Air fryer whole chicken can be used in so many different ways! Make this recipe with butter, garlic, onion, and a delicious blend of spices.
Now you can cook an entire bird with this countertop appliance and keep your kitchen cool. Or, use that freed-up oven space for a tasty dessert instead!
Tips and Tricks For Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Keep your workspace clean. It’s important to clean your hands and surfaces while working to prevent food poisoning. For more information on chicken preparation and safety practices, visit here.
- Use a smaller chicken. There’s a noticeable difference between organic, hormone-free birds and regular ones, so you’ll probably need to purchase the former so it fits inside the basket. Either way, keep it under 4.5 pounds for best results and don’t let it touch the top of your machine.
- Want a juicy bird? Stuffing the cavity will keep moisture inside, as well as trying the legs closed with twine. However, you can leave the legs untied if it helps the meat fit better inside the basket.
- Make it extra crispy. Raise the temperature to 370° for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Choose your nonstick spray carefully! Ones with a propellant can cause the inner basket to deteriorate over time. I highly recommend this one, or you can also get an olive oil sprayer to fill with any high smoke point oil.
How To Cook Chicken In An Air Fryer
Prepare the bird the same way you would with any other cooking method:
- Remove the giblets and pat dry.
- Stuff the cavity with vegetables and fresh herbs.
- Rub seasoned butter under the skin.
- Add a dry rub all over the outside before tying the legs with twine.
Then, spray the basket with your favorite oil spray and place the poultry inside. It takes about an hour to cook, and you will need to flip it halfway so it gets crispy on all sides.
Once it’s done, allow it to rest on a cutting board before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat for perfectly moist bites.
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FAQ – Common Recipe Questions
Do I need to preheat my air fryer?
No, there’s no need to do so for this recipe.
Are there drippings in the pan for gravy?
Yes! Just be sure your basket is on a flat surface before separating it from the lower pan. If you don’t have a favorite recipe, I’ve got one that can be made in just 20 minutes.
How long does an air fryer whole chicken last in the refrigerator?
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
You can also place the cooled meat in a storage bag and freeze it for up to 4 months. Then, thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
Air Fryer Chicken
- 4.5 pound Whole Chicken, (free-range, hormone free)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or avocado oil
For the cavity
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic , peeled and crushed
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Remove all packaging from the whole chicken, including any giblets inside the cavity. Place in a large bowl and pat to dry.
- In a small bowl, add all of the seasoning rub ingredients. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Add the yellow onion, crushed garlic cloves and fresh thyme into the cavity of the chicken.
- Starting at the end of the chicken near the legs, loosen the skin using a flat hand to get under the surface.
- In a small bowl, combine all garlic butter ingredients. Stir until well mixed.
- Spread the garlic butter mixture underneath the loosened chicken to coat the breast meat.
- With a basting brush, coat the entire outside of the chicken with the seasoning rub on both sides. Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil spray. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together and place in the air fryer basket, breast side down.
- Set your air fryer to 360°F and cook for 60 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F), carefully flipping the chicken halfway through.
- Transfer to a cutting board and allow the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes. Carve with a sharp knife and serve.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published March 2021
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