How Long to Cook a 5 Pound Chicken

How Long to Cook a 5 Pound Chicken

So, you have a few friends over, and your next idea is a serving of whole chicken. But you’re stuck at how long it should cook—no need to worry, as you can follow a simple rule that helps you every time. And if you’re dealing with chicken weighing five pounds, the procedures are quite easy.


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How Long to Cook a 5 Pound Chicken

Cooking Tips to Follow

Before delving into how long you need to cook a five-pound chicken, it helps to understand that other factors also apply.


Note that if you cook a whole chicken straight from the freezer, it’ll affect whatever cooking time the recipe has planned. So it’s why most suggest you thaw the chicken first before cooking. Then, to be ready, it helps to place the chicken in the fridge a day or two ahead. Plus, thawed chicken absorbs flavor faster compared to its frozen counterparts.


Most recipes suggest basting, especially if you’re roasting the chicken. But others insist on a rub of seasoned butter on the skin before cooking. Adding a moistening agent helps reduce having dry chicken after roasting, which is common with the oven and grill.

Seasoning Options

The exterior always does well with a generous salt and pepper rub, but some go further with other powered or dried spices in the mix. And for others, a rich combination of garlic, thyme, rosemary, and softened butter is their way of infusing a rich flavor. But regardless of the cooking technique, it always helps to stuff your chicken with aromatics. And with ingredients like onions, celery, shallots, garlic, and rosemary.

Cooking Time for a 5 Pound Chicken

The duration it takes for a 5-pound chicken to reach doneness depends on the temperature it’s cooked and the method used. While most people are used to roasting the chicken in an oven or grill, others prefer more convenient methods like the pressure cooker and crockpot.

Each technique offers specific instructions, particularly regarding how long it should cook. But they all have one rule; the chicken needs to reach a minimum internal temperature of 165F to be declared safe for eating.

In an Oven

A general way to calculate chicken cooking time in the oven is using the minute per pound rule. And it’s always subjective to the cooking temperature the oven is set, so the parameter varies with each person. But for a five-pound chicken, it’s considered best to start at 450F, then reduce the oven to 350F before concluding the cooking. And the bird will first be roasted at 450 for 10 to 15 minutes before being cooked at 350F for 20 minutes per pound.

On a Grill

If you’re roasting the chicken on the grill, then you’ll want it done right without losing much moisture. And the best temperature for a five-pound chicken is considered to be around 375F to 425F. Here, you’ll want to cook the chicken at 18 minutes per pound since the temperature is higher than the grill.


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In a Crockpot

Start by deciding which setting you’re cooking in the crockpot, as you have options between HIGH and LOW. A five-pound chicken will be done in three to four hours at the HIGH setting, most recommended. But the LOW setting requires around eight hours, at which the bird is first cooked on HIGH for an hour before adjusting.

In an Instant Pot

You’ll have to cook chicken at six minutes per pound at high pressure, meaning a five-pounder will need about 30 minutes. Afterward, you’ll need to wait for another 15 minutes, so the cooker naturally releases pressure. Also, consider searing the chicken using the SAUTE mode before pressure-cooking so the skin turns crisp.

More Tips

  • Always rest the chicken for at least 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
  • Consider basting the bird with its pan drippings for more flavor if you’re roasting on the grill. But note that you won’t get crispy skin if you do.
  • A meat thermometer is the most secure means to determine doneness. So, consider sticking it at the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone for the most accurate reading.
  • Dry rubs work best for seasoning chicken, especially if you’re roasting than cooking. For the latter, broth or a savory sauce works, particularly in the crockpot or pressure cooker.
  • You may not get the crispy skin with the slow cooker. So try broiling the chicken in the oven afterward for five minutes.
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How Long to Cook a 5 Pound Chicken (2)

Oven-Roasted Chicken (6 Servings)

  • Author: Bobby


  • One whole chicken, five pounds, thawed
  • Baby red potatoes, one-and-a-half pounds, halved
  • Four tablespoons butter softened
  • Three carrots, chopped
  • Two tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • One large onion, chopped
  • One lemon
  • Black pepper
  • Salt


  1. Fix the oven rack at the center of the chamber, heat the oven to 450F, then clean out the giblets from the chicken’s cavity.
  2. Pat excess moisture off the chicken and set it aside. Then, lemon’s zest and fold it into the butter along with the rosemary.
  3. Rub the chicken inside and out with pepper and salt, divide lemon, and put both leaves in the cavity.
  4. Loosen the skin atop the chicken breasts and scoop some tablespoons of the herb-butter combo underneath. Then, smear the rest all over the chicken, ensuring it generously coats the surface.
  5. Arrange the onion, potato, and carrot in the roasting dish and sprinkle some pepper and salt with a drizzle of olive oil. Then, put the chicken on the veggie bed and roast uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven down to 350F and roast again at 20 minutes per pound until it hits 165F. Then, take it out and tent with foil for 10 minutes before serving it with the bottom veggies.

More ideas can be seen here.