How Long Should You Cook a Chicken


When you’re deciding how long to cook a chicken, there are several factors that should be considered. First and foremost is what kind of chicken you’re cooking—boneless or bone-in, skinless or not, large breast or small thighs. Then there’s your preferred method: oven, Instant Pot, slow cooker (and more!). Finally, it depends on how much time you have on your hands—some days I want to spend an hour in the kitchen while others call for 30 minutes tops!

How Long Should You Cook a Chicken in the Oven?

The cooking time for a chicken depends on the type of meat, size and temperature. If you are using a whole chicken that has been cut up into pieces, it will take less time to cook than if you were cooking just the breast or thighs alone.

The best way to determine how long your chicken needs to cook is by checking its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into its thickest part (usually near the leg). The USDA recommends cooking all poultry until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius). For safety reasons, we recommend taking it out before it reaches this point so that it doesn’t become overcooked or rubbery in texture.

How Long Should You Cook a Chicken in the Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is a multifunctional kitchen appliance that can make rice, yogurt and sautéing easier. It’s also an electric pressure cooker–which means it can cook your chicken faster than any other method of cooking!

If you’re wondering how long to cook a chicken in the Instant Pot (or IP), here are some guidelines:

How Long Should You Cook a Chicken in the Slow Cooker?


I’m going to start off by saying that when it comes to cooking chicken in the slow cooker, there’s no one right way. You can go by temperature or time and be fine, but I’ll give you my personal method of doing so here:

  • I always use boneless skinless chicken breasts because they’re less likely to dry out during long periods of cooking and they tend not have as strong a flavor as thighs or drumsticks do. They also cook faster than other cuts of meat–about half as long at high heat (which is what we want). If you’d rather use another cut like thighs or drumsticks though, I won’t judge! Just make sure they’re thawed before adding them into your slow cooker so they don’t take longer than necessary while thawing out further inside there too.*

How Long Should You Cook Bone-in Chicken Thighs?

How long you should cook a chicken depends on the size of the thighs, as well as whether they are bone-in or boneless. Chicken thighs need to be cooked longer than breasts because they’re thicker and have more fat. And while some people prefer their meat cooked through to prevent any potential food poisoning issues that come with undercooked poultry meat (like salmonella), others prefer their chicken juicier–and therefore more tender–by leaving it rarer in the center.

The exact cooking time will vary depending on how thick your thighs are; keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn or overcook!

How Long Should You Cook Boneless Chicken Breasts?

Cooking time for boneless chicken breasts is about 15 minutes per pound. The more you cook it, the drier it will get.

Cooking time for bone-in chicken breasts is about 20 minutes per pound. The bones help keep the meat moist while cooking, so they should remain intact when you’re done roasting or grilling your bird.

Whole chickens take about 20 minutes per pound to cook throughly–the best way to tell if they’re done? Stick a thermometer into its thickest part (not touching bone). It should read 165 degrees F when it’s ready!

What If I Want to Grill or Broil My Chicken?

If you are grilling or broiling your chicken, make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that it is cooked all the way through. If your chicken is marinated, then cooking times will be shorter than if it’s not marinated.

There are several ways to cook chicken, and the length of time depends on what you’re preparing.

There are several ways to cook chicken, and the length of time depends on what you’re preparing. For example, if you want to roast a whole bird in an oven or on a grill (and not cut it up), then it will take longer than if you were boiling or frying pieces of chicken.

In general:

  • Roasting – 1 hour per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Boiling – 15 minutes per pound or until done (tender)


The time it takes to cook a chicken depends on what you’re preparing. If you want to roast, grill or broil it, then the best way to do so is with bone-in thighs. Boneless breasts can be cooked in just a few minutes in an instant pot or slow cooker. If you have more time at hand but still want something flavorful, consider making some chicken stock!

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