Cooking isn’t easy. If it was, you wouldn’t be here looking for how long to bake chicken pieces. Chicken can be especially hard to cook. Chefs might have it easier, but we regular folk don’t. From seasoning to baking/cooking temperature to cutting and serving – it’s a rollercoaster. You can’t underbake or overbake it – you must have the right temperature for your recipe or risk ruining it entirely.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Keep reading to find out how long to bake chicken pieces at 350, 375 and 400 degrees F. We will also talk about better ways to bake/cook chicken and reveal secrets about how to keep your chicken from drying out in the oven.
How Long To Bake Chicken Pieces At 350F
At 350 degrees F, you can bake 7.5 ounces of chicken breast for 30 minutes, 8.75 ounces of chicken thighs for 40 minutes, 9 ounces of chicken legs for 40 minutes (turn after 20 minutes), 4.85 ounces of chicken wings for 30 minutes, and 1.25 ounces of chicken tenderloins for 12 minutes.
Some factors that determine the timeframe for baking chicken pieces at any temperature, are the part you’re baking, the temperature itself, the size of the chicken piece, and the oven used.
If you are using a recipe, then all you have to do is follow the instructions well. If you are ‘winging it’, then figuring out the perfect temperature for your recipe might be a little trickier. Stick around for some more info.
How Long To Bake Chicken Pieces At 375F
At 375 degrees F, you can bake chicken pieces for at most 30 minutes depending on the part, thickness, and size of the chicken. For example, you can bake an 8-ounce chicken breast at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes to get it perfectly baked. Alternatively, you can just bake the chicken piece until its internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
How Long To Bake Cubed Chicken At 400F
At 400 degrees F, you can typically bake 7.5 ounces of chicken breast for 25 minutes, 8.75 ounces of chicken thighs for 35 minutes, 9 ounces of chicken legs for 35 minutes (turn after 20 minutes), 4.85 ounces of chicken wings for 27 minutes and 1.25 ounces of chicken tenderloins for 7 minutes.
Is It Better to Bake Chicken At 350F, 375F or 400F?
The temperature you decide to bake the chicken at depends on the particular part of the chicken. Some parts require a higher temperature and longer time while others require the opposite. If you are using a recipe, then we recommend following it to the latter. Otherwise, you may decide to simply check that the chicken is fully cooked with an inner temperature of 165 degrees F.
It is often better to bake the chicken starting with a high temperature and then finishing up with a lower, more traditional temperature to get that nice golden color. However baking at 300-375 degrees F is the most popular and ideal method – mostly because of the vegetables that might be in the pan with the chicken, baking at 425 degrees F would burn those vegetables.
What Temperature Should Chicken Pieces Be Cooked To?
Chicken should generally have an inner temperature of 165-170 degrees F to be considered fully cooked and different pieces require different oven temperatures to cook properly. For chicken breasts, we recommend baking at 350 degrees F while watching the inner temperature of the breast closely to ensure it does not dry out. For thighs, legs, and thumbs, you can bake them at 350-425 degrees F, and wings can be baked at 425 degrees F because they are smaller pieces that typically cook faster – you would also get that crispy skin with this high temperature.
How Long Do You Need to Bake Chicken?
The majority would recommend baking the chicken pieces for 50 minutes, starting at 400 degrees F for the first 30 minutes, then 375 degrees F for the remaining 20 minutes. This method would give the chicken a pleasing golden color. Then you should check that it is properly cooked using a thermometer to check that its internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Do this by putting it into a very thick part of the chicken, try not to touch a bone if any.
You can also use a knife or fork instead of a thermometer. Simply pierce the chicken with the knife or fork and wipe it on a paper towel or napkin to check if the juice is no longer pink. If the juice is clear, then you are done cooking the chicken. If it is pink or red, then you can bake it at 375 degrees F for another 10 minutes.
Baking chicken at a higher temperature and a shorter time is the best way to get a juicier chicken. So if you decide to only bake the chicken at high temperatures, you should be particular about the timing. They vary depending on the chicken piece you are baking.
Read also: Is Shrimp Considered A Meat or Fish?
How Do You Keep Chicken from Drying Out in The Oven?
To keep chicken breasts from drying out when baking, you can try to dry-poach them. Do this by covering them with parchment paper before putting them in the oven. You can also try baking them at a lower heat until they reach 160 degrees F, then let them sit under foil to cook some more.
Another way to keep the chicken from drying out is by switching to the stovetop method – remember to cover the pan for ten minutes straight. You can also use internal temperature as an indicator, it should get to 165 degrees F and nothing more.
Read also: Should You Brine A Butterball Turkey?
Is It Better to Bake Chicken Covered or Uncovered?
If you want the chicken to have crispy skin, then you can leave it uncovered – Bake the chicken covered if you want it moist and tender or if you’re worried it will dry out. Whether you cover it or not, it basically depends on the result you want from the chicken. It is also a good idea to cover the chicken if it is cooking too fast or if the chicken is an old and tough one.
The basic reason for covering chicken when baking is to make sure the exterior does not cook faster than the interior. You can also choose to cover it at the beginning to achieve proper cooking and texture, then leave it uncovered towards the end to also get that crisp.
The confusion about how long to bake chicken pieces to get them properly cooked is understandable. There are different types of pieces and different temperatures for each piece. This article should clear the confusion and put you well on your way to baking the perfect chicken pieces with the right texture, color, and everything.