How Long to Cook a Cornish Hen


Cornish hens are a great option for an easy and tasty weeknight dinner. They’re much smaller than chickens, so they cook faster, too. When you’re cooking a Cornish hen for the first time, you might be wondering: How long does it take to cook a cornish hen? Well, we’ve got good news! Cooking times will vary depending on how you want to prepare your bird (whole or in quarters), but either way it’s definitely possible to get dinner on the table in less than an hour.

Cornish hens can be cooked whole or in quarters, depending on your preferences.

  • Cornish hens can be cooked whole or in quarters, depending on your preferences.
  • The time it takes to cook a whole Cornish hen will be shorter than if you were to quarter it.
  • If you have more people to serve and/or want more meat for the same effort and time, then quartering is probably the way to go!

Cooking times for a whole Cornish hen range from 20 to 60 minutes, with an average of 35-40 minutes.


You can also cook your chicken in a Crock Pot or slow cooker. The cooking times will vary based on the size of your hen and whether you’re using raw or cooked meat. If you’re using a whole Cornish hen that has been pre-cooked, then you may want to reduce the amount of time it takes to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside their body cavity (the temperature at which all bacteria are killed). For example, if you want to cook an 18-pound bird for six hours at high heat, use these instructions:

  • Place chicken into Crock Pot with 1 cup water; cover tightly with lid
  • Cook on low 6 hours

Cooking times for a quarter Cornish hen range from 15 to 50 minutes, with an average of 30-35 minutes.

The cooking time for a Cornish hen varies, depending on how big it is and whether you’re using an oven or a grill. A quarter Cornish hen should take around 30 minutes to cook in the oven, but if yours is larger than that (for example, if it’s been cut into halves), then expect your total time to increase by 10-15 minutes per additional half pound of weight.

To check for doneness, use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh; it should reach 165 degrees F when done. If needed, remove from heat early and let rest 5 minutes before carving so juices can redistribute throughout meat and make more tender cuts possible when slicing through them later on!

You can cook a Cornish hen in 30 minutes or less!

How long to cook a Cornish hen depends on its size. Typically, they will take between 30 minutes and 45 minutes to fully cook.

That said, your cooking time may vary based on factors like the temperature of your oven and how you prefer your meat cooked. If you’re not sure if your bird is ready to eat yet (or if there’s any room for error), use either a meat thermometer or check for doneness with a knife by cutting into one of its legs–if blood runs out when you pierce it with the tip of your knife, then it’s time for another round in the oven!


We hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave us a message in the comments section below!

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