How Do I Get Crispy Skin on My Roast Chicken?

Got a hankering for roast chicken with extra-crispy skin? We understand! Here are our best tips and tricks for getting that chicken skin as crispy as possible.

Emma Christensen Ask the Team

Reader Question: When You Roast Chicken, How Do You Get the Skin Crispy?

I'm so glad you asked! I absolutely love roasting chickens -- is there any better aroma than a chicken roasting slowly in your oven on a Sunday afternoon?!

If super-extra-awesome crispy skin is what you're after, I absolutely recommend a 24-hour dry-brine in the fridge. This is a technique that our Senior Editor Summer Miller first wrote about when experimenting with crispy skin for Thanksgiving turkeys and then perfected in her method for the Best Dry-Brined Roast Chicken.

Definitely go read both of those posts for more details, but here's a brief summary:

  1. Season the chicken with salt and seasonings. Inside, outside, and under the skin.
  2. Let it air dry in the fridge for 24-hours. It's best not to cover the chicken at all so that it can really air dry. But if that weirds you out, put the chicken and the pan in a clean trash bag or shopping bag and tie it loosely so that the bag billows out around the chicken, creating a protective bubble with plenty of air.
  3. Roast, and baste the chicken as usual. Summer found that rubbing the chicken with oil before baking and then basting the chicken a few times helps give it that beautiful burnished color and even crispier (if possible!) skin.

The reasoning here is that super dry skin translates into super crispy roast chicken. And trust me, it works.

If you don't have time for that air drying step, just make sure you pat down your chicken well with paper towels. If you have 30 minutes, leave it on the counter for a half an hour or so for a quick air dry before roasting. Then baste it a few times during roasting and call it good. Your skin won't be quite as deliciously crispy as the other method, but you'll still be very happy with the results.


~ Emma, Editor-in-Chief and appreciator of crispy chicken skin

Try These Roast Chicken Recipes!

P.S. Have a question you’d like answered? Email us at