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Mar 2, 2005 11:49 AM

three chickens in one oven

  • t

This is something that's been perplexing me for quite awhile. If it takes 45 minutes to an hour to cook one three pound chicken in a 475 degree oven, how long will it take to cook three three pound chickens (at the same time) in a 475 degree oven?

I'm planning a dinner party, and need to figure out my timing. I'm sure someone here has experience with this. Thanks very much.

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  1. it will take somewhat more time, and how much more depends on how much space you have between each of the chickens and between them and the six sides of the oven.

    It may help to preheat the roasting pan.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Karl S.

      Thanks. That's what I was thinking, so to press your patience just a bit more: if I preheat the roasting pan (which takes up amost all of the middle rack in the oven), then place all three chickens in the pan so they are touching on the sides but not totally smushed (a technical term, I know) together, should I plan on another 15 minutes?

      1. re: terri

        I would think, I would not be surprised if that stretches to 20 or even 30 (especially if the chickens are ice-cold, though you cannot bring them up to room temperature before roasting like red meat, unfortunately), given that you'll have little air circulation because the pan almost reaches the walls and the birds will still be fairly close to each other.

          1. re: Karl S.

            I would think they might cook unevenly where they are touching. In other words, the outer sides of the birds on the end will be done before the parts that are touching. It will probably depend on how smushed they are.

            1. re: Gosling

              Agreed. Overcrowding for any aspect of cooking or baking is usually a no-no.

              To the OP: Try to have some space btwn. your chickens so that heat can circulate properly, resulting in even cooking and better crisping of skin. 'Smushed' birds would take longer to cook, I believe, and likely result in dry white meat.

              Most accurate way to gauge doneness is w/ a meat thermometer. I haven't roasted chicken in a while, so forget what the optimal temp. is, but you can look it up. Good luck.

              1. re: Carb Lover

                Salmonella is killed about 161F, so you normally shoot for 160-165, and the after-cooking will continue to increase the cooked temp. 170-180 comes from the days when everyone stuffed their birds, and you needed to get the stuffing up to a high temp, which guarantees a dry bird.

      2. See link below regarding basting and turning the chickens half through cooking.

        Also, is it possible to cook on two levels?

        Also, are all chickens served at the same time? Because if one is just for "extra" or second helpings, you might consider prepping all three and roasting two, then put the third one in when the two are taken out and resting for 15 minutes before cutting. The third chicken will be done and hot and ready to cut after an hour.