8 Grocery Stores With the Best Rotisserie Chicken

Where to get the juiciest, tastiest bird.

<p>Liudmyla Chuhunova/Getty Images</p>

Liudmyla Chuhunova/Getty Images

Grocery stores don’t place their rotisserie chickens throughout the store haphazardly. Oh no—they’re much more strategic than that. Take Costco, for example. The warehouse keeps the rotisserie chickens in the very back of the store so shoppers must stroll down its aisles to get to the goods. Smaller supermarkets, on the other hand, conveniently display their rotisserie chickens near the entrance or checkout, knowing that shoppers will get a whiff and into the shopping cart those tasty browned birds will go. Plus, at less than $10—and sometimes less than $5—a pop, they’re priced to sell.

These stores know as well as we do that rotisserie chickens are an affordable and healthy staple for quick lunches and dinners. They’re also delicious and versatile. You can shred ‘em for wraps, tacos, quesadillas, soups, and much more. But, like with any prepared food, some grocery stores just do rotisserie chicken better than others. Here are our top stops for the best rotisserie chicken.

Related: 20 Rotisserie Chicken Dinner Ideas That Are Quick and Easy

Smart and Final First Street Chicken

If you’re on the hunt for the best rotisserie chicken, it’s only a matter of time before you come across the rave reviews for this one from Smart and Final. It's juicy from the moment you slice into it, but it’s also just as good when you reheat and reuse the leftovers

Plus, this baby is jumbo (it’s even in the name). The average rotisserie chicken weighs about two pounds, but this one clocks in at three pounds. It’s 50 percent larger than other stores, but not 50 percent more expensive, making it an incredible value for feeding a large family or meal prepping for the week.

Sprouts Herb Seasoned Roasted Chicken

You can get a rotisserie chicken at just about any grocery store, so why seek out this bird from Sprouts? It’s all in the seasoning—parsley, onion, and garlic, to be exact. And while all rotisserie chickens are seasoned to some extent, you can actually taste the seasoning on this option. Sprouts also nails the texture with this one. It isn’t gummy or soggy, but perfectly tender and chewy to cut and bite into.

At $10-$11 each, this roasted chicken is pricier than some other stores. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option, it’s still a good value if you’re a health-conscious shopper. The chicken is free from antibiotics, hormones, and steroids—all the things you’d hope your chicken would be void of.

Safeway Signature Cafe Traditional Whole Roasted Chicken

Some rotisserie chickens are injected with seasonings, while others are rubbed with them. Safeway does both with their rotisserie chicken, which explains why it’s so flavorful (and may change your mind if you usually eat around the skin). It’s got a smoky flavor from the paprika, but it’s balanced out with some brown sugar for subtle sweetness.

Safeway makes them fresh daily, but if you want to get your hands on one, just be sure to do your shopping after 10 AM local time. Safeway’s sister stores—Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilion’s—also carry these tasty rotisserie chickens.

Related: 7 Grocery Items to Avoid, According to Food Safety Pros

Walmart Freshness Guaranteed Traditional Rotisserie Chicken

Walmart used to be a department store giant, and now it’s a grocery store giant. Groceries account for more than half of Walmart’s total sales, including staples like produce, dairy products, and meat and deli goods like the chain’s affordable rotisserie chicken. It boasts one of the best prices you’ll come across for rotisserie chicken, and it’s often praised for its juicy meat and delicious flavor.

The chicken also comes in a lemon pepper variety, as well as chicken that’s already chilled and ready to pop in the refrigerator when you get home. Seeing as how the heat lamps can make the skin soggy, the chilled chickens may be the trick to avoiding limp chicken skin.

Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken

What’s marinated for hours, rubbed with spices, and priced cheaper than your coffee order? The rotisserie chicken at Sam’s Club. While it competes with Costco’s $4.99 rotisserie chicken, Sam’s Club has undercut its competitor, pricing the bird at $4.98. Both weigh three pounds and cost less than $5, so which is better? It depends on who you ask, but the reviews for Sam’s Club are pretty consistent, while Costco’s has had some controversy surrounding its best seller.

Publix Deli Original Oven Roasted Chicken

Publix has one of the best rotisserie chickens around—for reasons you might not expect. The Publix deli is mainly known for its subs and sandwiches, but the store also knows its way around poultry. The Publix rotisserie chicken is made with rather simple, straightforward ingredients, like chicken broth and spices. The chain doesn’t do anything overly impressive with it, and they don’t need to. The chicken is juicy and tasty, but what makes it great is its consistency. Publix is consistently on the mark with its deli products, so if you live in the Southeast, don’t pass it up.

Whole Foods Classic Rotisserie Chicken

Whole Foods is known for having high-quality foods made from wholesome ingredients, but it’s also known for being on the pricier side. Take the rotisserie chicken, for example. It’s made from just three simple ingredients—chicken, salt, and pepper—but Whole Foods shoppers are usually more concerned about what’s not in their food. In this case, you pay a couple of bucks more to know that the chicken is free from the typical offenders like antibiotics and growth hormones, as well as ingredients you can’t pronounce.

While it may not be the most flavorful option, it’s your best bet if you want to season it yourself. And if you really want a blank canvas to work with, Whole Foods also has a plain rotisserie chicken. It’s literally just chicken with no seasoning, but since it’s cooked on a rotating spit, it’s cooked evenly. 

Related: Here Are the 10 Biggest Food Trends of 2024, According to Whole Foods

Costco Kirkland Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken

If there’s one item that gets you in Costco’s doors, it’s the warehouse’s famous $4.99 rotisserie chicken, which is probably the best deal you’ll find. It’s inexpensive, but more importantly, it’s large and injected with a salt solution to give it flavor. Each bird is about three pounds, which is enough to feed a family on the cheap or get you a week’s worth of lunches.

So, what’s the catch? At that price point, don’t expect a gourmet roast. You’ve got to appreciate the Costco rotisserie chicken for what it is—a budget-friendly centerpiece you didn’t have to prepare. Not everyone loves the distinct flavor of the salt solution it’s injected with, but ounce for ounce it’s one of the best deals, and that’s certainly worth something.

For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Real Simple.