How Long Should You Bake a Boneless Chicken Breasts?
The question of how long to bake boneless chicken is one of the most common questions asked by readers. Some people prefer to grill or pan fry their boneless chicken while others like them cooked whole, skinless and bone in. There are many opinions on cooking method but there is no consensus on which method works best for your family’s taste buds.
If you’re looking for a simple answer, then it would be best if you don’t overcook your boneless chicken. However, if you want to go beyond what is considered safe and have some confidence that your meat will still taste good when served, then it’s time to start baking your boneless chicken.
Baking Your Boneless Chicken Breasts: What Is Best Method For Cooking?
There are two main methods of cooking boneless chicken: Grilling and Pan Fried. Both methods require different techniques and cooking times depending upon the type of chicken you choose to cook. If you’re looking for a quick method, then grilling might be best because it requires less effort from your part.
The worst thing that can happen when grilling is the chicken will dry out if you’re not careful. To avoid this from happening, make sure to oil the grill before putting the boneless chicken on top and turn it slowly to prevent the meat from burning. You’ll also want to baste or brush additional oil on top of the chicken occasionally to keep the meat soft and juicy. It is also important to not cook the meat completely through at this point.
For full or thick boneless chicken, you’ll want to grill the meat for about 2 minutes on each side but not cook it all the way through. This is because the chicken needs to be cooked indirectly and slowly. Put the fully cooked chicken in an enclosed environment such as a cooler with some towels around it to keep the heat inside. Then, finish the cooking process in an oven or by boiling or grilling directly over the flames.
This additional cooking will help the meat become more tender and juicy.
Pan fried methods are great if you’re looking to brown the top of the chicken and have slightly firmer meat than grilling can offer. The steps for cooking are similar to grilling except you’ll want to use a large pan with a generous amount of oil to prevent sticking.
If you find yourself in a hurry but still want to serve delicious chicken, it is best to choose a pressure cooker to make the meat tender and juicy in a short period of time. It is important that the boneless chicken you buy fits inside your pressure cooker otherwise you won’t be able to cook it fast enough. To prepare, you’ll want to put the chicken inside and cover it with water. Add seasonings as desired and cook with the pressure valve closed.
With most units, you’ll be able to cook the chicken through in about 15-30 minutes.
How Long Does it Take To Bake a Boneless Chicken?
The actual cooking time will vary depending upon your tastes and the type of chicken you buy. The best way to ensure your chicken isn’t dry is to avoid overcooking it. If you’re looking to serve the meat with bones in then plan on cooking the meat for 30 minutes per pound. To check if the meat is fully cooked, make a small cut into the thickest piece to see if it’s no longer pink inside.
However, if you’re looking to serve boneless chicken then you’ll need to cook the meat for 10 minutes per pound. This helps prevent the meat from becoming too dry. Check to see if the meat is ready by cutting into it to see if it is no longer pink inside.
So, Is It Better Buying Whole Chicken or Cooking Boneless Skinless?
Whole chickens are usually the cheapest when you buy them from the store and are a great way to save money on your weekly food bill. However, there are some downsides to using whole chicken.
It takes slightly more effort to cook a whole chicken and most people don’t have the time, energy or skill to properly break down a whole bird. This leaves you with the option of taking the bird to a butcher to have it processed professionally or doing it yourself.
The other major downside is that you need to plan ahead when cooking whole chickens. The meat needs to be marinated for at least several hours and up to 2-3 days to really infuse it with flavor. You’ll also need to leave the bird unattended for a longer period of time to ensure it is safe to eat.
To avoid these problems, you can choose to cook boneless skinless chicken. This type of meat requires much less preparation and can be cooked with very little notice. Some people choose to have boneless skinless chicken shipped directly to their home so they never have to worry about running out.
However, there are some major downsides to cooking boneless skinless chicken. It is much more expensive than whole chickens and tends to be lacking in taste and nutrients. The main reason people cook with whole chickens is that the bones infuse their meal with extra flavor and key nutrients. If you’re looking for the most nutritious and cost-effective way to cook chicken then it is best to buy whole chickens and break them down at home.
Whole chickens are also much cheaper than pre-processed, already cooked boneless skinless chicken. A whole chicken only costs around $1 per pound whereas boneless skinless chicken can cost as much as $3 per pound. While this price disparity won’t be so bad if you’re cooking for just one or two people, it really adds up if you need to feed a family of 4 or more people on a regular basis.
Learn How to Cook the Perfect Whole Chicken
Mastering the skill of cooking whole chickens can help you save quite a bit of money in the long run. However, there are some important tips and tricks to keep in mind to help you get the best possible results every time.
The first thing to remember is that chickens don’t need to be cooked as long as turkey or other meats. A whole chicken is fully cooked after only about an hour of cooking. This short cooking time also means that there isn’t much chance for anything to go wrong so long as you don’t leave it in the oven for 6 hours because you got distracted.
Whole chickens should be cooked at a high temperature, at least 425 degrees, and then turned down to 350 degrees when their timer goes off. The high temperature at the beginning sears the outside of the bird and keeps the juices locked in.
It is important to use a thermometer to check if the chicken is done cooking. You can pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a knife or fork to see if the juices run clear, but this method isn’t always as accurate as using a thermometer. The internal temperature should be around 180 degrees when the whole chicken is fully cooked.
Whole chickens should be basted with either butter, oil, or a combination of both. This will keep the skin from drying out and improves the overall flavor. Some people choose to inject their chicken with a mixture of herbs and other flavors. This is completely optional but can add an interesting twist to your meal.
Cooking a whole chicken really couldn’t be easier. If you follow these simple steps then you will never have to worry about cooking a bad meal again. If you want to get fancy then you can always try marinating the chicken in buttermilk overnight, adding some fresh herbs to the cavity, or even stuffing the bird with garlic cloves and onions.
Whole chickens are delicious and nutritious so make sure to cook one soon!
Return to the Beginner Basics menu
Return to the Grilling menu
Return to the Homepage
Sources & references used in this article:
Consumers’ willingness to pay for organic chicken breast: Evidence from choice experiment by EJ Van Loo, V Caputo, RM Nayga Jr… – Food quality and …, 2011 – Elsevier
Why marriages succeed or fail: And how you can make yours last by J Gottman, JM Gottman, N Silver – 1995 – books.google.com
Biochemical and color characteristics of skinless boneless pale chicken breast by M Boulianne, AJ King – Poultry Science, 1995 – Elsevier
Decontamination of unpackaged and vacuum-packaged boneless chicken breast with pulsed ultraviolet light by NM Keklik, A Demirci, VM Puri – Poultry science, 2010 – Elsevier
Quantitative risk assessment of human salmonellosis in Canadian broiler chicken breast from retail to consumption by H Smadi, JM Sargeant – Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 2013 – Wiley Online Library
Clustering versus faceted categories for information exploration by MA Hearst – Communications of the ACM, 2006 – dl.acm.org