February 20, 2016

Spiessbraten is a specialty dish from the small German town of Idar-Oberstein. I was lucky enough to visit the town and try it once. To this day, I crave it regularly. Two flavor punches make Spiessbraten different from any other type of rotisserie pork: onions and beech wood.

  • Prep: 12 hrs
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Yields: 8 servings


1 pork butt

5 onions

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 cup oil

2 tablespoons German mustard

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Other items needed

cooking twine

beech wood chips



1Using a sharp boning knife, remove the bone from the pork butt. Butterfly the pork so that it’s about ½-inch thick.

2Slice the onions and place in a large bowl. Mix in the oil, mustard and spices. Wearing rubber gloves, massage the onions to release their juices.

3Spread half of the onion mixture on a large sheet pan. Add the pork on top. If you have to layer the pork, be sure to add onions in between the layers. Add the remaining layers to the top of the pork. Cover with plastic wrap and press to seal.

4Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

5Remove the pork from the onions. Set the onions aside.

6Roll the pork up into a log-shape, and secure with cooking twine. (watch the video to see how.)

7Thread the meat onto a rotisserie spit. Let sit at room temperature.

8Soak the beech wood chips in water.

9Prepare your coals, until they are hot. Sprinkle beech wood chips on top of the coals. Cook the pork on the rotisserie about one-foot over the coals, until the internal temperature reaches 195F degrees, about 5 hours. You will need to add more coals and wood chips throughout the cook.

10While the pork is cooking, place the onions in a large pot and cook down over low heat to serve with the pork. Add ½ to 1 cup water or German beer to the onions as they reduce.

11When the pork reaches 195 degrees, immediately remove the pork from the spit, and remove the twine. Let rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


For the authentic flavor of Germany, it’s important to use beech wood chips


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About the Author:

I love to cook outdoors. Give me a smoker, a grill or even a campfire, and I'll serve you up a meal you won't forget.
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