Baked Chicken Breast 101 – How Long to Cook and Other Useful Tips

Baked Chicken Breast 101 – How Long to Cook and Other Useful Tips

Cooking chicken is easy, but it can be tricky to get right. For example, you might have cooked a perfectly juicy chicken breast before and wonder if there’s anything else to know about baking chicken. Read on to learn how long to bake a chicken breast, what temperature is best for baking chicken breast and other useful tips!

How Long to Bake Chicken Breast

The cooking time for a chicken breast depends on a few things, such as its thickness and how you want it cooked. A thicker piece of meat will take longer to cook than a thinner one, so if you have two pieces of chicken breast with different thicknesses, you’ll need to adjust your cooking times accordingly.

The other factor is whether or not you prefer your meat well done (or even medium rare). If this is the case and your recipe calls for baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for less than 20 minutes per pound of meat–like most baked chicken recipes do–then chances are good that one pound will come out dry and tasteless if left in too long without being checked on regularly throughout the process!

The Best Temperature for Baking Chicken

The best temperature for baking chicken is 165 degrees F. Cooking time varies depending on how much meat you are cooking and the size of your oven, but generally speaking, it should take about 45 minutes to an hour for a whole chicken breast (2-3 pounds).

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To know when it’s done: Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to check its internal temperature; if it reads over 160 degrees F., remove from heat immediately because any more cooking will cause juices to evaporate and leave you with dry meat! If you don’t have a thermometer handy or don’t know how else to tell if your baked chicken is done, just cut into one piece–if there’s no pink left anywhere inside then congratulations–you did it right!

What do I do if my baked chicken isn’t fully cooked yet? If there’s still some pinkness left on either side after 45 minutes in an oven set at 350 degrees F., try turning down heat slightly (to 325 degrees F.) and letting things cook another 10-15 minutes before checking again–and keep doing this until everything turns white throughout without any redness remaining anywhere near outer edges where most people tend not eat anyway so why bother worrying about those bits too much?

The Right Time to Bake Chicken

  • Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken breast. A small, thin breast will cook faster than a larger one.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Inserting it into the thickest part of the chicken should reveal that it’s reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). If you don’t have one handy (or if you just want some extra insurance), cut into your roast with a paring knife to see if all those juices have turned from pinkish-red to clear or white.
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How to Tell if the Chicken is Done

You can tell if your chicken is done by using a thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the breast, making sure to avoid any bones, and take its temperature. A whole chicken should be cooked to at least 165 degrees F (74 C), while boneless breasts should reach 160 F (71 C).

If you don’t have a thermometer handy, use your knife to check doneness: slice into one side of the meat and peek inside; if it looks white all around with no pink remaining on top or bottom edges then it’s done! But if there is still some pink in there then keep cooking until all traces disappear before removing from heat source once again.

The best way though? Use your hands! Touching cooked poultry will tell you whether or not it needs more time in order for everything inside those tasty little nuggets turn into delicious goodness at just about any temperature level above freezing point–meaning that even if somebody accidentally drops one onto their foot while walking through snow outside without shoes on (true story!), they’ll still know whether or not their dinner needs more time under heat lamps before eating later tonight.”

You can use a thermometer but there are other ways.

If you want to use a thermometer, make sure it’s a meat thermometer and not one designed for testing the temperature of baby’s bathwater. Meat thermometers are designed specifically for measuring the internal temperature of cooked meats and poultry. They’re generally very accurate when used properly (see below).

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If you don’t have one, there are other ways:

  • Use your hand. The best way is to touch the top of your inner wrist where it meets your hand; this should be about 98 degrees F (37 degrees C). If it feels warmer than that or colder than that then don’t eat it! It may not be done yet or might have been sitting out too long at room temperature so bacteria could grow inside it while waiting for you to get home from work/school/whatever else keeps us busy during our busy lives today.*


Now that you know how to bake chicken breast, it’s time to put your new skills into practice! Remember that cooking times will vary depending on the size of the breasts, how cold they are when you start cooking them and whether or not they’ve been seasoned with salt or pepper before baking.

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