The Tip For The Getting The Absolute Freshest Rotisserie Chicken At Costco

If you shop at Costco, chances are you already know: the rotisserie chicken is one of the store's best deals. Even with inflation, the warehouse retailer's cult-followed roasted birds cost just $4.99 and are an easy weeknight meal that can feed the whole family. Yet, given the chicken's popularity, you may harbor concerns about its freshness. After all, the chicken sits out in the store, waiting to be purchased. Luckily, there's one easy way to guarantee you'll get the freshest poultry Costco has to offer. This insider tip requires no technique other than listening; if you hear a bell, head to the back.

That's right, Costco periodically sounds a bell at its deli counter to indicate to shoppers that its fresh rotisserie chickens have just been put out. So, if you want to snag a chicken that hasn't been sitting out for long, head to the back of the store the moment that bell rings, but be prepared to hustle because the batches are often promptly scooped up. But even if you don't hear a bell ring, you can still snag a fresh chicken, thanks to the rules surrounding the item. 

Costco chickens can't sit out for more than a few hours

But even if you walk by the rotisserie selection and haven't just heard the bell, there's no need to worry, as you can still purchase a pretty fresh bird. That's because these chickens will not sit on the display shelf for longer than two hours, in accordance with the USDA's food and safety requirements. So, as long as you see chicken on Costco's shelves, you can pick one up, knowing full well that it's fresh. Of course, you can mill around that area until the next toll rings out because there's almost always more on the way.  

Once you bring your chicken home, the meal options are endless. Enjoy a simple dinner of the bird as is, or throw together some sides for a well-rounded meal. Once you've stripped it clean, you can even use the bones to make a delicious, waste-free chicken stock.