Buying A Heavier Rotisserie Chicken Could Mean It's More Fresh

If you want to avoid all the hassle of cooking chicken at home, picking up a rotisserie chicken can guarantee you succulent poultry for up to a week – but good luck making it last that long because the birds are typically so juicy, it's hard to resist digging into them right away. But since you are buying poultry that has usually been sitting out in the grocery store for a few hours, it's a good idea to choose the freshest one you can, which generally means selecting the heaviest one.

Typically, the heavier the bird is, the juicier it is. Rotisserie chickens are generally cooked and set out throughout the day, so if you pick one that was done in the early morning, some of the juices may have evaporated already — leaving you with drier meat. To determine which one you should buy, you may have to pick up every chicken and feel out the heaviest option. If the thought of that makes you cringe, you can also try looking for timestamps on the packaging, which will tell you when the birds came out of the oven — but ultimately, weight is the best way to decipher juiciness.

How to choose a fresh rotisserie chicken

Besides checking for the heaviest chicken, there are a couple of other things you can look for to make sure you go home with a good bird. First, trust your instincts and don't select one that doesn't look appetizing. If a chicken has been sitting out all day, there's a good chance it will look a little pale or wrinkled, which is another sign that the juices have evaporated. Try to find one with taut, evenly brown skin throughout. Another sign that the bird on display has dried out is there's a large amount of juice sitting at the bottom of the container. A little moisture is normal, but if the package is dripping wet, it means the juices have left the bird and condensed into the bottom tray. 

On the flip side, seeing a line of rotisserie chickens sitting on display is typically a good sign, as it usually means they were just stocked. Picking your chickens up at a store that replenishes them often throughout the day and even has the rotisserie cooker out in view of the customers is an indication that you'll get something fresh off the racks. It may take a little extra effort to nab the juiciest chicken, but if you follow these guidelines, you'll be rewarded with fresh poultry for the rest of your week.