Spit roasting is commonly done over an open fire or barbecue grill, though some ovens are equipped with spits. The spit is turned either by hand or mechanically, thereby cooking the food evenly. If a meat cut is fatty, it bastes itself as it turns on the spit.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.