How To Choose a Commercial Chicken Rotisserie Oven

How To Choose a Commercial Chicken Rotisserie Oven

December 9, 2018

Rotisserie refers to a style of cooking, also referred to less commonly as spit-roasting. In commercial rotisserie cooking, a cut of meat – or, in some cases, an entire chicken or similar – is placed on a skewer called a “spit.” This long, solid skewer holds the meat over a heat source or in an oven and rotates either manually or automatically, which allows the meat to cook evenly in its own juices.

It’s an ancient cooking method, but today’s technology has made it very appealing for food preparation in restaurants, groceries, and convenience stores alike. A commercial rotisserie oven can be an ideal addition to your shop or eating establishment, but choosing the right roaster is an important investment decision.

To choose the rotisserie oven that’s right for your establishment, you’ll want to take into consideration the different features offered by different roasters. For example, rotisserie ovens may use different power sources, like gas, electricity, or propane, and each has its own pros and cons. The capacity of the oven is also important, as you’ll want to be able to meet customer demand without taking up excess space. In addition to its capacity, you’ll also want to consider the oven’s size and shape, as there are several different form factors on the market and some may be more or less suited to your kitchen or work area.

Of course, cost is always a factor. The type of food you plan to prepare may also influence your decision about the type of rotisserie oven you purchase. Chicken is the most common, but legs of lamb, fish, ribs, beef roasts, and even some types of vegetables can also be prepared using these versatile cookers.

Chicken Rotisserie Machine Power Sources

There are three main types of power sources that are used to power commercial chicken rotisserie machines: electricity, natural gas, and liquid propane (LP). Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick rundown of the factors you should consider when choosing the type of power source you want your rotisserie oven to use. In addition to the pros and cons we review below, also take into consideration your utility costs. These will vary by area—in one region, natural gas might be more cost-effective, while electricity is the best method of cost-cutting in another.

Electric Electricity-Powered Commercial Chicken Rotisserie Ovens

Electricity-powered commercial chicken rotisserie ovens typically offer more precise temperature control. This is true both in terms of being able to set the oven in a wider range of temperatures and in how evenly they cook. Depending on the style of food you’re preparing, this may be important to you.

On the other hand, they typically do not reach the upper range of temperatures that gas and propane ovens can reach, so it may take longer to prepare your food. Also, the heating bulbs in these ovens can be pricey to replace, and reviews of many of these bulbs suggest they’re especially fragile, so factor that into your cost considerations.

Gas Gas powered commercial chicken rotisserie ovens

Gas powered commercial chicken rotisserie ovens usually cook faster due to their higher temperatures. They also can require less maintenance, as they don’t have bulbs that need to be replaced. However, if you need more control over the temperature, especially if you need lower, precise heat for special dishes, a gas-powered commercial chicken rotisserie oven may not be the most ideal choice for your needs.


Propane rotisserie ovens have one huge advantage over gas and electric ovens, but it may not be an advantage that most businesses need: they can be portable. However, for a company that caters, does shows, or sets up in remote locations, a portable propane-powered rotisserie oven can be a fantastic way to market your product while producing it fresh on-site.

Chicken Rotisserie Oven Capacity

Commercial chicken rotisserie ovens come in all shapes and sizes, which means that you can find one that perfectly suits your restaurant’s layout as well as its production needs. One thing you’ll want to do is consider where you plan to place the oven. For example, a large scale operation that requires dozens of chickens to be cooked at a time may require a 56-chicken oven, which might be 56 inches long, 35 deep, and 79 inches tall. A small 9-chicken oven, on the other hand, might measure 24 inches in length, 25.5 inches in depth, and 35 inches in height—a large difference!

Naturally, these are the extreme examples at either end of the spectrum. There are 20-, 25-, 30-, and 40-chicken rotisserie ovens as well, and just about everything in between. There are also taller ovens that have a smaller footprint, and those that are shorter with a larger footprint. The amount of space in your kitchen and the way your workflow is arranged will definitely affect the decision-making process when choosing between these various configurations.

Also, consider the number of skewers and their length. While both the number and length affect the overall volume of meat you can cook, they also can affect what types of meat you can cook together, depending on how they’re arranged.

Our Top Commercial Chicken Rotisserie Oven

One of our favorite small roaster is the Southwood SD-E Electric 12 Chicken Oven. This electric convection oven rotisserie holds twelve chickens, and its attractive glass front display makes it an exceptional marketing tool for smaller businesses. Old Hickory also makes a 56 chicken gas rotisserie oven, which has 14 spits and can handle nearly anything you plan to roast. The Southwood RG7 is the perfect oven for mid-size operations. It fits 35 chickens and is without a doubt a customer favorite!

There are many high quality, reliable chicken rotisserie ovens available on the commercial market, suited for numerous different types of food service establishments. When you’re choosing yours, keep in mind that the type of power supply, the capacity of the roaster, and the cost may all prove to be important factors. Also, don’t forget to consider the size and shape of the oven, and its portability. There’s bound to be a commercial rotisserie oven that suits your needs.

Ready to start shopping for your commercial chicken rotisserie oven? Check out our selection of gas and electric rotisseries available for purchase today. Need more help? Call us at 917-525-2066 to speak to a kitchen equipment specialist.