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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This was really good! I hit in my house!
This chicken was so easy and quite possibly the most tender chicken we’ve ever had. Thank you for sharing!
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.
I am so happy to hear you loved this recipe as much as I do Laura!