Easy rotisserie setup
Heating elements move for cleaning
Slim size fits narrow spaces
Temperature was too high
Spring-loaded door closes hard
It’s hard to turn down a crisp, juicy rotisserie chicken, and the NutriChef Multi-Function Rotisserie Oven PKRT97 certainly promises that. But the highly rated rotisserie can do more than spit-roast, so I happily baked cookies, broiled meat, and made breakfast toast to test all of its capabilities.
Setup Process: Nothing to it
Like any cooking equipment, the removable parts of this oven should be washed, and like most appliances, it should be heated before the first cook to burn off manufacturing residue.
Design: Tall and thin
The tall, skinny shape of this oven makes it look interesting, and with a chicken twirling about inside, it’s even more amusing. A full rack of kebabs reminded me of a carousel at the fair. A tasty carousel.
While the thin shape would allow this to fit into narrow spaces, it’s too tall to fit under kitchen cabinets on your counter. Even if this did fit under a cabinet, you’d likely want to move it to a less sheltered space to protect the cabinets from the cooking heat.
The primary purpose of this oven is a rotisserie. And not just any old chicken spinner—this is a vertical rotisserie that cooks the bird while it’s upright.
This appliance has a removable crumb tray that keeps the bottom tidy, but when using the rotisserie or kebab rack, a round tray sits at the bottom. I was concerned that chicken drippings would escape the tray and make a mess, but I was pleasantly surprised that cooking was actually very tidy.
The large handle on the door is easy to grab, and the door is spring-loaded so it shuts itself, which is nice when the door is an inch or two from closing. When the door is almost fully open and it self-closes, though, the door can slam hard enough to rock the rotisserie.
Controls: Simple dials
This oven doesn’t have any presets, and it’s controlled with simple dials. One dial sets the cooking mode, one the temperature, and one the time. The arrows on each were hard to see since they’re just bumps on the dials. Most of the time, I felt for the raised bit as I set the temperature.
Cooking time can be set for up to 60 minutes, and the timer ticks as time runs down. Fortunately, the ticking is fairly quiet, so it’s easy to ignore. The “Ding!” when cooking is done is a mechanical bell that’s distinguishable from all the electronic beeps and boops, and it was loud enough to hear, even from a nearby room. The timer can also be set to stay on until you turn it off, with no ticking.
Performance: Runs hot
The primary purpose of this oven is a rotisserie. And not just any old chicken spinner—this is a vertical rotisserie that cooks the bird while it’s upright. One of the benefits of that upright cooking is that it’s much easier to attach the bird to the spit. If you’ve ever wrangled a chicken onto a rotisserie spit for a horizontal rotisserie, you know how important it is to have the chicken’s weight evenly distributed. That’s less important for a vertical rotisserie. And the result was stellar, with a crisp skin and juicy interior.
To make vertical cooking possible, the heating elements can be turned to the sides, and they’re just as easy to reposition for normal baking. As much as I loved the rotisserie function, I ran into a few glitches as I tried other foods. When I set the precise time and temperature for cookies, I noticed a smoky smell and found that my cookies had turned to charcoal in the 12 minutes they were supposed to bake. I tried again with the temperature adjusted downward by 50 degrees, the cookies were done on time with perfect results. I can’t be sure that all of these models are adjusted too high, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind. For further cooking, I adjusted the temperature control downward and kept a close eye on cooking progress.
The fact that the heating elements can be moved made cleaning even easier since I could get under them.
I tried bagels using the broil mode and toast using the bake mode. The bagels toasted nicely, but the toast was cooked more on one side than the other, no matter which rack I used, so I had to turn it over for an even result.
Because of the skinny shape, this oven can’t accommodate a standard frozen pizza, but I successfully cooked a personal-sized pizza, and it was also a success, with a perfectly browned and flaky crust. The instructions on my apple turnovers said they shouldn’t be baked in a toaster oven, but they baked nicely in this one, while peppers blistered properly under the broiler as I prepped them for peeling.
Included Accessories: Just what you need
This oven has two cooking racks, a small baking/roasting pan, and a removable crumb tray that was easy to grab when the door was open. For rotisserie mode, there’s a spit and forks, along with the required bottom tray. Also included are kebab skewers and a rack.
Cleaning: Super simple
I didn’t make a terrible mess in this oven, and even rotisserie cooking didn’t create a lot of spatter, but the cleaning I did was easy thanks to the nonstick interior. The crumb tray collected crumbs and drips, and the nonstick interior didn’t hold onto food. The fact that the heating elements can be moved made cleaning even easier since I could get under them.
Price: Good for its function
This is a reasonably priced appliance. While it’s not the cheapest you’ll find, there are plenty that are much more expensive.
NutriChef Multi-Function Rotisserie Oven PKRT97 vs. Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven With Convection and Rotisserie 31104D
I tested both of these rotisserie ovens, and the price and controls are very similar. The major difference was the vertical format on the NutriChef; meanwhile, the Hamilton Beach oven (view on Amazon), is a horizontal rotisserie. I loved the vertical format of the NutriChef for rotisserie cooking, but the tall, narrow format won’t fit a full-sized pizza or a standard baking pan. While I’d choose the NutriChef as a rotisserie, the Hamilton Beach may be better for folks who want to use standard-sized pans.
- Product Name Multi-Function Rotisserie Oven
- Product Brand NutriChef
- MPN PKRT97
- Price $109.99
- Material Metal exterior and nonstick interior
- Warranty 1 year
- What’s Included 2 cooking racks, removable crumb tray, small baking pan, rotisserie spit and forks, and kebab skewers and rack