This air fryer whole chicken recipe is my go-to dinner. It’s totally effortless and makes an insanely juicy chicken! Cooking a whole chicken in the air fryer is so easy and perfection every single time.
Season a whole chicken and air fry for about an hour. Voila… crispy skin, juicy meat, perfect.
Why I LOVE Whole Chicken in the Air Fryer
Oven roast chicken is a go to meal, and it’s even easier in the air fryer. This is hands down my favorite air fryer meal, it comes out with extra-crisp skin and is very juicy & fall off the bone tender.
- Using the air fryer to cook any cut of chicken is so easy.
- Chicken cooks quicker and clean up is a cinch!
- You’ll need just 3 ingredients (chicken, oil and a favorite seasoning).
- The skin is extra crisp and the meat is very juicy.
- Great for dinner or for meal prep. Cook an extra chicken to replace a rotisserie chicken or to have chicken for sandwiches, soups, or salads.
Serve this air fryer chicken with your favorite veggies or mashed potatoes and a side salad.
CHICKEN: Choose a chicken that is about 3-4lbs in size.
OIL: A bit of olive is added which helps the seasoning stick to the skin as well as helps the skin to crisp better. Cooking spray can be used instead.
SEASONING: A little bit of seasoning before cooking adds flavor to the skin. If you have a favorite seasoning blend, use it. If not, a simple mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and garlic powder is great too. Add your own favorite seasonings including onion powder, oregano, dried basil, lemon zest, or rosemary.
How to Make Air Fryer Whole Chicken
This recipe is ready in just 3 easy steps.
- Remove giblets if the chicken has them and pat the chicken dry with paper towel.
- Rub with oil and seasonings (per the recipe below).
- Cook according to the recipe instructions.
Serve this chicken with roasted sweet potatoes or glazed carrots and a tossed salad to round out the meal!
Tips for Success
- Look inside the chicken and remove giblets (they can be saved for giblet gravy). Not all chickens have them so don’t worry if you don’t see them.
- Many chickens come tied with string. If the chicken is bigger (closer to 4lbs) it may be too big and touch the top of the air fryer. If this is the case, untie it before cooking. If it’s still touching the top of the air fryer, gently press the chicken breast with the palm of your hand to slightly crack the breast bone.
- Cook the chicken breast side down and flip after 30 minutes.
- A 3 lb chicken will need 45-50 minutes while a 4lb chicken will need closer to 60 minutes.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer. Check it early to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
- Pour the drippings over veggies (like asparagus or cauliflower) and cook them in the air fryer while the chicken rests.
- To store chicken, remove the meat from the carcass and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or place it in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. (Save the carcass for broth).
- To reheat, just pop it in the microwave! Refresh the flavors with a little salt and pepper, or make a quick gravy to serve over top!
Air Fryer Favorites
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings – perfect snack for any occasion
- Hoisin Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – so easy to make
- Air Fryer Chicken Breasts – perfectly seasoned
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken – a failproof recipe
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – so crispy & flavorful
Did you make this Air Fryer Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- 3 ½ pound whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Chicken Seasoning (or use 1 tbs prepared chicken seasoning)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅙ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- Ensure the cavity of the chicken is empty and dab the skin dry.
- Rub the skin with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
- Place the chicken breast-side down into the air fryer basket. Turn the air fryer on to 350°F.
- Cook for 30 minutes, flip the chicken over and cook for 20-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches 165°F.
- Remove from the air fryer and rest 10 minutes before cutting.
- I have this 5.8qt air fryer which fits a 3.75lb chicken. Ensure your chicken will fit in your air fryer before starting.
- Make sure to remove all giblets from the cavity before cooking. These pieces can be frozen to make giblet gravy.
- If your chicken is too large (and touches the top element), untie the legs if needed and/or press it to flatten it somewhat until it fits.
- Use any seasonings you'd like. Fresh garlic can sometimes burn in the air fryer.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer. Check it early to ensure it doesn't overcook.
- Pour the chicken drippings over veggies (like green beans, asparagus or cauliflower) and cook them in the air fryer while the chicken rests.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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What brand of chicken seasoning do you use? I can’t find any at the store that has all the spices in your homemade chicken seasoning – which is so good, but would be easier if I could find it all in one jar. BTW, I made my first whole chicken in my air fryer. It was a 6-pounder in a 7.25 qt air fryer, and there was still room to spare. I used your chicken seasoning recipe, and made a paste with the oil and spices, then brushed it all over the chicken. It was the best chicken I’ve ever had! Even my picky eater son asked if it was a special occasion because my $6 chicken was fantastic! I need to stock up on whole young chickens!
You can use any chicken seasoning for this recipe. But we tweaked our homemade chicken seasoning recipe to include all of our favorite spices so I don’t think you will find an exact replica in stores!
Thank you! I went ahead and mixed up a large batch of your homemade chicken seasoning and placed it in an airtight container. I just use about 2 tbsp with 2 tbsp of oil and make a paste. This air fryer chicken is the best chicken I’ve ever had. We’re having it again tonight. Thanks again!
wtf is a chicken seasoning? lmfao you cant be more basic and flavorless
If you haven’t tried chicken seasoning before, it is delicious. It is a combination of spices perfect for seasoning chicken! Once you try it out you will have to let us know what you think.
Hi Holly. I tried this recipe tonight and it was a huge hit. Even my husband who is not a chicken fan loved it. Thanks so much for an awesome recipe.
I used a 6 and 1/2 # chicken in an 8 qrt air fryer. Set at 350F for 40 min each side. Followed directions and it turned out perfect. Browned, crispy, and juicy.
I am thrilled with the results. Thank you!
Holly your recipes are the best!
Yum yum yummy!
I meant my comment to be a 5 star !!
I do not suggest using olive oil in this recipe as it filled my kitchen with white smoke !! Perhaps peanut oil or another oil that can take the high heat. I did put a bit of water and two slices of bread in the bottom and it did cut down greatly on the smoke !!
Oh no, sorry that happened, Beth! For this recipe, we use olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil since it has a higher smoke point. I am glad the water and bread helped.
Made this in a Ge oven with built-in air fryer excellent juice and extra crispy skin
Love, love , love this recipe!! I’ve made it with a cajun seasoning again and again, and the the chicken always comes out perfect! Thanks so much Holly!
Have you ever tried to make gravy with the drippings?
I haven’t but that’d be delicious I’m sure Terry!
Trying this out with the air fryer that’s built into my oven… hopefully it works then same lol
which air fryer do you use?
Terina, take a look at my favorite air fryers in this post! I have the Cosori 5.8QT.
Trying this recipe as I’m typing this now,did some boneless breaststroke one night and they came out juicy and tender,my husband said he wants all his meat air fried now
Awesome! Lots of great dishes for the air fryer Towanda!
Hi Holly , we did the Air Fry whole chicken last night , OMG so good and fast and very little mess to clean up . I will be doing this recipe all the time . thank you . I say 5 out of 5 . cant wait to try more of your recipes . Gail
Well didn’t you just make my day Gail! I’m so happy to hear that love this chicken! We do too. We make it all the time!
What setting does everyone use in tge air fryer? Mine has 12 different ones. I have bake, roast and air fry that I think would be most logical to use.
This recipe would use the air fry setting Sue. Enjoy the chicken!
Turned out perfect! I also used the homemade seasoning and it was delicious.
Can’t wait to try these
I have made this 2 times so far.
The chicken comes out so juicy and delicious. I may never roast a chicken in my conventional oven again.
Hands down my favorite Air Fryer recipe too Ray! So glad you loved it.
Don’t see the recipe for the rub
Hi Russ, you can use a store-bought chicken seasoning or we have this homemade version that we love.
Tender and juicy, looking for more air fryer recipes. Thank you and have a smile in your day.
So glad you enjoyed it Glowinn, this is one of my favorite Air Fryer recipes!
I will air fry my chicken..