Cooking Chicken Safely

cooking chicken safely

Chicken is a versatile meat and can be cooked in so many ways, but it is important that it is cooked correctly and fully. Chicken should be completely defrosted before cooking and fully cooked before eating. The internal temperature should reach a minimum of 75°C.

Suggested cooking times may vary depending on your oven and assume the oven is preheated.


Using the fan bake setting, whole chickens need 40 minutes per kg plus a further 20 minutes at 180°C.

Stuffed whole chickens require 55 minutes per kg plus an additional 20 minutes at 180°C.

Oven baked

Bone-in portions retain moisture better than boneless cuts, so keep this in mind. A dish with a sauce helps keep the chicken moist, too. As a general rule, bone-in portions require 15-20 minutes at 190°C.


A dish with vegetables and stock where the chicken is covered helps retain moisture in the chicken. Bone-in portions will take longer than boneless cuts.  Bone-in portions need approx. 1–1½ hours at 190°C.

Pan frying

This method is best with chicken that has been coated – e.g. in breadcrumbs. Boneless portions need approx. 10 minutes. Thinner cuts such as tenderloins or chicken schnitzel need approx. 3-4 minutes each side. Bone-in cuts require approx. 20-40 minutes.


Times vary according to specific microwaves but a guide is:

  • Whole chickens without stuffing require 15 minutes per 500g on medium high, then rest for 5 minutes before carving.
  • Bone-in portions approx. need 8-10 minutes on medium high, plus 5 minutes resting time.


Cooking bone-in cuts on the BBQ takes time. Precooking in the microwave is recommended to ensure the chicken is cooked through fully, then finish off on the BBQ.  This also prevents burning of the chicken on the outside while it is taking time to cook internally.

How to test if your chicken is cooked

Use a skewer or sharp knife to test the deepest part of the chicken. Clear juices mean your chicken is cooked, while pink juices mean it needs further cooking. The chicken should also feel firm if it is cooked fully.