The time to bake a whole chicken in the oven depends on the size of your chicken and the temperature of your oven. One important thing to note is that “bake” implies a temperature below 400 degrees; it’s actually a better idea to roast a chicken, meaning to cook it at a temperature higher than 400, than to bake it.
If you insist on baking your chicken rather than roasting it, set the oven to 375 degrees and bake your chicken for 20 minutes per pound plus an extra 15 minutes at the end to ensure that it’s fully cooked.
- 2 ½ to 3 pounds: 1 hour to 1 ¼ hours
- 3 1/3 to 4 pounds: 1 ¼ hours to 1 ½ hours
- 4 ½ to 5 pounds: 1 ¾ hours to 2 hours
If you want a nicely browned, flavorful bird, you should roast chicken at 425 degrees. The bake time for a whole chicken roasted at 425 will be about 15 to 18 minutes per pound plus an extra 15 minutes at the end. This will add up to about an hour and a half, depending on the size of the chicken.