How to Cook Campfire Rotisserie Chicken

Campfire Rotisserie ChickenTo celebrate National Rotisserie Chicken Day, we’re bringing you a recipe for campfire rotisserie chicken. Smoky, moist, and full of flavor, this is a delicious way to cook a bird on the campfire!

You’ll need a campfire rotisserie to make this recipe. If you’re feeling handy, you can make your own DIY rotisserie, but there’s no shame in buying a rotisserie either. You can choose either an electric rotating campfire rotisserie or a manual rotisserie with a grill.

Be sure to see our notes below before cooking. Among other things, campfire rotisserie chicken requires an overnight brine and 4-8 hours of cooking time, so be sure to plan ahead. Good luck and have fun with your campfire cooking!

Campfire Rotisserie Chicken Recipe

We love the campfire rotisserie chicken recipe created by Mighty Mrs. Feel free to follow the recipe to the letter, or make it your own by modifying the spices to your individual tastes. This recipe is inspired by North Carolina BBQ, but you could create an herby vinegar mixture to douse the chicken as well.

Important notes:

  • In addition to a campfire rotisserie, you will need cooking twine, a squirt bottle, and a large stock pot for this recipe.
  • Keep the chicken 24-30 inches above the fire. This will allow heat and smoke to cook the meat, while keeping the flames from burning your chicken.
  • This is an active cooking method, which means you can’t leave your chicken unattended. The fire needs to be kept at a consistent heat level by stoking and adding fuel as needed.
  • Wind conditions can affect campfire rotisserie chicken. Try to cook on a calm day when the wind won’t reduce the heat reaching the chicken.
  • Use a digital thermometer to ensure that your chicken is cooked thoroughly. Chicken must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to eat.

Chicken and Brine Ingredients

  • One whole chicken
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup salt
  • Water

Dousing Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups water or beer
  • (Optional) BBQ sauce, for serving


  1. Brine your chicken. Place the whole chicken in a large stock pot. Add salt and sugar, then fill the pot with water to cover the chicken. Stir gently to dissolve salt and sugar. Then, refrigerate the chicken and let it brine for at least four hours.
  2. Start a campfire. Let the fire burn down so the flames are slightly lower and there is a bed of hot coals.
  3. Truss your chicken with twine (here’s a handy tutorial). Skewer the chicken on the rotisserie spit over your campfire.
  4. Combine dousing sauce ingredients (expect optional BBQ sauce) in a squirt bottle. Douse the chicken with roughly 1/5 of the dousing sauce.
  5. Rotate the spit every 20-30 minutes (or 10-15 minutes if your fire is very hot). Keep the fire hot. Once an hour, douse the chicken with more dousing sauce.
  6. Cook the chicken for 4-8 hours depending on how hot your fire is. When the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees, your chicken is finished cooking.
  7. Let the meat rest for 10-20 minutes before carving. Top with BBQ sauce if desired.

This summer, take campfire cooking to a whole new level with campfire rotisserie chicken. And don’t forget to pair your chicken with some grilled side dishes. After you serve this meal, be sure to pass this post along, because your friends and family will certainly ask for the recipe!

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