Chicken Cooking Times

Chicken Cooking Times


Chicken cooking times. Have you ever made a chicken dish and been unsure of how long to cook it? Or asked the question How long does it take for a chicken to cook?  In this article post, we’ll break down how long it takes to cook chicken in various ways, so you can nail your next dinner party. Whether you’re baking, grilling, or pan-frying chicken, we’ve got the info you need to make perfectly cooked poultry every time. Keep reading to learn more and learn your chicken cooking times.

Roast Chicken Recipe
Basic roast chicken recipe

What’s the best way to cook a whole chicken, boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs to get the best results? 


Raw Chicken

Undercooked chicken can lead to serious health risks, including food poisoning

raw chicken meat on brown wooden chopping board
Chicken ready to roast

The bacteria that cause this condition are dangerous and may even kill you if they’re not neutralized by your body’s immune system before it has time to do its work. Ensuring that you are aware of some basic food safety rules will eliminate this risk and deliver you the perfect chicken. 


Food thermometer

One tip I learned in my younger years from a family friend who was a chef is to use a meat thermometer when cooking chicken. You see chickens come in various sizes and so do the portions that you are cooking. Skinless chicken breasts will be different to chicken wings and so you need to understand the internal temperature of the meat.

Meat Thermometer
Check the temperature of your chicken


180 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature you want to hit when cooking your whole chicken. Chicken thighs, breasts and legs can all be cooked up with a little less since they don’t have as much fat at 165F.


How to use a meat thermometer

I recommend using an instant read thermometer. Instant-read thermometers are a must for any kitchen. They give quick readings, but they’re not safe in the oven and shouldn’t be left while you cook your meat. Use them toward the end of the minimum time allowed on each dish so that there’s enough accuracy when taking its temperature with an instant-read tool. The thermometer should stay about 2 inches deep at most and be pushed into the thickest part of the meat.


So how can I cook my chicken faster?

As a general rule, these are the steps that I follow when cooking chicken:

  • I remove my chicken from the fridge to raise the temperature of the chicken to room temperature. Remember to keep the chicken covered and away from any flies.
  • You can use a cold water bath to assist with defrosting your chicken if you are short on time. Once thawed use paper towels to dry your chicken.
  • A preheated oven or pan is essential. This ensures that when your chicken is ready to be cooked you are starting at the right temperature.


Chicken Cooking Times

Basic roast chicken recipe

  • Place your chicken in a baking dish and drizzle on some olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and black pepper. I also like to add garlic powder liberally over the chicken.
  • To ensure that the whole bird is seasoned fully, putting the chicken inside a plastic bag helps you get all the flavours onto the meat. This can also include lemon slices or your favourite herbs and spices.
  • I set the oven initially to a higher temperature to get that crispy skin and cook for an initial 20 mins.
  • Then reduce to a lower temperature and cook for the remaining 45 minutes.
  • Check with your food label for the recommended time to cook your chicken.
  • Once the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180F the chicken is ready to come out of the oven.
  • Make sure that you probe into the thickest part of the chicken. I recommend starting at the thickest part of the breast on your chicken.
  • Place the chicken on a tray and cover it with aluminum foil for at least 15 minutes to let the chicken rest before carving. This will help to keep all of the flavorful juices in the cooked chicken.
  • Serve the tender chicken with roast vegetables or your favourite salad.


Chicken Breast

  • For a great way to make sure that you serve up a delicious meal follow these steps.
  • Add the dry chicken to a baking dish. Drizzle over olive oil and generously add your favourite herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat your oven to 425F and bake for 18-20 minutes. The high temperature and fast cook time are the perfect way to seal in the flavour.
  • Check the internal temperature with your meat thermometer with a target of 165F.
  • Leave to rest for 8 minutes and serve this tender piece of chicken with your favourite side dish.
Chicken Breast
Beautiful and delicious chicken

How to properly store cooked chicken in the fridge

If you have any chicken leftover then you need to make sure it is stored correctly. A good idea is to pull all of the white meat from the chicken frame and place it into an airtight container. Let the chicken cool before applying the lid and then you can keep it in the fridge for 2 to 4 days.


Last Thoughts

To ensure that your chicken is cooked through and tender, you should cook it until the thickest part has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If using an oven thermometer to check on its progress make sure not to forget about 30 minutes after placing in there because juices will run clear when done cooking.

When preparing your chicken, make sure that it has rested for 15 minutes before slicing. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F when cooking at 375°F; otherwise, you may risk overcooking the meat which will result in dry and tough pieces of meat.

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