The Complete Temperature Guidelines to Cooking Chicken Safely
Important Recommendations for Cooked Chicken Temp
Whether you are cooking chicken for the first time or the thousandth time, you must be careful to cook it to the proper internal temperature. As such, the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) confirms that the recommended safe temperature of cooked chicken should be 165°F (73.8°C) at the thickest part of the meat.
However, as chicken can be served in countless ways, knowing more about the part of the chicken you’re cooking will help you ensure you kill off any traces of harmful bacteria. Chicken is prone to salmonella. This strain of bacteria is difficult to kill off which is why chicken is required to cook to a higher internal temperature. Reaching the recommended internal cooked chicken temp will make sure you are cooking chicken safely.
How to Tell When Your Chicken is Done
Since no one wants dry meat or to fall ill from undercooked meat, it’s important to use a meat thermometer to measure it. Unlike beef, it’s hard to tell at a glance whether or not chicken is done. A meat thermometer can give you the exact internal chicken temperature before you serve your favorite chicken dishes.
Here is the recommended temperature for cooked chicken including various parts of the chicken:
Part of Chicken
|Chicken Breast temp||165°F||73.8°C|
|Chicken Thigh temp||170°F||76.6°C|
|Ground Chicken temp||175°F||79.4°C|
|Chicken Wings temp||165°F||73.8°C|
|Chicken Legs temp||175°F||79.4°C|
|Whole Chicken temp||165°F||73.8°C|
|Stuffed Chicken temp||165°F||73.8°C|
How Long to Cook Chicken
Even with a meat thermometer handy, you might be wondering how long you should cook your chicken to ensure it gets to that proper internal temperature.
In the oven at 350°F (176.6°C)
A common temperature to bake chicken in the oven is 350°F (176.6°C).
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – should be cooked for 35 to 45 minutes.
- Bone-in chicken breasts – should be cooked for 40 to 50 minutes.
- Chicken thighs without skin or bones – should be cooked for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Chicken thighs and drumsticks with bones – should be cooked for 35 to 45 minutes.
- Bone-in chicken legs – should be cooked for 40 to 55 minutes.
- Ground chicken – should be cooked for 30 minutes on average.
- Whole stuffed chicken – takes 2 hours and 10 minutes (depending on weight).
- Unstuffed whole chicken – will take 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Chicken Wings – in the oven take 25 minutes.
On the grill medium heat with lid down
The grill is a faster much to cook poultry to the recommended internal chicken temperature.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – will take about 7 to 10 minutes per side
- Bone-in chicken breast – will take about 9 to 12 minutes per side.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – will take about 5 to 8 minutes per side.
- Chicken thighs and drumsticks with bone-in and no skin – take about 7 to 10 minutes per side.
- Bone-in chicken legs – take about 15 to 18 minutes per side.
- Ground chicken patties – will need to cook for 6 minutes on each side.
- A whole chicken on the grill – should take about 1 hour and 25 minutes to cook through.
- Chicken wings – take about 5 to 8 minutes on each side.
Skillet-cooked over medium-high
On your stovetop, chicken can cook quickly.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – should be cooked about 8 to 11 minutes on each side.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – should be cooked about 5 to 7 minutes per side
- Bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks – should be cooked about 8 to 11 minutes on each side.
- Bone-in chicken breast – should be cooked about 11 to 15 minutes per side
- Bone-in chicken legs – should be cooked about 13 to 16 minutes for each side.
- Ground chicken – should be cooked about 5 to 8 minutes per side if it’s shaped into patties and 12 to 15 minutes to make it in the same style as ground beef for tacos or other skillet-style dishes.
- Chicken wings – on the stove top take about 5 to 8 minutes per side.
Quick Poultry Tips
These final tips will help you maintain food safety with chicken:
- The minimum internal chicken temperature is 165°F (73.8°C). Use a food thermometer to be sure.
- Refrigerate all leftover chicken promptly and do not leave it out more than 2 hours after cooking.
- Chicken that has been cooked properly will have juices run clear when you cut it. Still, use a thermometer to be certain.
- Never rinse raw poultry. Rinsing doesn’t get rid of the bacteria; it only spreads it around your sink and kitchen, making it easier to make you and your family ill.
More Chicken Safety Resources:
For more information please see these food safety resources.
- FDA.gov: Poultry food safety requirements
- FoodSafety.gov: Minimum cooking safety recommendations
- USDA.gov: How long can you safely keep cooked chicken