The best use of your air fryer is making this air fryer whole chicken. The meat is juicy and the skin is extra crispy and flavorful like a rotisserie style chicken...you are going to love how easy this whole chicken in the air fryer is!
Whole Chicken in the Air Fryer
I have made several things in my air fryer that I love, but I think this Air Fryer whole chicken is my new favorite. The chicken is perfectly tender and juicy (even the white meat!) and has extra crispy skin. My family gives it rave reviews! I bet you didn't think you could air fry a whole chicken, but you can! It just depends on how big your air fryer is and how big of a chicken you have.
I love this technique so much more than making a roast chicken in the oven. This air fried whole chicken is more like a rotisserie chicken because of the amazing flavor from the seasonings! A lot of people serve this air fried roast chicken with roasted potatoes for a classic complete meal. I like to pull the meat from the bone and have it on salads for a low carb and keto friendly meal.
Air fryer whole chicken recipe ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this air fryer whole chicken recipe so you can make it perfectly the first time, and every single time. For a printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
5 - 6 pound (2.3 - 2.7 kg) chicken, giblets removed - My chicken was right at 5.5 pounds and fit with extra room in my 8 quart air fryer. I have also used a 6 quart air fryer and the 5 pound chicken fit perfectly.
If your air fryer is smaller, you still have options. If your air fryer has a removable grate, you would possibly be able to fit a larger chicken. Also, organic chickens tend to be smaller...around 4 pounds.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
How to make a roast chicken in the air fryer
This section explains how to make this whole chicken in the air fryer recipe, step by step. For a full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
This recipe has easy steps but I have a few tricks that will ensure that your chicken does not dry out before it is cooked all of the way through. The most important thing when making an air fryer rotisserie chicken is that you have juicy meat! I would say that is even more important than having super crispy skin.
- Pat the whole chicken dry with paper towels and tuck the wings under.
- Combine all of the seasoning blend spices and oil in a small bowl to make a paste. Use a basting brush to coat the breast side of the whole chicken with half of the seasoning rub.
- Lift the chicken with the legs and place it in the air fryer basket breast side down. Use the basting brush to coat the rest of the chicken with the rub.
Tip💡: Notice I removed the grate from the bottom of my air fryer. This is something I would recommend if your air fryer allows. While the chicken is cooking, it will release a lot of juices and the breast meat will essentially be marinating in these juices as it cooks, so the meat will be extremely juicy.
- I cooked the chicken at 360F (182C) for 50 minutes breast side down, then I flipped it and did 10 more minutes. It is important to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F (74C) using an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken, usually the breast. You may need to add extra time to the air fryer until the temperature is reached in the breast.
You now need to remove the chicken from the air fryer onto a cutting board or platter and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
I am telling you now, you will not believe how delicious and juicy chicken in the air fryer is. It really is the easiest way to make the perfect roast chicken!
Is an air fryer big enough for a whole chicken?
It really depends on the size of your air fryer and the size chicken you bought. Most chickens you buy in the store are around 5 to 6 pounds (organic could result in a 4-pound chicken). If you have an air fryer that is smaller than 5 quarts, you may need to find a smaller chicken.
Some newer conventional ovens now have air fry as a setting (essentially a convection oven) so you would be able to air fry any size whole chicken in it!
What to do with leftover roast chicken?
- Pull the chicken from the bone and make sandwiches, chicken salad, or enchiladas (save the carcass in a freezer bag to make chicken bone broth later) for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.
- My favorite way is to use in Chicken Noodle soup or any soup that contains shredded chicken.
- Here is a good use for leftover shredded chicken (30+ Shredded Chicken Recipes)
More easy air fryer recipes: Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Air Fryer Bacon, Air Fryer Chicken Wings, and Air Fryer chicken tenders. This air fryer whole chicken is one of my most popular, though. Along with my air fryer chicken thighs and air fryer chicken breasts!
Juicy Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin
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- 5-6 lb Whole chicken, giblets removed
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, or your favorite cooking oil
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
- ½ teaspoon Dried basil
- ½ teaspoon Dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Dried thyme
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine all of the seasonings with the oil to make a paste. Use a basting brush to spread half of the seasoning all over the breast side of the chicken. Pick the chicken up with the legs, and place it breast side down in the air fryer basket. (note: I removed my grate from my air fryer for this recipe. If yours allows, I would do the same. It will allow for a bigger chicken, and the breast meat will marinate in the released juices as it cooks.). Use the basting brush to coat the rest of the chicken with the rub.
- Air fry at 360 degrees F (182C) for 50 minutes. Flip the chicken to breast side up and cook for an additional 10 minutes. (Cook time will vary depending on your air fryer wattage, size, and the size of your chicken)
- Check to make sure the internal temperature of your chicken breast meat has a temperature of 165F (74C) using an instant read thermometer. Continue to cook until the temperature is reached. Remove from the air fryer basket to a cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition per serving
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy only. Please re-calculate on your own with the ingredients and amounts you used for the most accurate data.