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Jan 21, 2012 08:14 PM

How Do You Convection Roast a Chicken?

I understand, sort of, how a convection oven works and that it's supposed to save time, but I just roast a small chicken in a porcelain dish with the convection roast setting and it didn't quite work the way I wanted. I cooked the chicken breast side up and the top of the bird cooked very nicely, thank you, but the back (bottom) was underdone at the same time. Do you have to roast things on a rack when you use convection roast? Would using a rack have made a difference? Any advice is most welcome.

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  1. When roasting a single chicken with convection I use my 12" SS All-Clad frying pan and I don't use a rack. It's easier to clean than a large roasting pan. No surprise that the bottom side of the chicken was underdone while the breast was perfect. The optimal internal temperature after resting is 160 for the breast, and 180 for the thigh. I believe your problem is the vessel and/or too low of a roasting temperature. I use 425 for 30 - 40 minutes depending on the size of the bird.

    1. Throw some onionsmor carrots,celery....ya know the standby on the bottom instead of rack and place chicken on top....roast for 425 for 40 minutes for a three lb chicken or so making sure juices run clear....cook mine all the time in my convection toaster oven....convection is just circular heat instead of directly from top or bottom for more even cooking....hey throw a lemon inside;)

      1. Yeah, the chicken should be on a rack, or failing that propped up on a bed of vegetables or something.

        When roasting a chicken in a non-convection oven, it will cook faster and more evenly on a roasting rack than sitting low in a pan, because the part of the bird sitting low in the pan gets surrounded by a sort of 'cushion' of cooler air.

        My educated guess is that using a convection oven can in some ways exascerbate this problem, because, counterintuitively, the cushion of cooler air is still there, still buffered by the sides of the pan, while the top of the bird gets even more air circulation than it would in a regular oven. The effect would be that the top of the bird cooks even faster than it would in a regular oven while the bottom of it cooks much as it would in a non-convection oven.

        1. I convection roast in a cast iron skillet. The chicken has been spatchcocked

          2 Replies
          1. re: scubadoo97

            This has become my favorite configuration for roasting a chicken.

            That, or this variation. Have you tried the panfried chicken method where you use two cast iron skillets? Heat the two skillets in a hot (450) oven for 1/2 an hour or so. Place the spatchcocked chicken in one, as in your photo, and put the OTHER cast iron skillet, blazing hot, on top (right side up). Put the whole 2-pan mess in the oven for about 1/2 an hour.

          2. I've never had trouble convection roasting a chicken in a low-sided roasting pan. I take the chicken out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking, set the oven at 325 and roast until a thermometer in the breast reads between 160-165. Then I take it out of the oven, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.