Chicken Cooking School

How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400

Don’t chicken out – properly cook your bird!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated May 30, 2022

How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400
To cook the perfect chicken breast and avoid food poisoning, you need to reach a temperature of at least 165 degrees F.

But how long does it take to bake chicken breast at 400°F to achieve this safe temperature?

In fact, certain factors affect your cooking time. For instance, whether it’s boneless or bone-in, frozen or raw will make a difference.

The following guide includes temperatures for chicken and turkey, whether you’re using an air fryer or an oven. I also included two recipes for chicken breasts at 400°F in an oven and in an air fryer.

How Long To Bake Chicken Breast in an Oven at 400

The following chart is based on the weight of the bird, whether it’s bone-in or boneless and frozen or thawed. All cook times are based on placing chicken breasts in a preheated oven at 400°F, wrapped in foil or uncovered.

For a temperature of 400 °FTypeWeightTiming
Frozen Chicken BreastBone-in 6 to 8 oz.39 to 52 mins
Boneless 4 oz.25 to 39 mins
Thawed Chicken BreastBone-in6 to 8 oz.26 to 35 mins
Boneless4 oz.17 to 26 mins
Minimal Internal Temperature
165°F

How Long To Bake Chicken Breast in an Air Fryer at 400

Cooking times will differ depending on the weight of the bird if it’s bone-in or boneless, frozen or thawed. They are calculated by placing chicken breasts in a preheated air fryer at 400°F, wrapped in foil or uncovered.

For a temperature of 400 °FTypeWeightTiming
Frozen Chicken BreastBone-in 6 to 8 oz.20 to 34 mins
Boneless 4 oz.12 to 20 mins
Thawed Chicken BreastBone-in6 to 8 oz.13 to 23 mins
Boneless4 oz.8 to 13 mins
Minimal Internal Temperature
165°F

Important Notes


  • Foods – and in general raw meat – are cooked properly when you kill any bacteria that are in it.
    To kill these dangerous bacteria, you need to cook your food at a high enough temperature and for a long enough time (1).
  • Ground chicken and turkey need to reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. Regular cuts of poultry need to reach 165 degrees, too. This includes breasts, thighs, or giblets. To check the temperature, a meat thermometer can help.

  • Since May 2020 the USDA says to add an extra 3 minutes of resting time once the meat gets to 165. Resting time is the time when you take your chicken out of the oven or off the grill. Then you let the temperature continue to rise, or at least stay at the minimum. This gives the heat time to properly kill the bacteria.

Factors That Affect Chicken Breasts’ Baking Time at 400°F

Boneless or Bone-in

One big factor in cooking time at 400°F is whether your chicken has bones in it. When you bake boneless chicken breasts, they’ll cook faster than those with bones.

When you cook bone-in chicken, the bones absorb the heat that would otherwise go straight into the meat. So the meat will take longer to cook.

Skin on or Skinless

Cooking skin on or skinless chicken breasts doesn’t make an impact on the baking time.

What the skin allows however is to keep in moisture. Without the skin, chicken breasts can dry out quickly.

Size of the Breast

Logically, bigger chicken breasts will need longer to cook at 400°F than smaller ones. So, choose your chicken breasts accordingly.

Also, make sure you weigh your chicken breasts before you start baking. That way you’ll know how long to cook them.

Cooking Method

Obviously, baked chicken breasts in an oven will cook differently than in an air fryer. So, be sure to adjust your baked chicken breast recipe accordingly.

But, if you bake chicken breasts in the oven at 400°F, the process won’t affect the baking time. For example, covering your chicken breast with aluminum foil doesn’t change anything.

The meat will still reach the same temperature at the same time whether covered in foil or not. The only difference is whether the oven’s heat touches the chicken breast directly, or whether it heats up from the moisture and steam under the aluminum.

However, covering or uncovering will affect your chicken breast in other ways. If you bake the chicken breast uncovered, it will brown faster. But if you cover it, the liquid and steam will make it brown much more slowly.

The same applies to the air fryer. If you place parchment paper or aluminum in the basket of an air fryer, this won’t affect the total cooking time/

Likewise, whether you’re adding olive oil won’t affect the baking time, but will add moisture to the chicken. In conclusion, follow the recommended time regardless of whether or not you cover your chicken breasts

Temperature of the Chicken Breast

The temperature of your raw chicken breast will also affect the cooking time. If your chicken is cold or still frozen, it will take longer to heat up at 400°F than room-temperature meat.

Therefore, if your chicken breast isn’t completely thawed, you need to cook it longer. So add an extra 50% to your baking time if the meat is still a bit frozen.

And it’s perfectly safe to cook partially-frozen chicken breasts.

Other Factors

There are a few other factors that can affect baked chicken breasts at 400°F.

For instance, your air fryer or oven’s accuracy can drastically affect cooking time. But getting an oven thermometer can really help.

As well, the material and shape of your baking dish will affect how fast the chicken breasts cook.

However, these are very personal and specific factors. So, it’s really hard to provide guidelines for everyone based on this.

Therefore, the best idea is to follow the general guidelines based on the type of meat, how much it weighs, and the minimum temperature. Then, make sure you check your chicken breast every so often.

Chicken Breasts Recipes at 400°F

Oven Baked Chicken Breasts

What You’ll Need





 

Directions


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F

  2. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder on each side. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

  3. Bake each boneless chicken breast uncovered for 20 minutes. Let the chicken rest for three minutes, and serve hot.

Air-Fried Roasted Garlic & Herb Chicken Breasts

What You’ll Need







 

Directions


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F

  2. Coat the chicken breasts with olive oil and seasonings. Marinate for 30 minutes.

  3. Place the chicken in the preheated air fryer

  4. Adjust time to 10 minutes

  5. Let the chicken rest for 3 minutes before serving hot

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