Recipe says to bake whole chicken uncovered 250 degrees F for 5 hours or until done. CAn I shorten the bake time if I increase the heat to 350 degrees F? if so how long does it need to bake?

  • 3
    If you doing this because you are in a hurry then cut it in 1/2 will reduce cooking time.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 19 '16 at 16:06
  • 1
    Baking at 250F produces a different texture and results from baking at 350F. There is a reason for the motivation to bake at 250F. I don't quite like my results of long baking chicken at 250F, which so far produced dryer meat. However I like long baking salmon at 180F, producing exactly the dryer firmer salmon steak that I like. Sep 19 '16 at 16:57

Yes, you can.

In fact, one of the biggest, ever so often repeated mantras here is:

Don't determine doneness with a watch, use a thermometer!

Measure at the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone. If you have reached at least 165°F or 75°C, your chicken is done.

Of course, the hotter your oven, the crispier the skin will be and the higher the risk of burning some parts, so check your chicken periodically and tent with aluminum foil if necessary. That said, 350°F / 175°C is a perfectly reasonable temperature to roast a chicken.

I won't and can't give you a time to bake the chicken, partly because I don't know how large your bird is and what temperature it was at the start, because I don't know how reliable your oven thermostat is and above all: because only a thermometer can guarantee that the meat reached a safe temperature.

  • To get a vague sense, you can search for baked/roasted chicken recipes saying to bake at 350F. Their guesses are generally in the 1.5-3 hour range, it seems like, depending on the size of the chicken.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 19 '16 at 15:26
  • 1
    It is always nice to have estimates of how long it will take, but many times people do not like to give those estimates, me included, because they are not taken as estimates, but used as timing instead. Especially with meat, use that thermometer even when you have cooked it 100 times an know exactly how long it will take. One chicken may have denser meat, more fat, a different water content, or many other factors which will change timing, but temp is always the indicator.
    – dlb
    Sep 19 '16 at 15:29
  • @Jefromi whilst recipes here in Germany usually give 1-1.5 hours... But our chickens are somewhat smaller than the average US one.
    – Stephie
    Sep 19 '16 at 15:29
  • Yup, that's why I gave a huge range instead of quoting specific recommendations. The point is, it's a lot less than the 5 hour expectation from the original recipe.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 19 '16 at 15:31
  • Also of note, the larger an item, the less successful you will often be by increasing temperature to cook faster. A larger item, be it a turkey as compared to a 2 lb chicken or a doubled cake recipe, will often need lower, slower cooking to allow the middle to cook without burning the outside or faster cooking parts.
    – dlb
    Sep 19 '16 at 15:32

You certainly can cook the chicken at 350 but you will not get the same result. 250 for five hours will get an extremely tender, falling off the bones result as it allows time for the muscle fibers to completely relax and soften. 350 for an hour to two hours will just be an ordinary cooked chicken.


Hmm, never heard of cooking chicken at 250 degrees. When cooking a whole chicken at 350, you just time it a half hour per pound; so,say a 3 pound bird would take an hour and a half. If the chicken is stuffed, make sure to add at least 15-20 minutes to the cooking time... and check doneness with a thermometer for safety!!

  • Scaling directly with weight is notoriously unreliable. You're best off relying on the thermometer for quality, not just safety, and using any time estimates just to get a rough idea when to start checking.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 22 '16 at 4:46

I once wanted to thaw a frozen chicken. I usually turn the oven on and when it reaches 250 degrees turn it off and put whatever you want to thaw. Come back an hour or two later and it will be perfectly thawed. However, I threw the chicken in, forgot to turn off the heat went out for the day and completely forgot about it. I came home to the best roast chicken I've had to this day. The legs were hanging relaxed from the body the skin was crisp and perfect and it wasn't even seasoned. Tonight I'm going to cook at 250 because it's too hot to cook during the day for 2 hrs at 350.

  • Nice anecdote, but it does not answer the question Can I shorten the bake time if I increase the heat to 350 F?
    – user34961
    Jul 31 '19 at 7:55

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