Set It & Forget It Rotisserie Ovens
[Updated 1 June 2020]If you found your way here looking for advice on the best set it forgets it rotisserie ovens, you’ll find plenty of information here to get you started and to give you some idea of which models to consider first.
We adore rotisserie cooked meats and years ago would buy cold cuts from the deli or eat out regularly to get a weekly fix of barbecue ribs, especially in the winter when the home barby is out of action.
Funnily enough, it was hubby’s diabetes that put a stop to that avenue of fun, but it also resulted in us getting a home rotisserie oven. To cut the demon sugar, we got creative with sugar-free marinades and dry rubs which cut sugar and salt out at the same time, since then we’ve never looked back.
In fact, we’ve had a lot of fun playing with new marinades including Indian spices, all of which create delicious new flavors and meal ideas, variety is important to my husband Al, who loves his food and hated the new dietary changes.
There are a few things you might want to keep in mind as you peruse potential electric home rotisseries, things like being aware models finished in white are far more likely to go brown after a few months use. They cook at high heat rendering fat as they go, so if you want it to sparkle for longer, consider a model finished in brushed steel, rather than brilliant white enamel.
Cleaning is a big problem for me whenever I’ve got to do it! The biggest thing I watch for is the controls because knobs and dials do collect food and greasy particles from your fingers, then they get ingrained and becomes difficult to shift without an old toothbrush. Digital touchpad controls avoid this as they are flat and to be fair, many new models have adopted them at last.
The last thing to mention here would be height. If you were thinking of a vertical rotisserie because they use less counter space, be sure and check the height of any overhead cupboards, you don’t want to scorch them or bubble the unit’s paint and yes, sadly this is the voice of bitter experience.
Which Rotisserie Models Should You Look At First?
The first rotisserie oven we bought was a Baby George Foreman and we still have it today, partly because it turns out the most awesome totally crispy skinned chicken ever. The clue is in the name, it really is a bijou rotisserie and ideal if you live as one or two people.
Perhaps not as much a set it and forget it rotisserie as others with more sophisticated features, Baby George still has plenty of pre-set cooking programs making rotisserie cooking a cinch for even new and inexperienced cooks. It comes with the usual set of accessories including a basket for veggies and fish.
There are two downsides. Firstly there is no heat control available, it’s either on or off, which isn’t flexible at all. Secondly and for us more importantly, is the size.
Though it looked big enough online and also out of the box on the kitchen counter. Reality only sets in as you try valiantly to cram a 5lb chicken into space which (in my opinion) takes a 4lb bird. We use it now when the joint of meat or poultry is small and it goes on vacation with us too.
Follow The Crowd
The most popular home rotisserie on the market and the one to the first coin the phrase set it and forget it rotisserie is the Ronco Showtime. Advanced features single this out as a cut above the rest.
Cooking is way more flexible as the rotation can be turned on or off, meaning if you want a conventional roast you can do so.
The Ronco also has a pause and sear feature to seal meat in the first minutes and then to crisp it up at the end, plus variable heat control throughout cooking. There is no guesswork in cooking, the sheer number of pre-sets means you really can set it and forget it until ready to serve.
This Ronco ships with a recipe book and DVD to make sure even inexperienced cooks won’t be stuck for what to do and how to do it.
Downsides to the Ronco are very few, in fact only two worth mentioning. Accessories are all included with the most expensive model, but not with cheaper ones – the budget options in the range come with enough to get you started, but the rest you’ll need to buy separately. I don’t know why but this really irritates me.
Secondly – and this isn’t really a downer – just a fact – the Ronco is big on the counter and requires some space around it as well. Too big for my kitchen or little utility area, reluctantly we passed this one up in favor of the Cuisinart Vertical Rotisserie – size was the only reason I didn’t buy it.
This particular model is very straightforward to use and has an LCD display which is easy to read and does away with knobs, buttons, and dials – all of which trap food and complicate the cleaning process – but with this model, cleaning truly is a breeze.
You can find a full Cuisinart vertical rotisserie review here – this is a great machine and personally, I’m delighted with it – but go have a read and see what you think.
If you’re in a hurry then what I will say, is it’s dead easy to use, has very clever technology and plenty of pre-sets to set and forget until ready, plus it’s truly a dream to clean.
The Kaloric – Unique Movement
My near neighbor Marnie has a Kalorik Vertical Home Rotisserie and this one is unique. The Kalorik doesn’t rotate the meat or poultry, instead, it rotates the actual heating element around the food – not needing to use weights to balance awkward joints is a bonus.
The Kalorik is neat, no question. It has digital touch controls, comes finished in stainless steel, is compact and because the heat rotates rather than the food, this is a quiet machine.
Fast enough to give you a medium chicken in 40 minutes, you have some heat control when choosing between meat or poultry, but that’s it. The fat renders off and drips into the yuck tray, which like most of the insides is dishwasher safe.
Marnie has a few grumbles. Advertised as taking up to a 10lb joint, if you try it’s likely you’ll have burned the outside waaay before the inside is cooked – this goes for lamb through to chicken and Marnie cooks everything on the chicken heat setting, only using the higher option to crisp food up at the end of cooking, which is the second issue!
Because the heat rotates rather than the meat, you don’t get the same self-basting effect as with traditional rotisseries and at the end of cooking, there are a lot of meat juices in the fat pan rather than still in the meat. Neither does it crisp skin up in the same way as mine does, you need to ramp up the heat at the end – this is not totally set it and forget it.
There are other models out there but these are the main contenders and between them, they make up the bulk of best-selling home rotisseries on the market.
Which Would I Put On My Wish List?
If space wasn’t an issue, the Ronco ST5000PLGEN Showtime Rotisserie Platinum – like everyone else I love the look of it.
With friends aplenty having this in their kitchen, I can recommend the food which comes out of it – and the speed at which it will cook a chicken is simply breathtaking.
That said, my own Cuisinart is a complete set it forget it rotisserie which turns out perfectly cooked and crispy skinned meals every time – plus it really is a breeze to clean afterward – I do love the clean lines and the way it looks.
Okay Which Rotisseries The Best Chicken?
Do you know, I’d really struggle to pick between them, but I’ll tell you one thing – neither of them does a crispy skinned chicken quite as the Baby George does!
Thanks for dropping by – hope this helped you and fill in some gaps. If you have any questions, want to know more – or can add to the above, then drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you within a day, usually less.