August 1, 2021

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Costco’s $5 Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken + Photos

For many card-holding members, a trip to Costco isn’t complete without snagging a Kirkland Signature rotisserie chicken.

Costco sells millions of these chickens a year. The product has famous fans, like Kris Jenner and the late Julia Child, and its own Facebook fan page with over 19,000 followers.

It’s such a draw for customers that, in 2015, Costco’s chief financial advisor reportedly said they were willing to lose “$30 to $40 million a year in gross margin” on the birds by selling them for only $4.99.

In 2019, Costco opened a $450 million poultry complex in Nebraska just to keep up with the demand. 

I’ve been a Costco shopper for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never bought the famed rotisserie chicken until now.

Read on to see if it lived up to its reputation.

Finding the rotisserie chicken was easy, but buying one was not

I found the chicken at the back of the store in the Kirkland Signature rotisserie section. I immediately saw people standing around the shelves waiting for the next batch of birds to hit the shelves.

costco rotiserrie chicken

A lot of people were waiting for their chickens.

Lara Walsh for Insider


It only took me a few moments to realize that right in front of me was the most competitive rotisserie-bird hand-off I’d ever seen. 

The Facebook fan page’s photo shows shelves full of of golden-brown chickens waiting to be scooped up. In real life, Costco customers didn’t even give employees a chance to set them down.

costco rotiserrie chicken

The section was empty because people were buying them so fast.

Lara Walsh for Insider


Almost like clockwork, as soon as an employee put down a chicken, someone would grab it.

Some more aggressive shoppers were positioned in front of the display, ready to grab the bird as soon as it came off the spit.

costco rotiserrie chicken

I could see the chickens cooking behind the counter.

Lara Walsh for Insider


After a few awkward maneuvers where I didn’t react quickly enough, I finally grabbed my bird and put it in the cart with a sense of relief. 

costco rotiserrie chicken

At last, I scored a chicken.

Lara Walsh for Insider


The $4.99 price tag and the chicken’s delicious aroma wafting through the plastic clamshell made me eager to get home and taste it.

Upon first glance, the chicken looked huge and moist

costco rotiserrie chicken

The chicken looked and smelled delicious.

Lara Walsh for Insider


At first glance, the chicken looked significantly bigger than comparable grocery-store birds. Its skin was a golden brown, although it was more soggy than crispy.

As I cut into the chicken, I could tell how juicy it was as the meat easily fell off the bone and there seemed to be a lot of retained moisture despite the roasting process.

This might be because the bird is apparently brined by being injected with a saline solution pre-roast.

After a few bites, my boyfriend and I agreed this was easily the best grocery-store rotisserie chicken we’ve ever eaten

The chicken only contains about 10 ingredients, but it was loaded with flavor. The skin wasn’t as crisp as I’d normally like, but it had a good balance of sweet and salty seasoning.

It’s hard to say if owes its flavor and texture to the brining process or some other ingredients.

costco rotiserrie chicken

I ate so much and still had meat leftover.

Lara Walsh for Insider


The chicken itself had a buttery taste and tender texture throughout the whole bird, even in the breast meat.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of rotisserie chicken, but I couldn’t resist popping delicious morsel after morsel in my mouth until I was completely stuffed. 

We ate a lot and there was still plenty of leftover meat — I estimated I could get 4 meals out of a single chicken 

costco rotiserrie chicken

Overall, this Kirkland Signature rotisserie chicken is a great purchase.

Lara Walsh for Insider


After one meal for two people, there was still so much meat left.

This felt like a wallet-friendly purchase — I estimated that the chicken could probably last me four meals, making it just $1.25 per portion.

The next day, I put some in a salad and in a bowl of chili for some added protein. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the chicken warmed up and retained its juiciness after multiple trips to the oven and stovetop.

This is a Costco offering I could see myself getting once a week.

Unfortunately, this rotisserie chicken would be hard to replicate at home because the ingredients merely list “spice extractives” for the seasoning blend.

But based on the flavor and texture alone, I think it would be worth it to trek to Costco and battle it out with the other rotisserie-chicken fans.

Plus, at just $4.99 per bird, it’s hard to imagine finding a tastier and easier meal than this.