It will be hard to resist the crispy skin and tender juicy meat of this air fryer whole chicken

Why buy a rotisserie chicken when you can roast a whole chicken in the air fryer with minimal prep and clean-up? This recipe produces a tender, juicy chicken with a lightly seasoned, golden brown, uber-crispy skin.

Air Fryer whole chicken on a plate

Easy & Delicious Dinner Idea!

  • Freshly cooked chicken is always a winner for dinner. And the air fryer is an easy way to prepare a whole bird without heating up the oven!
  • If you are new-ish to air fryer cooking this is one of the best foolproof recipes that look so elegant on the table as well!
  • Prep, cook, serve, and save for recipes all week long!
  • Use the meat for chicken salad, add it to stir-fries, or fajitas, or make it into little pot pies.

process of adding chicken to air fryer to make Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Ingredients

CHICKEN: Choose birds between 2 and 4 lbs that will easily fit into your particular brand of air fryer. They should be clean with intact skins. Be sure to remove the neck and giblets, if needed.

For proper and thorough cooking, air must be able to circulate around the entire bird.

SEASONINGS: This basic rub gives the right amount of flavor to air fryer chicken, feel free to add more or fewer seasonings if desired. Or try a DIY rub for a new flavor profile every time!

How to Make Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Chicken in the air fryer is so much quicker and easier than the oven method.

  1. Prepare and season the chicken.
  2. Place breast side down in the air fryer (or in a rotisserie basket).
  3. Cook (as per the recipe below).

Let the chicken rest before serving.

Cooked whole chicken in an air fryer basket

Tips for Tender & Juicy Chicken

  • Lay a few slices of bread on the bottom of the air fryer to absorb drippings so cleaning up is a cinch!
  • Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
    • A smaller chicken (closer to 3 to 3 ¼ lbs) will take closer to 50 minutes.
    • A larger chicken (closer to 3 ¾ to 4 lbs) will take about 60 minutes.
  • For an even quicker whole chicken, try spatchcocking your chicken.
  • Tuck the wings underneath the chicken so they do not overcook.
  • To cook a whole frozen chicken, cook it on the lowest temperature setting for the first 10 to 15 minutes to speed up thawing. Usually, the lowest temperatures on air fryers are 300°F.
  • Save the neck and giblets (if it was in the cavity) and use for gravy or cook them up as a treat for your favorite canine!
  • To avoid any foodborne pathogens, always remove the meat from the chicken 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.

More Chicken Recipes in the Air Fryer

Air Fryer whole chicken on a plate
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Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Cook the perfect roast chicken without even turning the oven on!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 1 whole chicken 2-4 lbs* see note for larger chickens
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
  • Rub the oil evenly across the chicken then sprinkle with seasoning.
  • Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, breast side down *see note for rotisserie.
  • Cook for 50-60 minutes, flipping the chicken over half way through. Ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F before serving. *see note

Notes

Air Fryer with Rotisserie
If your chicken is 4 lbs or less, you can use the rotisserie if your air fryer has one (like the Vortex 10-QT Air Fryer Oven). A chicken larger than 4 lbs may be too heavy for the air fryer rotisserie and damage the machine, consult the manual of your specific air fryer as brands can vary.
To cook a chicken on the rotisserie, prepare as directed above. Place the chicken on the rotisserie spit as directed in the instruction manual. Select rotate/rotisserie and set the temperature to 370°F for 50-60 minutes for a 4lb chicken. Larger chickens will need more time. Check the temperature and ensure that the chicken has reached 165°F. 
Larger than 4lbs
If your chicken is larger than 4lbs and it fits in your air fryer (a larger oven or toaster oven style air fryer can hold much larger chickens), you can cook it by placing it on the rack of the air fryer and not on the rotisserie.
*Cooking times will vary based on the size of the chicken, use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches 165°F.
A 3lb chicken will take about 45-50 minutes while a 4lb chicken will need about 60 minutes. 
4.67 from 24 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 283mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a mom of 4 with a love for all things air fryer! Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

    1. Hi Cindy, we recommend defrosting your chicken before cooking it in the air fryer. You can thaw it in the fridge or by submerging it in cold water. We hope that helps!

      1. Thank you. I went with my gut and decided not to try it that attachment. I will try it on the grilling tray next time.

    1. We find the air fry function gives it a nice crisp skin. You could probably roast the chicken with similar results but we have not tested this recipe on that setting. We would love to hear how it turns out for you Jay.

  1. Question, in the paragraph the recipe, you say the recipe is for a 5 lb chicken, yet the recipe says 2-4 lb chicken. Just a bit confused. Don’t want to mess up my air fryer or my chicken.

    1. For the rotisserie function, you can only make a chicken up to 4lbs. But with the air fry function, you can cook a larger chicken. Hope that helps!

          1. I find the breast juicier starting it breast side down then turning it breast side up.