I've been cooking a 6.5 lb. whole chicken tonight and I'm confused by the temperature readings. After about an hour and a quarter, the thickest part of the thigh is at 175 degrees but the breast is only at 140. From reading around, it sounds like the breast normally cooks faster than the thigh. So I'm confused. Most articles state to measure the temperature at the thickest part of the thigh. Do I also need to be concerned about the breast temperature? Why could there be such a variance?

The chicken was not frozen at all. I cooked on 425 convection.

  • Is there anything inside your chicken? How are you cooking it?
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 1:52
  • I put two quarters of an onion inside @Catija. Convection oven at 425 in roasting pan. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 1:53
  • Have you calibrated your thermometer, and ensured it is working properly?
    – moscafj
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 15:25
  • 4
    The breast doesn't exactly cook faster; it's just usually done sooner. The goal is usually 165. My guess would be that you didn't get the thickest part of the thigh; it can take some poking around to find it. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 23:37
  • 1
    I cooked another chicken last night and the results were more like I expected. Maybe you are right @JoshuaEngel. Thanks. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 13:31

3 Answers 3


You are probably touching the bone with the probe tip


Well it depends how you cook the chicken. Depending if you are going to Rotisserie or not will depend how you should prepare the chicken. If you are going to cook it in an oven or smoker then you want to fly the chicken. This involved cutting the spine out, breaking the center rib and flattening it out. When you don't fly the chicken and place it in an oven then the thighs are lower to the pan that tends to create additional heat as apposed to the breast that is higher. Since breast meat takes longer to cook the lower you can get it the better.


If you decide to rotisserie it then there is no need to fly the chicken since it gets a pretty even cook all the way around


If you are going to make it in an oven or basically anything else then you need to fly it. Here is a video to learn how to do that. Great video from some smoker guys that give a good explanation.

Wow just realized that was posted back in Feb


My best guess is that your chicken has brine injected into the breast. This extra moisture will keep that part of the bird at a lower temperature.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.