Cooking Hack: How Long to Boil Chicken Perfectly? Here's the Answer

Apr 24, 2020 10:57 AM

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Tripboba.com - Chicken is one of the most used main ingredients to make delicious meals. No wonder, chicken can be easily found and breed basically everywhere. About 25 million chickens are used for food and other purposes each day.

There are so many kinds of food that can be made from chicken as well, not to mention that almost all country has its own signature dish made from chicken. Even though many dishes can be made from chicken, it’s never as easy as cooking instant noodles.

It’s tricky, in terms of how long you should boil the chicken and the state of the chicken meat itself. Is it frozen? Is it at room temperature? Also, how big is the chicken? Do you boil the whole chicken or you cut it in pieces?

If this is your first time to boil a chicken, no worries! We will tell you how long to boil chicken according to the chicken’s part and the state of the chicken, so your dish will turn out perfect. Keep scrolling down!

How long to boil chicken breast

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In general, the key of boiling chicken is to boil it long enough that it cooks all the way through and when you cut the meat. It isn’t pink on the inside. Chicken breasts with skin and bones should be cook for about 30 minutes.

Continue boiling the chicken until your thermometer shows that the temperature is 165 degree in Fahrenheit or 74 degree in Celsius. If the chicken isn’t ready by the time you check it, you can recheck it every 5-10 minutes to see if it’s done.

How long to boil chicken breast (boneless)

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Skinless, boneless chicken breast typically cook for 20-30 minutes. If you cut them in half, they’ll likely cook faster, around 15-20 minutes. This also depends on how many chicken breasts you’re boiling. The 20-25 minutes cooking time is for 6 chicken breasts.

If you’re serving a smaller size, like 3 chicken breasts only, it should take only 8-15 minutes. Skinless, boneless chicken breast that is cut to small pieces (around 2 inches) should cook for about 10 minutes.

How long to boil chicken thighs or drumsticks

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Just like boiling chicken breasts, how long to boil chicken thighs depends on the chicken, whether it's boneless or not. If the chicken has bones in it, the boiling time could reach 45 minutes.

Keep boiling the chicken until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius. Bone-in chicken thighs are best for dishes that require the chicken thigh to be served whole.

How long to boil chicken thighs or drumsticks (boneless)

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Some people prefer chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts. It’s tender, flavourful, and is a very good source of lean protein. Boiling boneless chicken thighs definitely takes shorter time than chicken thighs with bones.

You can boil them until 30 minutes. If the chicken isn’t done after 30 minutes, recheck them every 5 minutes. Boneless chicken thighs are ideal for recipes for dishes that requires shredded, cut up, or cubed chicken pieces.

How long to boil chicken wings

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Chicken wings is loved by many people because it can be eaten as a meal or snacks. If you want to boil chicken wings, it takes even shorter time than boiling any other parts of chicken.

For a kilogram of chicken wings, you can boil it in just 15 minutes. If you want to make broiled chicken wings, you can broil it for 5-10 minutes in an oven after boiling it.

How long to boil whole chicken

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Boiling a whole chicken definitely takes longer time than boiling only parts of a chicken. The amount of time to boil a chicken depends on a few things: the size of the chicken, whether it was frozen, and the amount of water you use.

A whole chicken around 4lbs will need to simmer in boiling water for about 1 and half hours to get it cooked. If it’s more than 4lbs, you’ll need just a little linger to ensure that it’s fully cooked and absorbed to seasoning if you use them.

How long to boil frozen chicken

Flickr - Photo by Emilian Robert Vicol


If you have a frozen chicken with you, it’s better to defrost the chicken first before boiling it. Because if you’re boiling a frozen chicken it will take a long unnecessary time. The chicken outer part could get brown before the inside part even cooked as well. So, instead of boiling, we recommend you to do simmering and roasting (or baking) instead.

How long does it take, then?
Generally, processing a frozen chicken will double the time of processing a non-frozen chicken. So, if a 5 pounds chicken would take 1 and half hour to roast, a frozen chicken will take at least 2 hours and 15 minutes. This also applies to if you’re simmering/roasting only parts of chicken. The formula is the frozen chicken is double the time the non-frozen ones.

That’s all about how long to boil chicken, all types of chickens! We hope this guide will be useful for you! Keep in mind that the temperature of a cooked chicken is always 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius, regardless if you’re boiling only parts or a whole chicken.

A little trick – don’t boil chicken in just plain water. We highly recommend you to add seasonings and vegetables in the water. It will make a good food for diet!

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