Chicken in Toaster Oven (Everything You Need to Know!)

Chicken is one of the most accessible and popular choices of many when it comes to meat. With a simple cooking process, anyone can prepare chicken even with a shortage of tools. For instance, a chicken can be prepared even with a toaster oven. Since almost every home has a toaster oven, you may want to know how to prepare your favorite meat in it.

In this article, we’ll cover all the things you need to know about chicken if you’re preparing it through a toaster oven. This way, you’ll know the techniques and understand the risks and downsides that you may face.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Chicken in Toaster Oven

Can you cook chicken in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook chicken in a toaster oven. Toaster ovens work in the same process as a regular oven. The only thing that makes them different is the control. Thus, while you can cook chicken in a toaster oven, you need to watch out for your chicken as it can have overcooked or undercooked parts.

Chicken is a great food that’s easy to prepare. Even if you only have a toaster oven, you can cook it inside and still end up with a great meal. Still, you’ll want to watch over the chicken as the toaster oven may have some hot spots. 

Also, you can’t control the temperature in typical toaster ovens, so be sure to move the chicken from time to time to make sure you have an even cook throughout the meat.

Also Read: Cooking Meat in a Toaster Oven

Is it safe to cook chicken in a toaster oven?

One of the things to watch out for is an undercooked chicken because it may carry some risks of salmonella and other bacteria. Thus, when cooking a chicken in a toaster oven, you need to ensure that it’s cooked well throughout and that no part becomes undercooked.

All in all, you can prepare a well-cooked chicken dish in a toaster oven with proper techniques and careful procedure.

How long to cook chicken in a toaster oven?

The cooking time of chicken depends on the process and the parts that you’ll cook. For instance, a whole raw chicken can take up to 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook with an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you’re cooking small parts, it will only take about half that time.

Let’s talk about each of the chicken parts in the following sections.

Can you cook chicken breast in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook chicken breast in a toaster oven. However, chicken breasts are pure meat with little to no muscles. Thus, it can be prone to overcooking and drying. To make sure you retain a moist chicken breast, you’ll want to watch out for the cooking time in a toaster oven.

How long to cook chicken breast in a toaster oven?

In general, you should bake the chicken at around 35 to 45 minutes if you have a typical toaster oven. To make sure you have a cooked chicken, you can use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature you’re looking for is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the USDA, a 4-ounce chicken breast should be roasted at 350°F (177˚C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Now, the thing about toaster ovens is that you cannot control the temperature. Thus, you’ll need to know your toaster’s temperature so you can see how long you can cook it inside.

Can you cook chicken thighs in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook chicken thighs in a toaster oven. Chicken thighs have dark meat and can remain moist when cooked properly. Thus, you need to have it look better in a toaster oven.

How long to cook chicken thighs in a toaster oven?

Chicken thighs need 15-30 minutes of cooking time in a toaster oven, depending on the size. To ensure a well-cooked thigh, you can use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature you’re looking for is 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

chicken thighs

Can you cook chicken legs in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook chicken legs in a toaster oven. Chicken legs have dark meat and can remain moist when cooked properly. However, since it has big bones, you’ll need to be careful in cooking it. For this reason, you need to have it look better in a toaster oven.

How long to cook chicken legs in a toaster oven?

Preheat the toaster oven for around 5-10 minutes. Bake the chicken leg quarters or thigh-drumstick pieces uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit on your meat thermometer.

Can you cook frozen chicken in a toaster oven?

If you have frozen chicken, it would be best to avoid cooking them in a toaster oven. However, it’s possible as long as you have it thawed first. Toaster ovens have specific hotspots that can overcook a chicken while leaving some parts undercooked. 

Thus, with a frozen chicken, you may end up toasting some parts while leaving the insides cold. If you have no other options, leave the chicken out first and let it thaw at room temperature before placing it inside the toaster oven.

Can you cook a whole chicken in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook a whole chicken in a toaster oven, but make sure to watch over it and that no parts touch the heating bar. In most toaster ovens, a large chicken may not fit. Or, if they do, some parts may end up touching the walls or the heating bar.

Such an instance can lead to uneven cooking of your chicken. For this reason, it would be best to use other cooking options if you’re cooking a whole chicken. Or, you can chop it up and cook each part in batches.  

How to reheat chicken in a toaster oven?

If your chicken is already cooked and you simply want to reheat it, you can let it rest at room temperature first and then place it in the toaster oven.

To start, you can use a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then you can preheat your toaster oven for a few minutes.

Place the cooked chicken and let it heat up for a couple of minutes. Since it’s already cooked, the reheating process shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.

can you cook chicken in a toaster oven

How to cook chicken in a toaster oven?

If you want to know how to cook chicken in a toaster oven, you can use the following sections as your guide for each chicken part.

Chicken breast

Here are the steps on how you can cook a chicken breast in a toaster oven:

Brine your chicken breast.

Brining your chicken breast will help especially if you just took it out from the fridge. To do this, combine one tablespoon of salt and a pinch of sugar with two cups of water, and soak the chicken breasts in the brine for 15 minutes or up to two hours.

Preheat your toaster oven.

Preheat your toaster oven to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If it has no temperature control, at least preheat your oven for 5-10 minutes. You can also use the bake option if your toaster has any.

Season your chicken breast.

The next thing you’ll need is to season your chicken. You can rub the chicken with your favorite seasoning. If you brined your chicken, you can skip adding salt or anything salty in your rub.

Use some foil and oil and arrange your chicken breast.

Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and line it with aluminum foil. Then, arrange the chicken breasts on the tray, being careful not to crowd it. Lastly, lightly brush with olive oil.

Let the chicken breast  cook.

You can let the chicken breast cook for around 40-45 minutes. If you want a precise cook, you can use a meat thermometer and stick it to the middle of your chicken. The internal temperature you’re looking for is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rest your chicken breast.

The last thing you’ll want to do is to let your chicken breast rest for as long as you cook it. This way, the moisture would return back inside the breast. It’s the secret to keep your chicken moist and flavorful.

Chicken thighs

Here are the steps on how you can cook chicken thighs in a toaster oven:

Preheat your toaster oven.

Set your toaster oven to the bake option and preheat it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If your toaster doesn’t have that option, preheat it for at least 10 minutes.

Chop your aromatics.

The next thing you’ll want is to prepare your aromatics like onion and some cloves of garlic. You can also add other herbs and spices like thyme and rosemary.

Prepare the ingredients

Line the tray of the toaster oven with foil. Cover the foil with a layer of onions and garlic, then place the chicken on top. Fill the tray with as many bits from a whole chicken as would fit without being packed too tightly. 

Place the chicken halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Place any leftover onion and garlic between the chicken pieces.

Season your chicken thighs.

Drizzle olive oil over the chicken portions, at least one teaspoon each piece. Season with salt and pepper, then top with fresh or dried herbs like sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary.

Start cooking.

Reduce the oven temperature to 425°F and place the chicken inside. Check that the chicken is not contacting the oven walls and that there is approximately an inch of space between the flesh and the top heating element—Cook the chicken for around 20 minutes.

Baste the chicken.

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a separate pan over the fire and add pepper and a clove of smashed garlic. Instead of butter, olive oil can be used. While the chicken is cooking, use this to baste it every 7 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, baste the chicken with the juices on the tray once or twice.

Let the chicken thighs rest.

The last thing you should do is let your chicken thighs rest for as long as it takes to cook. The moisture would then be able to return to the breast. This is the key to keeping your chicken moist and tasty.

Chicken legs

Here are the steps on how you can cook chicken legs in a toaster oven:

Preheat your toaster oven.

Set your toaster oven to the bake option and preheat it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If your toaster doesn’t have that option, preheat it for at least 10 minutes.

Prepare your aromatics.

The next thing you’ll want is to prepare your aromatics like onion and some cloves of garlic. You can also add other herbs and spices like thyme and rosemary.

Mix all the ingredients.

Line the tray of the toaster oven with foil. Cover the foil with a layer of onions and garlic, then place the chicken on top. Fill the tray with as many bits from a whole chicken as would fit without being packed too tightly. 

Place the chicken halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Place any leftover onion and garlic between the chicken pieces.

Season your chicken legs.

Drizzle olive oil over the chicken portions, at least one teaspoon each piece. Season with salt and pepper, then top with fresh or dried herbs like sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary.

Start cooking.

Reduce the oven temperature to 425°F and place the chicken inside. Check that the chicken is not contacting the oven walls and that there is approximately an inch of space between the flesh and the top heating element—Cook the chicken for around 20 minutes.

Let the chicken legs rest.

The last thing you should do is let your chicken legs rest for as long as it takes to cook. The moisture would then be able to return to the breast. This is the key to keeping your chicken moist and tasty.

Summary

In a nutshell, you’ll realize that it’s pretty simple to prepare a chicken, and you can do it even with a handy toaster oven.

As long as you understand the weak points of a toaster oven and know how to deal with such, you can prepare a chicken through proper techniques or methods.

And if you need some more ideas, check out our article best frozen foods for a toaster oven.

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Image credits – Canva

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