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
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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 367 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 in the fryer and plated with writing

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. Followed this recipe to a tee, and it was perfect! I struggle with undercooking/overcooking whole chicken, but this was incredible!5 stars

  2. I got my air fryer for Christmas, so I’m still learning the ropes. This sounds (and looks) delicious, but I’m wondering how to get at the drippings to make gravy. Is there a tool I need so I can grasp the rack and lift it out of the basket instead of having to wait until it cools down enough to touch it?

    Thanks.

    1. That will depend on the type of air fryer you have. The Cosori that we use in this recipe (pictured) has a handle to to lift out the inner basket while still hot. Or you can remove the chicken and pour the drippings out of the basket. I hope that helps!

    2. You can cook this right on the bottom of your air fryer. Just take the grate out prior to cooking. Place the chicken right on the bottom and continue with recipe. I have done this many times and it actually keeps the chicken breast meat more tender as it cooks in the juices for the first part of cooking time, then when you flip it over, the top crisps up.5 stars

  3. I am new to air frying and unsure of how to operate the one I have. It has two baskets but I don’t think a whole chicken will fit in it. What should I do?

  4. Trying this recipe tonight. Sounds simple and tasty! I have various options on my air fryer…roast, bake, etc. I just used the “Air Fry” option. Anyone else cooked it this way?

  5. It’s the best baked chicken I have ever had! Followed recipe exactly and used a 4 lb chicken. we have an 8 qt airfryer. wish it would let me post a picture. it’s beautiful!!5 stars

  6. This is a simple and delicious recipe for air fryer crispy whole chicken. The meat was tender and so moist and the homemade poultry seasoning was so flavourful! I am learning how to cook with my new air fryer, and this will definitely be part of my menu rotation!5 stars

  7. Simple recipe, for sure, but it took an extra 20 mins for my 4lb chicken to get to temp. the oven would have been faster!

  8. So easy! I cooked a 3lb chicken and it turned out incredibly juicy and the skin was so crispy! I’m cooking for a toddler so just stuck with the recommended seasoning mix above and it was fantastic, very flavourful. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  9. This is the best way to cook a whole chicken! The skin was crispy, which I couldn’t achieve in a regular oven. And the chicken was extra juicy. So glad we bought a large air fryer recently!

    Perhaps my chicken was a bit large, it needed to be cooked for an hour and ten minutes. For the last 20 degrees it needed to cook, when I checked it after an hour, it only took ten more minutes to come up to temperature.5 stars

  10. I’m cooking my chicken in my air fryer in my toaster oven. Should I put a pan under it. I did to be safe. Turning it in 15 minutes. Can’t wait to try it. I’ll make sure it’s at 165.5 stars

    1. Depending on the type of air fryer you have you can add a pan to catch the drippings. We made this recipe in one that has an air fryer basket so the dripping were contained inside it. I hope you loved it, Shery!

  11. Amazing!
    Never will I need to buy rotisserie chicken again! So simple and SO delicious! A keeper, for sure!!5 stars

  12. I’ve made this recipe at least 4 or 5 times so far and every time it’s great! Living in Texas I don’t want to heat up the house by using the over to cook a whole chicken and so here’s the air fryer to the rescue!5 stars

  13. I’ve made this recipe so many times. I just made a 5 pound chicken in my air fryer. I marinated it in Kraft House Italian overnight. I also used season salt, garlic powder, pepper and and fresh lemon. Amazing!!!
    This recipe is the absolute best! Thank you so much for creating the best air fryer whole chicken recipe ever!
    Best-Bob5 stars

  14. I am new to using the air fryer which was recently purchased, so I’m trying different Spent with Pennies air fryer recipes. I tried the whole chicken tonight to serve to my 3 adult sons for dinner. I followed the recipe precisely, using the homemade chicken seasoning. It was outstanding, with a lovely crispy skin and the meat was moist! I will definitely repeat this recipe and am excited to try more of your air fryer recipes, Holly!5 stars