How long to cook whole chicken at 250 degrees Celsius

Yes, you can.

In fact, one of the biggest, ever so often repeated mantras here is:

Don't determine doneness with a watch, use a thermometer!

Measure at the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone. If you have reached at least 165°F or 75°C, your chicken is done.

Of course, the hotter your oven, the crispier the skin will be and the higher the risk of burning some parts, so check your chicken periodically and tent with aluminum foil if necessary. That said, 350°F / 175°C is a perfectly reasonable temperature to roast a chicken.

I won't and can't give you a time to bake the chicken, partly because I don't know how large your bird is and what temperature it was at the start, because I don't know how reliable your oven thermostat is and above all: because only a thermometer can guarantee that the meat reached a safe temperature.

How long to cook whole chicken at 250 degrees Celsius

Master the art of cooking the perfect roast chicken with our step-by-step guide.

Few people can resist a golden, tender roast chicken. It's the ultimate comfort food, and mastering the art of cooking the perfect roast chook is well worth doing, as it's one of those never-fail meals that you know will always be enjoyed and savoured.

Master the art of cooking the perfect roast chicken and you'll never be short of dinner guests!

Our recipe can be customised to suit your own tastes. Stuff the chicken with different garden herbs (parsley, rosemary, oregano or basil would all be good) or rub the skin with your favourite spices to create your own signature dish.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Resting time: 15 - 20 minutes

  • 2kg free-range or organic chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 4 marjoram sprigs
  • 4 sage sprigs
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled, bruised
  • 20g butter, softened

Lemon and thyme are popular herbs for adding flavour to roast chicken. Photo: Bauer Photographic /

  • Roasting a chicken will take approximately 20 minutes for every 500g of weight at 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius for fan-forced ovens). So if you do the maths, it should take a 2kg chicken about 80 minutes (1 hour and 20 minutes) to cook.

  • Preheat oven to 200 decrees Celsius (or 180 degrees Celsius fan forced).
  • Using paper towels, pat chicken dry thoroughly.
  • Season cavity generously with salt and pepper then stuff with a 1/2 a lemon, herb sprigs and garlic.

*WATCH: 9 types of herbs that are super easy to grow

  • With chicken breast-side up, tuck wings under shoulders.
  • Wrap a 1m-long piece of string around legs twice and tie underneath. Pull up along insides of legs, so string runs along underside of breast. Loop over wings and tie tightly at back.

Tucking in the wings and tying the legs together allows the chicken to cook through uniformly. Photo: Louise Lister /

  • Many people believe a roast just isn't complete without the vegies. To roast vegetables with your chicken, allow chicken to cook for 30-40 minutes then add vegetables to the pan. Try potatoes, baby carrots and shallots.

  • Place chicken in a roasting pan. Brush with butter and juice from 1/2 a lemon. Season to taste.
  • Roast for 1 hour 20 minutes, basting with juices and turning every 20 minutes, or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced.
  • Before carving, allow chicken to stand for 15-20 minutes – this gives the juices time to settle. Carve the breast meat in long thin slices, then remove the legs with the thighs and cut in half at the joint.

Allow the chicken to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. Photo: Bauer Photographic /*

If you want peace of mind that your chook really is cooked, you'll need a good quality cooking thermometer. Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to measure the temperature. A fully cooked chicken should be 75 degrees celsius.

Weber instant read cooking thermometer, $29.95, from David Jones.

A pair of sharp, heavy-duty poultry shears will help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with roasting a whole chicken. With this tool you can easily cut the meat into sections, or butterfly the chicken for a quicker cook. Made in Germany, the metal blades of Zwilling poultry shears come with a lifetime guarantee and are even safe to wash in the dishwasher.

Zwilling poultry shears, $158.95, from Myer.

A simple cast iron pan is a versatile tool cooks of all skill should own. To achieve a perfectly roast chook with crispy skin, simply brown the raw chicken on the stove in the cast-iron pan before placing it in the oven to roast. Once cooked, you can use the juices that accumulate in the pan to create a delicious, flavoursome gravy.

Raw cast-iron skillet, $39.97 (reduced from $79.95), available at Harris Scarfe.

Not only is this copper tray perfect for roasting, it'll look impressive placed in the centre of the table too. The stainless steel, copper and aluminium construction ensures even heat distribution, while ergonmic handles and sealed edges make it easy to hold and clean.

Chasseur 35x26cm Escoffier roasting pan with rack, $225, from Catch.

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