This Holiday Rotisserie Goose recipe is one large bird packed with flavor! Yes, you read that right. Today, I’m hitting you with a goose recipe.

Is this the goose you see pestering park walkers and pond ponderers? No. This is a white goose, which is a dark meat (similar to duck) and quite delicious when cooked properly. 

Holiday Rotisserie Goose plated and served.

We’re cooking this bad boy low and slow on a rotisserie near the flames. Then, we’re coating it in a sweet maple sauce that we’ll caramelize right before serving.

This was a fun, new recipe, and the flavor turned out pretty great! So, are you up for giving goose a try?


In the States, it’s pretty uncommon to see a goose cooked for dinner. So, how exactly did the goose become a holiday meal? Well, it actually dates back to the ancient Greeks!

The maturation period for a goose is roughly 32-35 weeks. This means that the geese that hatched in early spring are mature once the holidays come rolling around. It was also pretty convenient that the geese were nice and plump at this time of the year. They would eat what farmers left behind from the fall harvest, which resulted in a large, tender, and juicy bird for celebration centerpieces. 

However, geese wouldn’t stay the centerpieces forever. It’s actually believed that Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol, was the beginning of the end of the goose era. In his novel, Charles associates goose with the poor Cratchit family. Then, at the end of the book, Scrooge treats the Cratchit family with a more expensive turkey. It carried prestige during that day and age as turkeys were harder to find and more expensive to purchase. 

Today, we see a lot of turkeys, and they’re also tender and delicious. However, for old-time’s sake, we’re throwing this recipe back to the geese.

If you want turkey, check out my Maple Bourbon Spatchcock Turkey, Leftover Chipotle Turkey Empanadas, Smoked Peppercorn Turkey Breast, and Honey Fire Rotisserie Turkey Legs.

Holiday Rotisserie Goose getting placed on the rotisserie.

Why you’ll love this Goose recipe

A holiday rotisserie goose recipe is bound to become a new favorite for anyone seeking an unforgettable and flavorful feast. The succulent goose meat, basted in rich goose fat, delivers an unparalleled depth of flavor that is both festive and comforting. Its crispy, golden-brown skin and tender, juicy meat are the stuff of dreams.

The high heat of the rotisserie also ensures perfect cooking, leaving you with a mouthwatering masterpiece to grace your Christmas Day or dinner party table. Embrace the tradition of an old-fashioned Christmas dinner and enjoy the best of the holiday season with this delicious goose recipe!

Goose Recipe Ingredients


  • Whole Goose
  • Asian Five Spice – This spice blend infuses the goose with aromatic and exotic flavors, giving it a unique and festive twist that makes it perfect for special occasions.
  • Canola Oil – Used to help crisp up the skin and ensure even cooking, resulting in a beautifully golden brown and crispy skin.
  • Oranges slices, Thyme & Rosemary Springs – all for garnish


  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Ground Cayenne


  • Maple Syrup – Brings a rich, sugary element that’s perfect for creating a sweet and savory balance in the sauce.
  • Soy Sauce – Adds depth and umami to the sauce. It introduces a savory, slightly salty component that complements the sweetness of the maple syrup.
  • Black Garlic Sauce – Known for its deep, earthy, and slightly sweet taste. It contributes a complex, savory-sweet dimension to the sauce.
  • Navel Orange (juiced) – Provides a refreshing and zesty contrast to the richness of the maple syrup and the umami of the soy sauce and black garlic sauce. 


How to Make a Christmas Goose

I started this Holiday Rotisserie Goose recipe off by puncturing tiny holes on the entire surface of the goose skin. The skin of the goose is pretty thick, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is because not only does it help hold the juices on the protein, but the fat within it basically bastes the goose as it cooks. I’m only poking these tiny holes so that my seasoning will mend with this rendered fat and transfer even more flavor over to the goose.

Next, place the goose on the rotisserie and secure its wings and legs with cooking twine. From here, lather the Holiday Rotisserie Goose down with some oil and then cover it in seasoning. For this recipe, I used Asian Five Spice to season the bird. If you don’t have this spice (or can’t find it) I have an alternate option in my recipe below, so make sure to check that out. 


For this goose recipe, I utilized an indirect style of cooking. All this means is that I pushed the coals over to the sides of the grill and placed my rotisserie up and to the side of those coals so that it could cook indirectly. Now, leave the rotisserie goose here to cook for about 2.5-3 hours. We’re looking to hit an internal temperature of 135-140F. 

We’ll start working on the Sweet Maple Glaze when the turkey is about 15 minutes away from being done. Simply mix all the glaze ingredients in a cast iron sauce bowl and then let them simmer together. Then, use about half of the glaze to base the goose. Save the other half to use for dipping or drizzling when you serve the dish. 

More on the Rotisserie


After you glaze the goose, set it back on the rotisserie to finish cooking. Once the Holiday Rotisserie Goose hits your desired level of cookedness, remove it from the fire to rest for approximately 10 minutes. 

I set my goose on top of orange slices on a serving dish. Then, I garnished it with thyme sprigs and served it with the remaining Sweet Maple Glaze.

Best enjoyed with friends and family. Happy holidays, everyone, cheers!

Holiday Goose Recipe Tips

  • Let the goose come to room temperature to ensure even cooking.
  • Place a large roasting pan underneath the cooking goose to catch any excess fat and drippings. 
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the goose reaches at least 135-150F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and breast.
  • Pat the goose dry with paper towels to ensure the skin becomes nice and crispy. 
A close up of the finalized goose recipe.

Goose Recipe Leftovers & Reheating


Once your feast is done, allow the goose to rest a bit. Then, carve any remaining meat from the carcass. Store it in an airtight container, and you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you’re planning to keep it for a longer time, you can also freeze it.


To freeze leftover goose meat, wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap, and then place it in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months. 


When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover goose, there are a couple of methods you can use:

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to a low to medium heat (around 250-300F). Place the goose on a baking tray, add a little water or chicken broth to keep it moist, and cover it with foil. Heat for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • Microwave: For a quicker option, you can reheat smaller portions in the microwave. Cover the meat with a microwave-safe lid or wrap to prevent splattering. Heat in short intervals to avoid overcooking.

Pro Tip

Let the leftover goose meat come to room temperature before using any of the reheating methods to ensure even reheating.

What to serve with a Cooked Goose

Complement your goose with classic side dishes like roast potatoes, red cabbage, root vegetables, dinner rolls, cranberry relish, and goose-based gravy for a festive touch. To enhance the experience, try a red wine pairing, such as a Bordeaux or Pinot Noir, to perfectly balance the flavors of your roast goose.

Goose Recipe FAQs

How do you carve a cooked goose?

To carve it:
1. Place the cooked goose on a carving board.
2. Carefully remove the wings, breast, and leg meat using a sharp knife.
3. Thinly slice the breast meat, separate the leg meat into smaller portions, and serve on a platter. 

Should I use a wild or free-range goose for this recipe?

Use whatever type of goose you can get your hands on! Free-range geese may not have as much fat as a traditional goose bought at the grocery store, but it will still taste freakin’ delicious with this recipe!

How do I prep the goose to be cooked?

Unwrap the bird from the packaging and clean out the goose cavity. If using a frozen goose, make sure to let it thaw in the fridge for a couple of days until thawed.

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Holiday Rotisserie Goose

Holiday Rotisserie Goose is one massive, delicious bird! Slow cooked until tender and juicy, then covered in a Sweet Maple Glaze. This is one holiday you won't soon forget!
Author:Derek Wolf
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 People



  • 1 Whole Goose
  • 3 tbsp Asian Five Spice
  • 1 tbsp Canola Oil
  • Oranges Sliced for garnish
  • Thyme Sprigs for garnish
  • Rosemary Springs for garnish

Alternate Seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tbsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground Cayenne

Sweet Maple Sauce:

  • 2.5 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Black Garlic Sauce
  • 1 Navel Orange juiced


  • Begin by patting all of the goose and set aside the neck and giblets for stock later.
  • Next using a small paring knife or needle, poke holes about ⅛” apart all over the fat of the goose. This will help the fat to render fully on the bird.
  • Once you have poked holes everywhere, lather with canola oil and season using the Asian Five Spice seasoning or the alternative.
  • Add your rotisserie skewer through the goose and secure it using the prongs.
  • Next, truss the wings once at the top of the wings and once at the bottom of the wings.
  • Finally, tie the legs together so that they will not move while on the rotisserie. Once done, set the goose aside.
  • Preheat a two zone or three zone rotisserie cooking setup at medium heat (around 325-350F).
  • Add a foil pan underneath where the goose will be with 1” of water for fat drippings.
  • Add the goose to the fire and let cook for about 2.5-3 hours until the internal temperature is 135-140F for a medium/medium rare. (Feel free to cook to 165F for a more well done dish if you prefer.)
  • When the goose is 15 minutes from finishing, add a basting skillet with all the ingredients for the Sweet Maple Sauce.
  • Let that simmer for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, then begin glazing the outside of the goose with the sauce. Only lightly glaze the goose with about ½ of the sauce, then let the goose finish cooking for 5 more minutes.
  • Pull the goose off and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • When the goose is done resting, place it onto a platter with sliced oranges.
  • Garnish with rosemary & thyme springs, slice, serve with the Maple Glaze on the side and enjoy!



Serving: 8g | Calories: 2098kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 91g | Fat: 192g | Saturated Fat: 56g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g | Monounsaturated Fat: 102g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 454mg | Sodium: 1516mg | Potassium: 1872mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 964IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 15mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

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  1. Looks great, getting my order in for Christmas! Curious since you cooked this on an open fire, I’d be using a weber kettle grill with the rotisserie, would you recommend leaving the lid off? Also I’m guessing a better idea to keep the coals on one side only given the size of the bird?


    1. I would leave the lid on. This will cook faster with the lid on, but make sure to keep the temperature low enough so that fat renders.