How Long to Cook Whole Chicken? The Correct Answer Is Here! is reader-supported. When you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Read more

There is no denying that chicken is one of the most versatile and straightforward main ingredients you can prepare for your family. It is essential to do everything right for your loved one to marvel at your culinary talents.

Preparing your roast chicken, chicken breast, and other bird cuts will be easy when you know how long to cook whole chicken and other parts. 

No one wants dry chicken, right? So follow this article to know how long to cook a whole chicken right now!

How Long to Cook Whole Chicken?

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How long does it take to cook a whole chicken?

There is no specific number for how long to cook a whole chicken, as it will depend on how you prepare your chicken and its weight.

In all cases, your chicken is done well once your meat thermometer has read 175°F. We can still give you some estimates:

How long does it take to roast your whole chicken at 375°F:

  • 2 1/2 to 3-pound chicken: Roast from 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  • 3 1/2 to 4-pound chicken: Roast 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • 4 1/2 to 5-pound chicken: Roast from 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

Fire up a grill and cook your whole chicken with the following suggestions:

  • For a 2 1/2 to 3 pound bird, you should grill for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  • For a 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken, handle it for 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours.
  • For a 4 1/2 to 5 pound chicken, we recommend grilling for 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

How to Cook A Whole Chicken Using the Oven?

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How to cook a whole chicken using your oven.

This tutorial will help you make a roast chicken meal with five steps and less than five ingredients.

Step 1: Why You Should Never Rinse Your Chicken

In the past, many recipes may have asked you to rinse your cuts of turkey or chicken with water before patting them dry using paper towels.

However, The U.S. The Department of Agriculture has changed its stance on the matter. Many studies have shown that washing poultry can promote the spread of bacteria by splashing contaminated water onto surrounding areas.

So, if you detect any moisture on the chick after taking it out from its packaging, all you need to do is dry it with its clean paper towels, then throw these paper towels right away.

Step 2: Preparing Your Chicken

You will need to start by preheating your oven to about 375°F. Also, you will need to know precisely how much your chicken weighs since this will determine how long your whole chicken is in your oven.

Set the bird in one shallow roasting pan with its breast side up. You will need the cooking twine to tie your chicken’s drumsticks together. Thanks to that, you can keep your chicken’s shape and cook your bird without overdrying its limbs.

The fact is that your chicken’s wings are one of the most minor, leading to the cooking the fastest. So if you see they are sticking out, it is essential to tuck your bird’s wing tips under it to prevent its wings from burning.

Pro Tips 

  • Gizzards and any internal organ of your chicken are sometimes stuffed in the chicken’s cavity. So we recommend removing them before cooking your bird.
  • You can toss or save the internal organs for another use.

Step 3: Seasoning Your Whole Chicken

While preheating your oven, you will need to brush your whole chicken using butter or olive oil and season it with pepper, salt, and (optional) dried herbs (crushed), like oregano and thyme. 

Pro Tip

  • Don’t forget to wash countertops, utensils, and your hands in warm, soapy water between every food preparation step. 
  • The fact is that bacteria on raw meat, fish, or poultry can contaminate your chicken when it comes into contact with the tabletop.

Step 4: Handle Your Whole Chicken in an Oven

Put your whole chicken in a preheated oven’s roasting pan. As noted above, cooking time may vary depending on the weight of your chicken.

Cut the cooking twine, then cover your bird with foil to prevent it from over-browning after one hour.

The following are estimates for how long to cook whole chicken in oven at 375  (based on its weight):

  • 2 1/2 to 3 lb chicken: Roast from 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  • 3 1/2 to 4 lb chicken: Roast 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • 4 1/2 to 5 lb chicken: Roast from 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

Make it a Meal:

Cut one pound of red potatoes, one medium onion,  three carrots, and one medium peeled turnip into one-inch chunks. 

Drizzle your chicken with oil and sprinkle it with pepper and salt. Also, arrange around your chicken with vegetables for the last forty-five to fifty minutes of cooking the whole chicken. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.

Step 5: Ensure Your Chicken Is Well Done

Once you have thoroughly cooked your chicken, the juices should run clear, and your chicken should no longer be pink, while its drumsticks can move in the sockets easily.

Yet, we do not recommend relying on those tests alone. It is essential always to check out the doneness of your roast chicken using your meat thermometer. 

All you need to do is insert it into your thigh’s thickest part. Your thermometer should read about 170°F to ensure your chicken is ready to serve. 

According to USDA, all poultry that reaches 165°F is safe to consume. But AS 8888 found the thigh cut was a better texture when it hit 170°F.

If you want to get an accurate read, we recommend inserting your thermometer in your chicken’s thigh before you begin roasting it while the thermometer stays in the whole time.

Step 6: Allow Your Roasted Chicken to Stand

Before eating your roasted chicken, allow it to stand and cover with foil for about fifteen minutes. Thanks to that, you can expect the juices will redistribute throughout your whole bird for tender, moist meat.

If you have roasted baked chicken, you’ll need to store it properly, which we’ll cover below!

How to Store Your Cooked Chicken in a Fridge

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Store your cooked chicken in a fridge.

Now that you know how long to cook a whole chicken, it’s time to learn how to store leftovers properly.

To safely and correctly store your cooked chicken in the refrigerator, you should place it in a dry and clean bowl and container to avoid contamination. After that, seal it with stretch film to help keep some extra freshness.

It is a good idea to date your label your container to track the days you have left to enjoy it. Just remember to utilize your cooked chicken within three to four days.


How Long to Cook Whole Chicken in Air Fryer

Turn your air fryer on to 350°F and cook your chicken for half an hour, then flip it over and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until your thermometer reaches 165°F.

How Long to Cook Whole Chicken in Instant Pot

You need to cook a fresh chicken for about six minutes per pound. 

It means that a four-pound chicken will take about twenty-four minutes to cook, a four-and-a-half-pound chicken will take twenty-seven minutes, and a five-pound bird will take half an hour at high pressure.

How Long to Cook Whole Chicken in Crock Pot

It typically takes about 3 to 4 hours to cook a whole chicken on high heat with the slow cooker and 8 hours on low heat.

How Long to Cook Whole Chicken at 400

You should roast your chicken at 400 degrees for around an hour and a half, depending on the size of your bird.

Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken?

how long to cook whole chicken

You can freeze your cooked chicken.

Of course! Freezing your cooked chicken is a great way to extend its shelf life. Your cooked chicken can stay well in your freezer for about three to four months.

Before storing your cooked chicken in the freezer, ensure you haven’t left it at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 

More than a couple of hours without refrigeration is all it takes for bacteria to multiply and spoil your leftovers.

How to Defrost Your Cooked Chicken

The simplest method to defrost your chicken is to move it to the fridge, and it will typically take a whole day to thaw your cooked chicken.

Also, it is okay to thaw your cooked chicken using cold water. Place it into a tight sealing bag and submerge it in one bowl with cold water, preventing any bacteria from being introduced into your food.

The Bottom Line

By now, you probably have the answer to, “How long to cook whole chicken?” Hopefully, this article was helpful to you in preparing a delicious chicken dish without overcooking for your loved ones!

Thank you for reading!

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