How to Broil Chicken in the Oven

For a quick, healthy meal, try a broiled chicken.
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For a quick, healthy meal, try a broiled skinless chicken breast. Broiling is upside-down grilling, with the heat coming from the top rather than the bottom.


As with grilling, broiling cooks the chicken with intense direct heat, creating caramelization and charring while locking in juices for moist, tender, flavorful meat.

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Read more: How to Bake a Plain Chicken Breast

Step 1: Prep the Pan

Spray a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the bottom pan with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier.

Step 2: Adjust the Oven Rack

Position the oven rack at the top of the oven about 3 to 6 inches from the heating element so the chicken does not touch the element during cooking. The distance from the heat will depend on the size of the chicken pieces and the temperature of the broiler.

Step 3: Preheat the Broiler

Turn the oven setting to broil, and preheat the broiler 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Keep the oven door propped open slightly during preheating as well as cooking to maintain a constant temperature and keep the food from overcooking.


Step 4: Prep the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the wrapping or store packaging. Rinse under cool running water, and pat dry with paper toweling.

Step 5: Position the Meat

Place the chicken on the broiler pan with enough room between the pieces so all the skin is exposed to the heat.

Step 6: Add Some Seasoning

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and other desired seasonings.


Step 7: Broil and Monitor

Place the broiler pan on the top rack of the oven. Keep an eye on the chicken during broiling so it doesn't burn or char, turning once during cooking. Use tongs to turn the chicken so you don't pierce the skin and let the juices escape.

Step 8: Add Some Sauce

For a broiled bbq chicken breast, add barbecue sauce after the chicken has started to brown to keep the sauce from burning.


Step 9: Check the Temperature

Test the doneness of the chicken with a meat thermometer by inserting it in the meatiest part without touching the bone. Cooking will take 10 to 12 minutes for thin or small pieces and 25 to 30 minutes for larger pieces.

The chicken is ready to serve when it reaches the recommended safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Read more: General Nutritional Facts About Chicken

Health and Safety Tips

Store your chicken in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and cook it within one to two days to reduce risk of food poisoning, as advised by the USDA.

Be aware that many seasonings used in a broiled chicken recipe are high in sodium. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day — or 1,500 milligrams if you have high blood pressure or other risks factors for heart disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum foil

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • Broiler pan or tray

  • Tongs

  • Meat thermometer

  • Paper towels


Check your oven's user's manual for specific broiling instructions. Defrost frozen chicken before cooking to ensure even, thorough doneness. If the chicken is cooking too fast, carefully lower the oven rack, wearing an oven mitt and taking care not to spill any grease that may be in the pan.




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