A tale of two chickens: cost comparison

After the meat man at a box store revealed that the raw weight of their rotisserie chickens was always greater than 4.82 pounds, I purchased a seasoned rotisserie chicken ($4.99). I also bought a 5 pound raw whole fryer chicken ($.99/pound) from which I removed some fat and the giblets (about 5 ounces). My goal: to determine if already cooked chicken was “a good deal”.

I roasted the raw chicken @ 20 minutes a pound (1 hour and 40 minutes) seasoned with fresh herbs. After cooking this chicken weighed 3.16 pounds. The rotisserie chicken package listed the net weight as 3 pounds, but my scale showed closer to 3.5 pounds.

When deciding if a rotisserie chicken is a good deal, remember that you only get about half the net weight in edible meat. When disassembled (no skin, bones or giblets) both chickens had almost the same amount of meat with slightly more rotisserie chicken. In this example, the price of the cooked chicken meat alone was about $2.75 per pound. In another section of the same store I found cooked chicken breast meat for salads or fajitas @ $4.99 a pound. In this situation pound for pound the rotisserie chicken was (cost-wise) a “good deal.”

All rotisserie chickens are not created equal. The price and weights of a roasted chicken can vary greatly from store to store. Another consideration: added ingredients or seasonings. More on that in my next blog post: “Is it simply a roast chicken?”

Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS
Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

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updated on 12-15-2019