I know that many of you are skeptical about a countertop rotisserie oven. Why in the world do you need a rotisserie oven? You have an oven. But listen to my argument before you decide.
First, I am not including any affiliate links to the oven so I have nothing to gain by saying this. Second, the Ronco rotisserie oven I bought has flaws and I’ll point them out. Third, if you like rotisserie chicken as much as we do it’s worth it.
We eat two meals a week from our rotisserie chicken. First, the whole chicken (or half of it) and then I use the leftovers for another meal like enchiladas or chicken lettuce wraps.
Arguments FOR owning a Separate Rotisserie Oven
1. The roast chicken you can get from using a rotisserie cooker taste so much better than what you get roasting a bird in the oven.
2. Crispy Skin like no other oven gives you, and not on just one side.
3. The rotisserie chicken you get at the grocery store is not usually an organic chicken if you’re into that. The heritage breed chickens from Cooks Venture taste so much better than the rubber grocery store chicken. You can tell a big difference I promise. My family didn’t really love it when I cooked chicken until I found Cooks Venture (no money in me saying this).
4. It fits in a cabinet. I don’t want another countertop appliance because I have limited counter space and a reasonably small kitchen. The horizontal oven is a more compact size.
5. Cleaning is possible. I looked at a convection oven with a rotisserie spit. Chicken drips grease A LOT of grease. It’s impossible clean my countertop oven well enough for this. The glass door comes off. The heat shield and drip pan are both removable so it’s easier to clean up than conventional ovens.
6. The price point is reasonable. Most small appliances are pretty pricy, but this is a good choice if you want a high-quality rotisserie oven without spending a fortune.
How To Use the Oven (video at the bottom)
Before you pop the chicken in the oven you need to season it WELL. I season mine with a mix of onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried oregano, salt and black pepper. You know it’s enough when the seasoning coats the bird like a paste.
I like to truss the bird before I season it. The oven I bought came with these elastic ties to truss the bird, which it turns out make the trussing so much easier. You just put the string across the chest, cross over on the back and go back up around legs.
I’ll be buying more of this elastic trussing. It just holds the bird tighter without a fight.
Once you get the bird dressed, you have to push the skewers through the bird. This gets easier the more times you do it. You can see it in real time in the video.
The directions say the cooking time is approximately 15 minutes for every pound. I didn’t find this was enough to get the internal temperature to 165 degrees. Actually, when I left the bird in for longer it turned out better. I also left the bird in for 20-30 minutes on the no-heat setting. This makes it more juicy.
The oven I purchased roasts the bird horizontally if you’re doing one large chicken or vertically for two smaller birds. I chose Ronco because many of the reviewers said they had been using a Ronco rotisserie cooker for 10+ years. It is not expensive and I am able to store it easily in a cabinet. This is an advantage for me over a vertical rotisserie oven, which wouldn’t easily fit in the cabinet.
Things I don’t like about the oven
1. Cleanup – There are lots of pieces that you have to wash beyond just a roasting pan or a sheet pan. Everything cleans off pretty easily, but it’s not a one pan process.
2. The bottom of the oven is not hot, so you can’t put potatoes in there and get them cooked. In Paris, rotisserie cooking stands are everywhere and there’s always a pan of potatoes at the bottom soaking up all the delicious drippings. I was hoping to use the removable drip tray this way, but it didn’t get enough heat to cook the potatoes. It might work if you par-boiled them and then put them down there.
3. The grill racks that come with the oven don’t work. The food all rotates to one end and then another. You would need to put the food in the basket on a skewer to hold it in place.
Other Uses for Rotisserie Oven
Rotisserie-style cooking isn’t just good for chicken. The oven can also be used for roast beef, kebabs or any roast meat. I tried making chicken shawarma with chicken thighs. It was the best meal I’ve made in a while.