The Finest Rotisserie Chicken: A Taste Test Comparison

It’s a common occurrence to grab a ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. These versatile birds make weeknight dinners a breeze, with half the work already done. However, with a plethora of options available, it can be challenging to determine which store offers the most delectable rotisserie chicken at the best value. To solve this dilemma, we embarked on a taste test adventure, evaluating popular grocery store rotisserie chickens to identify the crème de la crème.

How We Tested Rotisserie Chickens

In our quest for the perfect rotisserie chicken, we assessed several factors: price and value, size and shape, skin color and flavor, and the tenderness and succulence of the meat. Each chicken was promptly purchased and promptly tested to ensure optimal freshness. While nothing beats homemade rotisserie-style chicken, we sought out the closest contenders.

Continue reading to discover our rankings!

5. Jewel (Albertson’s)

Jewel rotisserie chicken

The “Traditional Whole Roasted Chicken” from Jewel, a part of the Albertsons family of stores, claimed the lowest rank in our taste test. Weighing in at 1 pound 12 ounces and priced at $6.99, it was the smallest chicken we tested, despite having a price tag comparable to larger alternatives.

The chicken exhibited pale color with gummy skin and lacked any discernible seasonings or rubs. However, Jewel’s Signature Cafe line offers flavored options such as Rosemary and Garlic, as well as Lemon Pepper. This variety in flavor sets Jewel apart from other grocery stores. Additionally, we appreciated their Signature Cafe Rotisserie Chicken Guarantee, ensuring availability between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day, or it’s free on your next visit.

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Bottom Line: Despite the availability guarantee and flavor options, this chicken failed to impress in terms of taste and value.

4. Target

Target rotisserie chicken

Target, known for its extensive grocery section, offers fresh produce, deli options, and rotisserie chickens. We sampled the hot “Savory Oven Roasted Chicken” weighing 1.8 pounds, priced at $6.79. The package is labeled with the chicken’s oven departure time, ensuring you select the freshest option. A cold alternative is also available.

While the chicken did break apart slightly during the cooking process, the top of the skin boasted a golden hue, while the underside appeared fatty and pale. Although the meat was slightly dry, we relished the garlicky flavor of the rub used.

Bottom Line: Target’s convenience is commendable, but uneven cooking hindered this chicken from securing a higher rank.

3. Mariano’s (Kroger)

Mariano's rotisserie chicken

The rotisserie chicken sold at Mariano’s, a member of the Kroger family of stores, weighed 2 pounds and retailed for $6.99. However, Mariano’s offers a special deal: two chickens for $10, making it an excellent value compared to other sampled stores.

We appreciated the neatly tucked wings that prevented burning and the even browning of the chicken’s skin. The meat was tender and juicy, making this rotisserie chicken an ideal option for supper.

Bottom Line: Mariano’s offers delectable rotisserie chicken with excellent value. However, a few other contenders outshone it for the top spots.

2. Costco

Costco rotisserie chicken

Costco has gained renown for its $4.99 “Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken.” In terms of size and price, this chicken is unrivaled in value. The rotisseries are continuously replenished throughout the day, ensuring perfectly cooked chickens are always available.

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The meat is exceptionally moist and flavorful, with shapely birds boasting a uniform, beautiful color. Nonetheless, one aspect kept Costco’s rotisserie chicken from seizing the top spot. On examining the ingredient list on the packaging, we discovered more additives and fillers compared to our highest-ranked chicken. The Kirkland Signature rotisserie chicken includes whole chicken, water, seasoning, salt, sodium phosphate, modified food starch (potato, tapioca), potato dextrin, carrageenan, sugar, dextrose, and spice extractives.

Bottom Line: Undoubtedly, Costco’s rotisserie chicken provides exceptional value. The quality remains consistently delicious, and we appreciate their commitment to affordability.

1. Whole Foods

Whole Foods rotisserie chicken

In the end, Whole Foods emerged as the champion in our quest for the supreme rotisserie chicken. Their conventional chicken weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces and retailed for $7.99, clinching top honors across all categories. Moreover, Whole Foods offers a certified organic rotisserie chicken for $10.99.

The chicken displayed a perfect shape, securely tied with neatly tucked wings. The seasoning was distributed evenly and visible, with the skin boasting a magnificent golden hue. The bag indicated that the chickens are raised without antibiotics or hormones and enjoy a vegetarian diet. In terms of flavor, this chicken proved to be the moistest and most scrumptious of all samples. Despite costing a dollar more than other rotisserie chickens, its larger size and superior flavor made it worth the extra investment. If you’re looking for sauce, Whole Foods’ store brand performed remarkably well in our best barbecue sauce taste test.

Bottom Line: Whole Foods’ rotisserie chicken stood head and shoulders above the rest. Its simple ingredients of chicken, salt, and organic black pepper secured its place at the pinnacle of our list.

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  1. Are rotisserie chickens from grocery stores fresh?
    Rotisserie chickens from grocery stores are typically prepared fresh every day, ensuring their quality and taste.

  2. Can I find flavored options at all grocery stores?
    While most grocery stores offer plain rotisserie chickens, some, like Jewel and Whole Foods, provide flavored options to add variety to your meal.

  3. Are rotisserie chickens a good value for money?
    In terms of convenience and taste, rotisserie chickens offer excellent value for money, especially considering the time and effort saved in preparing a meal from scratch.


After an extensive taste test, the winners of the best rotisserie chicken from grocery stores are Whole Foods and Costco. While Whole Foods’ chicken secured the top spot with its unparalleled flavor and quality, Costco’s unbeatable value and consistency make it an excellent choice. Whether you’re looking for organic options or the best bang for your buck, these grocery stores’ rotisserie chickens won’t disappoint. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a mouthwatering meal, head to your nearest Whole Foods or Costco for a truly delightful experience.

For more information on our brand and mouthwatering recipes, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.