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The Magic Oven Temp That Won't Smoke Out Your Kitchen

By Lan Lam Published

An effortless way to clear the air.

When the oven temperature is too high, a roast turkey or chicken can turn into a smoke-producing beast, leading to a hazy kitchen and a trashed oven. That’s because, as the watery juices that leak from the bird hit the hot fat in the pan, they instantly expand into steam, creating tiny explosions that splatter fat onto the hot oven walls. Then, as the oil droplets break down, the troublesome smoke begins.

So what’s the magic oven temperature? Four hundred degrees: It’s hot enough to produce a gorgeous, golden-brown bird (as well as nicely browned pan juices) yet still cool enough to significantly reduce vigorous bubbling and splattering, thereby preventing a smoke-filled kitchen. 

Recipe Weeknight Roast Chicken

If you can plan ahead, by all means brine or salt your bird. But when you want dinner on the table in an hour, use this technique to get juicy, tender chicken.

Recipe Easier Roast Turkey and Gravy

No flipping. No long-simmered gravy. For fuss-free turkey and a richly flavored gravy, we borrowed an unexpected tool from pizza making.

Equipment Review Oven Thermometers

An oven thermometer is the only reliable way to know what’s happening inside your oven—unless you have a model that’s inaccurate, hard to read, or falls off the racks.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.