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Air Fryer Whole Chicken

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Air Fryer Whole Chicken is made easy with just 5 ingredients with incredible flavor and a full family dinner.

Seasoned whole chicken in air fryer

Turns out you don’t need a rotisserie-style air fryer to cook a whole rotisserie chicken. This is an easy roast chicken recipe we love to make at our house. It’s full of flavor, has a crispy skin, and tastes just like it was baked in the oven!

It’s also made with all dry seasonings you should have right in your house.

I recommend using an air fryer that is at least 5.8QT to complete this recipe as it will need room for air to circulate.

I used the Cosori 5.8QT Air Fryer as it allows a 4.5-to-5-pound chicken in the basket with no issues. That’s enough for my whole family of 4 and a Buffalo Chicken Wrap with the leftovers the next day!

You can use a small oven-roaster chicken or a larger young chicken in this air fryer whole chicken recipe. If the bird is smaller than 4.5 pounds, adjust for less cooking time.

In this post I will teach you:

  • How to cook a whole chicken in the air fryer
  • How to cook a frozen whole chicken in the air fryer
  • Directions to reheat a rotisserie chicken in the air fryer
  • Tips to get the best tender chicken while making sure your air fryer does not smoke while cooking this recipe

Love chicken? Check out these 40 delicious air fryer chicken recipes you can make including Air Fryer Orange Chicken, Air Fried Chicken Breasts, and even Air Fryer Chicken Thighs!

How to Make an Air Fryer Whole Chicken

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.

Raw whole chicken on a cutting board with seasoning in a bowl

STEP TWO: Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken cavity then pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. The whole chicken needs to be dry to get that nice crispy outside skin.

STEP THREE: Mix the pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl and rub all over the outside of the chicken.

Hands on both sides of the raw whole chicken placing seasoning on it

STEP FOUR: Place the whole chicken in the air fryer with the breast side down and cook for 40 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook it breast side up for another 15 to 20 minutes.

The chicken is done cooking when a thermometer reads 165 degrees F at its thickest point.

I like to use this Kizen Instant-Read Thermometer to get a quick read without keeping the bird out of the air fryer too long.

Raw whole chicken in air fryer

STEP FIVE: Remove the whole chicken from the air fryer, let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

Cooked whole chicken in the air fryer

How to Cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in the Air Fryer

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this. I come for the day with the kids and realize the full chicken we had planned for dinner is sitting in the freezer… frozen.

Well, one day I decided to just put the whole frozen chicken in the air fryer to see what would happen and it worked!

While it does need more time to cook and prepare, it has saved dinner a few times in our house.

This also works for whole chickens that are only partially thawed.

Cut chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, and lettuce on a plate with a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes and head of lettuce in the background
  1. Let the frozen chicken thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. After this time, the chicken will still be frozen, but that’s okay!
  2. Add the rub as listed in the directions and place the frozen whole chicken in the air fryer breast side down and cook for 40 minutes.
  3. Carefully flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Check the chicken with an Instant-Read Thermometer making sure it reads 165 degrees and its thickest point. Cook in additional 2 increments until done, then serve!
Full cooked whole chicken on a white seving plate with mashed sweet potatoes in a whie bowl, air fryer, and head of lettuce behind it

How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken in the Air Fryer

Whether you are using these cooking directions for reheating the above recipe or just reheating a rotisserie chicken you bought at the store, an air fryer is the best way to keep that crispy skin.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.
  2. Place the leftover or cooked whole rotisserie chicken in the air fryer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until warmed all the way through.
  3. Remove the rotisserie chicken from the air fryer and enjoy!
Closeup photo of a piece of the chicken on a fork

Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Whole Chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry before adding in the dry rub seasoning mix. This will allow the chicken to get extra crispy
  • Add 1 to 2 pieces of bread under the basket inside the drawer to help catch any drippings. You can also add ¼ cup of water to the drawer instead. This helps keep your air fryer from smoking
  • For an extra crispy skin, increase the temperature to 400 degrees for the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking
  • To get the best tender air fryer whole chicken, tie the legs of the chicken together using cooking twine. While not mandatory, it does help to keep the inside of the chicken moist and keeps it from drying out.
Air Fryer Whole Chicken on a white plate

How to Store Leftover Chicken

Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap well and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. I recommend storing it within an aluminum pan or something with a lip so the chicken does not leak.

We are a huge fan of leftovers and love using them for these 12 leftover chicken wrap ideas!

What to Serve with Whole Chicken

Check out these other Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes to serve alongside it as well.

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Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Air Fryer Whole Chicken

A whole chicken is roasted in the air fryer with seasoning and made with just 5 ingredients.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4.5 lb to 5lb whole raw chicken
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken cavity. Pat the chicken dry.
  3. Mix the black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a bowl then rub it all over the chicken.
  4. Place the whole chicken into the air fryer breast side down and cook for 40 minutes*. Flip the chicken and cook breast side up for another 15 to 20 minutes. The chicken is done when it hits 165 degrees F at its thickest point.
  5. Remove the chicken from the air fryer, let sit for 5 minutes, then serve!

Notes

*place 1 to 2 slices of bread OR 1/4 cup water under the basket inside the drawer of the air fryer to avoid the air fryer from smoking

How to Cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in the Air Fryer

1. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees and add seasoning as noted above.

3. Cook the chicken breast side down for 40 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until it hits 165 degrees. Cook in additional 2-minute increments if more time is needed (dependent on chicken size).

4. Remove from the air fryer and enjoy!

How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken in the Air Fryer

1. Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees.

2. Cook the leftover whole/rotisserie chicken for 5 to 8 minutes until chicken is thoroughly heated.

3. Remove from the air fryer and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 491Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 158mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 39g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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5 thoughts on “Air Fryer Whole Chicken”

  1. I made this today and it is absolutely delicious and tender. I’m definitely saving this recipe so I can make it regularly. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Hi! I’m looking forward to trying this but I have a 4 lb chicken; any suggestions for the reduced cooking time? I don’t want to overcook it but I don’t want to have to obsessively check the temperature either. I haven’t used my air fryer very much yet. Lol

    Reply
    • Haha, I know what you mean about obsessively checking on it. You don’t want to see how some foods test over here. I would start checking it about 15 minutes earlier and then check every 5 minutes from there. Also, if you don’t have one, I recommend a very quick Instant-Read Thermometer so it’s a quick process to check it. My old one used to take 10-15 seconds and my newer one takes about 2 seconds at most.

      Reply

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