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Scott -- DFW

Countertop Rotisseries

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What are your experiences with electric countertop rotisserie ovens (e.g., George Foreman, Ronco, etc.)? Do they produce good results? Any problems with them? Are there better or worse brands and models to look for?

Any help would be appreciated.

Scott

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It is kinda funny... I grew up with a Faberware stove-top rotisserie. My parents used to haul it out once a month or so to roast a chicken or do skewers above the coiled heating element.

I inherited this ancient piece of technology and when I pulled it out for a pot-luck, everybody wanted one!

Way different that they newbie stuff on the market, but I still like my old Faberware... I don't even think mine is made anymore!

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I have been using the set it and forget it rotisserie periodically over the past couple of years. I have done whole chicken, duck, chicken pieces, and beef roasts. It does a good job with the above. The problem I have is twofold. I am not sure the space it takes up is all that worthwhile. I use the oven many times when I guess I could use the rotisserie but just don't. I like to regulate the heat. Some meats and even chicken I like to cook low and slow at times. The ronco has only a time control, the heat is fixed. So for me the flexibility is not there.

I'm thinking the countertop rotisserie may be joining the group of stationery bicycles, juicers and breadmachines hanging out in the attic.

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I have the Ronco set it and forget it. I love it. I don't use it a LOT, but it's sure nice when you want to make a nice rotisseried chicken and you also have other things to do. Plus, you can cook the veggies on top too. It's very simple to clean up too and I don't mind the space it takes up b/c I have the room for it. I store it in the pantry when not in use. I used to have the Farberware one too...to me, that was too much of a hassle and too many awkward pieces to keep track of and store. This is mainly self contained other than a few accessory pieces.

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I'm just now reading Jeffrey Steingarten's second book, It Must Have Been Something I Ate, which has a piece on indoor rotisserie cookery. It details his if not absolutely exhaustive at least thorough and informative personal testing results. Typically interesting, well-written, entertaining.

However, the unit that performs best for him is a vintage item, rather than one presently on the market. And he gets his very best results with the Weber grill rotisserie rig attachment, which is of course an outdoor trip.

Steingarten unequivocally casts out the venerable Farberware setup, mostly for a too-cool heating element, or a too-far-away too-cool heating element, but my parents turned many a lovely pork roast on theirs, with outstanding crackling development, during my childhood. The distinctive grind of the motor and the occasional sssshhhh of dripping fat, I can hear even now.

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I have the Ronco Set It and Forget It. I used it a lot when I first got it; still use pretty often - makes great chicken and fantastic pork loin. Have yet to try burgers. The one thing about it that I don't like is that after about a half hour it starts to WHINE and you have to stop it and oil the gears. Which is a pain as they're hard to get to. Other than that, I love it.

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It is kinda funny... I grew up with a Faberware stove-top rotisserie. My parents used to haul it out once a month or so to roast a chicken or do skewers above the coiled heating element.

I inherited this ancient piece of technology and when I pulled it out for a pot-luck, everybody wanted one!

Way different that they newbie stuff on the market, but I still like my old Faberware... I don't even think mine is made anymore!

So did He Who Only Eats. Every Friday, that's how the chicken got cooked. HWOE managed to set the kitchen on fire with it one week; a piece of trussing string got caught on the coil.

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I'm just now reading Jeffrey Steingarten's second book, It Must Have Been Something I Ate, which has a piece on indoor rotisserie cookery....

...And he gets his very best results with the Weber grill rotisserie rig attachment, which is of course an outdoor trip.

This is what we have. In the summer we use it at least twice a month. It makes the best chicken I've ever had.

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How about a convection oven with rotisserie? I have been thinking about one of those, because of the flexibility given countertop space for a convection oven anyway? Anyone use one? Good results?

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HWOE managed to set the kitchen on fire with it one week; a piece of trussing string got caught on the coil.

As the warning label says: "Don't take set it and forget it literally"

:rolleyes:

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I have the De Longhi convection/ rotisserie. I love it! You can fit an up to 12 # roast in it. The oven has many other functions too (Pizza, conventianal bake, defrost, etc...)

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Consumer Reports liked George Forman, then Ronco, and didn't like Sunbeam. The Forman rotisserie is cheaper than the Ronco according to them, yet they have about the same capabilities.

Try ebay (I assume you'll be looking for one of the smaller ones):

Search: http://search.ebay.com/ws/search/SaleSearc...submit=+Search+

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...&category=20675

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...&category=20675

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...&category=20675

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Thanks, Karen. I think that's the one I've been looking at. Here it runs about $400 in stainless, less in paint. How's the clean up with it?

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It cleans well (though too bad not self cleaning :biggrin: ). I got mine through Chefs Catalog (white, not stainless). I live in a small apt that had no oven- it has been great for me (got it in the fall).

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I had a Farberware rotisserie when I was first married in the late 60's. It was a pain to clean and I don't recall the chickens tasting anywhere near as good as with the Ronco showtime rotisserie.I've tried cooking chickens lots of ways, and the Ronco comes the closest to the best French or Italian rotisseried-by-the-butcher-shop chickens.

By the way, the elasticized trussing twine-loops that come with the Ronco are great time-savers, but when you run out of them, Ronco's price and shipping charge for additional ones are rather steep. Does anyone know where you can buy them? Williams Sonoma doesn't sell them.

Roz

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Bumping this thread....

 

I've been thinking about getting a rotisserie for my small NYC apartment, mainly to do small birds - cornish hens, small chickens etc.... there are only 2 of us, and we try not to make leftovers, so a small sized one would be fine.  I see some are vertical and others horizontal over a range of prices...

 

Any suggestions of what I should be looking at?  Thanks..

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9 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Any suggestions of what I should be looking at?  Thanks..

 

Make your own?

I made mine.

 

dcarch

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@dcarch I've seen yours and, of course, have considered making my own.  But since I don't have scrap material lying around, I'd have to buy all the parts, which seemed to cost about the same as a small, inexpensive prebuilt model.  Not to mention the time to make it, which I'm a little short of right now...

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In your search you may want to cnsider one that also does kebab skewers- multi tasker.We had a small countertop one (it has disappeared) 

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I have Farberware so I don't have to make my own.  Actually I have two Farberware rotisseries.  I bought the second for spare parts.  The motor of the original unit failed to rotate a large off center turkey.  Well maybe a small turkey, but it was heavy.  (It may be obvious but the weight of food on a rotisserie should be centered.)

 

The Farberware uses too much counter space to leave in the kitchen all the time.  But except for the motor, heating element, and power cord it all goes in the dishwasher -- even the frame.  The shell, racks, clamps, and rod are stainless steel.  The drip tray is aluminum.  Why, Farberware?  Fortunately if I want to collect the juices I have a Corning Pyroceram dish that fits perfectly.

 

Besides the rotisserie parts the Farberware units have a rack for grilling.  Remove the rack and one has an open grill, suitable for kebabs as @heidih mentioned.

 

True, the Farberware take up a lot of space in the bedroom, but they are sturdy and you can pile a lot of stuff on top of them!  I use mine mostly for whole birds, such as chicken mechoui.  I'd rotisserie a lot more except for the difficulty of trussing.  To that end I just ordered a package of elastic chicken ties...something I never knew existed.

 

Lastly the Farberware roasts in the open air.  If your rotisserie is an enclosed unit I would argue it is a different form of cooking.

 

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

Bumping this thread....

 

I've been thinking about getting a rotisserie for my small NYC apartment, mainly to do small birds - cornish hens, small chickens etc.... there are only 2 of us, and we try not to make leftovers, so a small sized one would be fine.  I see some are vertical and others horizontal over a range of prices...

 

Any suggestions of what I should be looking at?  Thanks..

 

Not the same as a rotisserie but for small birds a CSO gives great results.

 

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I have a Cuisinart rotisserie that I got maybe 10 years ago Shown here.

I assure you I did not pay $900 for it!  Closer to <$200 then.

I still have it but haven't used it in several years.  The footprint is really big so storing is not easy, particularly for someone with a small apartment/kitchen.

Also besides being hard to clean I really don't think it does any better a job than a regular oven, I wouldn’t recommend one.

 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Not the same as a rotisserie but for small birds a CSO gives great results.

 

I've been lusting after a CSO for quite some time, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

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1 hour ago, lindag said:

I have a Cuisinart rotisserie that I got maybe 10 years ago Shown here.

I assure you I did not pay $900 for it!  Closer to <$200 then.

I still have it but haven't used it in several years.  The footprint is really big so storing is not easy, particularly for someone with a small apartment/kitchen.

Also besides being hard to clean I really don't think it does any better a job than a regular oven, I wouldn’t recommend one.

 

Wow... that thing is huge! Way overkill for what I need - the biggest bird I'll cook weighs less than 3 pounds...

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