How to Get Crispy Skin on Whole Chicken?

Updated on April 26, 2010
M.O. asks from Barrington, IL
11 answers

I have tried oven cooking and a rotisserie and CAN NOT get the skin crisp. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Does anyone have some suggestions or hints? The meat is always good and juicy, but somehow the skin is usually rubbery and NOT crisp at all.

Thanks mamas!

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answers from Denver on

Alton Brown devoted a whole show to it! Rub a little oil, butter or other grease on the chicken, then put it in a very low oven 350/375 to cook. When it's nearly done you heat up the oven to 450/475 and crisp the outside.

He talked about the reverse-which is the prevailing wisdom- about searing first and slow cooking later. He went into painstaking detail about proteins and how they cook and suggested the above method. I tried it to great success.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Pre-heat the oven to 500 and then immediately lower it 400-degrees once you get the chicken into the oven. The high heat will immediately sear the skin and give you the crispy skin that you like. I also coat my chicken with olive oil and season it before putting it into the oven.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Easiest recipe ever - take a whole chicken, wash and pat it very dry. Sprinkle very generously with sea salt or kosher salt (a couple tablespoons) and put it in a cast iron skillet. Put it in the oven at 450 for an hour, or until a meat thermometor measures the right temp (I can't remember what that is right now). No butter or oil. Amazingly crisp skin. So good, and the chicken stays juicy too. Now I want this...

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answers from Sacramento on

Do you rub the skin with butter or olive oil before cooking? It's been a while since a roasted a chicken, but the skin always came out nicely when I did. My mom roasts chicken a lot and she I think she starts the oven pretty hot and then reduces the temp. Her chicken is always perfect.

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answers from Atlanta on

Deep fry the while chicken in peanut oil, sunflower oil, etc. Make sure chicken is fully thawed and dry with paper towel before dipping in oil. Cook until the outside is golden and crispy.
Turkey is great this way.
Make sure not to burn your kitchen down, do this in the driveway.

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answers from Dallas on

I didn't read the other responses yet. I roast chicken slowly and at the last 30 minutes, I baste nicely, turn heat to 400-425 and brown it.

Works for us! Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Usually, the best way to get crispy chicken is to fry it.
But, you can coat the outside of the chicken too.
Rub oil or butter on it, sprinkle on spices, roll it in finely ground, dried bread crumbs.



answers from Chicago on

I have spent all day cooking a whole chicken after researching different recipes, methods etc. Pouring my time and energy into the meal when it's just average. Other days I go to Costco and buy a roasted chicken for $5 and it's way better than mine. Go figure!

Costco just seems easier most days!



answers from Houston on

I had the same prob. I was watching barefoot contessa on the food channel and she suggested cutting the back bone out and then opening up the chicken and laying it flat on a cookie sheet. I am sooooooooooo not a gourmet cook but all you have to do is take a good sharp knife and run it along the spine on each side and pull the back bone out. Then open up the chicken and rub olive oil all over it. I seasoned mine with salt, cracked pepper, Adobo season and dried cilantro, mainly bc that what I had in the pantry;) I cooked it on 350 for about 2 1/2 hours for a 5lb chicken. It was so good!!!!! The skin was crispy and the chicken was juicy. Good luck!!


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi mom on the go (is there any other kind? lol)-

I do a beer chicken...that all my kids RAVE about!

I have a 'stand' that I got in a grocery store...but you can just place a can of beer 'up' the chicken!

I grease/salt/pepper/season the rinsed and patted dry chicken...set it on the open beer can (any cheap beer will do). I place it on a pan in the oven...foil wrapped around the base of chicken to reduce splatters...or on a medium grill on just the stand...and let it go about 20 mins per pound...

The kids LOVE it! I stock up on whole chickens and freeze them just so we have them on hand for request from the 'olders' when they come home from college!

They even 'salute' the chicken (s) while in the oven!! lol



answers from Norfolk on

I got a Spanek vertical roaster about 15 years ago, and I won't cook a chicken, turkey, duck or goose any other way. Skin comes out crispy on all sides every time, and the meat comes out so juicy.

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