1. A unit that cooks food while it slowly rotates. A rotisserie contains a spit fitted with a pair of prongs that slide along its length. Food (usually meat) is impaled on the spit and the prongs (which are inserted on each side of the food) are screwed tightly into place to hold the food securely. Modern rotisseries have a motor that automatically turns the shaft, while their predecessors relied on humanpower. Many ovens and outdoor barbecue units have built-in electric rotisseries. This type of cooking allows heat to circulate evenly around the food while it self-bastes with its own juices. 2. A restaurant or meat shop that specializes in roasted meats. 3. The area where roasting is done (usually in a large restaurant kitchen), often by specially trained chefs (rôtisseurs).
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.