Grocery store rotisserie chickens are a blessing to those trying to fit healthy, delicious meals into their jam-packed schedule. After a long day at work and picking up your children at their various after school activities, being able to quickly serve one of these precooked chickens can be a lifesaver. There are a lot of grocery stores to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Naturally, some of them will be better at preparing rotisserie chicken than others. Of course, you have the option of trying them all to figure out which is your favorite but, if you want to save yourself time, this list has got you covered. We’ve put together a list of the top ten best grocery store rotisserie chickens, ranked from worst to best. Keep reading to find out where your favorite grocery store falls.
Opinions are mixed when it comes to Walmart’s rotisserie chicken. It’s one of the cheapest chickens out there, so this may be a case of “you get what you pay for.” Although Walmart is known for their higher quality products that come in at very affordable prices but is that the case with their rotisserie chickens? Walmart’s pre-cooked chickens are a little on the smaller side, so whether they work for you will depend on how many people you have to feed. These chickens are often fatty and over-salted. They’re also unreliable in how cooked they are. Many people have gotten home only to find their chickens overcooked to the point where they’re completely dried out, while others have been forced to put it back in the oven because it wasn’t cooked through. If you do manage to get your hands on a properly cooked Walmart chicken, it’s really not terrible. In fact, a lot of people swear by them. However, there are others who wouldn’t touch one with a ten-foot pole. To each his own, right? It definitely makes for a super affordable option but, know that if you choose to buy a rotisserie chicken at Walmart, you should keep your expectations low. For these reasons, we’re giving Walmart the number ten spot.
There’s a lot to love about Publix rotisserie chicken but, as you’ve probably guessed by its low ranking, there’s also a lot that we’re not so crazy about. This rotisserie chicken is available with four different seasonings, other than original. There’s BBQ, Lemon Pepper, Maple Bourbon, and Mojo, which is a nice lime and garlic seasoning. While we’re fans of the variety they offer, the sauce used on the BBQ chicken is a bit of a letdown. It’s way too sweet and the smokiness is overpowering and obviously artificial. On the bright side, the other flavors are all delicious. So delicious, in fact, that, half the time, they’re sold out. Publix’s chickens are sold hot, fresh, and tasty, but you have to be pretty lucky to get your hands on them. You might go to Publix in search of a chicken and leave empty handed. You might end up having to go to one of the other grocery stores mentioned on this list instead. If the stars align, a Publix rotisserie chicken can be the highlight of any dinner table. Unfortunately, things can very easily go wrong, and your dinner plans may take a turn for the worse.
8. Stop & Shop
If you live in the Northeastern United States, Stop & Shop is the great option for picking up a rotisserie chicken. Not only is the grocery store super accessible – it has over 400 locations – but their rotisserie chickens are pretty awesome. They’re super juicy, and there are some really interesting flavor options. There’s the original flavor, of course, and they often offer seasonal flavors, such as Applewood Smoked (the name alone has our mouths watering). If you’re looking for recommendations, their Lemon Pepper chicken is apparently to die for. While Stop & Shop’s chicken can be an absolute hit, the store is known for having trouble getting the skin right. Sometimes it’s super slimy, and others it is burnt to a crisp. Either way, it’s a bit of a turn-off. Some people overcome the issue of the slimy skin by throwing the chicken in the oven before serving it. Thankfully, because their chickens are so juicy, you don’t have to worry about this drying them out. But it does kind of defeat the purpose of buying a pre-cooked meal. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to combat the burned skin other than tough it out or peel it off. It’s a definite annoyance but, just know that under the disappointing skin is some amazing chicken. However, because the skin complaint is one that comes up quite often, we can’t justify giving Stop & Shop a higher slot on this list. but if you’ve got a recipe that needs cooked chicken without the skin, this is a good option!
With several locations in over 20 states, Safeway is a popular stop for picking up groceries for the week. The store itself might be well-liked, but whether or not their rotisserie chicken is for you comes down to a matter of taste. Its seasoning is sweet and has an orange-flavored twist. They’re also pretty heavy handed with the salt so those who want to lower their sodium intake may want to steer clear of this one. That also means that some people will love it for it’s savory and salty taste, while others will dislike it, for those very same reasons. That’s not a mark against the quality of the chicken, as it’s very well-prepared, but it definitely targets a more limited audience than the other chickens on this list. You should also keep in mind that, if you plan on using any leftover chicken in other recipes, such as sandwiches, salads, or casseroles, the seasoning might not jive with the other ingredients. So, if you’re thinking of buying a rotisserie chicken to cook with, you might want to take your business elsewhere. While the seasoning might be a hit or miss, you can’t go wrong with freshness at Safeway. Each chicken is clearly labeled with the time at which it was prepared. This way, you can be sure that you’re buying a chicken fresh off the spit. In terms of price, a Safeway rotisserie chicken is mid-range when compared to the others on this list, but it’s price will vary based on location.
The grocery store giant, Kroger, didn’t get so popular by selling subpar produce. But, while their chicken is solid, it’s not where they shine. Of course, we applaud them for their affordability. If you collect coupons, it’s possible to spend less than five dollars on a Kroger rotisserie chicken. You’ve got to respect that. It’s easy to get excited about the pricing, and if you do most of your grocery shopping at Kroger anyways, it makes sense that you’d buy your chicken there too. It’s not bad at all, and we’re definitely not recommending that you go out of your way to avoid it, but the fact of the matter is that there are better chickens out there. If you buy a rotisserie chicken at Kroger, you run the risk of getting a bird that’s too fatty or too skinny. Both extremes are pretty unenjoyable. No one wants a mouthful of chicken fat, but you don’t want to have to go searching for the meat either. That being said, the meat itself is really tasty. It’s nicely seasoned, and, if you manage to get a chicken that isn’t too fat or skinny, you’re in for a treat. Another thing to look out for at Kroger is freshness. Be careful when selecting a chicken to buy. The dates at which they were prepared are always listed, but, if you don’t pay attention to them, you can end up being disappointed.
Kicking off the top five is ShopRite. If you’re looking for a chicken free of hormone and antibiotics and raised on an organic vegetarian diet and in a cage-free environment, ShopRite has you covered. We have full respect for their BBQ-flavored chicken, which is sweet and smoky in all the right ways. If you’re a BBQ chicken fan, we can’t recommend this enough. It’s so flavourful that you don’t even need BBQ sauce on the side to dip your chicken in; it’s perfect as is. Their regular, Original chicken isn’t anything to sneeze at either. It’s wonderfully seasoned and quite tasty. Fans of this chicken rave about how juicy it is. Apparently, it somehow stays juicy even when eaten as leftovers, which is an impressive feat for any chicken. The downside to ShopRite is that there are only locations in six states. You can find this chicken in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut but, if you live elsewhere, you’re out of luck. Another point against ShopRite, is that, unfortunately some people have complained that their rotisserie chickens aren’t cooked-through, which is definitely something to look out for. Most people buy pre-cooked chickens to save time, so having to deal with cooking it yourself is pretty annoying.
4. Fairway Market
Fairway Market’s rotisserie chicken would probably have earned a higher spot on this list if we didn’t know what we were missing. Up until a few years ago, they had what many people considered to be the best grocery store chicken out there. There was a bit of an uproar online when people realized that Fairway had actually decided to tweak and change their recipe a bit. So now the rotisserie chicken is no longer as tasty as it once was, and the way it’s cooked just isn’t as good, in our opinion, and in the opinions of many others. However, even though Fairway’s current chicken is a slight let down when you compare it to the way the original rotisserie chickens were cooked in the past. It’s by no means bad, just different, so for some who never had the original they may think this is actually the best, but since we know they can actually do better, they slipped on the list a bit. All that said, Fairway Markets have a bunch of classic flavor options, including Herb, Lemon Garlic, and Latin Style (which is by far the best). The different flavors are not as interesting as they were before Fairway changed their recipe, but any of them can still be a solid choice for your next meal. Fairway Market also gives you the option of buying an organic chicken if that’s something you look for in your food. These chickens are a little more expensive than their conventionally raised chickens, but it’s always nice to have the option!
3. Sam’s Club
Want a nice, mid-sized chicken that can feed the whole family and packs a punch in the flavor department? Well, we hope you have a Sam’s Club membership because that’s where you can find one. Sam’s Club sells rotisserie chickens that are bigger than the average Walmart chicken, but smaller than Costco’s massive birds. Like most things at Sam’s Club, they are similar to What Walmart offers, but just one cut above sort of speak. The prices are good, so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality product. Also, because of the size of Sam’s Club chickens, you get a whole lot of bang for your buck. The main thing this chicken has going for it is its consistency. You can always rely on it to be hot, flavorful, juicy, and to have perfectly cooked, golden skin. There are no surprises when it comes to Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken. It’s comforting in its predictability. This chicken is always fresh and fantastic, and we have yet to hear a bad review about it. You really can’t go wrong with a Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken. We would absolutely recommend it. We didn’t rank it this high without good reason.
2. Whole Foods
Coming in at second place is Whole Foods’ rotisserie chicken. It’s many people’s favorite, but it just wasn’t quite able to edge out our number one pick (but more on that later). If buying organic food is something you value, Whole Foods is the place for you. Like many of their other products, their rotisserie chicken in certified organic. That means that the chickens are antibiotic- and hormone-free, that they ate a vegetarian diet, and that they were raised in monitored and humane conditions. It’s pretty unusual to find a certified organic grocery store chicken, so this is definitely a point in Whole Foods’ favor. To keep things interesting, Whole Foods has launched a Featured Flavor program, in which a different flavor of rotisserie chicken is released each month. With favors like Kansas City BBQ and Tequila Lime, you’re not going to want to skip a month! Even better, Whole Foods keeps the customer in mind, and gives the option of buying a full meal. Their rotisseries chicken can be bought with a side of vegetables or over a bed of noodles. All options are convenient, and all are delicious. This chicken is on the pricier end, but, if it fits your budget, it’s definitely worth trying out.
There was never any question about which grocery store was getting the top spot on this list. It was always going to be the rotisserie chicken from our friends over at Costco Wholesale. And with good reason. Their chicken is just simply to die for. Seriously, it’s worth getting a membership for the rotisserie chicken alone, although in some cases you might not even need a membership to get your hands on one of this delicious rotisserie chickens. In fact, the folks over at Costco is so confident in the quality of their chicken that they sell them for so cheap that they actually lose money on them. They know that people are willing to come to Costco to buy their chickens and will probably do the rest of their groceries while there. It’s a clever strategy and acts as confirmation that their chicken is just that good. In spite of the chicken’s popularity, Costco has promised never to jack up the prices. The average weight of a Costco rotisserie chicken is three pounds, which is massive in comparison to some of the other grocery store chickens out there. Plus, we love to see that $4.99 price tag. Of course, price and size mean nothing if the flavor’s not there. But that’s not something you have to worry about with Costco. Their rotisserie chicken is juicy and perfectly seasoned. With over 90 million chickens sold in 2018 alone, the numbers really speak for themselves. If you’re looking for affordability and quality, there’s no doubt that Costco is the place to get your chicken.