How Long Do I Cook A Whole Chicken?

If you want to enjoy a delicious dinner with your family and friends, you might be wondering how long do I cook a whole chicken. The answer is as simple as the number of thighs. A chicken breast has a line running down the center, so you can easily cut the breast out of the bird. You should use a sharp knife and press down on the center bone. This will allow you to cut through the skin and quickly remove the meat. Once you have done this, it is best to set aside the bones to make homemade chicken stock.

whole chicken

Chicken Nutrition Facts

chicken nutrition facts

How Long Do I Cook A Whole Chicken?

Our tried-and-true method for baking a whole chicken comes from our Test Kitchen. Then you can prepare a roast chicken supper in five simple steps, using only five (or fewer!) ingredients.

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Make a note of your bird’s weight since this will determine how long to roast a chicken in the oven. Place the chicken breast side up in a shallow roasting pan. Tie the drumsticks together with cooking twine, so the chicken maintains its shape and the limbs don’t dry out too much. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken so they don’t burn because the wings are tiny and cook the fastest if they’re sticking out.

Test Kitchen Tip:

Gizzards or other internal organs are occasionally stuffed in the chicken cavity; remove this packet before cooking and discard or save it for another use.

Step 2: Season the Chicken

Brush the chicken with olive oil or butter and season with salt, pepper, and (if wanted) crushed dry herbs such as thyme or oregano while the oven is preheating. In our roast chicken recipe, try the lemon-herb or spice rub versions.

Test Kitchen Tip:

Between each step of food preparation, wash your hands, surfaces, and utensils in hot, soapy water. Bacteria on raw chicken, pork, or fish can infect other foods that contact them.

Step 3: Cook Chicken in the Oven

Place the chicken in the preheated oven in a roasting pan. Cooking times vary according to weight. After 1 hour, cut the string and cover with foil to prevent over-browning.

How long to roast a chicken at 375°F:

  • 2½- to 3-pound chicken: Roast 1 to 1¼ hours
  • 3½- to 4-pound chicken: Roast 1¼ to 1½ hours
  • 4½- to 5-pound chicken: Roast 1¾ to 2 hours

Make it a Meal:

One pound red potatoes, three carrots, one medium peeled turnip, and one medium onion should all be cut into 1-inch slices. Toss with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to coat. For the last 45 to 50 minutes of roasting the chicken, arrange vegetables around it in the pan, stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Make Sure the Chicken Is Done

When the juices run clear, the chicken is no longer pink, and the drumsticks move freely in their sockets, the chicken is done. However, don’t rely solely on these tests. Always use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of roast chicken by placing it into the thickest section of the thigh, and it should be 170 degrees Fahrenheit. All poultry is safe to eat at 165°F, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), although our Test Kitchen discovered that thigh meat had a better texture when cooked to 170°F. Before you begin roasting, place the oven-safe thermometer in the thigh to get a precise reading (it stays in the whole time).

Step 5: Let It Stand

Allow the whole roasted chicken to rest for 15 minutes before serving, covered in foil. This will aid in redistributing juices throughout the bird, resulting in moist, soft meat. Carve the meat and serve. Cooked chicken can be stored in an airtight container ($9, Bed Bath & Beyond) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if you have leftover baked chicken. If you’re going to use it later, put it in the freezer.

Test Kitchen Tip:

If you prefer to prepare roasted chicken breasts or other bone-in chicken pieces instead of cooking the whole bird, we also have an excellent guide to baking chicken. Then you’ll know how to roast chicken legs and bake chicken breasts in the oven.
You may be as creative as you want with your new seasonings now that you know how to roast a chicken. For ideas, try our excellent roasted chicken dishes, such as orange sage or fiery lemon. It’ll only be a matter of deciding what side dishes to serve with it.

Points To Remember


Here are some essential points that should remember:

  • The higher temperature is also better for flavor, so you should stick to this temperature. When roasting whole poultry, you should always ensure that the chicken is fully cooked before carving.
  • Before roasting your chicken, rinse it inside and out. Trim the legs and wings of any excess fat, including the pin feathers. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • You can also stuff it with a bunch of thyme, two halves of lemon, and all of the garlic. Brush it with butter and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting it into pieces.
  • When roasting a whole chicken, you can choose to cook it in different ways. If you want crispy skin, you can try tying the drumsticks with string. You can buy this at a grocery store or online.
  • If you’re looking for a delicious, juicy chicken, it’s best to cook it whole in the oven. You can bake the bird in the oven or use the oven for cooking it in a pan. A whole baked chicken should weigh at least three pounds. Before baking, remove the giblets and pat the skin dry.
The chicken should be three to 3.5 pounds if you’re roasting it in the oven. Remove the giblets and pat the skin dry before roasting. After that, puncture the chicken with a fork and season it with salt. To improve the dish’s flavor, a buttery sauce with lemon juices is essential. The chicken should be rested for around 15 minutes while it is roasting.

How Healthy Is Eating Chicken?

Here are some health benefits of eating chicken:

  • Chicken has long been thought to be a healthier option than red meat. And it is low in saturated fat, high in protein, and high in vital vitamins and minerals, including B6, B12, iron, zinc, and copper, compared to other animal meats.
  • Chicken is high in various essential nutrients and can be a great supplement to a well-balanced diet. Because chicken is low in calories but high in protein, it may help you lose weight if that’s something you want to do.
  • Increased protein intake has been shown in studies to improve sensations of fullness, aid weight loss, and preserve lean body mass.
  • Protein can aid muscular growth when combined with resistance training.
  • Furthermore, protein plays a role in calcium metabolism and is essential for bone health.


Before roasting a whole chicken, you should rinse it inside and out to remove excess fat. You can also trim the pin feathers. In addition, it’s essential to make sure the chicken’s skin is dry so it can bake crispy. Once you have seasoned the entire chicken, you can season it with herbs and garlic. You can bake the meat for as long as you’d like.