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If you’re a home cook who spends a lot of time cooking meat, a countertop rotisserie or roaster oven could be a great appliance for your kitchen. The beauty of a rotating rotisserie is the meat self-bastes as it turns in the oven, ensuring even cooking. It allows cooks of all levels to make the richest, most succulent meat.
The countertop appliance could also be a great option if you have limited oven space and want to have a backup for busy cooking days or holiday occasions. This way, you can finish off your cakes, pies, and cookies while you’ve got your meat working in a separate appliance.
"I highly recommend a rotisserie oven that cooks items low, slow, and with consistent heat," says Gabriel Lopez, the executive chef at Willa’s in Tampa, Florida. "It is extremely pertinent that you get one that has a tray beneath to catch the juicy fat that gets rendered off the meat when cooking. Throw some starchy veggies beneath the spit and the rendered fat will cook off anything from fingerling potatoes to tomatoes and beets.”
If you’re looking for an appliance that can do more than just rotisserie, a roaster oven could be a great way to not only cook a roast, but also air fry, grill, dehydrate, and toast a variety of foods. Ultimately, the device you choose depends on how much kitchen space you have to sacrifice, your budget, and the specific cooking functions you’re looking to get out of it. To aid your decision, we researched and tested options currently available on the market today.
Here are the best rotisserie and roaster ovens.
Best Overall Roaster Oven: Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill
Easy to clean
This handy countertop roaster oven does much more than roast—it also grills, air fries, bakes, and dehydrates—so it can get used every single day for cooking everything from appetizers and entrees to side dishes and desserts. The grilling temperature can be set from low to max, which translates to 105 to 500 degrees, and the 4-quart air fryer basket gives plenty of space for family-sized portions of fries. When it comes to roasting, it’s ready to handle chicken, pork, or beef for dinner any time, while it contains smoke, spatter, and heat.
Ninja's Cyclonic Grilling Technology involves a powerful fan that circulates the hot air, so your food cooks evenly and quickly. In fact, our tester found that it cooks rapidly and warned that you shouldn't pop your food in and forget about it because it's easy to overcook your roast.
If you want to splurge a little, the Ninja Foodi Pro version includes the same features along with a smart probe that makes cooking nearly foolproof since the food can be monitored without lifting the lid to check it, and it ensures that food cooks to the exact temperature desired.
Dimensions: 17 x 14 x 11 inches | Capacity: 6 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees
Best Overall Rotisserie Oven: Instant Pot Vortex Pro 9-in-1 Air Fryer
Easy to clean
Steep learning curve
Instant Pot made its name in the appliance world with its electric pressure cookers that have become extremely popular. Since then, it's expanded its line, earning massive praise from fans. This highly rated oven is a rotisserie, and much more: It can air fry, roast, toast, broil, bake, dehydrate, proof, and of course, it can rotisserie cook everything from chicken to roast beef.
The 10 quart size is roomy enough for family meals, and the included basket used on the rotisserie rod cooks the food as it tumbles in the basket, so French fries and other small foods cook evenly with no need to stir or flip the food, letting the cook concentrate on other things.
Dimensions: 13.75 x 14.37 x 13.23 inches | Capacity: 10 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 400 degrees
Best for Low and Slow: Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360
Recipe book included
Five heating elements, 1500 watts of power, and 12 cooking functions make this oven versatile enough to take over many of the cooking tasks of a standard oven. The rotisserie can handle chickens and roasts up to 4 pounds, and it boasts the ability to accommodate a turkey up to 12 pounds for roasting. It can also air fry, bake, dehydrate, toast, reheat, broil, toast bagels, cook pizza, slow cook, and warm. When slow cooking, it can be set for up to 10 hours for super-tender meats. An added bonus is the cookbook written by Emeril Lagasse for this oven.
Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 11 inches | Capacity: 6 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 400 degrees
Best Large Capacity: COSORI CO130-AO 12-in-1 Convection Roaster
Easy to read display
Precise temperature control
Lots of presets
Difficult to clean
The 32-quart capacity of this oven makes it great for large families and for parties. It has presets for pizza, roasting, air frying, toasting, toasting bagels, baking, broiling, making cookies, rotisserie cooking, dehydrating, fermenting, and keeping food warm, so it will have plenty of uses in the kitchen, even when rotisserie isn’t on the menu. This can hold six slices of toast, a 13-inch pizza, or an entire chicken on the rotisserie.
The LED screen makes it easy to see the settings, while the dials and buttons make it easy to choose the mode, time, and temperature. It has five heating elements for faster cooking, and there's a light inside so it’s simple to check on food as it cooks. The interior has a nonstick coating that helps make cleaning easier.
Dimensions: 20.1 x 16.5 x 12.1 inches | Capacity: 32 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees
Best for Air Frying: NutriChef PKAIRFR96 1800W High Power Oven Combo
Digital touch controls
Easy to clean
This 17-quart countertop oven offers plenty of space for family meals, parties, and more. It has eight preset cooking modes that make it easy to set, along with easy manual controls for time and temperature. Besides working as a rotisserie, it can also air fry, dehydrate, broil, roast, bake, grill, and barbecue. The air-fry tray has a nonstick surface so foods will release easily after cooking. For easy cleaning, all the removable accessories are dishwasher safe, saving time after cooking.
Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.8 x 7.5 inches | Capacity: 17 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 400 degrees
“Recently, our favorite thing to cook in the rotisserie aside from meat are veggies. We've been roasting whole cauliflowers, carrots—the sky's the limit."— Gabriel Lopez, Executive Chef at Willa’s in Tampa, Florida
Best Small Roaster: Nesco 6-Quart Ivory Roaster with Porcelain Cookwell 4816-14
Removable insert for serving
Easy to clean
Included cooling rack with lift-out handles
Lid may not seal well
Not everyone needs a roaster that can handle a giant turkey. At 6 quarts, this little roaster has plenty of space for family meals, but it won’t take too much space in storage. The temperature can be set for 250 to 450 degrees and the oval shape is perfect for roasts of all kinds. This includes a roasting rack with handles that make it simple to get the chicken or pork out of the roaster safely and easily. For those who like to coordinate kitchen colors, it's available in several colors.
Dimensions: 15 x 8.5 x 15 inches | Capacity: 6 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees
Best Large-Capacity Roaster: Oster Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid (CKSTRS18-BSB-W)
Easy to clean
Self-basting lid keeps meat moist
Outside gets very hot
Great for cooks who like to cook for crowds, this 18-quart roaster can handle a turkey up to 22 pounds—so you can let it handle dinner while the big oven handles pies, cakes, buns, and sides. When roasting, the self-basting lid collects steam and drips it back onto the roast, so the food bastes itself during cooking. A rack is included that makes it simple to lower the food into the roaster and to remove it when it’s done.
The heat can be set from Keep Warm to 450 degrees to handle a wide variety of cooking tasks. Not just for roasting, this can also bake and slow cook, so it will get used over and over. The roasting pan is removable and is enamel coated for easy cleaning.
Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.6 x 11.8 inches | Capacity: 22 quarts | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees
Best for Baking: EaZy BrandZ EZO-1010BL Oberdome Countertop Electric Roaster Oven
Available in multiple colors
Multiple cooking racks included
Most roasters heat from the bottom, but this one breaks with tradition and has the heating element on the top, which offers quicker and more even cooking. It can handle chickens up to 6 pounds along with your favorite beef or pork roast of a similar size. Not just for roasting, this can handle much more. It can bake 10-inch pizzas, or it can bake bread or cake. It’s also ideal for roasting potatoes or vegetables.
The interior has a ceramic enamel coating for easy cleaning, and the exterior has a glossy finish that looks attractive. For those who like to match appliances with their kitchen décor, this is available in red, white, or blue. This roaster is very portable, and at just 5 pounds, it’s easy to take on the go, whether it’s traveling in the RV, or going to a potluck to keep food warm for serving. This can be set from 150 to 450 degrees with a simple dial on the front.
Dimensions:: 16.3 x 15.2 x 9.5 inches | Capacity: 6 pounds | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees
What to Look for in a Rotisserie or Roaster Oven
By Sara Tane
The size of your rotisserie will directly impact how large of a bird you’ll be able to cook. It’s important to take into account how big the actual capacity of the oven is (so you know how large of a protein you can cook), but also to acknowledge how much counter space the appliance requires. If you’re not going to use it on a daily basis, you’ll likely want a spot in your kitchen big enough to tuck it away.
If you’re only looking to roast a holiday turkey once a year or cook an occasional chicken, a basic oven may be a good choice. However, if you plan to use it on a more regular basis, consider a machine that can double as a toaster oven, a steamer, and other appliances.
Price tags for rotisserie and roaster ovens range widely, from $40 to upward of $200. How much you should spend depends on how often you plan to use it as well as how important added features are. If you’re looking to keep things to simple roasting, a cost-effective model should be fine. But if you want to play with all sorts of bells and whistles, you may want to spend more.
Number of Spits
A spit is the rod that cooks the meat, and most rotisseries come with one or two. Multiple spits allow you to cook more pieces of meat at one time, though keep in mind that all of the meat will still need to fit into the oven (meaning you probably can’t do two large birds at the same time in one small rotisserie. Multiple spits can be super convenient for smaller cuts of meat, like kebabs. Single spits will be the most practical if you’ll mostly be using your rotisserie to cook larger meats.
Not all rotisseries offer the same temperature settings. In some cases, you can set the desired temperature using degrees. In other models, you can utilize preset controls, which not only offer some extra convenience but also take some of the confusion out of roasting. If you’re new to rotisserie ovens, it might be helpful to have preset controls to navigate the device. If you’re comfortable with temperatures, the option of setting specific degrees will give you much more control and precision. This is ultimately up to your personal preference. If you are making recipes that specify an exact temperature and time, you’re probably better off having customizable temperatures.
Types of Rotisseries and Roaster Ovens
The most recognizable and common rotisserie is a horizontal rotisserie. As the name implies, this version rotates the protein from a horizontal angle. This version is definitely the most popular model among home cooks, as it can accommodate a wide variety of meats. Not to mention, it is available in a range of sizes, so you can pick a model that is perfect for your kitchen space. The key to horizontal rotisseries is understanding the balance required to make your rotisserie spin perfectly while cooking your protein to perfection. This can sometimes take a little bit of a learning curve, but once you start to get acquainted with how your machine works, you’ll be churning out delicious meats in no time.
Contrary to its horizontal counterpart, this type of rotisserie rotates the meat on a vertical angle. The advantage of this setup is that you don’t have to toy with the delicate balance that you do on a horizontal rotisserie. This version can also save a bit of counter space because it’s much taller than it is wide. The main downside is juices from the meat drip down toward the bottom as the meat cooks and are ultimately lost. While some consumers prefer this because there is a bit less fat in the final product, others argue you lose a great deal of flavor.
Vertical rotisseries are also a classic setup for dishes like gyro meat or al pastor, where you can gradually shave away at the protein as it vertically spins on the rotisserie. If tradition or authenticity is important to you for these particular dishes, a vertical rotisserie might suit your needs best.
The final variety of a rotisserie is an oven. What sets this version apart from the horizontal and vertical models is that it offers more capabilities than simply rotating meat. In fact, it basically can operate as a toaster oven, making it a great option for breads, cookies, frozen food, or anything that needs to be warmed in an oven. That said, you run the risk of sacrificing some quality with the results of your meats (especially in comparison with the rotating models) since it is not the specialty function of the appliance.
If you want to dedicate an appliance to roasting meat, you might be better off with one of the two above models; however, if you’re looking for more value and versatility, a rotisserie oven will allow you to do much more with just one appliance.
Bet you didn’t know your favorite pressure cooker brand also makes a rotisserie oven. This 10-quart appliance can not only roast and rotisserie meats, but it can also air-fry, toast, broil, bake, dehydrate, and proof. At a mid-range price, it's a great investment.
Known for its countertop roaster oven, this brand makes a rotisserie model that can also grill, air-fry, and dehydrate. Plus it's quipped with a smart probe to ensure you’re cooking to your exact desired temperature, which is a great feature for a novice cook.
Caring for your rotisserie is pretty straightforward—the spits and racks need to be scrubbed in hot soapy water after every use to ensure there is no left-behind grease or food bits. Most rotisseries are made with removable trays and racks, making cleanup a breeze. If there is a lot of buildup of grease, use baking soda and water to remove it. Grease collection trays should be cleaned after each use, too. Make sure when you clean your device that it is unplugged and completely cooled. While some ovens might boast dishwasher-safe parts, it is always best to hand-wash.
Skewers and Meat Forks
If you have a vertical or horizontal rotisserie, stocking up on skewers and meat forks gives you the flexibility to cook multiple skewers at once, whether it’s just one big bird or a variety of kebabs and smaller meats.
There is going to be a lot of residual grease when you’re using this appliance, so positioning a drip pan at the bottom will not only make for a much safer setup, but it will also allow you to clean the device faster.
If you’re going to churn out a slew of juicy meats, you’ll want a sturdy board to carve them on. The great thing about a good carving board is the divot around the board, which will collect any juices and prevent your countertop from becoming a wet, greasy mess.
What can you cook in a rotisserie oven?
If you can put it on a spit, it can be cooked rotisserie-style. Beef, poultry, and pork are all contenders, as long as your rotisserie has the capacity, but many ovens come with baskets and skewers that widen the world of rotisserie cooking. Vegetables, kabobs, and seafood all benefit from the rotisserie’s self-basting cooking method.
What can you cook in a roaster oven?
A common misconception is that you can only cook meat in a roaster oven, but so much more is possible. You can cook casseroles, soups and stews, vegetables, and some even accommodate baked goods. Most have the same capabilities as traditional ovens except they are portable. And, of course, any meat is on the menu for roaster ovens. Many have self-basting lids, so racks of ribs, pork roasts, and corned beef briskets come out tender and juicy.
Do you put water in a roaster oven?
In short, no. Roasting is a dry heat cooking method. Roaster ovens utilize the natural juices of the food to baste while cooking. Added water would steam your food, defeating the purpose of using this type of oven.
Do rotisserie and roaster ovens cook faster than a traditional oven?
Roaster ovens and conventional ovens both cook using dry heat. Traditional ovens require time to preheat and have a larger surface to maintain temperature. The smaller footprint and closer proximity to food makes roaster ovens more efficient than traditional ovens, generally shaving off about 30 percent of total cooking time. That said, they are limited in capacity and can only cook one dish at a time.
Rotisserie ovens operate by rotating food, which causes constant self-basting, which is completely different from a traditional oven where food remains stationary and cooks via dry heat. In general, like roaster ovens, the smaller footprint and proximity to the heat source speeds up the total cooking time.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie hasn’t met a kitchen appliance she hasn’t wanted to try, so she’s constantly looking for the best of the best. She even spends spare time researching new appliances just for fun, so shopping for this roundup might have put a few items on her own shopping list.
Carrie Honaker, who updated this roundup, is a food writer who has owned her share of small kitchen appliances. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she knows the importance of finding the right tool for the right job. She loves succulent rotisserie chicken straight off the spit on her weeknight chicken Caesar salads. Carrie's work has appeared in many publications including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.