How-To & Diy

How to Know When Chicken is Done

February 13, 2013

Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: Never doubt the doneness of your whole chicken.

Shop the Story

A simple, whole roasted chicken is the most comforting dinner after a long day -- and easily shared between family members, and even guests at an intimate dinner party. But before carving into a crispy, juicy whole chicken, it's important to make sure that your bird is done.

Our test kitchen director, Jennifer, shows us two ways to assure that it's done: first, by simply sticking a thermoter into the bird, and second, by prying open the space between the leg and the thigh. Once you realize how easy it is to know when your chicken is done, go ahead and try your hand at cooking up this Late Night Coffee Brined Chicken.

This video was shot and edited by Kyle Orosz

Order Now

The Dynamite Chicken cookbook is here! Get ready for 60 brand-new ways to love your favorite bird. Inside this clever collection by Food52 and chef Tyler Kord, you'll find everything from lightning-quick weeknight dinners to the coziest of comfort foods.

Order Now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Karol
  • joschus
  • Sam
  • darksideofthespoon
  • AntoniaJames

Written by: gheanna

My two (current) favorite foods start with the letter D: doughnuts, and dumplings. If a dish has bacon in it, I will most likely eat it. If I could marry honey butter, I would.


Karol March 8, 2015
Silly… but it was a different chicken the second time. :) She checked for clear juices by cutting the birds thigh, then when she took it out of the oven the second time, no original cut. I need to get a life.
Mikey October 1, 2018
She also touches the cast iron pan on both sides with bare hands. 🤷🏼‍♀️
joschus February 6, 2015
I was referred to this video to learn where to insert the thermometer and to see where to cut into the chicken to twdr for doneness. In both instances the camera showed the lady's face instead if the chicken. I would have learned more by watching her deal with the chicken rather than seeing her face.
AntoniaJames February 6, 2015
Excellent point, joschus. Fortunately, the alternate method of checking the color of the juices is quite reliable. ;o)
Sam February 3, 2015
I have heard all my life from various people that the internal temperature of meat will increase a few degrees once it is taken from the oven. As far as I can tell with my thermometers, the temperature begins to drop almost immediately.
darksideofthespoon February 13, 2013
I have to say, Jennifer is a beautiful lady, however the face she's making at the very beginning of the video made me spit my coffee out. ;)
AntoniaJames February 13, 2013
You say it's ready to carve and serve. Won't you be letting it rest first? (And if so, will the internal temperature increase during the rest?) ;o)
TheGreedyFork February 16, 2013
reaching the required temp kills the harmful bacteria, so in letting it rest (which will make it better and easier to carve), and cool, is fine