This easy and simple air fryer whole chicken recipe is delicious and juicy. If you love rotisserie or roasted chicken, then you’ll love how easy it is to get that same flavor from the air fryer. Ready in about an hour so it’s perfect for dinner any night!
This post is part of my beginning air fryer recipes series. Stay tuned for more easy and delicious recipes using this popular kitchen appliance!
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a powerful countertop appliance that uses hot, circulated air to cook food. Little to no oil is necessary to get crispy, golden brown results that mimic foods that have been deep fried.
Why should I use an air fryer?
Air fryers are so powerful. They can shorten cooking times so you can spend less time in the kitchen.
Air fryers use air, not oil, so you can cook healthier meals that are lower in fat and calories without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Air fryers are versatile enough to cook a variety of foods, including casserole dishes, cookies, and cakes!
What are the best air fryers?
My personal favorite is the Cosori Max XL, 5.8 quart. I use this model to test all the recipes for this series. The basket is large and the cooking is quite even. It’s easy to use and affordable. Best of all, this basket is dishwasher safe.
The Phillips Digital Twin Turbo Star XXL is one of the highest recommended air fryers on the market. It has a multitude of cooking functions and is big enough to cook a whole chicken. However, it’s one of the most expensive models out there.
If you're only cooking for one of two, or you have very limited counter space, you may want to consider a compact size. The Dash Tasti Crisp 2.6 quart.has been reviewed over 19,000 times on Amazon! It’s sleek and easy to use and clean, but less powerful than full size models.
If you have a model you love (or hate) leave a helpful comment below!
Now, are you ready for the air fryer whole chicken recipe?
Why it’s awesome
This air fryer chicken is one of our favorite recipes for many reasons!
- Simple and easy to make - made with only a few steps and a few ingredients
- Crispy skin on the outside and juicy on the inside- no more dry chicken!
- Great as a main dish as is, or use to make other dishes like my Rotisserie Chicken Salad or this Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas.
- Healthy, low carb and packed with protein
Whole chicken - I used a 5 pound chicken for this recipe. It fits in my Cosori XL air fryer perfectly. If you choose a larger or smaller chicken, you will need to adjust cooking times.
Olive oil - I prefer the flavor of extra virgin olive oil, but you can use regular or your favorite mild flavored oil like canola. This helps crisp the skin and helps the seasonings stick to the chicken.
Seasoning mix - I like a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, and Italian seasoning. Sometimes I use oregano instead of Italian seasoning, or just some dried parsley. Let your imagination run wild with your favorite flavors.
Start with clean hands and a clean work surface. Gather all ingredients needed.
Step 1: Mix seasoning together in a small bowl.
Step 2: To prep the chicken, remove it from the plastic packaging. Check inside the cavity for the giblets- they may be in a bag. Discard or keep for another use, such a gravy. It’s no longer recommended to rinse the chicken because it can increase the chance of cross contamination. Instead, just place it in a bowl or on a cutting board and use paper towels to thoroughly dry chicken.
Step 3: Rub chicken all over with olive oil. Sprinkle all sides evenly with seasoning.
Step 4: Preheat the air fryer. When ready, spray the fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the chicken, breast side down, into the air fryer basket. Close the basket and program the air fryer to cook at 360 degrees F for 50 minutes.
Turn the chicken over and set the air fryer to cook for an additional 10 minutes at 360 degrees F. If you don’t want to reprogram the air fryer at the 50 minutes mark, you can set it for 60 minutes, just remember to set a separate timer to remind you to flip the chicken at the 50 minutes mark.
Chicken is safely cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Here’s a short video explaining how to check if your chicken is done.
Step 5: Once chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature, let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before carving.
If you want your air fryer whole chicken and other foods cooked perfectly every time, use this meat thermometer. It’s an inexpensive, indispensable kitchen tool.
Be sure to cover the entire chicken in seasoning or spice rub.
Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your chicken. Aim for 12 minutes per pound. Flip the chicken over for the last 10-15 minutes to allow both sides to brown.
Use your meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Continue the cooking process in 3-5 minutes increments until safe temperature is reached.
Don’t forget to let it rest for about 10 minutes. This lets the juices recirculate back into the meat for the juiciest chicken ever!
Don't know how to carve a whole chicken? Check out this video to guide you through process.
Here are some different homemade seasoning blends I like to use to make this air fryer whole chicken:
Cajun from Gimme Some Oven
Jerk from Chili Pepper Madness
Tandori from Epicurious
Lemon garlic butter - melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley; mix well. Pour over carved chicken then squeeze half a fresh lemon over.
You can use your imagination to come up with some delicious blends yourself, or use standbys like Lawry’s all purpose, lemon pepper, or Montreal.
Storage and reheating
Store leftovers in the refrigerator and use within 3 or 4 days.
Freeze for up to 3 months in freezer safe storage containers. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat to desired temperature.
What tastes good with chicken?
People also ask
Yes, fresh, raw chicken works very well in an air fryer. The skin gets crispy and the inside is moist and juicy.
The Cosori XL 5.8 quart fits a whole chicken up to about 5.5 pounds.
Buying a whole chicken will give you a lot of options, whether you want to carve and the bird into sections, or shred the meat to use in your favorite casserole dishes.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Corn on the Cob
- Waffle Fries
- Baked Potatoes
- Whole Chicken
- Frozen Biscuits
- Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Turkey Meatballs
- Frozen Chicken Wings
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- 1 (5 lb) whole chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, oregano or thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- Mix herbs and spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- To prep the chicken, remove it from the plastic packaging. Check inside the cavity for the giblets- they may be in a bag. Discard or keep for another use, such a gravy. It’s no longer recommended to rinse the chicken because it could increase the chance of cross contamination. Instead, just place it in a bowl or on a cutting board and use paper towels to thoroughly dry chicken.
- Rub chicken all over with olive oil. Sprinkle all sides evenly with seasoning.
- Preheat the air fryer. When ready, spray the fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the chicken, breast side down, into the air fryer basket. Close the basket cook at 360 degrees F for 50 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 10 minutes at 360 degrees F.
- Chicken is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving.