How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It's Always Juicy) (2023)

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If “superfoods” really exist, chicken breast has to be number one on the list. If you remove the skin and trim away any visible fat, chicken breast is 98% lean. It’s basically the ultimate low-fat, no-carb protein source.

This is why knowing how to bake chicken breast in the oven is so useful.

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It's Always Juicy) (1)

It also doesn’t hurt that chicken breast is the least expensive animal protein in most grocery stores. Just be aware that the really cheap chicken breasts are from caged chickens, so spend a little more and get good organicfree-range chicken if you can.

I eat A LOT of chicken breast. To be able to eat chicken this often, I have come up with a lot of different tasty chicken recipes. I have already shared a few chicken recipeson the blog, but today I wanted to show you how to bake chicken breast in the oven.

I usually cook 4-5 breasts at a timeand store them in zip-lock bags in the fridge until I need them. They will keep fresh for about three days.

How to bake chicken breast in the oven

You can see how I bake the perfect juicy chicken breasts in this short video or read the step-by-step instructions below.

If you follow these 3 super easy steps, you will end up with a perfectly baked chicken breast every time:

1. Clean the chicken breast

Cut away any visible fat from the boneless skinless chicken breasts. I always use a pair of scissors for this as it’s much easier than using a knife.

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It's Always Juicy) (2)

2. Brine the chicken breasts

Fill a large bowl with just enough water to cover the chicken breasts and add ½ tbsp. of salt for each chicken breast. Let the salt dissolve before adding the chicken breasts.

Leave the chicken breasts to marinate in the salt water for 1-3 hours in the fridge. This will draw water into the chicken and make it super moist when you cook it (this process is called “brining”).

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It's Always Juicy) (3)

3. Season and cook the chicken breasts

Rinse the chicken breasts thoroughly in cold water. Dry them with a paper towel and place them on a baking pan.

Add your favorite seasoning. I usually use pepper, curry powder, paprika,and garlic powder, but you can use a wide variety of spices.

Bake the chicken breasts in the oven for about 18-20 minutes at a 365 F (185 C), depending on the size of the chicken breasts (the ones I cooked today were large, so they needed 21 minutes).

Cut into one with a knife to see if they are done before taking them out of the oven.

(Video) BAKED CHICKEN BREAST | juicy, tender, easy, and oh, so flavorful!

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It's Always Juicy) (4)

Let the chicken breasts rest for 2-3 minutes after you take them out of the oven to lock in all the juices.

That’s it! This is how to bake chicken breast in the oven. By cooking the chicken breast like this, you will get perfectly tender, juicy, and delicious chicken breast every time!

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It's Always Juicy) (5)

The benefits of brining

Brining is, in my opinion, the easiest and most effective way to tenderize chicken breast and lock in the moisture.

If you are worried about adding too much salt to the chicken, don’t be. Brining doesn’t actually add a lot of sodium to the chicken, as long as you only leave the chicken in the brine for a few hours and rinse it well afterward. Also, you won’t have to salt the chicken laterfor flavor.

This article shows exactly how much sodium is added during brining for different types of poultry. Their conclusion is “only about 1% of the total sodium from the brine is absorbed (for a 24-hour brine). Brine for texture reasons, and put away sodium fears.”

Frequently asked questions

A lot of people have asked great questions in the comments to this guide, so I thought I would collect all the questions and answers here for your convenience:

Q: Can I use frozen chicken breast? A: You can’t brine the frozen chicken breast (unless you plan to leave them in the brine for a long time while they thaw). You have to defrost the chicken before you start brining.

Q: Can I use this method when grilling? A: Absolutely! I think brining is even more important for grilled chicken that tends to get dry easier than baked chicken.

Q: Do I need to rinse the chicken after brining? And doesn’t that spread bacteria in the kitchen? A: I know that many cookbooks say not to rinse chicken for safety reasons, but you have to do it when brining. You need to get the brine off before cooking or the chicken will be too salty.

Q: Do I have to put the chicken in the refrigerator during brining? A: I recommend that you do, but it technically shouldn’t be necessary, as long as you fully cook the chicken breasts. But better safe than sorry, right?

Q: Do I need to cover the chicken breasts in the oven? A: No, I never do that.

Q: Can I use bone-in chicken breasts? A: Yes, but you may have to bake them for longer. Test if they are done with a knife or cooking thermometer.

Q: What does the internal temperature have to be if I use a cooking thermometer? A: The safe internal temperature of chicken is 165 F° (74 C°).

Q: Can I marinate the chicken after brining? A: Absolutely, I often do that. Just don’t add a lot of additional salt.

Q: Do I need to turn the chicken breasts in the oven while cooking? A: No, that shouldn’t be necessary unless your oven cooks very unevenly.

Q: Do I need to put any oil in the pan? A: Only if your pan tends to stick to whatever you are cooking. I use a piece of aluminum foil in the pan to prevent that.

Q: Can I use any kind of salt for the brining (like Himalayan pink salt)? A: Yes, any type of salt should be fine.

Healthy oven baked chicken breast recipes

Youcan use the brined chicken breasts as thebase for a lot of fantastic chicken recipes. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • Mustard Baked Chicken Tenders

You can also check out my list of the best low-carb chicken recipes.

The possibility for healthy and yummy chicken recipes are endless, so there is absolutely no reason to settle for dry chicken. Not when you know how to bake the perfect chicken breast in the oven!

When you’ve tried baking chicken breasts in the oven like this, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked them in the comments below!

(Video) BAKED CHICKEN BREAST | how to make a juicy baked chicken breast

Recipe Card

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven

Follow this easy 3-step guide to bake the perfect chicken breast in the oven. You will always get a perfectly tender, juicy, and yummy result.

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It's Always Juicy) (6)

4.64 from 71 votes

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(Video) How to Bake Chicken Breasts In The Oven - Juicy and Tender | Baked Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Water
  • Seasoning (i like curry powder and paprika)

Instructions

  • Cut away any visible fat and bones. I always use a pair of scissors for this as it’s much easier than using a knife.

  • Fill a large bowl with just enough water to cover the chicken breasts and add ½ tbsp. of salt for each chicken breast. Let the salt dissolve before adding the chicken breasts.

  • Leave the chicken breasts to marinate in the salt water for 1-3 hours in the fridge. This will draw water into the chicken and make it super moist when you cook it (this process is called “brining”).

  • Rinse the chicken breasts thoroughly in cold water. Dry them with a paper towel and put them on a baking pan.

  • Add your favorite seasoning. I usually use pepper, curry powder, paprika and garlic powder, but you can use a wide variety of spices.

  • Cook the chicken breasts in the oven for about 18-20 minutes at a 365 F (185 C), depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Cut into one with a knife to see if they are done before taking them out of the oven.

  • Let the chicken breasts rest for 2-3 minutes after you take them out of the oven to lock in all the juices.

Nutrition Info Per Serving

Nutrition Facts

How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven

Amount Per Serving (4 oz.)

Calories 125Calories from Fat 10

% Daily Value*

Fat 1.1g2%

Saturated Fat 0.3g2%

Trans Fat 0g

(Video) What Temperature to Bake Chicken | Juicy Perfection Every Time

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.3g

Cholesterol 65.8mg22%

Sodium 73.7mg3%

Potassium 289.2mg8%

Carbohydrates 0g0%

Fiber 0g0%

Sugar 0g0%

Protein 26.1g52%

Vitamin A 0IU0%

Vitamin C 1.9mg2%

Calcium 11mg1%

Iron 0.8mg4%

Net carbs 0g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: brining, chicken breast, easy, how to cook chicken breast

FAQs

How do you keep chicken breast moist in the oven? ›

Cook at a lower heat for longer to keep the chicken breast tender and juicy. Bake just until internal temp reaches about 160º F, then let sit under foil to cook to a safe internal temp. Line pan or baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Olive oil keeps chicken moist and adds extra flavor.

How do you cook chicken breast so it's moist? ›

Instructions
  1. Flatten the chicken breasts. ...
  2. Season the chicken breasts. ...
  3. Heat the pan. ...
  4. Cook the chicken breasts over medium heat for 1 minute without moving. ...
  5. Flip the chicken breasts. ...
  6. Turn the heat down to low. ...
  7. Cover the pan and cook on low for 10 minutes. ...
  8. Turn off the heat and let sit for an additional 10 minutes.
4 Oct 2022

What makes chicken soft and juicy? ›

Marinating your chicken in something overnight can help make it all the more juicier and tender. You can use a gluten-free, acidic marinade (like olive oil and lemon juice) or something breadier (like baking soda, egg whites, and buttermilk).

What temperature should juicy chicken breast be? ›

The short answer for juicy, properly cooked chicken is 150 F for at least 3 minutes for white meat and 175 F for dark meat.

Do you cover chicken breasts while baking? ›

Baking chicken at home (whether as pieces or a whole bird) is really as easy as prep and bake. You never have to worry about covering chicken while baking, as it's fine to bake it uncovered. Once your chicken is in the oven, it's hands-free until you need to check the temperature.

Is it better to bake chicken at 350 or 400? ›

You can roast or bake anywhere between 325 and 450 degrees F. When roasting a whole chicken, a nice rule of them is to start at 400 to 425 degrees F and then turn the oven down to 350 after 15 minutes and cook until the internal temp of the chicken is 165 – 175 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.

How do restaurants get their chicken breasts so tender? ›

marinating in a cornstarch/cornflour sludge then deep frying or blanching in water before proceeding to cook in the stir fry. egg whites – sometimes the above method is also done using egg whites. chemical tenderiser. simple baking soda / bi carbonate method.

How long should I cook my chicken breast in the oven? ›

How long should I bake chicken breast?
  1. 20 to 30 minutes for large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
  2. 35 to 40 minutes for large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
2 Dec 2021

How do you cook boneless chicken without drying it out? ›

Chicken breasts are susceptible to drying out when overcooked, so they're best cooked quickly using high heat. That means skillet-cooking, stir-frying, roasting/baking, or grilling chicken breasts are the best routes. The stovetop is particularly easy because you can make a sauce in the same pan.

What temperature do you cook chicken breast in the oven for? ›

Cooking tips

chicken breast at 350°F (177˚C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature is 165˚F (74˚C).

Why are my chicken breasts always dry? ›

So, the short answer to this reader's question is that your chicken is dry because you're overcooking it. The only way to make sure chicken breast stays moist is to walk a line of cooking it properly, which is unfortunately quite narrow.

How long should you bake chicken breast at 400? ›

A medium size chicken breast (5 to 6 ounces each), takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes to bake in a 400 degree oven. I always bake chicken breasts at 400 degrees Fahrenheit as the high temperature helps seal in the juices (and the flavor).

Why is restaurant chicken so soft? ›

Brine your chicken. Place your chicken in a salt and water solution which allows the chicken to absorb these things and retain them throughout the cooking process. Most fried chicken is brined, which is why it's so juicy and salty.

How do I make chicken less dry? ›

How To Never Have Dry Chicken | Southern Living - YouTube

How do you make chicken soft inside? ›

Brining the meat in a salty/sugary/acidic solution will go a long way in adding flavor and making the meat moist and tender.
...
  1. Liberally salt the chicken beforehand and let sit 20-30 minutes.
  2. Do your very best not to overcook it. ...
  3. Finish the meat with a convection cooking method, even if it doesn't start that way.

Do you flip chicken when baking? ›

Place chicken on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Cook chicken breasts for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest parts reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

Do you put water in pan when baking chicken? ›

Roast the Chicken

If you are not roasting any vegetables with the chicken, it's a good idea to add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan to prevent the drippings from burning. Place the chicken on the rack breast side up, slide the pan into the oven, and roast it uncovered for about 60 to 70 minutes.

Does chicken bake faster covered with foil? ›

You will accelerate the cooking process if you use foil. Foil not only enables you to bake your chicken breasts faster but also allows you to keep the chicken moist and tender.

Is it better to cook chicken on low heat or high heat? ›

The slower you cook chicken, the better. That's the overall rule for cooking protein. Start by having the heat medium-high when you put the chicken breast in the pan. Sear it quickly.

Does cooking chicken longer make it more tender? ›

Chicken becomes more tender the longer it cooks. Unfortunately, most cooking methods produce extremely dry meat when the chicken is cooked long enough to become tender.

How long do you bake a chicken at 350? ›

A whole chicken should be cooked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes per pound for a 3 to 8 pound chicken. So, if you have a 4-pound chicken, you would cook it for 80 minutes.

What is best way to cook chicken breast? ›

The Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover sheet pan with parchment paper. Lay out seasoned chicken breasts on parchment. Roast in preheated oven for 13 to 18 minutes, until chicken is just cooked through.

How does Texas Roadhouse get the chicken so tender? ›

Texas Roadhouse achieves this tenderness by wet aging the meat. However, you should also try brining the meat, and cooking it with the sous vide technique.

What is the best way to tenderize chicken breast? ›

Pounding the chicken is one of the greatest do-it-yourself ways to tenderize chicken before cooking. This is because the pounding breaks the fibers in the chicken, allowing for faster cooking. Ensure you cover or wrap the chicken in plastic wrap or a sealable bag.

What temperature should chicken be cooked to? ›

Poultry: The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, stays the same at 165 ºF.

How long does it take to bake chicken at 375? ›

It takes around 60 to 75 minutes to bake/roast 2.5 to 3lb of Whole Chicken at 375 degrees preheated oven; however, 3.5 to 4lb of Whole Chicken takes approximately 75 to 90 minutes to bake at the same temperature.

How long does it take to cook a chicken breast in the oven at 180? ›

Method
  1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tip a couple of tbsp olive oil into a small roasting tin. ...
  2. Roast for 20-25 mins until the chicken is cooked through – check by poking a knife into the centre of each breast to make sure the juices run clear. Rest for 5 mins before serving.

What should I bake my chicken breast on? ›

Line a baking pan with aluminnium foil (or parchment/baking paper). Transfer chicken to the pan and toss chicken in the seasoning. Drizzle with the oil and rub seasoning all over to evenly coat. Remove parchment paper.

Can you cook chicken breast low and slow? ›

How do you slow cook chicken breast? Chicken breasts are a lean cut and the key to slow cooking them without drying them out involves the right amount of moisture. Add just enough liquid to come 1cm up the side of the bowl. Cover and cook on High for 2 ½-4 hours or on Low for 4-6 hours.

How do I stop my chicken from being rubbery? ›

Overcooking chicken and buying woody chicken breast are two of the main causes behind rubbery chicken.
...
You can stop this from happening by:
  1. buying “slow-growing” chicken.
  2. cooking your chicken in moisture.
  3. marinating the chicken in brine for 20–30 minutes before cooking.
1 Aug 2021

How long does it take to bake bone in chicken breast at 350? ›

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle avocado oil over the top of each breast. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF and the skin is golden brown.

How do you brine chicken breast? ›

Brine the chicken.

Fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed. Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes, or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.

How long does it take to cook chicken breast in the air fryer? ›

The amount of time it takes to cook chicken in an air fryer will vary based on the size of your chicken breasts.
  1. Small Breasts (5 to 7 ounces): 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Medium Breasts (8 to 10 ounces): 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Large Breasts (11 ounces or more): 12 to 16 minutes.

Why is my baked chicken so dry? ›

Overcooking leads to dry, tough, sawdusty meat with nearly no flavor. High doneness temperature for food safety. Salmonella is the food safety enemy in chicken that dies only at higher temperatures. But cooking chicken breast to an instant thermal-kill doneness temperature will cause it to dry out excessively.

How do I cook chicken breast so it's not dry Reddit? ›

  1. Brine - Get a bowl full of lukewarm water, put in a handful of salt and stir until it's mostly dissolved. ...
  2. Butter - Melt your butter and then brush it over both sides of each breast.
  3. Rub - Take your spices and rub them all over both sides of the chicken.
  4. Roast - High temp, fast roast = juicy ass chicken.
20 Jun 2020

How long does it take to cook raw chicken in the oven? ›

Here's the shortest answer we can give you: For large boneless, skinless chicken breasts: cook them 20 to 30 minutes in a 375 degrees F oven. For large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts: cook them 35 to 40 minutes in a 375 degrees F oven.

How long does it take chicken to cook at 425? ›

For a whole chicken weighing 5 pounds, baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit should take around 1 hours and 50 minutes to cook. Calculate 20 minutes per pound of chicken, with another 10 to 20 minutes at 425 F. (190C).

How long do you cook chicken at 400? ›

Chicken breast should be baked for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. This will ensure that the chicken is cooked through and juicy. Cook time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breast. Chicken breast is considered done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

How long should I cook my chicken breast in the oven? ›

How long should I bake chicken breast?
  1. 20 to 30 minutes for large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
  2. 35 to 40 minutes for large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
2 Dec 2021

Do you put water in pan when baking chicken? ›

Roast the Chicken

If you are not roasting any vegetables with the chicken, it's a good idea to add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan to prevent the drippings from burning. Place the chicken on the rack breast side up, slide the pan into the oven, and roast it uncovered for about 60 to 70 minutes.

How do I make chicken less dry? ›

Using a method called “dry-poaching” is best. It involves covering the breasts with a piece of parchment paper before they go in the oven. This allows them to baste in their own juices so they cook up to be tender and juicy.

At what temperature do you bake chicken breasts? ›

Bake a 4-oz. chicken breast at 350°F (177˚C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature is 165˚F (74˚C).

How long should you bake chicken breast at 400? ›

A medium size chicken breast (5 to 6 ounces each), takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes to bake in a 400 degree oven. I always bake chicken breasts at 400 degrees Fahrenheit as the high temperature helps seal in the juices (and the flavor).

How long does it take to bake thick chicken breast at 400? ›

How To Bake Chicken Breast
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the chicken breasts with olive oil, herbs, and spices (per recipe below).
  3. Lightly grease a baking dish or pan so the chicken breasts don't stick.
  4. Bake chicken breasts for 22-26 minutes or until they reach 165°F.
  5. Rest them before you slice or pull them.
13 Sept 2018

How long do I bake chicken at 400? ›

Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Put the dish on a rack about ⅓ down from the top of the preheated oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Check the temperature of the chicken breasts with a meat thermometer to ensure they've reached 165°F (74°C).

Do you turn chicken over when baking? ›

Place chicken on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Cook chicken breasts for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest parts reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

Should I use foil when baking chicken? ›

Why You Should Use Foil. It delivers mouth-watering results: By using foil to bake chicken, you seal in its juices as it steams. This keeps your chicken moist and wonderfully flavorful.

What is the liquid after baking chicken? ›

While being heated, juices, fats and other bodily fluids will change and can ooze out of the breast while it is cooking and hopefully become part of a delicious meal. The juices in the bottom of the pan after cooking are the drippings, which should be made into a tasty gravy or sauce.

How do you cook boneless chicken without drying it out? ›

Chicken breasts are susceptible to drying out when overcooked, so they're best cooked quickly using high heat. That means skillet-cooking, stir-frying, roasting/baking, or grilling chicken breasts are the best routes. The stovetop is particularly easy because you can make a sauce in the same pan.

Why is my chicken always dry? ›

So, the short answer to this reader's question is that your chicken is dry because you're overcooking it. The only way to make sure chicken breast stays moist is to walk a line of cooking it properly, which is unfortunately quite narrow.

Why are my boneless chicken breasts tough? ›

Overcooking leads to dry, tough, sawdusty meat with nearly no flavor. High doneness temperature for food safety. Salmonella is the food safety enemy in chicken that dies only at higher temperatures. But cooking chicken breast to an instant thermal-kill doneness temperature will cause it to dry out excessively.

How long does it take to bake chicken at 375? ›

It takes around 60 to 75 minutes to bake/roast 2.5 to 3lb of Whole Chicken at 375 degrees preheated oven; however, 3.5 to 4lb of Whole Chicken takes approximately 75 to 90 minutes to bake at the same temperature.

What temperature should chicken be cooked to? ›

Poultry: The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, stays the same at 165 ºF.

How long does it take to cook a chicken breast in the oven at 180? ›

Method
  1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tip a couple of tbsp olive oil into a small roasting tin. ...
  2. Roast for 20-25 mins until the chicken is cooked through – check by poking a knife into the centre of each breast to make sure the juices run clear. Rest for 5 mins before serving.

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