The Best Rotisserie Chicken from the Grocery Store, Ranked

Updated: Mar. 29, 2024

Which grocery store sells the best rotisserie chicken? To find out, we put 10 different birds to the test.

It’s easy to pick up a ready-to-eat chicken at the grocery store. For weeknight dinners, we love rotisserie chicken recipes, because half the work is already done! But with so many stores offering rotisserie chicken, which one has the most bang for your buck? To find the best rotisserie chicken from popular grocery stores, we needed to do a taste test.

How We Tested Rotisserie Chickens

Each rotisserie chicken was evaluated based on price and value, the size and shape of the bird, the skin color and flavor, and finally, the tender and juicy flavor of the meat. They were all purchased and tested as quickly as possible to ensure optimal freshness. Nothing beats homemade rotisserie-style chicken, but the top grocery store birds come close.

10. Walmart

WalmartKristina Vänni For Taste of Home

Walmart offers rotisserie chickens under its Freshness Guaranteed brand and the chickens are prepared fresh in stores. They’re warm and ready to go between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day. While we appreciated the possibility of purchasing a warm chicken for either lunch or dinner, unfortunately, Walmart came in at the bottom of our list for best rotisserie chicken. The bird was placed breast side down in the grab-and-go bag. This caused the skin to be soggy and gooey rather than crisp and flavorful since the moisture accumulated at the bottom of the bag.

The chicken weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces and cost a budget-friendly $6.97. While the chicken was not visually appealing, the meat was tender. In addition, we also appreciated the convenience of the Walmart deli with sides such as green beans, mashed potatoes or mac and cheese ready to pick up for a full meal in a snap.

Bottom Line: The Walmart rotisserie chicken is not ready to be a centerpiece on your dinner table, but it is one of the better values on this list. We would be more likely to pick apart this chicken and use the tender meat in a casserole, homemade soup or other recipes with rotisserie chicken rather than serve it whole.

9. Jewel (Albertsons)

Jewel rotisserie chickenKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

The “Traditional Whole Roasted Chicken” from Jewel (part of the Albertsons family of stores) didn’t test well. At $6.99 and 1 pound, 12 ounces, it was the smallest of the chickens tested, though with a price tag similar to larger chickens on our list.

We found the chicken to be pale in color with gummy skin and without any visible seasonings or rubs. However, the Signature Cafe line of roast chickens also offered rosemary and garlic as well as lemon pepper-seasoned chickens. We also appreciated the Signature Cafe Rotisserie Chicken Guarantee. This guarantees that a roast chicken will be available every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., or it’s free on your next visit.

Albertsons stores include Acme, Amigos, Andronico’s, Balducci’s, Carrs, Haggen, Jewel-Osco, Kings Food Markets, Lucky, Market Street, Pavilions, Randalls, Safeway, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, United Supermarkets and Vons.

Bottom Line: While we appreciated the availability guarantee, the taste and value of this chicken didn’t earn it top honors.

8. Target

target rotisserie chickenKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

Most Targets have a sizable grocery section where you can find fresh fruit and vegetables, deli options and even rotisserie chickens. We sampled a hot “Savory Oven Roasted Chicken.” The chicken weight in at 1 pound, 13 ounces with a price tag of  $6.79. A label on the container let customers know when the chicken came out of the oven. We definitely appreciated these labels since they can help you select for optimal freshness. There was also a cold option available.

We noticed the chicken broke apart a bit in the cooking process and the skin was golden on top but quite fatty and pale underneath. While the meat was slightly dry, we did enjoy the garlicky flavor of the rub.

Bottom Line: We loved the convenience of picking up a rotisserie chicken at Target, but uneven cooking kept this chicken from ranking higher on our list.

7. Meijer

MeijerKristina Vänni For Taste of Home

Meijer sells a small 1-pound, 2-ounce chicken for $6.99. In terms of size and price, this one is middle of the road in terms of value. The chicken had even browning, was well trussed and the meat was tasty! What caught our eye at Meijer was the meal deal package for $15. This includes one rotisserie chicken, a prepacked deli salad and your choice of a 2-liter Coke or a 64-ounce Gold Peak beverage. We really liked the ease and value of this grab-and-go meal.

Bottom Line: Meijer offers an adequate rotisserie chicken as well as an easy and budget-friendly meal deal. We’d definitely go for this when time is of the essence and dinner needs to be served stat.

6. Pick ‘n Save (Kroger)

Pick 'n Save (Roundy's)Kristina Vänni For Taste of Home

Pick ‘n Save sells a 2-pound rotisserie chicken for $7.99, or two chickens for $12 with a store loyalty card. This is a great value and convenient if you are feeding a crowd. It’s also a good idea if you want to save one chicken to pick apart and use for other rotisserie chicken recipes later. Plus, you would have twice the bones to make delicious homemade chicken stock the next day.

The bird was a beautiful golden color, and the meat was tender and flavorful. The chicken was trussed for even cooking, but tied quite strangely and difficult to undo. The chickens are made without MSG and labeled gluten-free, so they are safe for anyone with a gluten dietary restriction. The carrier had a space for a freshness timer, but the time was not written on our particular chicken, so there was no way of knowing how long it had been sitting out.

Bottom Line: Pick ‘n Save sells a solid option when it comes to a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Plus, we love the two for $12 deal for even more value.

5. Mariano’s (Kroger)

marianos Rotisserie ChickenKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

The rotisserie chicken sold at Mariano’s (part of the Kroger family of stores) was 2 pounds and retailed at $6.99. However, Mariano’s offers a special deal where you can buy 2 chickens for $10. If you decide to take advantage of this offer, the Mariano’s chicken would be one of the best values at the stores we sampled!

We appreciated the nicely tucked wings to prevent burning, and we noticed even browning of the skin all around the bird. The flavor was tender and juicy, making this rotisserie chicken a great option for supper.

The Kroger family of companies includes Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Jay C Food Store, King Soopers, Kroger, Mariano’s, Metro Market, Pay-Less Super Markets, Pick ‘n Save, QFC, Ralphs, Ruler, Smith’s Food and Drug.

Bottom Line: Mariano’s offers a delicious chicken at good value. However, a couple of other options beat it for the best rotisserie chicken spot.

4. Sam’s Club

Sam's ClubKristina Vänni For Taste of Home

Sam’s Club and Costco are rivals in the budget-friendly rotisserie chicken game. Sam’s offers 3-pound rotisserie chickens for the lowest price on this list at $4.98. This price is clearly a wink to the famous Costco $4.99 chickens. For the sake of this ranking, we can consider them equals in terms of value.

Upon browsing the chicken case, we found the Sam’s Club chickens to be hit or miss. Some were good-looking with an attractive browning on the skin, while others looked like they were falling apart in the container. After a bit of inspection, we selected the best of the bunch for our taste test. The chicken offered a lovely roasted flavor and succulent meat. However, the underside of the chicken had become quite gooey, which became a pet peeve of ours throughout this testing process.

Bottom Line: While the price can’t be beat, the Sam’s Club rotisserie chickens were not as impressive as their rivals.

3. Costco

Costco rotisserie chickenKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

Costco is famous for its $4.99 “Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken.” For the size and price, this is hands-down the best value out there. The rotisseries are always fired up, with perfectly cooked chickens being continuously replenished throughout the day.

The meat is moist and flavorful, and the birds are shapely with a gorgeous, even color all around. There was one reservation that kept the Costco rotisserie chicken from taking the top spot on our list. Upon reading the ingredient list on the packaging, there were more additives and fillers than our highest-ranking chickens. The Kirkland Signature rotisserie chicken listed the following ingredients: Whole chicken, water, seasoning [salt, sodium phosphate, modified food starch (potato, tapioca) and potato dextrin, carrageenan, sugar, dextrose, spice extractives.]

Bottom Line: The rotisserie chicken is definitely one of Costco’s best deals. The quality is delicious and consistent, and we appreciate Costco’s commitment to keeping the price affordable.

2. Heinen’s

Heinen'sKristina Vänni For Taste of Home

Heinen’s is a family-owned regional supermarket chain. We were immediately impressed with the immaculate presentation in this grocery store, and that high-end feel carried on to the deli and prepared foods areas as well. Heinen’s offers 1-pound Amish farm rotisserie chickens for $8.99. They were the highest-priced birds on the list, but the quality of the product made the initial sticker shock easier to swallow. The rotisserie chickens are vegetarian fed and antibiotic- and hormone-free.

In terms of visual presentation, this was one of the most attractive chickens on the list. The wings were tucked to prevent burning and the legs were tied well. The skin browned evenly, making this chicken picture-perfect and ready to become a centerpiece on your dining table. The juicy meat and homemade taste could have convinced me that it came from grandma’s oven, not a grocery store.

Bottom Line: This was a near-perfect chicken, and the price-to-size ratio was the only reason it placed second.

1. Whole Foods

whole food Rotisserie ChickenKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

In the end, Whole Foods offered the best rotisserie chicken. The 2-pound, 12-ounce conventional chicken sold for $7.99 and earned top honors across the board. (The store also offers a certified organic rotisserie chicken for $10.99.)

The chicken was the perfect shape and was tied securely with well-tucked wings. The seasoning was visible and well distributed, and the skin had a beautiful golden color. The bag indicated that the chickens are raised without antibiotics or hormones and fed a vegetarian diet. In terms of flavor, this chicken was most moist and delicious of all sampled. Even though it was a dollar more than some other rotisserie chickens, the larger size and far better flavor made the extra dollar money well spent.

Bottom Line: Whole Foods easily has the best rotisserie chicken. The flavor, plus the fact that the ingredients are simply chicken, salt and organic black pepper, put this rotisserie chicken at the top of our list.