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The #1 Best Rotisserie Chicken to Buy, Says Dietitian

The key? Don't overthink it.

If you're in a pinch and don't have time to cook an entire bird for your family or friends, a rotisserie chicken is both a convenient and inexpensive way to get protein on the table.

However, like any prepared food, there are a few potential downsides, depending on where you're buying it from. For example, some major grocery stores' own brands of rotisserie chicken are packed in sodium. Some are even injected with a solution (which helps to keep the meat tender and moist) with sugar.

RELATED: "Healthy" Foods With More Sugar Than a Krispy Kreme Donut, Says Science

That's not to say that a rotisserie chicken is a bad choice, though. In fact, Sammi Haber Brondo, MS, RD, and author of The Essential Vegetable Cookbook, suggests that the way a rotisserie chicken is prepared may be healthier than some other cooking methods.

rotisserie chicken
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"Rotisserie chicken is basically seasoned and then spit-roasted in the oven for a few hours," she says. "Unlike other cooking methods, like frying or sautéing, rotisserie chicken doesn't add excess fat to the chicken, but still yields a moist result."

When it comes to selecting the very "best" rotisserie chicken, Brondo says you really can't go wrong, adding that the differences between most types of rotisserie chicken are pretty minimal and insignificant.

Look for the freshest ones at the grocery store, which may be the ones hidden toward the back. It's also best to eat the roasted bird shortly after you buy it. This is because rotisserie chicken often has a shorter shelf life due to the fact that it sits under heat lamps all day.

"If a store has left the chicken under the heat lamp for too long, it might dry out," she says.

Alternatively, if you leave the chicken in the fridge for a few days, you'll notice this will also cause the meat to become dry.

Another perk of rotisserie chicken is that it's very versatile. There are so many ways you can incorporate this type of chicken into a healthy meal.

"You can cut it up and put it on top of a salad, serve it with roasted vegetables and a grain or, once it starts to dry out, chop it and use it to make chicken salad," she says. Or you can even try one of our 21+ Best Healthy Rotisserie Chicken Recipes!

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Read more
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