How To Bake Chicken Breasts The Right Way

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Chicken breast is a lump of lean meat, and most people don’t like the idea of baking it because they think it’ll turn out dry and bland.

The secret lies in the preparation and duration of baking.

This article guides you on how to bake chicken breasts to achieve moist and tender results.

Read on to find out how long it takes to avoid burning them.

How to bake chicken breasts in an oven

Baking chicken breasts takes less than 30 minutes and involves a series of simple steps.

This recipe gives you juicy chicken breasts with a golden brown exterior.

Ingredients

Chicken breast: Use bone-in, skin-on, or boneless, skinless breasts. The best among the three is the boneless, skinless option because it’s leaner and takes less time to bake. 

Olive oil: You can substitute this with any vegetable oil, provided it has a neutral flavor.

Taco seasoning: For taco seasoning, use the prepackaged blend or prepare one at home. The preparation involves mixing the following ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder for some heat.

Directions

  • Brine the chicken breasts or buy them already brined. To brine, add salt and lukewarm water in a bowl and place the chicken breast in the mixture for 20 minutes to 6 hours, depending on your preference. If you’re brining it for several hours, cover it and put it in a refrigerator.
  • Rinse off with cold water
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Brush all sides of the chicken breasts using olive oil
  • Rub the chicken breast with taco seasoning while pressing to ensure it sticks
  • Grease the baking sheet with olive oil
  • Place the chicken breast on a baking pan and put it on the preheated oven
  • Bake for between 10 to 30 minutes depending on the size. Remember to flip the sides halfway through the baking time
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F and your chicken breast is ready
  • Remove and leave it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing to retain moisture 
Featured image for How to Bake Chicken Breasts in a Toaster Oven

How long it take to bake chicken breasts at different oven temperatures

When baking chicken breasts, you can use different oven temperatures.

To get desired results, stick to the following duration when baking 5oz to 12oz chicken breasts.

Temperature (Degrees F)Baking duration ( Minutes)
350 12 to 30
37511 to 27
40010 to 26
42510 to 25
4509 to 24

Since chicken breasts are different, when buying them, check the sizes, separate them, and weigh each separately.

Bake those with the same weight together for consistent results.

How to bake chicken breasts uncovered at 400 degrees F

Baking chicken breast at 400 degrees F uncovered takes between 20 to 25 minutes.

If done incorrectly, baking the meat uncovered can give you dry results.

Below is a step-by-step procedure to get desired results.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Rub the chicken breasts using olive oil. You can substitute this with melted butter or a marinade. If using a marinade, let the breast soak in it for up to 3 hours to absorb and retain the flavor and moisture.
  • Pour a cup of melted butter, vinegar, or lemon juice into a baking tin.
  • Place the breast in the preheated oven
  • Check the internal temperature before the 20-25 minutes elapse. Once it reaches 160 degrees F, remove the breast.

How long does it take to bake chicken breasts in an air fryer at 400 degrees F?

To bake chicken breasts in an air fryer, follow the same steps as when using an oven.

In this case, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for 3 minutes.

Baking chicken in an air fryer at 400 degrees F takes 20 minutes if covered and between 15 to 20 minutes when uncovered.

If you’re baking uncovered, remember to soak them in a marinade for 2 to 3 hours.

Remember to spray the air fryer basket and the chicken breasts to prevent them from sticking to each other.

In addition, put a few chicken breast pieces at a time to ensure that they cook evenly.

If you want to prepare several chicken breasts, bake them in batches.

How long does it take to bake frozen chicken breasts at 400 degrees F?

If you’re wondering how long to bake chicken breasts while frozen at 400 degrees F, the duration varies for an air fryer and an oven. 

It will take 40 to 50 minutes to bake chicken breasts using an oven and 15 to 25 minutes on an air fryer.

Remove them once the internal temperature hits 165 degrees F to ensure they’re well-baked.

If the chicken breasts are unseasoned, thaw them in the refrigerator for about 12 hours before baking.

Alternatively, you can thaw in warm water for 3 hours.

Chicken Breasts

How long does it take to bake chicken breasts in foil?

Baking chicken breasts in foil is ideal for skin-on and bone-in cuts.

This method ensures that the meat cooks evenly and the steam provides moist results. 

It will take 25 to 30 minutes to bake 4 Oz chicken breasts at 350 degrees F.

The exact amount of meat will take 30 minutes if baked at 400 degrees F.

You’ll know that the meat is ready once the interior temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Is it safe to bake chicken breasts using aluminum foil?

Most people are concerned about the safety of baking chicken breasts in aluminum foil.

As a result, you may not buy the idea of using it in your baking.

Although not harmful, baking your chicken breasts while wrapped in foil increases the amount of aluminum in your meal by a small amount.

Excess amounts of aluminum in your diet increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but the amount in this recipe is minimal.

Aluminum foil doesn’t contribute a big amount of metal to your meal.

However, it’s best to avoid baking with it if you’re concerned about having any amount of metal in your food. 

How long does it take to bake different sizes of chicken breasts at 425 degrees F?

High temperatures of between 400 to 450 degrees F 425 work best when baking chicken breasts because they give them that golden exterior.

The time it takes to bake varies based on the size of the chicken breast. 

Generally, the time ranges between 11 to 25 minutes when baking at 425 degrees F.

Let’s look at the duration it takes to bake different sizes of boneless chicken breasts.

Size (Oz)Baking time (Minutes)
510 to 13
714 to 18
1019 to 24
1222 to 25

To achieve accurate results, ensure that the internal temperature is at 160 degrees F before removing the breasts from the oven.

After removing it, allowing it to rest for up to 5 minutes makes the temperature rise by about 5 degrees.

This rise makes the temperature reach the desired 165 degrees F according to the safety measures of the FDA.

Reasons for dry and tough baked chicken breasts

Most baked chicken breasts produce dry, tough, and bland results.

Below are the reasons for this.

  • Not allowing the chicken breast to get to room temperature before baking: Be sure to let the breast rest for about 15 to 20 minutes after getting it out of the fridge.
  • The breasts are overcooked: If your breasts exceed an internal temperature of 160 degrees F while in the oven, they’re considered overcooked. Remove them immediately when it gets to 160 degrees F.
  • Not allowing the chicken breasts time to rest after baking: Allow your baked chicken breast to rest for 3 to 5 minutes before you slice them. This gives it time to ensure the juices distribute evenly and retain moisture.

FAQs

How do you know that your chicken breast is well baked?

Inserting a food thermometer into the thickest part can check whether your chicken breast is cooked.

It’s well-cooked if the temperature reads 160 degrees F. 

How can you tell that chicken breasts are ready if you don’t have a food thermometer?

Cut a small portion to check the color to tell if your chicken breast is ready without using a food thermometer.

If the color is white, not pink, it’s well cooked.

Can you bake chicken at lower temperatures?

You can bake chicken at lower temperatures, like 325 degrees F or below.

However, it will take more than 30 minutes to cook, and the chances of drying out are higher.

Conclusion

Baked chicken breast is a lean, healthy, protein-dense meal.

Its preparation is easy; it involves coating with herbs and proper timing.

Dry and tough chicken breasts result from incorrect baking time and poor preparation. 

There are several ways to bake chicken breasts; you can use an air fryer or an oven.

Bake at high temperatures of about 400 degrees F to get juicy and tender results to retain the moisture and juices.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts The Right Way

How To Bake Chicken Breasts The Right Way

Chicken breast is a lump of lean meat, and most people don’t like the idea of baking it because they think it’ll turn out dry and bland.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 2920 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Brine the chicken breasts or buy them already brined. To brine, add salt and lukewarm water in a bowl and place the chicken breast in the mixture for 20 minutes to 6 hours, depending on your preference. If you’re brining it for several hours, cover it and put it in a refrigerator.
  • Rinse off with cold water
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Brush all sides of the chicken breasts using olive oil
  • Rub the chicken breast with taco seasoning while pressing to ensure it sticks
  • Grease the baking sheet with olive oil
  • Place the chicken breast on a baking pan and put it on the preheated oven
  • Bake for between 10 to 30 minutes depending on the size. Remember to flip the sides halfway through the baking time
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F and your chicken breast is ready
  • Remove and leave it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing to retain moisture

Nutrition

Calories: 2920kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 492gFat: 91gSaturated Fat: 28gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 1383mgSodium: 1468mgPotassium: 8246mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 179IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 12mg
Keyword How To Bake Chicken Breasts The Right Way
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