I Tried the Viral “1-Minute” Trick for Shredding Costco Rotisserie Chicken and I’m Never Going Back

published Mar 11, 2024
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Costco roast chicken
Credit: Patty Catalano

The internet can be a delightful space to learn. When it comes to viral kitchen content, there’s always a throughline of ingredients inspiring cooks in a whole new way — that’s how we got feta fried eggs and the salt shaker secret that totally rocked my world.

The best cooking hacks are the ones where I wonder, why didn’t I think of that? Shredding chicken for my weekly meals is among my least favorite kitchen tasks (right after picking fresh thyme leaves from their sprigs and peeling hard-boiled eggs). When I saw creator @southernsnippets share a Reel on Instagram, shredding an entire chicken in seconds, I couldn’t look away.  

I’ve been a Costco member for over 12 years, so it’s no surprise that their $5 rotisserie chicken is often on my meal plan. I hopped in my car and headed straight to Costco. I had to know if this hack could really turn a whole rotisserie chicken into a recipe-ready ingredient in one minute. Here’s how it went. 

How to Shred a Costco Rotisserie Chicken in 1 Minute

This Costco hack couldn’t be easier. Simply place a warm rotisserie chicken in a gallon-sized zip-top bag (there’s no need to pull the chicken apart or do any other prep), seal the bag, and begin to gently massage the chicken. The drumsticks, breast meat, and thighs will very quickly separate from the bones. Continue to press and massage the meat until the skin slips off and the meat shreds to your desired consistency. Avoid rubbing or aggressively mashing the chicken, as this will lead to a mealy and undesirable texture.  

Credit: Patty Catalano

My Honest Review

As soon as I saw that Reel, I knew I had to try this rotisserie chicken shredding strategy, and whoa, it really works! To be honest, I was skeptical that the meat would really pull away from the bones with as much ease as advertised, but I was able to shred an entire rotisserie chicken in one minute flat. That’s a task that would normally take 10 minutes or more. 

Shredding rotisserie chicken always leaves my hands, cutting board, and countertop a greasy mess. By shredding the meat inside of a zip-top bag, all of that mess was completely contained. It’s easy to pick through the meat to discard the skin and pull out the bones (make sure to find all of the thin rib bones) for slow cooker chicken stock.

3 Tips for Shredding Costco Rotisserie Chicken in 1 Minute

  1. Shred when the chicken is warm. Shredding rotisserie chicken is easiest when it’s warm, whether you use a stand mixer to shred the meat, two forks, or this one-minute hack. Make shredding a Costco rotisserie chicken the last thing you do after unloading your bulk buys. This gives the chicken time to cool down from the heat lamps — you don’t want to add hot chicken to a plastic bag. If your chicken has been refrigerated, place in a 250°F oven until just warmed, about 15 minutes, before placing it in the bag. 
  2. Use a good-quality gallon-sized zip-top bag. Costco’s rotisserie chickens are plump, but they fit snugly in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Save the budget bags for another time and use freezer bags for this hack. Freezer bags are thicker and sturdy enough to withstand the massaging and are unlikely to tear if poked by a bone.
  3. Freeze in the bag. Keeping a stash of shredded, cooked chicken in the freezer has saved my dinner plans more times than I can count. Now that I’ve adopted this hack, I shred the chicken, remove any skin and bones, and toss the bag of chicken in the freezer without having to dirty a cutting board or food storage container.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

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