Learn the correct baked chicken breast temperature and follow our tips to produce tender chicken breasts that are juicy and delicious
The hardest part of preparing baked chicken breast is knowing at what temperature you need to bake it. You want to ensure that it is cooked through while remaining juicy and succulent. Let's fact it - nobody likes a dried out chicken breast lacking moisture and flavor!
Chicken, regardless of the cut, is finished cooking at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
This level ensures that your chicken is cooked through and won’t cause the salmonella-based food poisoning that is associated with undercooked chicken. You need a meat thermometer to correctly gauge the temperature of the chicken breast you are cooking.
To use a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the breast, avoiding bone if present, and check the reading. The juices of properly cooked chicken breast should run clear, so if you see any pink in the juices, you will know instantly that it is not safe to eat.
If you have tested the temperature and it is below 165 degrees Fahrenheit, return it to the oven and check it in another five minutes.
Of course, not everyone has a thermometer and may not be able to easily get their hands on one, so here are some general guidelines for temperatures and times for baking chicken breast:
Breast halves (bone-in) - weighing between 6-8 oz - should be cooked anywhere between 50 and 60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Breast halves (boneless) - weighing 4 oz - should be cooked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make sure that you have cooked your chicken to the right temperature, we have a few tricks and tips to make the process easier!
First of all, always make sure that you bring your chicken breasts to room temperature prior to cooking. Taking them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking will give them sufficient time to come to room temperature.
Secondly, always pre-heat your oven to ensure the heat has had enough time to spread out, which will help your chicken breasts cook at an even rate.
It is a good idea to check your oven for calibration; if you have an oven thermometer you can check this by turning the oven on and placing the thermometer in the oven - it should match the dial reading, if it doesn’t, it may be time to have your oven serviced!
For maximum flavor and juiciness of your cooked chicken breasts, always allow them to rest. Simply create an aluminium foil tent over the chicken to help with heat retention; avoid wrapping it tightly around your pan or tray as it will cause the chicken to sweat away its moisture, which defeats the purpose of resting it.
Chicken breasts only need about 5-10 minutes resting time to ensure they are deliciously juicy.