Homemade Lamb Spit Roast – how to make a DIY kit from simple parts.
To keep things simple I’ve gone for a hand cranked spit, made using a few hand tools (no welding) with easily obtainable parts.
I didn’t want to mess about with motors, batteries and pulleys. In theory this design can all take apart and fit in the back of an estate car move or the back of a shed for easy storage.
I decided to follow Hugh's example in his Meat Book to feed a bunch a friends for a summer BBQ with a whole roast lamb. My challenge was to create the kit cheaply with only hand tools and no welder. My solution cost approx £50 although did include a few donated parts. Equipment to make was only a elec hand drill and a std hand hacksaw.
Corrugated iron sheetsx2 - about £14 ea - came from Mole Valley farmers agricultural supplier -
6x 300mmlong wire eye boltsnuts and washers £1.50 ea
6x 6mm x 1msteel rod- £1.45 ea from B&Q
1x 2mx 25mm sqsteel tube- £16 – from B&Q
1x 1m 25mmsteel bar– from B&Q
Paint/plaster mixer( steel ) - £1 from local tip (£13 new)
Various shortsteel tubeoff cuts from the back of the shed or £1 from the tip
2x steel adjustable height builders trestles– donated by a friend but would be about £25 ea new – can be raised up about 60 cm, by pulling out simple pins and lifting top cross bar up. These provide a strong, stable adjustable stand for each end – simple and no welding, also BSI tested to take that the weight of a couple of builders standing on planks so will hold a pig or lamb no problem.
random nuts, bolts and washers.
First make your roaster.
Drill 6x holes in each corrugated iron sheet as below
Bend sheets and fit bolts to create a couple of steel channels for the fire pits – this is the same stuff the galvanised metal dustbin style incinerators from your local garden centre are made from so I’m pretty confident it will stand the heat.
Cut short lengths of tube about 5cm shorter than eyebolts
Cut 6x steel rods in half to give 12x 50cm lengths. Set aside 4 lengths for later. Take 8 lengths and bend one end round on itself to form an eye, and the other end to form open hook. – I drilled a small hole in the builders trestle to insert one end into it then pulled rod round to form bends.
Refit bolts with tubes and hooks to each end of the corrugated sheet channels.
Cut steel bar in half to give 2x 50cm lengths. Mark out centre and 5cm sections. Drill hole on each section mark to create weak point, then bend bar into M shape.
Bolt each M onto the top of each trestle – these form a V to hold the Spit in place but allow it to rotate.
Hang the channels onto the Trestles. As below this forms 2 simple fire pits with a gap so that the fat does not drip into the fire and there is indirect heat onto the meat. The Trestles can be adjusted up and down as required to change the cooking temp.
For the spit take the 2m bar, fit a short 15cm tube over each end – one end fitted with removable locking pin.
For the other end I cut the handle off the plaster mixer and inserted into the tube, fitted an outer round tube over the top and drilled then bolted through.
This gives 2 round sections on the spit at each end to fit into the brackets on the top of each trestle and allow easy turning.
A couple of jubilee clips, and short tubes set up a simple handle to turn spit with enough length to give torque to manage the weight of the lamb on it.
drilled a hole int he trestle to take a somple pin through the paint mixer to stop it turning.
Finally drill 3-4 holes through the square tube for the 4x 50 cm straight rods to hold lamb in place, stop it sliding up and down the spit, and stop the spit spinning around while the lamb stays still then wired on the lamb - probably needed less wire but being careful for the first one
fired it up with a 10kg bag of lumpwood charcoal and then topped up with hazel seasoned logs cut out of the hedge last winter, I lit up about an hour before cooking time - 18kg lamb cost about £120 from the local butcher. Turned it by hand every 15 to 20 mins and only had to add wood a couple of times to the fires. only little fat dripped out on the the grass. it took about 4 hours from when the lamb went on
then did sausages and chicken legs for the kids
New potatos re heated on the bbq - below the mini bbq behind me is the veggie's mushrooms stuffed with melted cheese
then got stuck in with a knife
pushed the 2 fire trays together
and drank wine and beer into the night watching the campfire - happy days !