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

Ingredients

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 362 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
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Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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 362 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
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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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Comments

  1. I’m so glad you posted about the different Air Fryers. I’m so happy that I saw this. It was very helpful! I will be getting mine this weekend.

    Marlene Richardson5 stars

  2. This was the first time I cooked a whole chicken in the air fryer. The chicken turned out Awesome!!! I’m 67 and have always cooked. This was the best chicken I have ever made. The skin was crispy and the meat juicy. Thank you sooo much for this recipe.5 stars

  3. I just finished cooking the chicken, and it is absolutely delicious and perfectly cooked! I used a 5.5lb chicken that fit in my air fryer and cooked it for about 90 minutes. Other than the time and size difference, I followed your recipe exactly and love the chicken! I was trying to figure out how to cook a whole chicken in this hot weather without turning my oven on, and your recipe did the trick! Thank you!5 stars

  4. Tried this recipe earlier today and it was a HUGE hit with my family! This is the only way I’ll cook a whole chicken from now on. My chicken was a little over 5 lbs but I have a large air fryer so it fit easily. I added about 18 minutes of extra cook time and it came out perfectly. Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside and so delicious! I’m so thankful to you for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  5. I was given a young chicken. I am about to try it out in the air fryer now. I am going to also inject the chicken with some cajun injector so I will have flavor throughout the bird. Thank you for your article.

  6. First let me say my family was skeptical. Second they are no longer! This was so perfect! Moist with crispy skin! Perfect for our chicken Caesar wraps.

  7. I checked out your notes and clicked on your linked to Amazon the air fryer you have but said , sorry page not found :(

    1. Sorry for the confusion Peggy! I have updated the link in the notes with the air fryer I have.

  8. Hi Holly , Have a ? , do you have the Cosori Pro 2 ….. 5.8 QT , Model CP 358-AF . I see that they have on sale through Amazon w/ $ 20.00 coupon :) ..? Thanks again5 stars

      1. I’m glad I could help! I can’t wait for you to try this chicken recipe :)

  9. I’ve made this several times now, it’s fantastic! Leftovers are amazing in a sandwich as well.5 stars

  10. This is the most delicious way to make a whole chicken! It turns out perfect every time, and I’ve made it several times now. Love this recipe….Love my air-fryer!!5 stars

  11. I’m trying this recipe tonight using my air fryer that has a rotisserie element on it. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Can’t wait to see my chicken turning on the spit like in my favorite big box store.

  12. This was so good!! I did set the Ninja Foodi to the broil setting for 4.5 min after cooking for the hour in recipe directions. Will definitely be making this again.5 stars

  13. My air fryer has a bake, air fry, grill, bake, roast and dehydrate setting. Which one am I supposed to use?

  14. Thanks Holly! I just purchased my first airfryer, and sadly there was no cookbook included. So I’ve been scouring the net for tried and true recipes and this whole chicken recipe came up. I made tonight and followed your spices and cooking times. It was absolutely delicious! Perfect crispy skin and so juicy. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe Michelle, this is one of my all time favorite recipes! I can’t wait for you to try more air fryer recipes.

  15. This chicken was so easy and quite possibly the most tender chicken we’ve ever had. Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  16. This turned out delicious for me. I did mess up a bit and mixed the spices into the olive oil, but then brushed everything onto the chicken. I actually doubled the spices and brushed them on both sides which resulted in amazingly crispy skin top and bottom. I also tossed some granulated garlic inside of the chicken since I love my garlic. I always add some water into the air fryer for things like this to keep them moist also. Probably the best roasted chicken we’ve had in a long time. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars