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Costco Members Share Tips on Choosing the Best Rotisserie Chicken

Not all Costco rotisserie chickens are created equal, according to customers.

With its wide range of cooking possibilities and bargain price of $4.99, it can be hard to find a Costco product more legendary than the rotisserie chicken. The warehouse club has managed to sell more than 100 million of the slow-cooked birds annually since 2020. Even Costco CEO Craig Jelinek has described the popular food item as "our old reliable."

So while even the most beloved products have their critics, many customers agree that picking up a rotisserie chicken is a must during any Costco run. But according to certain members, not all Costco rotisserie chickens are created equal.

A recent post in the Costco subreddit asked if there was a secret for picking out the best rotisserie chicken from the batch, and users were quick to share several helpful tips.

 We Tried 6 Store-Bought Rotisserie Chickens & This Is the Best

For those who like a browner and crispier chicken, it can be a balancing act between finding a chicken that has good color but hasn't gotten to the point of being burnt or dry. Many users said that they generally go by the look of the chicken to find the best option.

"I'm just looking at the color. Gotta have an even, slightly darkened brown color. It's just what visually looks appetizing to me," one commented.

For people who plan to eat the chicken right away, it's best to search for containers without too much steam inside so the chicken skin has a chance of still being crispy, another user said.

Meanwhile, some Costco members attest that chickens lighter in color are the best option.

"I'm probably in the minority here but I picked the lightest in color chickens. I feel they are [juicier]. I find the darker ones are much drier," a user commented.

For those who want the best of both worlds between color and juiciness, another Costco customer suggested looking for rotisserie chickens that are well-browned but still have juices at the bottom of the tray.

"If you don't see juices at the bottom of the tray, it's going to be overcooked and dry," the user wrote.

Size is also an important factor. According to one Redditor, the smaller the better.

"I always pick a smaller one that's less than normal price," the user commented. "I know everyone likes the big frankenchicken but the small birds are so much more flavorful."

On the other hand, the larger chickens can offer a better value for those who have multiple people to feed or want to get more meat out of the bird. In order to quickly find the biggest rotisserie chickens in a Costco selection, several Reddit users suggested scanning all the containers to find a chicken that touches the plastic top.

Overall, finding the best rotisserie chicken mostly depends on personal preference. By thinking about what they view as an ideal rotisserie chicken and spending some time during a Costco trip sorting through what's available, customers are more likely to find the best option.

"Basically everybody has a different idea of the perfect chicken," commented one self-described "rotisserie chicken employee," i.e. Costco deli staffer, "and they're all willing to spend a few minutes browsing until they find the perfect marriage of size and color."

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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