What to look for when Buying Rotisserie Chicken at the Store
Rotisserie chicken is chicken that roasts while rotating in an oven or over an open flame. Cooking chicken on a spit and rotating it in this way is a bit of a slow process, but it keeps the chicken juicy, allows for optimum flavor, makes it easy to baste the chicken as it revolves, and reduces the chicken’s fat content as fat drips from the meat.
When buying rotisserie chicken from a store, let your eyes serve as the initial judge as to whether the chicken you are considering will be a good choice. Examine the appearance of the chicken for signs it has been cooking for a sufficient amount of time. The chicken skin should be golden brown as opposed to slightly brown or pinked. The oven as well as the packaging should be free of excess grease and leftover chicken parts or seasonings. Most of all, store-bought rotisserie chicken should be hot. You should be able to tell it’s hot when you pick it up; and you should be able to feel heat from the heating lamps when you remove the chicken from the rotisserie oven.
Some stores replace their rotisserie chickens every two hours; and some replace them every four hours. Other stores may have different replacement time frames. Consumers should know an establishment’s chicken replacement practices in order to make a reasonable determination as to whether or not a store rotisserie chicken will be safe for consumption. Chicken that has sat for too long, or that hasn’t been heated properly may contain harmful bacteria.
Look for a time-stamp on the chicken packaging to see how long the chicken has been in the oven. If there are no stamps ask a store associate, with knowledge about rotisserie chicken policies, what the store’s practices are in regard to stocking the chickens.
Another import fact to consider when buying rotisserie chicken from a store is that all stores do not prepare, that is marinade, their chickens the same way. They don’t all use the same seasonings for the chickens before cooking them. Anyone intending to prepare a store-bought rotisserie chicken for use in a soup stock, or salad, et cetera, may want to be sure seasonings used to marinade the store-bought chicken won’t clash with ingredients to which the chicken will be added. Additionally, some establishments use ingredients like soy, (which causes allergic reactions in some people) when prepping chickens for the rotisserie oven. Although some stores offer basic chickens which contain little to no seasoning, and skins which contain the bulk of the seasoning can be removed, it’s still good practice to know what you’re getting when buying a store prepared rotisserie chicken.
If in the market for a rotisserie chicken on the larger side, get one at a warehouse if possible because their chickens tend to be in the neighborhood of about a pound heavier than supermarket chickens.