The Pitch: "Fresh, healthful food has never been so easy to prepare. Set it and forget it!"
April 2009. The Ronco Showtime Standard Rotisserie and BBQ Oven is a countertop rotisserie cooker that legendary TV pitchman Ron Popeil claims will produce crisp-skinned chicken; juicy, deeply browned roasts and moist fish fillets, as well as tender vegetables.
Reviews say that the Ronco Rotisserie is one as-seen-on-TV product that actually works. Even reviewers who had problems with the rotisserie say that it does a great job cooking meat, particularly whole chickens. Owners say that the Rotisserie really is as easy to use as it looks on the infomercial – when the timer goes off, meat is done cooking. Some owners note, however, that deeply browned chicken requires them to adjust cooking times upward. Interestingly, several users say that they find spinning food unexpectedly mesmerizing to watch.
We did read some complaints about the Showtime Standard Rotisserie. Most focus on the machine's build quality, namely Teflon coating that wears off and that rods squeak as they turn. Ronco's customer service also is criticized by a few consumers. We also read that the Showtime Rotisserie eats up countertop real estate and gets quite hot during cooking. Despite these flaws, most owners agree that this rotisserie is a good value.
The Ronco Rotisserie weighs 28 pounds and plugs into a standard electrical outlet. An automatic three-hour timer shuts the oven off once the cooking cycle is complete. The rotisserie comes with food ties, two flavor injectors, Teflon-coated drip tray, thermometer, non-stick roasting basket, one spit rod, four kabob rods, a carving fork/knife, rubber gloves, instructional video and recipe booklet. Be aware that Ronco sells several versions of this oven with different exterior finishes and differing accessories.
We read the best review of the Showtime Standard Rotisserie in The Wall Street Journal, where it goes head-to-head with four other countertop ovens. To see what owners are saying about this device, we turned to Epinions.com, where we found more than 170 user reviews. We also read candid owner reviews at Amazon.com, InformercialRatings.com, ConsumerAffairs.com, Sears.com, and Egullet.org.
1. The Wall Street Journal
Reporter Lisa Kalis orders five countertop rotisseries, roasting a chicken in each. The Ronco Showtime Compact isn't easy to assemble (it takes five attempts to get a small chicken centered on the rods), but it does turn out a chicken that is better than a regular oven-roasted bird. The skin is crispy and the flesh juicy. Kalis gives it the Journal's Best Overall award. This rotisserie also cooks the chicken in the shortest amount of time of all rotisseries tested.
Review: Catalog Critic: The New Spin Doctors, Lisa Kalis, Jan. 14, 2005
The Ronco Showtime Rotisserie earns an average of 4.5 stars out of five in about 175 reviews at Epinions.com. The majority is happy with this rotisserie, which users say turns out moist and flavorful meats. We read some complaints, which are divided between Ronco's customer service and the difficulty of cleaning this machine. But even owners who post negative reviews of this rotisserie say it turned out delicious food.
Review: Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ Ronco, Contributors to Epinions.com
More than two dozen contributors to Amazon.com give the Ronco Standard Rotisserie overwhelmingly positive reviews. The majority says it turns out evenly browned, juicy meat, and it's easy to use. Users say that they can't stop staring at the Ronco Rotisserie as the meat spins, and clean-up is easy because the drip tray, spit and basket are dishwasher-safe.
Review: Ronco Showtime Standard Rotisserie and Barbeque Oven, Contributors to Amazon.com
Having prepared a wide variety of meats and vegetables in the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie, the anonymous editor of this gadget-review blog gives this machine his highest rating. Chickens and rib roasts prepared in this unit are difficult to resist, he writes, but because vegetables shrink, they sometime fall out of the cooking basket. Small roasts and steaks "tend to be a little dry," notes the reviewer.
Review: Review of the Ronco Showtime Standard Rotisserie and BBQ Oven, Editor of TVGadgetJudge.com
Contributors to this food forum discuss the merits of the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie. The consensus is that it does a very good job roasting chicken, but some contributors say it's a pain to clean. One reviewer says that he has to cook a large chicken for 90 minutes in order to achieve crispy, well-browned skin.
Review: Domestic Rotisserie, Contributors to Egullet.org
Diana Rattray, About.com's guide to Southern food, offers a favorable review of the Ronco Showtime Indoor Rotisserie. She finds it easy to assemble and notes that grease drips off while the spit rod turns – "a real plus for the health-conscious," but notes that it's heavy, and it's also difficult to keep the interior clean. She deems the accompanying video and instructions "excellent." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Product Review: Ronco Showtime Indoor Rotisserie, Diana Rattray
Reviews here give the Showtime Rotisserie above-average marks for performance. Many say it's easy to use, and it turns out moist, perfectly cooked chickens, turkeys and roasts. We read some complaints about the spit rod, which is said to be squeaky, and the rotisserie's build quality, which is said to be only fair.
Review: Ronco Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ Oven Reviews and Ratings, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com
Sprinkled among the roughly 10 reviews here are comments about the Showtime Platinum Edition Rotisserie. The majority is very happy with Ronco's rotisseries, which are said to turn out moist, tender meat.
Review: Reviews of the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ Oven, Contributors to Sears.com
Scattered complaints here about the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie center on Ronco's customer service; some owners who sent their rotisseries back to the manufacturer say that they have not received replacement units.
Review: Complaints about Ronco Showtime BBQ Rotisserie, Contributors to ConsumerAffairs.com