Chicken breast baking times differ depending on many different factors. First, chicken breasts come bone-in, boneless, skinless, and with skin. At the same time, chicken breasts can be as small as 4 ounces and as large as 10 ounces. All these different factors contribute to cooking time which, as you already imagine, can be very different. At the same you must consider the reliability of your oven, meaning is your oven old and unreliable, and the baking temperature is way off or is it new, and the cooking temp is accurate?
I will not explain how long it takes to bake chicken breast using different temperature ranges. Instead, I’ll focus on the cooking technique and how long it takes to cook the most amazing and juicy chicken breast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does it take to bake chicken breast at 350?
Below I’m covering the cooking times at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for skinless, boneless, with skin, and bone-in chicken breasts. However, as I mentioned above, keep in mind that cooking times may differ depending on the size of your chicken breast and your oven. Add a few more minutes of baking time for every additional ounce of chicken breast, or subtract a minute if your chicken breast is more petite. Additionally, track the internal temperature of the chicken breast using a meat thermometer.
- Baking skinless chicken breast in the oven uncovered – 20-30 minutes for an average 7-ounce chicken breast.
- Baking skin on chicken breast in the oven uncovered – 20-30 minutes for an average 7-ounce chicken breast.
- Baking chicken breast in the oven covered in foil – 17-27 minutes for an average 7-ounce chicken breast.
- Cooking chicken breast in an air fryer – 23-27 minutes for an average 7-ounce chicken breast.
- Baking bone-in chicken breast – 22-32 minutes for an average 7-ounce chicken breast.
- Baking frozen chicken breast takes around an hour and fifteen minutes for an average 7-ounce chicken breast.
What is the baked chicken breast temperature?
According to the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA), the baked chicken breast must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. To track the internal temperature, use a meat thermometer. Here’s a video explaining how to follow the meat’s temperature accurately:
How to bake chicken breasts without drying them out?
To bake chicken breast without drying it out, you should not overcook it. Chicken breast left in the oven for too long can become dry and tough. To avoid that, use a baking time chart above and a meat thermometer to track the chicken breast’s temperature.
Chicken breast is white meat without much fat; naturally, it’s not as moist as a chicken thigh, which is dark meat and loaded with fat. To tenderize the chicken and make it juicier, you can use a dry brine, wet brine, or chicken marinade.
A wet brine is a salted water. For every liter of water, it needs 25 grams of kosher salt. Dissolve salt in water by stirring it, and once the salt is dissolved, submerge the chicken and leave for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. Salted water will cause muscle fibers to unravel and swell, making chicken breasts extremely tender and juicy on the inside.
To dry brine the chicken breast, rub it with kosher salt, wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an air-tight container and leave it to brine for at least 4 hours or overnight. Salt will tenderize the meat, making it tender. Dry brine works better if looking to achieve a crispy exterior, unlike wet brine.
There’s nothing better than a pinch of salt and a cup of buttermilk for a chicken breast marinade. Add a cup of buttermilk, a bit of salt, and chicken breast to a zip-lock bag and give it a shake. Make sure the chicken is completely covered with buttermilk. Leave it to marinade overnight.
In case your chicken breast turns tough and chewy despite your efforts. This article has a lot of useful information on chicken tenderization methods.
How to bake chicken breast
- Bring chicken breast to room temperature before cooking. It’ll allow the chicken breast to bake evenly throughout. When the internal temperature of the breast is very low, it takes quite a bit longer to cook, making the outside of the chicken overcook while the inside is still undercooked.
- Pat chicken dry using a paper towel. Once the chicken is dry, season it with your favorite seasoning mix. Paprika powder, garlic powder, grated ginger, and lemon juice work well with a skinless chicken breast.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- This step is optional. Before baking the chicken, sear it in a pan over high heat with a few tablespoons of light olive oil. Searing the chicken breast will lock in all the fantastic chicken juice inside the meat. At the same time, the exterior will be golden brown and crispy, which is hard to achieve when baking the chicken breast.
- Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and slide them into the oven on a middle rack. Alternatively, you can place chicken breasts on a wire rack on a baking sheet. The wire rack will allow air to circulate chicken breasts, cooking them evenly throughout. Bake chicken breasts for 12-15 minutes before checking the internal temperature. Slide them back into the oven and continue baking until cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 160° Fahrenheit before taking them out from the oven. Chicken breasts continue to cook for another 5° Fahrenheit when resting.
- Before slicing the cooked chicken breast, let it rest for 5-10 minutes, depending on the breast size. Resting is essential since it allows chicken juice to redistribute through the meat’s interior, making it tender and moist.
On average, it takes about 20-30 minutes to bake chicken breast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it depends on the size and your oven. In contrast, chicken thighs take double that time. Read this article to learn more about how long it takes to bake chicken thighs. While baking whole chicken is even more complicated and time-consuming. Again to learn more about whole chicken baking times, read this article.