How Long To Cook A Whole Chicken

Author:  Susan
Updated June 11, 2023
How Long To Cook A Whole Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be! With a few simple steps and the right tools, you can have a delicious, juicy meal on the table in no time. Don't be intimidated by the idea of cooking a whole chicken--it's actually much simpler than you think.

In this article, we'll go over the basics of how to cook a whole chicken, including preparing the chicken, cooking in an oven, skillet, or casserole dish, and how to check for doneness. So let's get started--you'll be an expert in no time!

Preparing the Chicken

Prep the bird by removing the giblets and rinsing it off; then you're ready to get it roasting! This is the crucial step that'll ensure your chicken is delicious and safe to eat. To make sure your chicken is cooked to perfection, take the time to properly prepare it.

When you've finished prepping the bird, you'll be ready to move on to the next step — cooking the chicken in the oven.

Cooking the Chicken in the Oven

With the right preparation and temperature, you can create a mouth-watering, succulent roast chicken right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

To begin, preheat the oven to 375°F and arrange a roasting pan with a rack. Place the chicken on the rack and season generously with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice.

Next, add vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery to the pan. This will add flavor to the chicken and the vegetables can be served as a side dish.

Place the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 1.5-2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 165°F. Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a thermometer to ensure it is cooked all the way through.

Lastly, remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.

This process is simple and straightforward, but with a few adjustments, you can produce a juicy, flavorful chicken with a crispy, golden-brown skin.

Then, you can move on to the next step: roasting the chicken in a skillet.

Roasting the Chicken in a Skillet

Roasting a chicken in a skillet is a great way to get that crispy, golden-brown skin without heating up the whole oven. It's easy to do and you get great results.

All you need is a good non-stick skillet and some cooking oil. Start by preheating the skillet and adding enough oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Make sure to turn the chicken over a few times to help it cook evenly.

After the initial 15 minutes, turn the heat down to low and let the chicken cook for another 40-50 minutes. This will give you a perfectly cooked and flavorful chicken. Plus, you don't need to worry about preheating the oven or dealing with a lot of heat.

Roasting in a skillet is a great way to get a delicious and juicy chicken with minimal effort. With a skillet roasted chicken, you can move on to the next step of baking it in a casserole dish. This will give the chicken an extra layer of flavor and help it stay moist.

Baking the Chicken in a Casserole Dish

To get the most out of your skillet-roasted chicken, bake it in a casserole dish for a juicy, flavorful meal that'll have everyone licking their lips. It's important to follow these steps to ensure safety:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the chicken in the casserole dish and cover with foil.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes.

Baking the chicken in a casserole dish locks in the flavor and keeps it from drying out. Plus, it's easy to follow, making it a great meal for even the most inexperienced cooks to try. With a little patience, you'll be rewarded with a delicious, succulent, and stress-free meal.

Now that the chicken is in the oven, the only thing left to do is to figure out when it's done.

How to Tell When the Chicken is Done

The most reliable way to tell when the chicken is done is to use a thermometer to check its internal temperature. When the temperature has reached 165°F, it's ready to be served. Using a thermometer is the safest way to ensure that your chicken is cooked to the proper temperature, preventing any risk of foodborne illness.

It's important to insert the thermometer deep into the thickest part of the chicken, such as the thigh or breast. When the thermometer reads 165°F, you can be sure that your chicken is cooked all the way through.

If you don't have a thermometer, you can also check for doneness by cutting into the thickest part of the chicken. The juices should run clear, and the meat should be white and firm. You can also check that the skin is golden brown in color and that the chicken is cooked through by wiggling the leg and wings- if they feel loose, the chicken is likely done.

Always remember to use caution when handling raw chicken and to wash your hands and surfaces after handling it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature should I cook the chicken at?

Cooking a whole chicken is a great way to feed a crowd, but what temperature should you cook it at? To ensure your chicken is cooked to the best of its ability, you should always cook it at a temperature of 350°F. This temperature ensures the chicken will be cooked properly and evenly without overcooking.

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should be at least 165°F before you remove it from the oven.


Is it safe to freeze the chicken before cooking?

Yes, it's safe to freeze the chicken before cooking. In fact, freezing it first can help preserve the flavor and tenderness of the meat. By freezing the chicken, you can also ensure that you're getting the most out of your meat, as the freezing process helps to lock in moisture and flavor.

Plus, the added benefit of freezing allows you to meal-prep ahead of time, which can save you time and energy in the long run. So don't fear the freezer - it's a friend to your taste buds and your wallet!

How long should I marinate the chicken?

Marinating your chicken is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your dish. Depending on the marinade you choose, you should marinate your chicken for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 12 hours.

If you marinate for too long, the acid in the marinade can start to break down the proteins in the chicken, making it tough and dry. To ensure your chicken is flavorful and juicy, marinate it for the right amount of time.

Should I cover the chicken while cooking?

Cooking a whole chicken can be a delicious way to make a meal for the whole family. But should you cover it in the oven?

It's a common question, and the answer may surprise you: studies show that covering the chicken can increase the cooking time by up to 30 minutes! This is because the steam that's released from the chicken is trapped in the covered environment, making the cooking process slower.

So if you're looking for a juicy, delicious chicken dinner, you might want to leave the cover off.

Should I stuff the chicken before cooking?

Stuffing a chicken before cooking it is a great way to add flavor and moisture to the meat. Whether you choose to stuff it or not is up to you. If you decide to stuff it, make sure to use ingredients that are safe to eat when cooked, like cooked sausage or cooked rice.

Be sure to evenly spread the stuffing throughout the chicken cavity and make sure that the stuffing is cooked through before the chicken is done. Once the chicken is cooked, the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.


You can cook a whole chicken in a variety of ways, and they all have their merits. To ensure that your chicken is cooked through and juicy, try using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, and when it registers at least 165°F, the chicken is ready.

For example, you could try baking a whole chicken in a casserole dish with some vegetables. This method is easy and produces a delicious, juicy chicken that is sure to delight your family. Plus, it's a one-pot meal that doesn't require a lot of hands-on time.

Enjoy your perfectly cooked chicken!

Growing up with parents owning a fish & chips shop, I have always loved fried food. Granted, not healthy for you, but it tastes oh sooo good! Discovering air fryers and halogen fryers has been a God-send. The healthy way to eat fried foods.

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