BBQ Five-Spice Rotisserie Chicken

Using 5 spice in a sweet and savoury marinade makes this rotisserie chicken one of the best I have eaten outside of a restaurant! 

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We finally bought a rotisserie for our barbecue and this BBQ Five-Spice Rotisserie Chicken was born! The very first recipe on our brand spanking new rotisserie and it was so delicious! If you haven’t tried Chinese Five-Spice before, you really should pick yourself up a bottle and give it a go, this is one of the best chicken marinades I’ve made!

BBQ Five-Spice Rotisserie Chicken in spit rod

Making Rotisserie Chicken at Home

I have a confession: I love, LOVE, LOVE grocery store rotisserie chickens. Costco has the best, in my humble opinion, but when I am in a hurry any grocery store rotisserie chicken will do.  You can make your own rotisserie chicken at home on your barbecue and it’s easier than you think! While it may or may not be cheaper than buying it at the store (this all depends on the price of whole chickens and here in Alberta the price of chicken is crazy HIGH compared to a lot of places) the real reason is that you can make your own flavored marinades and up your rotisserie chicken game! Thus my five spice marinade, I wanted to try a flavour that was new to us and the chicken was the perfect pairing for five spice.

barbecue rotisserie chicken on a white platter

How to Set Up the Rotisserie Chicken

This was the part that Mike and I had to learn how to do – get the darn chicken on the actual rotisserie spit rod and prepare the barbecue.

 Prepare Your Barbecue

  1. If you can get a drip pan onto your BBQ, remove the cooking grids and warming racks from the barbecue and center a drip pan right under the middle of the rotisserie, right under where your chicken is going to roast.
  2. Preheat the barbecue to medium-high for 10 minutes.

Place the Chicken on the Spit Rod

  1. Make sure that your chicken is trussed-I leave mine trussed up from the grocery store, it’s SO much easier!
  2. Slide one of the skewer forks onto the spit rod, placing it just offside of the center of where the chicken is going to be and tighten it on securely.
  3. Insert the spit rod through the cavity of the chicken, bringing the one end of the chicken to the first skewer that you secured on. Pierce the chicken onto that forked skewer as evenly as you can ( I like to start with the heavy breast end first to get that balanced somewhat) then add on the second skewer, securing the chicken in place with the remaining fork.

How to Test That The Chicken is Evenly Balanced on the Spit Rod

This is easier described by video to be honest, and this is a good one to help you out!

This chicken was so tender, so moist and SO packed with flavour that we demolished it like a pack of wolves! Mr Magie declared that the dark almost burned parts of the skin were the best chicken skin he’s ever eaten – and he’s not a chicken skin guy, at all. He stole it off of everyone’s plates ( luckily my daughter wouldn’t touch chicken skin with a ten foot pole) and ate the most chicken I’ve ever seen him eat in one sitting. The five spice powder with the sesame oil, garlic and soy….you guys, it was a flavour explosion.

Carved up rotisserie chicken with Brussels sprouts & riced cauliflower
Carved up rotisserie chicken with Brussels sprouts & riced cauliflower

Karlynn’s Cooking Tip for Rotisserie Chicken

  • Marinade, marinade and marinade some more! The rotisserie chickens in the store are brined before they are put on the spit – that’s how they get their salty goodness that we all love. This marinade infuses the chicken with liquid AND flavour.
  • Watch the chicken very closely for the first few times you make one. Learn if your BBQ has any hot spots and watch for those.
  • Get a good meat thermometer like I always lecture about – and use it!

Try some of my other barbecued chicken recipes:

  1. BBQ Grilled Chicken Marinade
  2. Healthier BBQ Honey Sesame Chicken
  3. How to Make Rotisserie Chicken in your Crockpot

Happy bbq-ing you guys! Enjoy!



BBQ 5 Spice Rotisserie Chicken

Using 5 spice in a sweet and savoury marinade makes this rotisserie chicken one of the best I have eaten outside of a restaurant! 
4.95 from 38 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 40 minutes
Main Course
Karlynn Johnston


  • one 3-4 pounds whole chicken

5 Spice Rotisserie Chicken Marinade

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon five spice powder


  • Combine the marinade ingredients together, whisking until combined. Place the chicken in an over-sized Ziploc. Pour the marinade over the chicken, coating well.
  • Marinate for 2-3 hours if time is short, overnight is the best however.
  • Remove the chicken and place on your rotisserie skewers. Pre-heat your BBQ to 350 °.
  • Place the chicken on the rotisserie according to your individual rotisserie gear.
  • Cook the chicken for 60-90 minutes on the rotisserie until the internal temperature reaches 185° when taken in the thigh with a meat thermometer. Remove and let the chicken sit for 10 minutes, then serve.

Recipe Notes

Cooking time may vary based on the size of chicken you use.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 143kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2161mg, Potassium: 122mg, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1.5mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Tom Close says

    I’d say way too much sesame oil. Maybe it’s my taste buds but 2nd time I used 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and added sunflower oil to make up the correct amount. I also put in garlic powder, a chicken stock and honey into marinade. It turned out fab.

  2. Chuck says

    I made this for my Taiwanese wife tonight. This brought us back to having Taiwanese BBQ chicken in Dahu Taiwan 11 years ago when we were dating. Moist, flavorful, and delishious! To the person wondering about the amount of sesame oil… 1/3 a cup for a whole chicken isn’t too much. This recipe needs no adjustments. It’s going in my list of go-to recipes.5 stars

  3. Gary says

    Making this for the first time.
    Just wondering if you baste the chicken with the marinade.
    Thinking of heating the marinade and then basting while cooking.

  4. Mark says

    1/3 cup of sesame oil sounds like a lot
    Please confirm

  5. Carla says

    This rotisserie recipe initiated our new grill! So glad to know about 5 spice and it will be a staple now. Added a unique and layered flavor! Marinade made a a beautiful presentation browning but doesn’t crisp…Is there a way? Wonderful aroma too! I saved and heated the marinade to use over the meat. I’ll be trying this out on a pork roast. Thanks!

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      This isn’t too crispy, it’s more of a sticky chicken than crispy on the outside. This would be so good with pork, great idea!5 stars

  6. Heather Rose says

    I feel like I missed a memo. What is in the 5 spice mix??

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      Hey! It’s an actual Chinese spice mix called ” 5 spice powder” that you buy at the store. The container will say 5 spice powder/mix on it! It’s like allspice, you don’t mix it yourself.5 stars

  7. Pat K says

    This recipe was amazing. The marinade had wonderful taste and added a great flavour to the chicken. I was having the kids over for supper and had not used the rotisserie that my son had given us for Christmas yet. I had two whole chickens (about 3 1/2 lbs each) so I used 1/2 the marinade on one and 1/2 on the other. Had them in large ziplock bags for about 4 hours. Kept turning bags every hour. Put them them on bbq at 400 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. The chicken was moist and had a delicious flavour. We all loved it. Will definitely do this again. As a matter of fact, the kids want to have this again. Very little leftovers!!5 stars

  8. Andrea Rutty says

    This recipe looks great. Would it work with a countertop rotisserie? I inherited my mother’s Roto-Broil 500 and am looking to try it out but wasn’t sure where to start.

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      If the chicken fits it will work! There should be instructions for making a chicken in it!5 stars

  9. Alison says

    Delicious! I use sesame oil constantly for the great flavour it adds to everything. I will make this again 🙂 Just a quick tip – to skewer a whole chicken on the rotisserie, stuff a lemon or orange in the cavity. I always do this and never have trouble getting it balanced. Discard the lemon/orange when the chicken is cooked.5 stars

  10. Jeff Johnson says

    185? It’s usually 165, just curious, seems high for chicken. Recipe sounds great, about to try out my new rotisserie!

    • Karlynn says

      One of the best things I’ve ever learned from my chef friends is that you want to be cooking chicken thighs up to at least 185 for texture and taste. 165 is for meat safety only – doing it higher breaks the meat fibers down until it is wonderfully tender. You still only want to cook chicken breast to 165 though because they dry out Hope you enjoy the recipe!!5 stars

  11. Linda says

    Awesome rotisserie chicken recipe! I made three chickens over the Canada Day long weekend, as we had several guests, and everyone wants the recipe! So darn good.5 stars

    • Karlynn says

      I’m so glad you loved it!! It’s my favorite for rotisserie!5 stars

      • Tracey says

        If the smell of this beautiful chicken is this good before it even gets onto the grill, it’s going to be a long night for me until I can get this thing going tomorrow ! It smells devine! Yumm!!5 stars

        • Mark says

          1/3 cup of sesame oil sounds like a lot. I’m marinating overnight and cooking tonight. Smells very pungent. Please verify 1/3 cup of sesame oil
          Thanks4 stars

          • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

            That is the correct amount.

  12. Brett says

    Thanks so much for the recipe, great tips for my 1st attempt at this. Separately, I would gladly pay a large ticket price to watch you burn down your house instead of cleaning it! Yes, I get hyperbole but the image is beyond absurd.4 stars

  13. susan gortva says

    that looks really good. and your sisters chickens are adorable. we have egg layers and meat chickens. good luck to her and your family.. if she has a garden, I planted strawberries( got them from johnnys seeds in the usa) they are organic. bought 100 for 50 dollars last year. picked all the flowers off. and this year they did bloom and now we have strawberries. I fight with the sluggs. I pick them before they turn red and put them in a paper bag with a banana over night -close the bag- and they are red the next day. taste like I remember from a kid.5 stars

4.95 from 38 votes (25 ratings without comment)

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