There are a lot of camp cooking gimmicks floating around people’s 4WDs, caravan boots or lost somewhere in the shed. Plenty of them get used a few exciting times before the passion wears off or failure wins and you revert back to a grill plate over the fire, barbeque or just the stove in the van.
While I’m not certain the Auspit isn’t one of those things, I can say for sure that failure is easy if you don’t know what you’re doing. Just ask my mates about the pork roast we endured on my first go at a spit-roasted meal (the salad was okay, I suppose). There’s also the fact that you’ve got to light a fire to really make the most of it, which is hard in a lot of places.
The Auspit is an assembly of stainless steel rods, clamps and a battery powered barbeque spit motor designed for use anywhere you can drive a stake (not steak) into the ground. It’s hard-wearing and easy to keep clean and transport, without being bulky or overbearing. It comes in a sturdy canvas bag that is also big enough to hold a few extra accessories like the Firetray. It’ll even turn up to 20kg of meat, according to the instructions, which is more weight than most suckling pigs.
To fail spectacularly at using the Auspit, ensure you keep the meat too high over the flames and forget to keep an eye on it. Yet the Auspit is really exceptional when you follow the instructions (check out Mark Holland’s spitting tips on page 97). When you do, the constant turning of the meat bastes itself in its own fat and juices while taking on the smoky taste of a fire-cooked meal. The end result is better than from a camp-oven, if you ask me.
The Auspit isn’t perfect – it still relies on D-cell batteries – so we’d love to see some sort of rechargeable version. However, it is as close to being gimmick-free as you can get, especially when used with the Firetray, which means there’s no need to find somewhere you can start an open fire.
As evidence of its usefulness, we’ve used it about once a month since getting it, and I know exactly where it is in the shed. Don’t be surprised if you keep seeing it used in the mag – we do like it.