Ever since rotisserie chicken emerged as a supermarket staple in the 1990s, it’s been the definition of “easy weeknight dinner.” You can have one of these savory, freshly-roasted wonders on the table within minutes of coming home, or easily slice or shred the meat for a recipe that stars rotisserie chicken. It’s all good—but some supermarket spit-roasters are even better than others!
Our top 5 rotisserie chickens
In a close race, Costco has the best grocery store rotisserie chicken. It’s popular, too—they sold 87 million chickens in 2017! Not only are Costco spit-roasters bigger than all the others (on average, they weigh in at 3 lbs, whereas rivals weigh in at 2 lbs, according to a Wall Street Journal report), they’re super juicy and flavorful and the price is hard to beat at $4.99 per bird. In taste tests, Costco consistently beats out its national rivals. Despite being priced so low that Costco takes a loss on each chicken sale, Costco insists they’ll never jack the price up: here’s why.
2. Sprouts Farmers Market
Sprouts has locations in 20 states around the country, and if you’re in one of those states, you might want to give their rotisserie chicken a try! Not all taste-tests put Sprouts on top, but Sprouts spit-roasters tend to receive shout-outs for their reliable goodness. The price varies from location to location, but it’s typically higher than Costco and lower than Whole Foods.
“A touch of sweetness, a hint of orange, and a heavy dose of salt make this perfectly roasted bird a nice pick for those in the mood for chicken with a twist,” is how California’s Mercury News, described the spit-roasted chicken at Safeway. The chain has stores in more than 20 states across the United States. Like Sprouts, the price varies by location and is higher than Costco but lower than Whole Foods. Wondering why all of these prices are lower than an uncooked chicken? Here’s the real reason why rotisserie chickens are so cheap.
4. Stop & Shop
With 400 locations in the Northeast, Stop & Shop makes some really fine rotisserie chicken, and the lemon pepper variety is in constant rotation at my house. It’s super-juicy (in fact, I often cook it for another 20 minutes or so to eliminate some of the juices!), the skin is delectable (especially when I cook it for those extra 20 minutes) and there’s never a shred of meat left by the time my college-age sons get through with it.
Walmart is an absolute favorite—for some people. I know at least one blogger who has it in her weekly rotation because of its great taste, tenderness, overall moistness and excellent pricepoint. (You can’t beat Costco’s price of $4.99 but Walmart’s is only slightly higher per ounce.) Not all the rotisserie chicken reviewers agree, but it certainly seems worth a shot.
Honorable Mention: Whole Foods
We’re going to mention Whole Foods here because it’s one of the only grocery store rotisserie chickens that’s certified organic. It’s priced at $9.99 for a less-than-3 lbs bird but it’s also highly rated by taste-testers around the country.
Hope your go-to rotisserie chicken—and your favorite grocery store—made it to the top of our list! Still not sure which store you should shop at? This is where professional chefs buy rotisserie chickens and their other groceries.