Being a fan of rotisserie cooking for many years, I’ve come to realize the abundance of shortcomings in most rotisserie units. So, I was excited to do this LB spinner review for their portable rotisserie. The benefits of rotisserie cooking are numerous and generally make up for the shortcomings of most rotisseries, to include:
- Loud rotisserie motors
- Rotisserie motors that use plastic internal gears, and fail after a short amount of time
- Slack or jumpy rotisserie motion
- The need for an electrical cord; and of course nearby outlet
- Flimsy spit and forks that easily bend
The list goes on and on, but the folks at LB Spinner are definitely onto something with their portable rotisserie offering. Not without its own shortcomings, I’ll explore the pros and cons of the LB Spinner below.
From the product website
Each case contains a skewer disassembled into three parts, a handle containing the motor and a two-cell battery holder, two roasting spit forks, two adjustable tripods, assembly instructions and a safety manual.
Skewer overall length (including handle) – 106Cm/42 In
Skewer length – 84 Cm/33 In
Handle length – 22 Cm/9 In
Skewer diameter – 16 mm
Tripod height (adjustable) – 20 to 40 Cm/ 8 to 16 In
Case size – 35/25/10 Cm – 14/10/4 In
Case total weight (with all components inside) – 4.4kg/10 lbs
What We Loved About the LB Spinner
Literally every one of the shortcomings I mentioned above are non-existent in the LB Spinner portable rotisserie. The unit screams quality from the minute the box is opened.
While I don’t have a decibel meter (I wish I did) I can say with certainty the LB Spinner motor is quieter than other motors. The unit runs extremely quietly at 4 – 4.5 revolutions per minute, and can’t be heard over even conversational level noise when chatting near the unit.
Next, the unit is made completely of 316 stainless steel, to include the gears. This is an improvement over just about every other off the shelf rotisserie motor on the market.
The plastic gears used in most units are fine for a few uses, but they wear out quickly over time. That’s not the case with the gears in this unit.
After numerous hours of testing the LB spinner, I never observed any jumpiness or slack in the rotisserie motion. It was smooth from start to finish.
Not that slight jumpiness will adversely affect the cooking process, but it’s annoying to watch and puts unneeded wear and stress on the gears of a motor.
Perhaps one of the most useful features of this unit is that it’s battery operated. No need for an outlet or the hassle of getting out and putting away an extension cord.
I was initially skeptical of how long the C cell batteries would last, but I was impressed by their over 14 hour life span, even under heavy loads.
The spit and forks are what might be considered heavy duty. There’s no bend to these and while I appreciated that fact, it didn’t come without some consideration; more on that later.
I also loved that this unit is portable. Designed for the outdoorsman, to be used on a campfire, etc, this unit can also be used on just about any backyard grill, gas or charcoal.
Finally, this unit is truly set and forget type of operation. There’s no need for constraint supervision or checking on it. It can be trusted to operate for hours on end, without issue.
What Could Be Improved on the LB Spinner
As many things as I really liked, and I mean really liked — there are a handful of things that were just disappointing about this portable rotisserie, and could use improvement.
First, the height adjustment on the bipods is managed via tension from a wing nut. That’s just not a great design. Without enough tension, the bipods will collapse, I experienced that. Add to that, the wing nuts dig into your thumb when trying to tighten them, uncomfortable to be sure.
If there were simply holes in the extension rods every half inch or so that could be secured with a pin, it would be much more stable, less painful on your thumbs and wouldn’t collapse. That is by far the biggest flaw I found in the unit.
Additionally, because the spit and forks are what I would consider heavy duty, they pierce a very large hole in any meat. While the forks are certainly more robust, I personally prefer the less massive standard forks used by other rotisseries.
Those forks make for a smaller hole in meat, and can be manipulated to actually hold meat in place on the outside of the flesh, without actually piercing the meat at all.
Finally, the LB spinner website itself is just…clunky. The information about the unit isn’t readily accessible or presented in any sort of consistent fashion.
It’s just plain confusing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many who visit the website decide not to purchase, based on the frustration of the website.
Who it’s For
Because of the versatility of the unit, it’s perfect for those that enjoy the outdoors. Camping, the beach, the wilderness, and cooking over an open fire. It’s equally useful for those that want to use it as an accessory to their existing grill.
The adjustable bipods make it easy to adapt to just about any grill, in any backyard. The compact travel case makes it easy to pack for the next outdoor adventure.
I really enjoy this unit and would absolutely recommend it. As I mentioned, there are some shortcomings with it that could easily be fixed if the manufacturer chooses to do so.
That said, even with what I consider to be drawbacks, it’s still an excellent unit and I have no problems highly recommending it. I would also recommend using a pair of pliers to lock down the wing nuts of the extension rods, in order to prevent the unit from collapsing in use.