This is a quick guide on how to bake chicken in a toaster oven. We present three simple methods that should work in virtually any style toaster oven, including toaster ovens that cost under $50.
A toaster oven is a miniature oven, usually, one that sits on the countertop. They open at the front like a traditional oven, or to the side like a microwave. There are 4 main types: convection, rotisserie, infrared, and combination.
- Convection toaster ovens have inbuilt fans to evenly distribute the heat throughout.
- Rotisserie toaster ovens are designed to cook items such as whole chickens with a similar result to a traditional oven.
- Infrared heats the food directly rather than the air inside the toaster oven. This reduces the need to preheat the toaster oven.
- Combination toaster ovens include a toaster compartment on the side so that you can toast bread at the same time as cooking.
Regardless of the type of toaster oven you use, or the cut of chicken, never try to cook frozen chicken in a toaster oven. Always make sure it is completely thawed.
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We suggest marinating the chicken breasts for 3 to 5 hours in a large bowl. This will infuse the breasts with flavor and prevent the meat from drying out during the cooking process.
Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If yours has varying cooking options, look for one that says ‘Bake’.
At this point, you can put a breading or coating on your chicken breasts if this is what you want.
Remove the tray from the toaster oven and line with parchment paper or aluminum foil. If you are using aluminum foil, we suggest giving it a light spray with cooking oil to ensure the chicken breast comes off easily.
Place your chicken breasts on the lined tray and spray with a thin coating of oil. If you are cooking chicken breasts with the skin on, place skin-side up on the baking sheet.
The oil will add an extra layer of protection against the meat drying out. Leave a little space between the chicken breasts, don’t pack them together tightly.
Bake the chicken in the toaster oven for between 40 and 45 minutes. For best results, baste the breasts with a little olive oil and the chicken juices every 7 to 10 minutes.
Some models of toaster ovens come with temperature probes so that you can measure the internal temperature of the meat.
If your toaster oven does not have this feature, we recommend using a separate meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken breast. This should be a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the bacteria is killed off.
If you do not have a temperature probe to hand, pull the chicken apart at the thickest point. The meat should be white all the way through, and the juices that run out of it should be clear.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. This gives the meat time to reabsorb some of the juices and results in moisture meat.
You can use boneless chicken breasts to make homemade chicken nuggets in your toaster oven. Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, on the ‘Bake’ setting.
Thinly slice the breasts and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Coat each piece of chicken with some seasoned breadcrumbs.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
Lay the chicken nuggets in a single layer on the baking sheet. Ensure they do not touch one another. Cover with a second sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven.
Cook for 5 minutes on the first side, then flip the chicken over. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until golden brown.
Move the toaster rack to the lowest position possible. Preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and set to the ‘Convection’ setting.
Take the giblets, neck, and all other inedible parts of the chicken from the cavity. Either keep to use in another recipe or throw away.
At this point, we suggest weighing your chicken so that you can accurately work out the cooking time.
Some people advise washing the chicken and patting it dry with a kitchen towel. Many say this is not necessary and can actually cause harmful bacteria such as Salmonella to be thrown about your kitchen.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with a thin layer of oil spray and pour ¼ cup water into the base of the pan.
Prepare the chicken for baking. Tuck the wings underneath the body and place the chicken on the oiled baking sheet. Wash your hands properly with soap and water before continuing.
Season the interior and exterior of the chicken well. Fill the cavity with aromatics such as garlic cloves, lemon halves, herb sprigs, and chopped onions.
Tie the legs of the chicken together loosely and rub the surface with a generous amount of olive oil and some more seasonings. Drizzle with lemon juice if you like.
Cover the chicken with a loose-fitting layer of aluminum foil. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
After this, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the aluminum foil. Bake for a further 12 minutes per pound.
Test the internal temperature of the chicken once the cooking time is up. The breast temperature should read 170 degrees Fahrenheit and the dark meat, 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The juices of the chicken should run clear.
Take the chicken out of the toaster oven and place on a large serving dish to rest. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving. You can cover the chicken with aluminum foil during this time, but this could cause the chicken skin to lose its crisp texture.
We hope that you now feel confident in your knowledge of how to cook a whole chicken, chicken breasts, and chicken nuggets in your toaster oven.
It is super simple to cook and does not require much oil.
Enjoy cooking chicken the easy way through your toaster oven.