Consumer Reports warns against sodium levels in rotisserie chickens

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — What’s got an amazing aroma, costs around $5, and is bound to make your life easier? It’s a store-made rotisserie chicken! But as Consumer Reports explains, beneath that golden-brown skin could be sodium, and a lot of it.

Rotisserie chickens from the grocery store are tasty, convenient, and inexpensive. And chicken is a high-protein, low-saturated-fat meat. But don’t assume all rotisserie birds are a good choice. Consumer Reports nutritionists say you might be surprised at what goes into some rotisserie chickens — literally! 

“To keep the birds moist and tasty, they are often injected with a solution that can include sugar, processed ingredients, and unfortunately a lot of sodium,” said Amy Keating, Consumer Reports expert. 

“It is so easy to roast a chicken at home. We recommend you don’t wash it, just season it – put it in a 350 degrees oven until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. And it’ll be delicious and a lot less sodium,” Keating said.

Consumer Reports evaluated the nutritional information and ingredients for rotisserie chickens from seven supermarkets and warehouse clubs. Sam’s Club rotisserie chickens have about nine times more sodium than chickens roasted without salt, and about a quarter of the maximum amount of sodium adults should have in a day.

Costco’s famous rotisserie chickens aren’t much better. Lower sodium options include Kroger Simple Truth rotisserie chickens, Wegmans Organic rotisserie chickens, and Whole Foods organic and non-organic plain chicken. 

Your chicken will last for up to four days in the fridge, or four months in the freezer. Cut it in pieces and wrap them tightly or store them in a covered container. 

CR says the best time of day to grab a chicken is between about 4 p.m and 7 p.m., as many supermarkets cook up a fresh batch every two to four hours.

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