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.

cooked Air Fryer Whole Chicken on a plate

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.

Air Fryer Whole Chicken before cooking


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.

  1. Remove giblets if the chicken has them and pat the chicken dry with paper towel.
  2. Rub with oil and seasonings (per the recipe below).
  3. 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!

Air Fryer Whole Chicken in the air fryer

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.

Leftover Chicken

  • 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

 Did you make this Air Fryer Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

a cooked whole chicken in an air fryer basket
4.99 from 273 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Air Fryer Whole Chicken

The air fryer is the best way to cook a whole roasted chicken for dinner. Perfectly juicy every time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 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
  • 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.
4.99 from 273 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.25of a whole chicken | Calories: 444 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 293IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
plated Air Fryer Whole Chicken with a title
close up of Air Fryer Whole Chicken on a plate with a title
Air Fryer Whole Chicken after cooking with a title
Air Fryer Whole Chicken in the fryer and plated with writing


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Loved this easy recipe. So delicious and juicy! The directions were very helpful especially step 3. Place the chicken breast-side down into the air fryer basket. Turn the air fryer on to 350°F. Worked like a charm!5 stars

  2. Hi Holly! Quick question. My 6 qt. Instant Pot has the air fryer basket and lid, but I’m concerned the size of chicken here would fit well. If I get a smaller chicken, would I need to adjust the temp or cooking time?5 stars

    1. Hi Deanne, the size of the chicken will affect the cook time. A 3 lb chicken will need 45-50 minutes while a 4lb chicken will need closer to 60 minutes.

    1. Hi Danica, I have not tried a chicken of this size in the air fryer but the time would need to be increased. I would first double check the chicken won’t touch the element of the air fryer. And then I would still cook it at 350 F, but the total time will need to be longer. I would check the internal temperature at 70 minutes to see if it’s reached 165 F yet, and add time as necessary until it does reach 165 F. I hope this helps!

    1. You can find this information in step 3 Patty: Turn the air fryer on to 350°F. Enjoy!

  3. Looking forward to trying this for Easter. My air fryer was recalled and I’m waiting for a replacement. However, I recently bought a stove with air fryer built in/included and it will work perfectly! I’ll be sure to come back and let you know how it goes!

  4. This recipe always turns out great for me and has become a family favorite! Thanks for making delicious food so easy to prepare.5 stars

  5. I don’t use my air fryer much because there’s no room in my kitchen for it – so it’s stored in the basement – but I pulled it out to try this recipe. I’m glad I did because it was so easy and the chicken was moist and had a great texture. Clean up is a breeze as well. Def. recommend this method.5 stars

    1. Hi John, you can find this information in step 3: Turn the air fryer on to 350°F. Enjoy!

      1. One of the many things I LOVE about a Spend With Pennies recipe is its detailed directions. I’ll admit, I’ve tried being creative in the kitchen several times. Let’s just say it doesn’t go well. I’m more of a “Requires Detailed Directions” type of Homecook. And a Spend With Pennies Recipe never lets me down. The recipes I find here are always a huge help in the meals I cook for my family! I ordered a new air fryer from Amazon & will be cooking this recipe tonight! Thanks so much!

      2. Thank you so much for the kind words Lydia, I am so glad you enjoy the recipes and find them easy to use!

  6. This air fryer chicken was fabulous. Made last weekend. Chicken was beautiful and so tender. Was unbelievably good! THEN, I almost cried when my beloved air fryer was recalled 2/23/2023 due to being a safety hazard. LOVE my air fryer, will be a huge adjustment for me without it.5 stars

  7. I’d love to try this but my lower gas oven is convection and air fryer. Sadly, it seems as though air frying in a full-sized oven is different than buying a air fryer. I’ve yet to find much information regarding the parameters (temp and time) of using a full oven or an air fryer. I absolutely love chicken wings and have to yet to have them turn out to my satisfaction. Crispy and moist. I’d love to try a whole chicken, 6# or so.5 stars

    1. I’ve learned alot is trial and error with my full oven convection and air fryer combination. I cook my wings at 400 for about 45 mins or until they reach my crispiness satisfaction. I look at these recipes and try them the way they are written, most of the time, they’re ok with little tweaks here and there. I haven’t completed this specific recipe yet but I will update when I do.

    2. Hi David. Yikes, I’m hoping to use my built in air fryer in my new oven for this recipe. I’m going to give it a try and see what happens. My chicken will be 3 1/2 lbs.

  8. I wanted the one thing you didn’t give and that’s the cooking temp. Internal temp is no use if you don’t know what temp to start cooking.

    1. Hi Steve, the temp is listed in step 3. of the recipe.

      3. Place the chicken breast-side down into the air fryer basket. Turn the air fryer on to 350°F.

  9. I enjoy Chicken Roasters, but don’t own one. Any suggestions for how you would bake this in an oven?

    1. The temperature is in step 3.

      3. Place the chicken breast-side down into the air fryer basket. Turn the air fryer on to 350°F.

  10. I’ve had my Ninja Foodie Deluxe for a year and never made a whole chicken. This was super tasty and crispy. I had a 4 pound chicken and 30 minutes on each side was good. After reading other posts I did add a tablespoon of baking powder to the spices and did change the temperature to 390 degrees the last ten minutes. Thanks for a great recipe.5 stars

  11. I made this tonight. I’m an air fryer newbie but this was so easy and absolutely delicious!
    Just as described crispy on the outside and tender and juicy inside. I’ll be trying a lot more recipes in my air fryer. Thanks for giving me the confidence I needed to start using my air fryer to its fullest potential. My husband, daughter and grandsons loved it!5 stars