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Food Safety: The Ideal Temperature For Cooking Chicken

The best way to find out if a chicken is well cooked is by measuring its internal temperature. Temperature also plays a big role in the cooking of the chicken but many don’t know what the right temperature for chicken is.

By Cookist

Some protein sources like steak and pork can be consumed without them getting completely cooked but the same cannot be said for chicken. To avoid falling sick, it is best to make sure your chicken is properly cooked and the temperature is quite important to the process.

What is the best internal temperature for chicken?


Chicken is considered done when its internal temperature reaches 165ºF (75ºC), which is the safe internal temperature regardless of the cooking method and the way the meat was cut. It is important to cook the chicken to the best internal temperature because an undercooked chicken can cause a Salmonella infection. Making sure it is properly cooked prevents this.

How long it will take to cook a perfect chicken depends on some factors including the cooking temperature and the meat’s thickness. Lower temperatures mean the cooking time will be longer.

According to the USDA, these are the approximate cooking times for different parts of chicken:

  • Breast halves, bone-in
  • Weight: 6-8oz
  • Roasting Time (at 350ºF): 50-60 min
  • Simmering Time: 35-40 min
  • Grilling Time: 45-55 min/side

Breast halves, boneless

  • Weight: 4oz
  • Roasting Time (at 350ºF): 30-30 min
  • Simmering Time: 25-30 min
  • Grilling Time: 6-8 min/side

Legs or thighs

  • Weight: 4-8oz
  • Roasting Time (at 350ºF): 40-50 min
  • Simmering Time: 40-50 min
  • Grilling Time: 10-15 min/side


  • Weight: 4oz
  • Roasting Time (at 350ºF): 35-45 min
  • Simmering Time: 40-50 min
  • Grilling Time: 8-12 min/side


  • Weight: 2-3oz
  • Roasting Time (at 350ºF): 30-40 min
    Simmering Time: 35-45 min
    Grilling Time: 8-12 min/side

Below are some tips that can help you make sure your chicken is properly cooked

  • Temper the meat: This means bringing the meat to room temperature before it gets cooked. This will ensure the chicken is cooked evenly.
  • Ensure your oven is fully preheated before starting: Putting the whole bird in the oven before it’s completely ready means cooking time may vary and could be more difficult to monitor.
  • Make sure that your oven is calibrated: Do this by putting an oven thermometer in the oven then turning the oven on, and checking that the reading on your thermometer is the same as the reading on your oven dial.
  • Use a meat thermometer. A good one will let you know right away if your chicken has reached 165ºF.
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