Picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is one of the easiest ways to put dinner on the table, and the leftovers are the best for quick-and-easy meals. But grocery store rotisserie chicken can be hit-and-miss. Sometimes they’re juicy and moist, and other times they’re dry and…well, just underwhelming in general.
For a fresher, more flavorful experience, make your own rotisserie chicken at home. You can use the grill with a rotating attachment if you like, or you can use the tools and equipment you already own to make one in the oven or a slow cooker.
How Long Does It Take to Rotisserie a Chicken?
In general, chicken takes about 20 to 30 minutes per pound when it’s cooked between 300 to 350°F. That means a three-pound chicken will finish in an hour to an hour and a half. Timing helps for planning purposes, but we recommend using an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chicken is safe to eat. Look for an internal temperature of 165°F in the thickest part of the breast or 175°F in the thigh.
How Do You Tie up a Chicken for Rotisserie?
The best way to ensure your chicken will cook evenly is to truss it with butcher’s twine. If you’ve never done it before, it’s easier than you’d think. Check out our complete guide to trussing a chicken with step-by-step instructions to get started.
If you don’t have twine, or it sounds like too much trouble, you can use a shortcut method. This method doesn’t work for the grill, but it works just fine in the oven or slow cooker. Place the chicken breast-side up and tuck the wings under the chicken. Then, make a tiny incision in the loose skin around the cavity. Tuck the legs into each slit, being careful not to tear the skin as you go.
How to Make Rotisserie Chicken
How to Make Rotisserie Chicken in the Oven
Using the oven is an easy way to replicate a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Simply grab a roasting pan, season the bird and dinner will be ready in about two hours (prep and resting time included). If your pan is large enough, feel free to roast two chickens at once so you’ll end up with leftovers!
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chicken seasoning, divided
- 7 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
- 1-1/2 pounds baby red potatoes
- 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 to 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium lemon, sliced
Step 1: Marinate the chicken
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, 1/3 cup of the olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the chicken seasoning and garlic. Pour one cup of the marinade into a large bowl or shallow dish and add the chicken, turning it to coat. Refrigerate it for at least three hours, turning it at least once during the marinade time. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade for basting.
Step 2: Roast the chicken
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Truss the chicken and place it on the rack of a shallow roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes while you prepare the vegetables.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, rosemary, salt and pepper with the remaining olive oil and chicken seasoning. Add the vegetables to the roasting pan and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Cook the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 175°F, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Add the lemon slices during the last 15 minutes of roasting and brush the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
Editor’s Tip: If the chicken isn’t finished cooking but it looks too browned, tent it with a piece of aluminum foil.
Step 3: Rest and carve
When the chicken reaches the proper temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs and carve the chicken.
How to Make Rotisserie Chicken in a Slow Cooker
A slow cooker won’t create the same crispy-skinned effect as the oven or the grill, but it’s an easy, hands-off way to prepare dinner. Using the slow cooker’s low setting, a whole chicken will be finished in about six to seven hours.
- 1 pound carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 broiler/fryer chicken (4 pounds)
Step 1: Add the ingredients to the slow cooker
In a medium bowl, toss the carrots and onions with the cornstarch. Place them in the bowl of a six-quart slow cooker.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the seasoned salt, poultry seasoning, paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, lemon-pepper seasoning and garlic powder. Carefully loosen the skin from the chicken breast and rub about a tablespoon of the spice mixture under the skin. Rub the remaining spice mixture over the chicken and place it on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
Step 2: Cook on low
Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on the low setting for 6 to 7 hours, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 175°F.
Step 3: Rest and carve
Remove the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter and let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Skim the fat from the cooking juices and serve the gravy with the chicken.
How to Make Rotisserie Chicken on a Grill
For a truly authentic rotisserie experience, pick up a rotisserie attachment for your grill. The attachment has a motor that spins the bird, cooking it evenly on all sides to create the perfect grilled chicken. Look for an attachment that fits your grill and be sure you have access to an electrical outlet before you make the purchase.
- 1-1/2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 broiler/fryer chicken (4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Step 1: Prepare the chicken
In a small bowl, combine the garlic salt, oregano, paprika, ground coriander, salt and black pepper. Truss the chicken with butcher’s twine and coat the outside of the chicken with the olive oil. Rub the spice mixture over the chicken and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least three hours (or as long as overnight).
Editor’s Tip: Letting the chicken sit in the refrigerator allows the skin to dry out, ensuring it will crisp up more effectively.
Step 2: Preheat the grill
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill for medium heat, about 350°F. Place an oven-proof, baking pan on the grill grates to catch the drippings and prevent flare-ups.
Step 3: Load the chicken on the rotisserie and grill
Run the rotisserie’s rod through the chicken’s opening, making sure the bird is centered on the rod. Attach the forks to the breast and tail areas until the chicken is tight and secure.
Place the rotisserie on the grill and turn on the motor. Let it cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 175°F. Turn off the rotisserie’s motor to make it easier to check the temperature.
Editor’s Tip: Before you put the rotisserie on the grill, roll the rod in your hands. It should turn easily without being heavier on one side. If the chicken isn’t balanced, adjust the forks before proceeding.
Step 4: Rest and carve
When the chicken reaches the proper temperature, remove it from the oven and rest it for at least 15 minutes. Carve the chicken before serving.
No matter which method you use to make a rotisserie chicken, be sure to use up the extras in our best leftover rotisserie chicken recipes!