Cooking a whole chicken is one of the tastiest things you can do, but it’s also one of the most confusing. How long do you cook this cut that’s not even a cut? What if I want to eat it now? To help make your life easier, we’ve rounded up all the different ways you can cook chicken in the oven and provided estimated cooking times for each method.
White meat takes about 15 minutes
White meat, like chicken breasts, is leaner and cooks faster than dark meat. It’s also more expensive–but if you’re looking for a quick meal that will fill you up without weighing you down, white meat is ideal.
White meat is best suited for stir-fries and salads: it has a mild flavor that won’t overpower other ingredients in these dishes. Because it has less fat than dark meat (or fish or seafood), use it as an alternative when cooking one of these proteins would be overkill on the calorie count (or add some extra vegetables to make up for the lost calories).
Dark meat takes about 25 minutes
You can also read more about how to cook chicken in our guide, “How to Cook Chicken: A Guide for Every Type of Cook.”
Dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat. Darker cuts of chicken, like thighs and drumsticks, have more fat and connective tissue than their lighter counterparts like breasts or wings. This makes them denser and harder to cook through evenly–but don’t worry! With the right technique and temperature adjustments (plus a little patience), you’ll have perfectly tender dark meat in no time at all.
The best way for beginners who want to try cooking with dark meat is by following these steps:
Boneless chicken breast takes 20 minutes
If you’re cooking a boneless chicken breast, the cooking time will depend on three factors: the size of your chicken breast, its thickness and how hot your oven is set.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to cooking times is that smaller pieces take less time than larger ones. A small chicken breast will take about 20 minutes in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). If you’re using a thermometer to check for doneness in this recipe, insert it into the thickest part of your meat so that you get an accurate reading on its temperature. When testing for doneness with an instant-read thermometer, aim for 165 degrees F (74 C).
Boneless skinless chicken thigh takes 15 to 20 minutes
Boneless skinless chicken thigh is a popular cut of meat in restaurants. It’s not as fatty as chicken breast, but it’s still considered dark meat.
Chicken thighs can take anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes to cook.
Cooking time varies based on the type of chicken and your cooking method.
Cooking time varies based on the type of chicken and your cooking method. The cooking method can vary by oven temperature, oven size, and cooking time. For example:
- A whole chicken takes about 2 hours to cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a large convection oven (the standard for most home cooks). If you’re using a conventional oven instead of a convection one, then it will take closer to 3 hours. This is because convection fans circulate hot air around food faster than normal air does–and this helps prevent overcooking on the outside while keeping things moist inside.
- Cooking times also depend on whether or not you want your chicken breasts medium rare or well done; they’ll take less time when they’re rawer than fully cooked through.
So, how long does it take to cook chicken? The answer depends on the type of chicken you’re cooking and the method you use. If you want to bake or roast a whole chicken or turkey, plan on spending at least an hour in the oven. But if all you need is some boneless skinless thighs for tacos or stir-fry, those will be ready in just 15 minutes under hot oil!