How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in the Oven – Get it Right Every Time

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By: Christian Chereau


Cooking chicken breast to perfection can be tricky! If the meat is undercooked, you face a high risk of foodborne illness; if it’s overcooked, the dish won’t have much flavor. But don’t worry—we’re here to help! 

In this blog post, we will discuss how long to cook chicken breast in the oven as well as other important factors like temperature and seasonings that can help you get your meal just right every single time. Keep on reading for all of our tips and tricks so you can become an expert in no time!


Select the Right Chicken Breast 

How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in the Oven

When it comes to selecting the right chicken breast for baking, it’s important to choose fresh and high-quality meat. When buying chicken breasts, make sure to check the sell-by date and look for meat that has a pinkish color and firm texture. 

You can also buy chicken breasts by weight, and knowing how many chicken breasts are in a pound can help you estimate how much to purchase. Once you have your chicken breasts, it’s important to properly store them in the fridge or freezer until ready to use. 

Prepare Your Chicken Breast for Baking

How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in the Oven

Preparing chicken breast for baking is a crucial step to guarantee a succulent and flavorful meal. 

First, start by brining the chicken breast in a mixture of water and salt for at least one hour. This helps ensure that the chicken stays tender and moist during the baking process. 

After brining, pat the chicken dry with paper towels to prevent any excess moisture from interfering with the baking process. 

Next, season the chicken with your preferred herbs and spices. Common options include garlic, thyme, and paprika. Make sure to thoroughly coat the chicken before placing it in the oven. Following these simple steps ensures that your baked chicken breast will be juicy and delicious.

Setting up the Oven for Cooking

Setting up the oven correctly is an important step in cooking chicken breast in the oven. Preheating the oven to the correct temperature ensures that the chicken breast will cook evenly and thoroughly. The recommended temperature for cooking chicken breast is 375°F. 

Choosing the right type of baking dish or sheet pan can also impact the cooking time and temperature. A metal baking dish or sheet pan is recommended as it conducts heat more efficiently than glass or ceramic. 

Adding liquid to the baking dish or pan can help keep the chicken breast moist during cooking. Water, chicken broth, or wine are good options for adding moisture. Adding herbs or spices to the liquid can also infuse flavor into the chicken breast.

How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in the Oven

Calculation for boneless chicken breast: 

For boneless chicken breasts, the general rule of thumb is to bake them in a preheated oven at your desired temperature (recommend 400°F) for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. 

If the chicken breast is thinner than 1/2 inch, reduce the cooking time to 18-20 minutes.

Calculation for bone-in chicken breast: 

Bone-in chicken breasts take longer to cook than boneless ones due to the presence of bones. A bone-in chicken breast should be cooked in a preheated oven at your wished temperature (recommend 400°F) for 30-35 minutes.

Factors that can affect cooking time:

The cooking time of chicken breast can vary depending on several factors, including the oven temperature, the size and thickness of the chicken breast, and whether or not it has been brined. 

Higher temperatures may cause the outside of the breast to become dry and overcooked before the inside has had a chance to cook properly. 

If you find that your chicken is overcooked on the outside but undercooked inside, reduce the oven temperature and cook for a longer period of time to ensure it fully cooks. 

Tips for determining if the chicken breast is fully cooked: 

To ensure that the chicken breast is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast. The temperature should reach 165°F. 

Alternatively, you can make a small incision in the thickest part of the breast and check if the juices run clear. If the juices are pink, continue baking the chicken for a few more minutes and check again.

Tips for Avoiding Overcooking the Chicken Breast

Cooking chicken is a delicate art, and the last thing you want is to ruin it by overcooking. Rest assured, with a little practice and some tips, you can cook the perfect chicken breast every time. 

  • Try cooking the chicken on medium heat, and avoid high heat as it will cook the outside faster than the inside. 
  • Marinate the chicken before cooking, not only will the meat be more tender and flavorful, but it will also cook faster. 
  • Lastly, consider using a sous vide machine to cook the chicken breast sous vide style. This method involves cooking vacuum-sealed chicken in a water bath at a specific temperature, ensuring a perfectly cooked chicken every time. 

With these tips, you’ll be able to avoid overcooking and serve juicy, delicious chicken breast every time.

An Easy Recipe with Chicken Breast in an Oven

Baked Garlic Butter Chicken Breast 


– 4 boneless chicken breasts 

– 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil 

– 5 cloves garlic, minced 

– 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

– Salt and pepper to taste 


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

2. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish, and rub butter or olive oil over the top. 

3. Sprinkle garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper over the tops of chicken breasts. 

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature should reach 165°F). 

5. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite side dish. Enjoy! 

This recipe is easy to make and produces juicy, flavorful chicken breast every time. Serve it with potatoes, rice or vegetables for a complete meal!


How do I know if the chicken breast is cooked properly?

The best way to determine if the chicken breast is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and check that it has reached an internal temperature of 165F before consumption. 

Can I use a convection oven to cook chicken breast?

Yes, you can use a convection oven to cook chicken breast. However, the cooking time and temperature may need to be adjusted as convection ovens can cook food faster due to circulation of heated air throughout the oven cavity.

How often should I check the chicken breast while it’s cooking?

You should check the chicken breast every 10 minutes or so to ensure that it’s not overcooking. If the chicken breast appears to be close to being done, take its temperature with a meat thermometer. 

How do I prevent the chicken breast from drying out in the oven?

Adding a small amount of liquid such as water or chicken broth to the baking dish or pan can help keep the chicken breast moist and prevent it from drying out in the oven. 

Additionally, marinating the chicken breast in an acidic marinade prior to cooking can also help keep it tender and juicy. 

Can I cook frozen chicken breast in the oven?

Yes, you can cook frozen chicken breast in the oven. However, it will take longer to cook and may be harder to achieve an even result. We recommend that you allow the chicken breast to thaw completely before cooking it in the oven. 

How long should I let the chicken breast rest after cooking before slicing it?

You should let the chicken breast rest for at least 10 minutes to allow the juices to settle before slicing it. This will help ensure that the chicken stays tender and juicy when served. 

Take Home Message

Cooking chicken breast in the oven is a great way to make an easy and delicious meal. It is versatile, low-fat, and economical, so it’s no surprise that so many people like it! 

In order to get the best results and avoid potential problems like undercooked or dry chicken, it’s important to understand how long to cook chicken breast in the oven

Planning ahead and doing some research on the right time and temperature will ensure that you have a delicious dinner every time you make chicken in the oven. Try out this guide today and don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes and techniques–cooking should be fun!

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Christian Chereau

Christian Chéreau is a fourth generation French Pastry Chef born in France on December 20th, 1951. Chéreau cultivated his passion for the art of Pastry as a child in his grandfather’s acclaimed pastry shop, “Chéreau” in Sandillon, France

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