Kristen Hicks on September 6, 2016 1 Comment Table of Contents Types of Rotisseries Factors to Consider While Shopping Customer Reviews of Popular Brands Are you an unabashed carnivore? Are you a home chef that likes to cook your meats at home regularly? Are you picky about how they come out – requiring your meats to have just the right texture, juiciness, and flavor to be fully satisfied? If so, then it’s time to consider buying a rotisserie. Many home kitchens can manage fine without a rotisserie, but for the people who eat meat regularly and want their chickens, turkeys, steaks, and pork chops to come out just right, few other cooking options compare to a good rotisserie. As an added bonus, a rotisserie gives you an extra, convenient option for making your meat anytime you’re making a big meal and need your oven for other uses. It’s not uncommon for frequent users to discover that their rotisserie limits their need to use their oven often enough that they save on energy and gas costs. If any or all of that sounds good, then all that’s left to do is find the best rotisserie for your specific needs and delicious, juicy home-cooked meats will soon be in your future. Before you buy the first appliance you come across, we put together a guide to help you browse, compare and buy the best rotisserie for your family. Click Here to Shop for a Rotisserie Types of Rotisseries You’ll find three main types of rotisseries in your search. Of course, we are leaving out those that are designed for commercial cooking. Chances are, these will not be a good fit for your home. The smaller, countertop rotisseries all pretty much work the same way. You put the meat you’d like to roast on a spit and then slowly spinning it over the heat source; yet each type of rotisserie each offer their own unique set of benefits. Horizontal Rotisserie The most common type of rotisserie you’ll encounter is the horizontal rotisserie. These ovens come in a number of sizes, shapes and prices. They work great at not only roasting your meat, but keeping the savory juices contained within. The main downside of a horizontal rotisserie oven is that you have to get the balance just right for it to work as effectively as possible. Depending on the cut of meat you plan on roasting, this may pose a bit of challenge. Not one that can’t be overcome, however. It’s worth noting that the most popular and highest-rated rotisseries are horizontal models. It’s clear that your average cook has little difficulty figuring out how to use their rotisserie. Vertical Rotisserie Vertical rotisseries operate much like their horizontal counterpart, however the main difference being the design and direction of the spit. As the name implies, the spit is vertical instead of horizontal. There are a number of advantages of this design, with the most obvious benefit being the elimination of the balancing act that horizontal rotisseries require. Another fantastic benefit of the vertical design is that they do save a little bit of space. However, this same vertical design means that the juices flow downwards as the cut of meat spins on the spit. This brings upon mixed feelings from consumers. On one hand, the fats of the meat drain out and, ultimately, create a healthier meal at the end. But, on the other hand, some feel that this causes the meat to lose much of its flavor. We’ll let you decide. Vertical rotisseries aren’t as common as horizontal rotisseries, but many home chefs who want to make certain dishes that are traditionally made with a vertical rotisserie, like gyro meat or tacos al pastor, may find a vertical rotisserie to be their best bet. Rotisserie Toaster Oven Rotisserie toaster ovens have the benefit of providing several key uses. In addition to offering the rotisserie option for cooking a variety of meats, you can also use this countertop appliance for many of the same uses you would a toaster oven. Whether it’s for toast, pizza or cookies, toaster ovens are capable of accomplishing a wide array of cooking tasks in the kitchen. Of course, this added versatility may not be what you’re looking for when it comes to a rotisserie. Since this type of appliance isn’t specifically designed for roasting meat on a spit, the results in the end may not always be up to par with a vertical or horizontal rotisserie. Nonetheless, many customers are satisfied with the results they get using the rotisserie function of their toaster oven and are happy to have the other uses available when they need them as well. In the end, it comes down to how often you think you’ll be using the rotisserie function. If you plan on roasting a lot of meat, then perhaps a dedicated roasting appliance is the better route for you to go. However, if you think you’ll scarcely use it, then perhaps a toaster oven with the ability to act as a rotisserie or has a rotisserie add-on available is the best choice for you. Factors to Consider While Shopping In addition to pinning down the best type for your specific needs and lifestyle, there are a number of other factors to consider as you browse your options. Below, we have listed out these considerations to help you find the best rotisserie for your lifestyle. Cost Few people can go looking for a new kitchen appliance without treating cost as one of the biggest considerations. Most home rotisseries cost somewhere in the range of $100-$200. Larger models and some of the most well-regarded brands will have higher price tags than more compact models or rotisseries from less established brands. In general, the cost differences between various models aren’t huge, so we would recommend you prioritize not based on cost, but instead a rotisserie that is best suited for the kinds of uses and features you desire. Durability No one wants to spend a couple hundred dollars on a product that only lasts a year or two. Going with a brand that has a solid reputation in the industry and a model with good reviews will help you ensure you pick a rotisserie that has some staying power. Some rotisseries also come with a warranty. If making sure you end up with a rotisserie that lasts for a while is important to you, look for a brand willing to make that promise and stand by their product for years to come. Size You have a couple of different considerations to take into account when it comes to size: the size of the items you hope to cook in your rotisserie, and the space you have available in your kitchen. Many rotisseries are made to be conveniently sized for sitting on the countertop, but the trade-off with more compact models is that you won’t be able to fit a big turkey or chicken inside of it. Some of the most popular models will only be good for about a 5-pound turkey and the majority of them will easily fit a chicken, but you can certainly find bigger models that can manage larger birds if you’re willing to spend a little more and devote the counter space to them. On top of the amount of countertop space it takes up, it would also be wise to consider whether you plan on storing it when it’s not in use. If so, how much storage space do you have available? Aesthetics How good your rotisserie looks is probably not a concern at the top of the list in your search, but for anything that will be sitting on your kitchen counter full time (or at least much of the time), it’s a nice perk if it looks good. You’ll want to try to find a model that will match your decor or other appliances in the kitchen. Some rotisseries look great and come in different color options, so you do have a little room to be picky about the aesthetics if you so desire. However, the vast majority of brands will simply offer the standard black or stainless steel. If getting a specific color or look is an important factor for you, then be prepared to do some extra searching and sifting through options to find one that meets your needs. Ease of Use On the whole, rotisseries aren’t all that difficult to use, but there are a few things you can look for in a rotisserie that improve its overall ease of use. Simple, intuitive controls are a nice feature that simplify the process of cooking your meats well. Some rotisseries are designed in ways that make them easier to clean, and some are even dishwasher safe. Also consider that with horizontal models you do need to get the balance just right when setting your meat up on the spit, which some people occasionally find tricky. In general though, few people seem to have much difficulty using their rotisserie. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll be able to put any model you purchase to use without much trouble. Temperature Some rotisseries offer different temperature settings, while others will allow you set the temperature using degrees. Preset controls can offer some extra convenience, while the option of setting specific degrees allows for more precision. Ultimately, which is best will depend largely on your personal preference. If your recipes call for cooking at a specific temperature for a set amount of time, then perhaps this level of precision is the best route for you. Number of Spits This one’s pretty simple: you can choose a rotisserie with one spit or two. Multiple spits mean you can cook more pieces of meat at one time, but they’ll have to be smaller pieces unless you invest in an especially large rotisserie. Single spits tend to make the most sense if you’ll mostly be using your rotisserie to cook birds. Multiple spits come in handy for things like kabobs or other smaller cuts of meat. Accessories Some rotisseries will come with a lot of the accessories you need, but in some cases you’ll need to buy them separately. Here are some of the most useful accessories to consider: Oven gloves. Roasting rack. Carving platform. Removable drip pan. Skewers (good for kabobs). Basket (great for more delicate meats like fish). Cookbook that includes recipes. The more accessories you have, the more types of meats and recipes you can use your rotisserie to make. Popular Rotisserie Brands There are a few main brands selling rotisseries today. To give you an idea of the general reputation each has in this product category, we looked at the customer reviews of their rotisseries to see what customers have to say. BLACK+DECKER Black and Decker makes a rotisserie toaster oven that uses convection heating. As far as we can tell, this is the only rotisserie oven available from Black and Decker. However, the reviews for it are largely positive. Customers praise its ability for making toast and pizza, but using it to make rotisserie chicken is what gets the highest praise. The main complaints that come up for their rotisserie is that the knobs are needlessly complicated and the rotisserie is smaller than advertised. You may be able to get a 5-pound chicken in there, but nothing large. If you’re looking for a rotisserie that doubles as a toaster oven, this is a great model to consider. Farberware Farberware is another popular brand to consider when it comes to rotisseries and roasting large cuts of meat. However, while this brand is popular among consumers and certainly solicits plenty of positive reviews for their various units, it is important to note that their units are an “open hearth” design with a horizontal spit. This design means that the heat inside the appliance will not be contained, making it harder to cook at a precise temperature, as well as potentially adding an extra source of heat to your home and kitchen. While Farberware rotisseries certainly deserve to be listed here, they may be better suited for commercial purposes. George Foreman Better known for his accolades in the ring and being the spokesman for his line of extremely popular electric grills, George Foreman does offer two different rotisseries. Aptly named Baby George and Big George, both of these cookers seem to garner mediocre reviews from customers. While most of the reviews are positive, there is a noticeable amount of critical or downright negative reviews that you should take into consideration prior to buying. While it is, indeed, a standalone rotisserie and one of the only brands on this list devoted to this one simple task, it seems as if the reviews reflect that it may not be the best option available. Advertisement Hamilton Beach Hamilton Beach also sells a convection countertop oven with a rotisserie setting, as well as a few roaster ovens that are touted as being able to cook just as well as rotisseries. Take that for what you will. The reviews for their rotisserie oven are largely positive, with customers commonly saying how happy they are with the performance for the price. Some specifically mentioned cooking meats that came out tender and juicy, and others talk about using it far more often than their full size oven since they’ve bought it. If you’re looking for a standalone rotisserie, Hamilton Beach isn’t going to be the brand for you. However, if you’re looking to buy a toaster oven with a rotisserie feature, this may be a good fit. MaxiMatic MaxiMatic also offers a countertop toaster oven with a rotisserie function. Like the others, their rotisserie gets solid reviews from customers. Reviewers mention successfully using their MaxiMatic for a variety of uses, but a few customers who bought it for use primarily as a rotisserie had some issues with ease of use and durability. Ronco Ronco is the only company on our list that makes products devoted specifically to providing the rotisserie function. As such, it’s probably no surprise that their reviews are outstanding. They have a number of rotisseries available, including several large enough to hold a good-sized turkey or chicken (most of the toaster oven rotisseries cut off at about 5 pounds). The reviews of all Ronco rotisseries are superlative across the board. Customers say the meats they roast come out juicier, moister, and more flavorful than anything at the store. And they find the appliances easy to use and clean. A few reviewers mention buying a new Ronco rotisserie to replace one that lasted 14 or 15 years, so they have a solid reputation for durability. If you’re looking to use your rotisserie entirely for making meats, then it’s hard to beat a Ronco rotisserie. Conclusion Let’s be honest here. You could probably live without a rotisserie. But, if you love eating juicy poultry, there’s no other cooking method that will produce chicken, turkey, or duck quite like a rotisserie. And once you have one, you can start playing with recipes for steak, pork and fish until you’ve perfected all your favorite meats at home in your own kitchen. If reading this buyer’s guide has made you at all hungry, then you know it’s time to find a good rotisserie to add to your kitchen. Now get out there and find the right one.