Balic's historic cooking web site we see how the smaller animals can embrace one another a deux, toe to tail, in order to provide an even center of gravity (I'll shorten this to C.O.G). Wrapping with string is a good plan, to hold in extremities liable to flop about, but the string does tend to burn up.

I only dwell on this because I've burned out some spit-motors in the past. And one such burned-out motor, that thus developed a jerk in its final circumlocution, caused a tender, tender, spit-roasted, nasturtium-leaf-wrapped, whole fish to spontaneously combust and fall, in many pieces, into the ashes below.

Edited by Brigit Binns (log)

Please visit my new blog, Roadfoodie.

There's driving, and then there's Driving.

The chronicles of a food-obsessed traveler: her exploits, meals, and musings along the highways of America and beyond.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am just insanely jealous!! As an antiquer and foodiphile, I would kill to have this. Unfortunately ion Southern California, it is not even remotely possible. In our current house, we've never used the fireplace--we'd be too hot even with the doors open. I grew up in the mid-west and lived in Boston and though I don't miss the cold, ice and snow, I do miss the opportunities that those conditions afford. :wub:

Deb

Liberty, MO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, Ned. Another aficionado (sp?). For which spit-roaster did you part with your hard-earned dough? A Fuf? Or a vertical from e-bay? Fuf is not the most organized web-ordering environment I've encountered, but they did indeed finally charge my credit card today, 9 days after I ordered my Mechanical Spit #6. I hope to be a proud owner within a few weeks.

On my favorite subject, that of balance, I'd think your 8-pound Umbrian lamb would be relatively easy to mount. Smaller bones and all that. Note that on Adam Balic's historic cooking web site we see how the smaller animals can embrace one another a deux, toe to tail, in order to provide an even center of gravity (I'll shorten this to C.O.G). Wrapping with string is a good plan, to hold in extremities liable to flop about, but the string does tend to burn up.

I only dwell on this because I've burned out some spit-motors in the past. And one such burned-out motor, that thus developed a jerk in its final circumlocution, caused a tender, tender, spit-roasted, nasturtium-leaf-wrapped, whole fish to spontaneously combust and fall, in many pieces, into the ashes below.

I bought the electric one that comes up from slkinseys's link

I've done the process very rustically (a word?) maybe five times: re-bar or bamboo or pimento branch and manually turned every twenty minutes, to varying degrees of success--tough Jamaican goat, wonderful Spanish goat. . . I think the way the animal is spitted is of capitol importance. The shepard did a very complex thing where the animal was split between the legs and turned back on itself with right hind and foreleg tied and left hind and foreleg tied. Most importantly, there was a second bar or stick that sandwiched the animal and was tied at ends to the spitting stick that, I think mediates the necessity of perfect balance. I'm rushed now but I'll post an exemplary photo of this later.

Edited by ned (log)

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't seem to find any of those photos at the moment but who cares because my spit arrived already. I'll be damned if it isn' msde in Italy and furthermore if it isn't exactly the same thing that Umbrian shepard was using. Out of sight man. Tried to get my hands on a small lamb or goat for the weekend but at such short notice couldn't pull it off.

Soon come mahn, soon come.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is also one that a fireplace builder or wood oven builder can order for you. Also from Italy.

Fireplace cooking

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to try roasting something vertically, you can generally do it from a hook with some wire or string. My fireplace has a well placed hook that I've used for roasting duck several times. They've turned out excellent. The biggest problem I've encountered so far is keeping the cat away until the bird is done. :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ned:

On my website, if you scroll down to the archives and open the story called The Evolution of Mr. Beef, you will read about a fantastic use for your new spitjack.

www.brigitbinns.com

I am ordering mine directly from Italy because spitjack.com doesn't carry the super-heavyweight model. I'm hoping it'll arrive in time for Thanksgiving and I'll do two 7-pound Heritage turkeys, feet-to-feet. Much of my rotisserie experimenting has taken place on a Weber kettle grill. It will be interesting to see how the heat of the open fire differs from the intense heat inside a covered Weber and how this affects cooking time.

Do report on your efforts. Although the contortions of the sheperds animals sound like a bit of overkill....

Please visit my new blog, Roadfoodie.

There's driving, and then there's Driving.

The chronicles of a food-obsessed traveler: her exploits, meals, and musings along the highways of America and beyond.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

I just came across this neat company's site:

spitjack.com and I want one of each of their products!

Fireplace BBQ insert, rotisserie for campfire or fireplace, some great looking smokers too! I'm in the market for a smoker and can't decide between some automatic ones like Bradley or Traeger (that tie me into their chips or pucks but make long smokes a bit easier) or a "real" smoker that allows me to use any wood I want.

I'm curious if anybody here ever used spitjack products? There are some very tempting things on that site...

Oliver

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...