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I just cooked my first hen in a pressure cooker. As you might guess, it didn't come out nicely browned and attractive--because that isn't a characteristic of pressure cookers.

But the meat was incredibly moist, with a texture that is hard to describe (but it was good, maybe free-range like). It had discernable grain or strands, or strings of meat, and I now have some great chicken stock.

Which brings me to Rotisserie from the store: Yes, they look and smell great, and are wonderful economics--but the texture is off, for my taste at least. The last few had a breast texture hard to describe, I'll try these words: balsa wood like, pulpy, mushy, rubbery. In any event, it wasn't going to convey well into an enchilada.

Is my store doing it wrong? Will the rotisserie I get be like that more often than not? I really do like the cost and convenience, but the texture was a turn off.

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You're comparing two completely different cooking methods, so it's no surprise that there would be a difference. A pressure cooker is a sealed vessel which retains the moisture in the cooked food, except for any steam that's vented off. By contrast, rotisserie is a form of roasting, done by definition over a heat source or within an oven, but not sealed.

Rotisserie roasting is great in that it allows the food to baste itself, but there is inevitably some moisture loss as juices drip away from the meat, certainly much more so than in pressure cooking. That's what contributes to the drier texture of the rotisserie chicken. The breast meat will also dry out more quickly than the darker thighs and legs, but big markets want to minimize any food safety concerns, so they're probably playing it safe and cooking the chicken to a point above its minimum internal temperature.

So no, they're not doing anything wrong, but they are using a different cooking method than your pressure-cooked chicken, with predictably different results.

  • I knew the elemental diff btw pressure and rotisserie. What I didn't know: am I getting bad rotisserie.The store over-cooking for safety could be the issue... the breast meat was just blech. The darks meats were OK. – Paulb Sep 18 '15 at 19:03
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While not exactly the same as rotisserie, you might try brining. That will give you the juiciness and tenderness. Brining is a prep step, prior to cooking. You can still add your sauces or whatever as part of the cooking process.

You could even put a brined chicken on the rotisserie. I put mine in the oven. I get tired of cleaning the grill.

The main advantage to the pressure cooker is reduced cooking time. I don't see any big advantages as far as added flavor.

P.S. I have an ongoing battle with Perdue. They make 7, 8 and even 9 pound roasters but they refuse to provide any guidance on pressure cooking. Total silence. As for the web, once you get past 4 pounds, it's a black hole. I do give Perdue big time credit for making their own feed and not using any beta-agonists. I have an email from Perdue which clearly states they don't use beta-agonists.

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