Updated: June 8, 2015
Rotisserie Reviews:For those of you not familiar with rotisserie cooking, it's where you roast meats (turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, pork) on a spit that rotates over a flame or heat source. The rotisserie cooks the meat so evenly that the results are tender and moist. The original rotisseries were hand cranked but the modern ones are run by electric motors that do it automatically for you. A horizontal rotisserie is the most common type available today with many being sold on TV through infomercials. The George Foreman and Ronco Showtime rotisseries are very popular and priced at about $100. Those rotisseries are for indoor cooking while old fashioned barbeques are great for this style of cooking as well. If you own a Weber BBQ you can buy a barbeque rotisserie that will allow you to slow roast your meat over the grill. Some of the other top brands include Hamilton Beach, DeLonghi, Salton, and Chef Tony.
Buying Guide - What features should you look for when considering a new rotisserie? There are compact rotisseries and larger ones available from most brands - you need to determine what size cuts of meat you will be roasting. The Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Platinum Edition ($160) will tackle 15 pound turkeys, 10 pound hams, and large roasts or ribs. Smaller rotisseries will do 10 lb turkeys or two 3 pound chickens with no problems. Look for models with a nonstick rotisserie basket, drip tray, and dishwasher safe parts. These things can get messy and one of the biggest complaints we read online from consumers was that the cleanup could get excessive. You can easy to load spit rods, preferably with food ties to hold the meats in place better. Multiple heat settings allow you to cook different types of meat to the desired levels. Pick a rotisserie that offers features like no-heat rotation, pause to sear, and normal rotation to get the best flavor and tenderness from the meats you are cooking. At $100 or so you can't expect these products to last forever, but you should get several years of easy cooking from them with excellent results. Although we didn't find any head to head comparisons between rotisseries in magazines or online, we did find excellent customer reviews on Amazon.com and on Epinion.com. The top 2 rotisseries were the Ronco Showtime and the George Foreman with the 3rd place finisher too far back to mention. From what we read the rotisseries are great for easy preparation of meats, but certainly don't expect gourmet cooking or flavors from these machines. Retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, and Macy's all carry rotisserie ovens or you can go online to order from etailers like Amazon.com. You can view a list of best-selling rotisseries here.
You may not believe it, but the Ron Popeil rotisserie you see on TV infomercials consistently rates amongst the best -- it really works. The Ronco Showtime Rotisserie is considered the best rotisserie per consumer reviews and expert opinion. Their famous expression of "set it and forget it" definitely are true. The Ronco ST3001WHGEN Showtime Compact Rotisserie version sells for around $90 on Amazon while the larger Platinum version goes for $160 and holds larger amounts of meat. Both get excellent reviews, although the cleaning up issues arises with some. The compact version comes with rubber barbeque gloves, a 2 hour timer, and dishwasher safe parts. The 6 month limited warranty isn't that great, but reviewers don't mention too many problems. Cook burgers, fish fillets, Cornish game hens, turkey, and much more on this rotisserie. Owners say the meat is juicy, flavorful, and tender. If limited counterspace or storage is an issue go with the compact Ronco, otherwise consider the larger Platinum Edition. Also consider the Hamilton Beach Counter Top Rotisserie (about $150) - it also works as a standard and convection over, and is a great investment for apartments, cabins, or other small areas that may not have a standard wall oven, but it's even a great addition to a fully equipped kitchen.