Chicken Caesar salad is infinitely easier when you can just swing by the deli and grab a rotisserie chicken, but it can be even more delicious with a countertop rotisserie oven. Just set up your chicken, and the oven does the work, self-basting as it rotates and making succulent, evenly-cooked, golden poultry.
"Rotisserie ovens are much more energy-efficient than conventional ovens because of their smaller size," says Sara Sicotte, recipe developer and founder of Budget Savvy Diva. "Rotisseries are able to heat up faster thus letting you prepare your meat quickly for less money. And, if you don’t have a lot of counter space, vertical models are a great option because of their smaller footprint."
It doesn’t stop there though, a rotisserie oven can alleviate holiday cooking, dinner parties, and even weekly meal prep. You can free up space in your standard oven for all those pies, cakes, and side dishes. And, many rotisseries perform more than a roasting function—some dehydrate, air fry, grill, and toast a variety of other foods. Rotisserie ovens come in multiple sizes and configurations so even if your counter space is limited, there is a model to fit your kitchen.
"Size may be the biggest factor you should be considering," says Melissa Collins, food scientist and founder of Perfect Brew. "A bigger oven allows you to cook more rotisserie at the same time, but they can get expensive. Consider what your needs are. Do you frequently cook for multiple people? If yes, go for a larger oven. If you don’t need much, opt for a single-spit oven."
If you're looking for a classic rotisserie, Ronco's Showtime Platinum Edition Rotisserie Oven is our top pick. For something more akin to a typical oven, Oster's Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid is a great option.
From space-saving vertical models to large capacity, multifunction workhorses, these are the best rotisserie ovens.
Best Overall, Rotisserie
Ronco Showtime Platinum Edition Rotisserie Oven
What We Love: Large capacity, versatile, multiple included accessories, easy to use, efficient cooking
What We Don’t Love: Temperature setting not adjustable
Founded in 1964 by Ron Popeil, Ronco quickly became a household name in innovative kitchen appliances, and the Showtime Platinum Edition Rotisserie Oven carries on this legacy. It is large enough to hold a turkey, two chickens, or even a rack of ribs. And, it is easy to use. Cooking temperatures for various proteins are preset so you just situate the meat on the spit, lock the holding forks in, pop it in the oven, set the time, and let it cook.
And, if you aren’t sure about how long to cook a chicken, Ronco has you covered with a timer guide on the side of the oven. Plus there are multiple included accessories like fish baskets, cages for veggies, and flavor injectors. The stainless steel, self-basting unit is also a breeze to clean. Just wipe out the interior with a damp sponge, and the removable door and drip pan are dishwasher safe. The large display is easy to read, and the model has an automatic shut-off if you don’t hear the alarm when it is finished. It is really fix-it and forget-it for tender feta-brined chicken or whatever is on the menu.
Price at time of publish: $224
Dimensions (LxWxH): 19.9 x 16.6 x 15.6 inches | Capacity: 15 pounds | Maximum Temperature: N/A
Best Overall, Roasting Oven
Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid
What We Love: Easy to clean, large capacity, versatile, self-basting lid keeps meat moist
What We Don’t Love: Outside gets very hot
Hear me out, if you like to entertain, a countertop roasting oven makes cooking for a crowd less stressful. The Oster 22-quart Roaster Oven has a large enough capacity to cook your 20-pound turkey while your pigs-in-a-blanket and blueberry pie bake away in your regular oven. With a temperature range from "keep warm" to 450 degrees, you can bake, slow cook, or roast, making it a versatile addition to your kitchen collection.
The self-basting lid is a genius way to keep everything moist during cooking—the lid collects steam and drips it back on the meat, keeping the flavor constantly rotating. And, the included rack makes depositing and removing that crispy, golden chicken easy. Cleanup is a snap as the roasting pan is removable and enamel-coated.
Price at time of publish: $170
Dimensions (LxWxH): 23.3 x 15.6 x 11.8 inches | Capacity: 22 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees
NutriChef PKRT97 Multi-Function Vertical Rotisserie Oven
What We Love: Versatile, space-saving, even cooking, multiple included accessories, large capacity
What We Don’t Love: Timer only goes up to 60 minutes, exterior surface can get hot
This affordable model is the right choice if you're short on counter space. The vertical design has a smaller footprint, but still offers up the versatility of a larger unit with its bake, roast, and broil functions. And, it is easy to use—just open the heat-resistant, tempered glass door, slide your food in, and select the time and temperature mode.
"A home cook should consider versatility when purchasing a rotisserie oven. If you’re planning to use it on a regular basis, having air fry, toast, broil, and bake features are nice since you’ll be able to utilize this oven in so many different ways," says Renaldas Kaveckas, chef and founder of Avant-Garde Kitchen. "During the pandemic, I made the most amazing Peruvian roasted chicken, leg of lamb, marinated roast beef, and prime rib for the whole family with this piece of equipment.”
The NutriChef comes with a kebab rack, bake pan, two grill racks, and a removable drip tray for easy cleanup. The rapid air circulation makes for even, efficient cooking, and the 60-minute timer is loud so you won’t overcook your Greek chicken skewers.
Price at time of publish: $105
Dimensions (LxWxH): 13.4 x 19 x 12.2 inches | Capacity: 24 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 464 degrees
Related: The Best Meat Injectors
Best Toaster Oven with Rotisserie
Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360
What We Love: Versatile, attractive, fast cooking, recipe book included
What We Don’t Love: Small capacity
The popularity of air fryers cannot be overstated, and to have a toaster oven model that also air fries, and rotisserie cooks is pretty handy. This Emeril Lagasse oven has five heating elements, and 12 cooking functions that allow users to cook pork for tacos al pastor, rotisserie-style chicken, but also air fry, bake, dehydrate, toast, reheat, broil, slow cook, and warm up leftovers.
The attractive stainless steel construction looks good on any counter, and the large LCD screen is easy-to-read. There are other things to love about the Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360. It accommodates a 12-pound turkey for roasting, can dehydrate venison for jerky, and comes with a cookbook written by Emeril Lagasse specifically for this oven. And, if you find something you like, this oven will remember your last set cooking time and temperature.
Price at time of publish: $250
Dimensions (LxWxH): 20 x 15 x 11 inches | Capacity: 6 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 400 degrees
Related: The Best Toaster Ovens
Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill
What We Love: Versatile, easy to clean, even cooking, sturdy, easy setup
What We Don’t Love: Boxy design
Versatility is a prized trait among small appliances. The more you can do with one, the fewer individual appliances you need cluttering up counters. This roaster also grills, air fries, bakes, and dehydrates—you can cook everything from harissa chicken to peach cobbler. The Ninja Foodie utilizes cyclonic grilling technology which employs a powerful fan circulating hot air to cook food evenly and efficiently.
Not only does it reach an enviable 500 degrees, mimicking an actual oven or grill, it is also easy to clean with its ceramic, non-stick interior and accessories. And, there are a lot of accessories, like a grill grate, a crisper basket, a cooking pot, a cleaning brush, and a recipe book. The digital control panel makes setup easy; just select your cooking function and adjust temperature and cook time to your preference. This versatile countertop grill takes the stress out of weeknight cooking and delivers succulent rotisserie prime rib every time.
Price at time of publish: $230
Dimensions (LxWxH): 17 x 14 x 11 inches | Capacity: 6 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees
Related: The Best Indoor Grills
Best Air Fryer with Rotisserie
Instant Pot Vortex Pro 9-in-1 Air Fryer
What We Love: Easy to clean, versatile, efficient cooking, easy to read display
What We Don’t Love: Bit of a learning curve
Instant Pot became an overnight sensation not that long ago, and now the company has other small appliances to add to its growing line. The Instant Vortex Pro is a rotisserie that also air fries, toasts, broils, bakes, dehydrates, and even proofs pastry dough. The preset smart programs take the guesswork out of time, temperature, and cooking modes. And, the capacious interior accommodates up to 10 quarts of food, with no need to stir or flip anything.
If you are short on space, this model is very appealing as it can do the job of many appliances in its one economical footprint. No need for double ovens to proof and bake those yummy cinnamon rolls, or roast those stuffed peppers, and it remembers your settings, making dinner even easier. And, it will look good on your counter with its modern, fingerprint-resistant, stainless steel exterior. Everything wipes clean easily, and all the accessories are dishwasher safe. Cleanup after cooking for your next tailgate will be a snap.
Price at time of publish: $170
Dimensions (LxWxH): 13.75 x 14.37 x 13.23 inches | Capacity: 10 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Related: The Best Air Fryers
If you're ready to fix-it and forget-it, the Ronco Showtime Platinum Edition Rotisserie Oven (view at Amazon) has the presets and functions to achieve that dream. A self-basting lid and large capacity make the Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid (view at Amazon) another great buy.
What to Look for in a Rotisserie Oven
Everybody’s kitchens are different—some have enormous farmhouse styles with tons of counter space, while others have cozy apartments with minimal real estate for appliances. Be sure you have enough space to accommodate the model you are looking at, but also be aware of having a big enough oven for what you want to cook. A good rule of thumb is to look for an oven that will hold a whole chicken or medium-sized turkey at a minimum.
The good news, if you are limited on space, is a vertical rotisserie oven can offer many of the same capabilities with a much smaller footprint. The main difference is vertical models utilize a drip tray to catch juices whereas a horizontal is constantly self-basting as it turns. The meat has a tendency to be slightly drier in a vertical rotisserie than a horizontal one. If you have ever been to a churrascaria, the vertical method is the traditional way meats are roasted.
If you are looking for a way to cook a holiday turkey or Sunday roast while freeing up oven space for side dishes and desserts, be sure to look for a model that can fit your usual bird. Make sure you take into account cabinet height, in addition, to counter space as you are shopping so there are no surprises when you get home.
Single-use appliances are hard to justify. Luckily, many rotisserie ovens are versatile beyond rotisserie cooking. Be sure to consider how you like to cook when shopping. Like to air fry? There’s a model that does that. Want to grill without the elaborate setup outside? There’s a model that does that. Like to cook pizza? There’s a model for that. Look for what makes sense for your cooking style.
Another consideration is clear, easy-to-read, well-labeled displays. Some models with lots of bells and whistles require a steep learning curve. The ability to easily adjust temperature, and time makes cooking less stressful, and allows you control over your dinner. In addition to time and temperature, an automatic shut-off is nice to have as you don’t have to worry about overcooking. Look for features that make your life easier.
Cleanup can be a drag so finding a rotisserie oven with a nonstick surface helps a lot. Look for accessories that remove easily, maybe are dishwasher safe, and wipe clean with minimal effort. Meat drips and splatters are common, but choosing a stainless steel or ceramic oven without exposed coils will make after-dinner cleanup much more tolerable.
Is rotisserie the same as roasting?
Cooking on a spit is an ancient art. The premise of rotisserie cooking is that protein is loaded onto a skewer and placed over a heat source where it will continually turn as it cooks. Originally, and still, with some food traditions, this all happens over a fire or a bed of coals, but with today’s rotisserie ovens an electric heating element and technology are employed.
Roasting, by comparison, utilizes a surface, like a pan, placed in a hot oven where it cooks in its juices. The big difference is the end result. Rotisserie yields more even cooking and tends to produce juicier proteins because the circular motion constantly self-bastes the meat. In a roasting pan, the food stays in one position with all drippings falling into the pan, and the meat tends to become drier at the top where it gets less moisture.
Can you only use a rotisserie oven for meats?
Rotisserie ovens are optimal for cooking meat, but with the right attachments or accessories, they become much more versatile. Vegetable kebabs are an easy swap. And, don’t forget fruit—pineapple cooked in a rotisserie oven is delicious. If your model comes with pans or grates and has other cooking functions, the field opens even wider to french fries, pizza, and brownies. Basically, it depends on the model you purchased, but even just a straight rotisserie oven can be used for other items that fit on the spit.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Carrie Honaker is a food writer who has owned her share of small kitchen appliances. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she knows the importance of finding the right tool for the right job. She loves succulent rotisserie chicken straight off the spit on her weeknight chicken caesar salads. Her work has appeared in many publications including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.
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