A baked whole chicken is a perfect dish for a family dinner, birthday party, or friends get-together. It takes a good combination of cooking timing and temp for the desired result. My family loves it when I bake the whole chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Timing is important for a good result. So how long to bake whole chicken in oven at 350 degrees? Keep reading to learn how to prepare a finger-licking good whole chicken in oven.
It takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to bake a whole chicken at 350 degrees in the oven. This timing is for an average-size chicken. But since chickens differ considerably in size, the best method is to check the meat for doneness is by using an instant-read thermometer. You want to see 170 degrees F on the display to know for certain that it’s time to remove the chicken from the oven. At this internal temperature, the meat is irresistibly tender and succulent and covered with a crispy brown crust.
If the crunchy skin is the part of chicken you and your family love most, you can bake it at 400 degrees. You will end up with an extremely crispy whole chicken with soft and moist meat on the table. Baking a whole chicken at 400 degrees F in the oven will take 1 hour and 5 minutes. If you are not in the same boat with crispy food lovers, you can give your whole chicken a slow roast at 300 degrees. The oven time will extend to 1 hour and 50 minutes. This will give you an evenly cooked meat covered by a soft and golden skin.
We suggest you to stick to 350 degrees F as the optimal temperature for roasting a whole chicken. You get many benefits from choosing this option including a perfect balance between crispiness and tenderness, preserved juices, and relatively short cooking time. At 400 degrees, the chicken gets ready even faster but turns out with an ample crisp. If you and your guests love it, this is definitely your go-to temperature.
Here’s the steps to cook a whole chicken in the oven.
You can cut down the cooking time of a whole chicken by baking it wrapped in aluminum foil for about 50 minutes. Then remove the foil to allow the chicken to form a crispy crust.
While the trick with foil works, your best bet is still the convection fan. The fan is exactly what a whole chicken needs to cook up evenly as the fan will circulate the hot air for a better heat distribution around the chicken. And, of course, you get your chicken ready a couple of minutes faster.
Don’t forget to prepare a dipping sauce for your chicken to enhance its taste. Barbecue, salsa mango, creamy garlic, soy ginger and pesto sauces will always fit the bill. Some side dishes are also welcome for your “whole chicken” feast. You can go with lightly seasoned roasted veggies to complement the savory flavors and richness of the chicken. In fact, you can roast the vegetables along with the chicken if there is any space left on the baking sheet. They will exchange flavors while cooking together and save you time on preparing the side dish separately. Other sides you should definitely try include lemon garlic mushrooms, smashed herbed potatoes, roasted broccoli and garden risotto.
The internal temperature for the whole chicken should read 170 degrees Fahrenheit when done. This should be taken at the thickest part of the chicken.
The whole chicken’s interior can have some natural smell of the chicken. Garlic gloves and rosemary springs can neutralize natural smells and bring about pleasant flavors that will improve the chicken meat’s taste. Peel some garlic cloves and stuff them along with rosemary springs into the chicken cavity before you start baking the chicken. Don’t hesitate to put lemon halves inside as well. Lemon will lubricate the chicken and add a fresh citrus fragrance.
The thermometer probe should be taken at the thickest part of the chicken, usually at the breast area and thigh area where it is the most meaty.
Olive oil, melted butter and lemon juice are great seasonings for both inside the cavity and over the skin. You can also add salt, pepper and your favorite spices for more flavor. Pierce the skin in multiple places to allow the seasoning to get under the skin. Rub every inch of the chicken with the seasoning. You want it to be savory and tasty both inside and outside.