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Old 08-01-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
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Question Baking chicken in oven vs. rotisserie

Hi,

I'm a new cook and I'm trying to make the decision to buy a rotisserie or not. My husband and I live in the Southwest and it gets really hot here in the summer. Our apartment is small, so I try to grill out on our patio as much as possible so as not to turn on the oven and run up the power bill. (Turning on the oven heats up our entire apartment.)

I have recently learned to make a whole chicken in the oven, but I was thinking that I might save money on the electric bill and come out with a juicer chicken if I used a rotisserie.

Can anyone give me some information about the differences in cooking a chicken in an oven vs. using a rotisserie? Also, I was going to set my rotisserie outside to use it, in order to keep the cooling costs down. How hot do they get when you are using them?

I have my eye on a Cuisinart rotisserie that gets good reviews, but if anyone has used one by that company I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on it. It's a rather pricy item, that's for sure. The staff in our local Williams-Sonoma had one going the other day and I asked hot it got while using it and the lady just said "pretty hot", but that doesn't tell me much.

Also, we don't eat the chicken skin, so is the rotisserie primarily just for making a crispy skin? Forgive me for my ignorance on these things, I'm just new to cooking in general.

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can give me!

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Old 08-01-2009, 02:49 PM   #2
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They do give off quite a bit of heat since the heating element is exposed and there's no "box" around the whole thing to contain the heat. It's like having a room heater going.

Rotisserie chicken comes out a little different from oven-roasted, both in taste and looks. It's juicer but usually less well-browned, at least on the stand-alone rotisseries such as you have (I have a Farberware, which works well, but I prefer the rotisserie in my gas grill).

I've used my Farberware rotisserie inside only, but I think it would be fine outside. Just find a place where it's out of the wind and away from falling leaves, etc. What about insects? If they're a problem where you live, that may make it undoable.

In any case, you should have an instant-read thermometer to be sure the chicken is done as it's hard to judge from looks, and the timing may vary depending on several factors.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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How about a slow cooker? I find that they don't heat up the kitchen so badly.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:58 PM   #4
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Rotisserie cooked chickens are self basting. I just watched a show on PBS of Julia Child roasting a chicken on a rotisserie. It came out great of course. She commented that rotisserie chickens always seem to be juicier.

This method is NOT just to make the skin crispy. If you don;t eat the skin, at least leave it on until it's through cooking so the breast meat doesn't dry out.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:01 PM   #5
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I agree with Andy. As I said, the skin comes out less brown -- and less evenly browned since different parts of the chicken are farther from the heating element. Parts may get crispy, but most of it doesn't. Leave it on to protect the meat, which will be very juicy and flavorful, and then discard it when you carve it, which is what we do, too.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #6
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The skin is the best part IMHO.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Yeah, but not when my wife is watching.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotch View Post
Yeah, but not when my wife is watching.

I feel your pain, man.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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I feel your pain, man.
"What did you have for lunch today."
"A salad."
"Just a salad? Do you expect me to believe that? Did it happen to have a cheeseburger sitting on by any chance?"

Geez, a little cholesterol, a little BP, and suddenly you're a criminal!
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotch View Post
"What did you have for lunch today."
"A salad."
"Just a salad? Do you expect me to believe that? Did it happen to have a cheeseburger sitting on by any chance?"

Geez, a little cholesterol, a little BP, and suddenly you're a criminal!

No appreciation for the finer things...
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