The Secret History of Rotisserie Chicken at Grocery Stores

One of the most traditional pieces of cooking advice is to avoid convenience meals and cook from scratch if you want to save money.

This is particularly true of ready-to-eat meals, which typically cost roughly twice as much as the components you need to prepare them.

For example, a batch of brownies costs 39 cents to make from scratch versus more than $2 for a boxed mix. Rotisserie chicken is one food, however, to which this rule does not apply.

That's correct: In the majority of markets, the typical entire, raw chicken actually costs more than its spit-roasted counterpart. A finished supper that doesn't need to be cleaned, filled, seasoned

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 or roasted at home seems like a much better deal for any busy consumer, savings or no savings. Why then are rotisserie chickens so reasonably priced?

It seems that your preroasted poultry has a secret, though. According to a report from the educational television station KCET in California,

the golden, juicy rotisserie chickens in markets are frequently the unsold raw chickens that are about to go bad.


Grocery retailers lose money by selling them for less than they would on raw meat, but they make a lot more than they would if they threw the chickens away. 

Repurposing unsold products is pretty common in grocery stores. Supermarket consultants have admitted that vegetables and meat 

 are frequently added to prepared salads or deli items. Even leftover rotisserie chickens are cut up and used to creamy chicken salad!

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