Everything You Need to Know When Roasting Chicken

No need to spend more if you can make a good roast chicken at home.

IMAGE Dairy Darilag

A good roast chicken is a great way to learn about roasting. Roasting is a method of dry-heat cooking, usually over a fire or in an oven. It's a great way to make a meal fit for an entire family without slaving over a hot stove! 

However, not everyone knows all there is to make a good roast chicken. Some may even be intimidated by cooking their very first roast chicken! Don't be! A roast chicken is actually one of the easiest ways to cook chicken. Plus, it requires little effort on your part since the oven will be doing all the cooking for you. 

If you're ready to make the most delicious roast chicken you can make, here are the roast chicken tips and tricks you need to know to do it right: 

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1 Prepare your chicken right. 

The only way you can make a delicious chicken is by preparing it with flavorful ingredients. There are quite a number of ways to do this. You can brine your chicken to ensure juiciness as well as flavor, marinate it in a super flavorful liquid or dry marinate it simply with salt and ground black pepper. 

Whatever you do to flavor your chicken, what you need to ensure is that the chicken's skin is dry before being coated in oil or even butter. Dry, because the oil needs to adhere to the skin. The oil (or butter) meanwhile is to ensure that it browns to perfection in the oven. Skip the oil and you may end up with pale-looking roasted chicken that's definitely not appetizing. 

Photo by Pixabay

2 Preheat your oven to its highest setting. 

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Once you're ready to roast, remember to preheat your oven! After all the work you just exerted to make your chicken flavorful, don't forget this most important step of roasting. Preheating your oven can be the step that can prevent you from having the crispest skin possible on your chicken. 

Preheating is important but it's also important to jack up the heat to its highest setting. Most household ovens will reach around 480 degrees F (250 degrees C). This temperature is perfect for getting that skin as browned and crisp as it can before the rest of the chicken cooks through. 

Photo by Riell Santos

3 Put the chicken in the oven then lower the heat. 

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If you did all the steps as this guide suggests, then you need to do this step, too. Once you place your chicken in the oven, lower the heat to the recommended temperature. This is usually 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Lowering the heat is just as important as preheating your oven to its highest setting because if you keep your oven at that high a temperature, you will risk charring the skin or even burning your chicken before it's cooked through. Prevent this chicken disaster before it starts and check your temperature before you step away for the next hour of it roasting. 

Illustrator Jasper Castro

4 Take the chicken's temperature. 

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According to the basic food safety standards of the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), poultry needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F (approximately 75 degrees C). This is the temperature that the USDA deems is safe for all poultry, including chickens, to be heated or cooked before being safe to eat.

The only way to ensure that you reach this temperature is by using a meat thermometer. There are affordable thermometers you can purchase, both digital and analog, so there's no need to break your budget for an expensive one. 

Since all cooked food suffers from carryover cooking, or the continued cooking of food even after it has been removed from the heat source, you can remove your roast chicken from the oven when your meat thermometer reads around at least 155 degrees F (around 68 degrees C). To see how carryover cooking works, keep your thermometer in the chicken once out of the oven and you'll see its temperature will continue to rise around 10 more degrees as it rests. This is actually one of the main reasons why you need to rest roasts or any cooked food before slicing into it. 

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Need to know if your meat thermometer is accurate? Here's a foolproof way to check: Fill a glass with ice and water and let the water become ice cold. Place your thermometer into the glass and take its temperature. Make sure you take the temperature when the dial stops falling so you get a proper reading.

If your thermometer reads 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C, it's accurate. If it reads anything else, you can adjust your thermometer manually if it allows. If not, toss it and get yourself a more accurate one. 

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

5 Let it rest. 

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Just like all cooked food, especially meat, you need to let it rest to allow its temperature to normalize throughout the food. This ensures that only the excess juices leak out of its meat and the rest of the meat retains its juices. 

Be brave and buy that whole chicken during your next trip to the butcher. You have all the basic knowledge you need to make the most perfect roast chicken you can cook. To make it even more special, try any of these side dishes to make your meal a truly appetizing one: 

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