As a dedicated carnivore, I can be a bit discerning when it comes to the crispiness of my chicken skin. So when I set out to find the best rotisserie oven I was sure to put in the extra legwork. Take a look at my favorite models for yourself, all chosen for their quality, affordability, and compatibility with household kitchens.
Best Overall: Ronco ST5000PLGEN Showtime Rotisserie Platinum Edition
There are plenty of rotisserie ovens out there that can air fry, bake, broil, toast, or all of the above with sleek touchpad controls. This isn’t one of those. What Ronco’s Showtime Rotisserie Platinum Edition does is roast meat, and it does it well.
Dual heating elements in the rear of the oven ensure an even distribution of heat, whether you’re cooking a pair of chickens or a turkey up to 15 lbs. Add in the removable heat shield and you’ll have no problem getting that deep-brown crispy skin every time. While there may not be a wide variety of different cooking functions, this helps streamline the controls, making for no-hassle operation.
Since rotisserie cooking can be a bit messy at times, this roaster oven comes with a non-stick, easy clean surface which takes just seconds to clean. The roasting pan, glass door, spit and heat shield are all removable too, letting you clean them in the dishwasher once you’re done cooking. At 13 inches tall, this rotisserie oven is plenty big enough for just about anything you want to cook, while staying compact enough to fit in standard cabinets.
One thing I wasn’t expecting to see was Ronco’s commitment to energy efficiency. This model claims to cook at ⅓ the power consumption of a conventional oven, which is surprising given its large size.
If getting restaurant-quality finishes on your poultry, pork, and kebabs is your priority, it’s hard to pass on this countertop rotisserie. While it may not be the best multitasker, it certainly earns its place in any devoted carnivore’s arsenal, especially with such a reasonable price.
What we like
- Removable heat shield
- Dual heating elements
- Triple rotisserie spit
What We don’t
- Lack of other functions
Best Budget: Black+Decker WCR-076 Rotisserie Toaster Oven
If you’ve been wanting to buy a rotisserie oven for some time, but could never quite justify a $150 price tag, I can relate. With so many kitchen gadgets on my own wish list, it’s often hard to decide which to invest in first (and which I have the cabinet space for). Luckily this Black+Decker countertop rotisserie oven demands less of an investment, while offering a broad variety of features to help earn its niche in your kitchen.
The 1,500W heating element ensures this rotisserie oven can put a nice brown finish on your meats. While it’s not as roomy as some of the other options on this list, it’s still big enough to roast a chicken. Plus, the spit is thick and durable. Though what really makes this roaster shine is its convection heating, which will help get your chicken skin even crispier.
You can see the wide selection of other features right on the front of the appliance, with four dials to help you cycle between them. The top dial controls heat, from a low warm setting to over 450 degrees. The second dial lets you cycle between bake, broil, roast, keep warm, and rotisserie. And the last two are timers, one specifically for toast and the other for a longer cooking time.
Yes, technically this is not really a rotisserie oven, but a toaster oven with a rotisserie function, so purists may prefer to look elsewhere. However, try it for yourself and tell me whether or not it can’t cook chicken as crisp and juicy as any you’ve had. Ultimately, this Black+Decker rotisserie oven is a good choice for home cooks on a budget, and those looking for a reliable kitchen multitasker.
What we like
- Non-stick stainless steel exterior
- Removable drip tray
- Very versatile
What We don’t
- Smaller size
- Lower power
Best Vertical Rotisserie: Nutrichef Upgraded Multi-Function Rotisserie Oven
If you’ve ever had traditional shawarma or gyros, you know exactly what an asset vertical rotisseries can be. While flipping the spit 90 degrees might seem like a simple transformation, the truth is that this design offers a ton of unique advantages. This vertical rotisserie oven by Nutrichef is no exception.
The vertical design helps keep the meat in place, making it a good choice for the shaved meats that are common in the middle east and mexico. It’s also healthier, allowing the grease to trickle into the removable drip pan below. The high powered 1500W heating elements on the top and sides are strong enough to put some color on your meat, and carefully placed for even browning.
With a 24 quart capacity, it’s large enough for turkeys, hams, or several smaller cuts, which makes it a great choice for entertaining. Of course, the large size may be a bit of a drawback too. At nearly 20 inches high and with a one square foot base, you may find yourself storing it in the basement or garage. It will also tend to guzzle power faster than smaller ovens.
Despite these drawbacks, you can always be sure that this roaster oven’s size and power will be put to good use, with a variety of cooking settings and rack configurations that will let you do anything from bake cookies, pop in a 12-inch pizza, brown slices of toast and much, much more.
Ultimately, it’s the ideal choice for anyone who prioritizes power over portability, and who thinks they’ll make good use of it’s extra large capacity. The price on this countertop rotisserie oven is less than you’d expect so even if you’re on the fence, it may be worth giving it a try for yourself.
What we like
- A variety of dishwasher safe rotisserie accessories
- Powerful for a countertop rotisserie oven
- Variety of temperature settings
What We don’t
- Takes up a lot of counter space
- Vertical style drips more grease
Other Great Products to Consider
Still looking for the best rotisserie oven for your kitchen? Try giving one of these other products a try.
What I love about this Cuisinart rotisserie toaster oven is how compact it is. Even down to the minimal touchpad controls, it seems it’s designed with user convenience in mind. Plus it offers a wide variety of functions and can even function as a convection oven, while staying as low-hassle and energy efficient as any small countertop oven.
However, at the end of the day, its single rotisserie spit doesn’t put it in the same league as any of my top picks. Though it can still be a good choice for those just trying rotisserie cooking for the first time.
The slightly sci-fi look of this countertop rotisserie oven might leave some wondering whether it can roast meat at all. Though once you see how the specialized design is made to accommodate a greater variety of accessories and cooking methods, you’ll learn to love it. Whether you want to try a traditional spit, mini skewer set, or the multi-purpose basket, it will get you good results. It does have a slightly smaller capacity than the typical roaster oven, so it may not be for everyone.
As air fry functions work their way into all kinds of kitchen appliances it was only a matter of time before rotisseries started including them. This one by Crownful is worth a look, as it combines the two styles of cooking into one, with its 360 degree hot air circulation. You’ll still end up with the same moist rotisserie chicken you’ve come to expect, but with a crispier skin.
Though it’s worth mentioning that there is a slight learning curve if you have never tried an air fryer before, so be sure to buy a recipe book or two beforehand.
Buyer’s Guide: Features to Look Out For
The best rotisserie oven may be a little more complex than you’d first guess. Make sure to keep all of these features in mind when you choose yours.
Choosing the right size rotisserie oven is about balancing capacity and counter space. A good place to start is to try and imagine what types of foods you want to cook. If it’s whole turkeys, you might want to tend larger. If it’s kebabs, you might be able to get away with something a bit more compact. A smaller size also makes your rotisserie oven more portable. This can be a great addition to any backyard barbeque or indoor party where there are plenty of mouths to feed.
No matter what you choose, make sure you have enough space on your counter and cabinet for it. The average rotisserie oven is between one and two feet wide. If you’re worried about having enough counter space, a vertical rotisserie oven may be a good choice, as it has a smaller footprint. Take a look at the section below for more information on vertical rotisseries.
Rotisseries can be found in horizontal or vertical orientations. While it’s an easy difference to understand, the truth is that it makes for a world of difference in cooking.
Horizontal rotisseries are more common today, with the same design as the classic spit roast. The advantage of this configuration is that it’s better at retaining fat, as the continuous rotation prevents it from dripping off. This means more tender and flavorful meat. When setting up a horizontal rotisserie, don’t forget to keep it perfectly level on your countertop. A slight imbalance can cause uneven cooking and loss of moisture.
A vertical rotisserie flips the spit 90 degrees, cutting down on the rotisserie’s footprint and also draining away the fats as it cooks making for a healthier roast. This design is the traditional way to make gyros and tacos al pastor, and is a good choice if these are some of your favorites.
There are also rotisserie ovens that look more like toaster ovens with a removable spit. While there are some quality designs of this type out there, I would tend to advise against them as they won’t give as many temperature settings.
Number of Spits
Most home rotisserie ovens have between one and three spits. While you can certainly make good use of a single-spit rotisserie oven, be sure to look for at least two if you are planning on cooking large meats like hams or whole turkeys.
Additional spits can be used to stabilize your roast, piercing the meat in several places so it doesn’t slide off while cooking. You can also use them to cook a greater number of small roasts like kebabs.
The power of an electric rotisserie oven is measured in watts, and most designs are between 1,500 and 2000 watts. While large capacity roasters may go well beyond this, you should be able to cook anything you like with even a moderately-powered one.
Your rotisserie oven’s power rating determines the upper limit of temperature it can achieve. This is especially important if you want to get a nice, crisp skin on your duck or chicken.
Temperature and Control Settings
While raw power is important, having precise temperature control is always going to be the top priority. Make sure to look for rotisseries that give you as many temperature settings as possible, which will ensure you can get the exact temperature you want for even cooking.
Additional cooking functions can be a nice perk too, whether that means toasting, air frying, or broil bake settings. Some designs let you manage these settings with a few dials, though touchpad controls can help make the overall look a bit more sleek.
The standard spit will go a long way toward getting a crisp, brown finish on your meats, though it’s also worth keeping an eye out for other accessories that can diversify your cooking further. A nonstick grease pan is a must and insertable wire racks can allow some rotisserie ovens to double as toaster ovens. One of the most useful rotisserie accessories is a multi-purpose basket which allows your roaster to cook a wider variety of foods.
Cleaning and Maintenance
It’s common for rotisserie cookers to get quite dirty during use, as meat drips and splatter. To help with regular cleaning, a non-stick surface is an essential feature that will cut down on extra work. Stainless steel and ceramic glass are both good toptions, as are oven designs that don’t have exposed coils. A dishwasher safe baking pan and removable drip tray are other good design elements to look for, rather than having to scrub out the interior after each use.
While the job rotisserie ovens do is rather simple, the truth is that they come in all shapes and sizes, and paying attention to small quality of life details can make all the difference. Make sure your choice includes a sizable front window, or even a glass door, that allows you to monitor meats as they cook. Dials work perfectly fine for controlling temperature but digital controls can be another nice touch.
Rotisseries can vary widely in price, from as low as $70 to as much as a low-end oven. Choosing the right price point for your needs comes down to the features you want to prioritize. If you are looking for a large capacity rotisserie with convection and air fryer features, expect to spend a few hundred dollars. While there are plenty of quality options at all price ranges, I tend to opt for rotisserie ovens around the $150 mark.
Frequently Asked Questions
There’s plenty more to learn about this unique style of cooking. Find the answers to all your rotisserie questions here.
What Advantages to Rotisserie Ovens Offer?
The idea behind rotisserie cooking is that the meat rotates as it cooks, preventing excess fat from dripping away. This means your chickens will come out juicier and still have a nice, crisp skin. The rotating design also ensures even cooking, as every side of your meat is exposed to the heating element. Plus, no part of the food comes in contact with the pan, preventing sogginess.
Rotisserie ovens are also more energy efficient than conventional ovens, due to their small size. This also lets them heat up faster, letting you prepare your meat and have it cooked in record time.
What are the Drawbacks of a Rotisserie Oven?
While there’s plenty to love about rotisserie ovens, there are also a few drawbacks that are good to keep in mind before buying. The first thing you’ll need to get used to is that they’re a bit messy. While a removable drip tray, roasting rack, and rotisserie split can help speed up the process, you’ll likely have to devote a few minutes to wiping down the interior after each use.
The other major drawback is that the best rotisserie ovens are often going to be mono-taskers. While many may have both rotisserie and convection oven functions, most of their use will be limited to browning big slabs of meat. While they do this job well, try not to expect too much else from them.
Is a Rotisserie Oven Worth the Price?
The truth is that a rotisserie oven is a great buy for the right chef, but knowing whether that’s you comes down to your cooking and eating habits. They’re a good purchase for dedicated carnivores, as well as those who like to host big get-togethers with more than a dozen mouths to feed. If this doesn’t sound like you, you may be better off getting a toaster oven with a secondary rotisserie function.
Generally, a top-notch rotisserie should cost around $150 while a rotisserie toaster oven is about half that.
Is Rotisserie Cooking the Same as Roasting?
Rotisserie cooking is actually one of the oldest forms of cooking and predates oven roasting by thousands of years. The basic premise involves suspending a rotisserie spit over a heat source and constantly turning it to achieve even cooking and prevent fat loss. Originally, this was an open fire or bed of coals, while today it is most often an electric heating element.
Oven roasting on the other hand heats food by placing it in a hot oven cavity, directly on a roasting pan or other stable surface. While it archives similar results as rotisserie cooking, there tends to be greater fat loss and less even cooking.
If you’re looking for a slightly different option to create perfectly-roasted meats in your kitchen, take a look at my picks for best wall ovens.
As a Beginner, What Should I Cook in my Rotisserie?
There are plenty of easy ways to get started with your rotisserie roaster oven that don’t involve much prep. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can try more elaborate recipes.
One of the most simple options is the classic rotisserie chicken. To start, prepare your chicken by patting it completely dry and rubbing it thoroughly with olive oil. Then, coat with the spice mix of your choice. I’m partial to paprika, black pepper, cayenne, salt, and a little mustard powder for a more spicy flavor, but simple salt and pepper will do just fine.
To get your chicken ready for the rotisserie spit, tie the legs together with butcher’s twine and bend the wings back behind the legs. Then you can mount on your spit and cook, 20 minutes per pound followed by an additional 15 minutes with the heat off to ensure all the juices stay sealed inside. Finally, let the chicken rest for another 10 minutes and enjoy.
How do I Make Rotisserie Chicken Better?
If you’re looking to take the classic rotisserie chicken recipe up a notch, my best tip is to try a brine. Since chicken is naturally leaner than other meats and benefits greatly from the extra moisture the brine helps lock-in, while also getting a bit of extra seasoning. The brining process is super simple, and will have your house smelling wonderful.
One simple brine inclines half a cup of salt, a quarter cup of honey, three bay leaves, five cloves of garlic, one tablespoon black peppercorns, three sprigs of fresh rosemary, parsley, and thyme each, and two sliced lemons. Place these in a large pot with eight cups of water and bring to a simmer. After the salt has dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes, turn off the heat and allow it to return to room temperature. Then place a 4lb chick into the water and submerge completely. Cover the pot and allow it to sit for at least 8 hours, up to a full day for maximum flavor. When you’re ready to cook, pat your completely dry and place in your rotisserie.
Are Vertical or Horizontal Rotisseries Better?
The vertical vs horizontal debate is one worth having, though the right answer comes down to a matter of taste. If you’re looking to maximize flavor, then a horizontal rotisserie is the best option, as it retains more fat. Better fat retention also means less mess and easier cleanup afterward.
A vertical design on the other hand will still get a nice, crisp skin but lose more of the drippings during the cooking process. This makes for a leaner and healthier meat that still tastes great. Vertical rotisseries are also the best way to create shaved meats like gyro, shawarma, and tacos al pastor, so if you’re thinking of giving any of these traditional dishes a try don’t count out the vertical design.
Should I get a Rotisserie Oven with Multiple Cooking Functions?
If you’re trying rotisserie cooking for the first time, or are working with limited space, a multifunction roaster with a rotisserie function can be a great choice. Many of the latest models even come with a convection oven or air fryer, letting you add even more versatility to your kitchen.
I wouldn’t recommend multi-function roasters to people who already have similar functions in their oven. To my mind, the whole point of getting a home rotisserie is about recreating the classic taste and texture that basic baking methods can’t achieve. If this is your goal, going for a more simple design is probably the better bet.
While the best rotisserie oven may look different for each person, we can all agree that any model that can create that classic crisp-but-moist finish is worth a try. I’ll always favor rotisserie ovens that balance simplicity with versatility, and are perfectly sized to the home cook’s needs.
Ronco’s ST5000PLGEN showtime rotisserie platinum edition has plenty to offer, with a classic design that can fit two chickens side-by-side. At the same time, the Black + Decker WCR-076 Rotisserie Toaster Oven brings a few more features to the table, in a compact package that can fit easily on most countertops. Between these two, or any of the other countertop rotisserie roasters on this list, there’s something to suit anyone’s needs.