Air Fryer Whole Chicken
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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.
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
Now you can cook a whole chicken in the air fryer and keep your kitchen cool. Or, use that freed-up oven space for a tasty dessert instead!
Crispy cauliflower and rosemary potatoes are easy side dishes to make this a complete meal.
You can also slice up air fryer rotisserie chicken to use in salads, sandwiches, and even casseroles.
Feeding a crowd? Whip up a big bowl of my Southern Style Potato Salad and some corn on the cob for an easy homemade feast.
Tips for Making Whole Chicken in Air Fryer
- 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.
- 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 to fit the whole chicken in the air fryer 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.
You can also get an olive oil sprayer to fill with any oil that has a high smoke point.
How Big of a Chicken Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?
I highly recommend you use a smaller chicken, even with larger capacity air fryers.
There’s a noticeable difference between organic, hormone-free birds and regular ones. You’ll probably need to purchase the former to ensure that it fits inside the basket.
Either way, keep it under 4.5 pounds for best results and don’t let your air fryer rotisserie chicken touch the top of your machine.
How To Air Fry Whole Chicken
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 air fry whole chicken, and you will need to flip it halfway so it gets crispy on all sides.
Once it’s done, allow your air fryer roasted chicken to rest on a cutting board before carving.
This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat for perfectly moist bites.
Air Fryer Roasted Chicken FAQ
No, there’s no need to do so for this air fryer whole chicken recipe.
Yes! There are plenty of drippings in the bottom of the basket when you air fry whole chicken.
Carefully remove the bird, then the inner tray, before pouring the drippings into a saucepan.
If you don’t have a favorite recipe, I’ve got one that can be made in just 20 minutes.
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.
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Air Fryer Whole 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, updated and republished March 2023
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Best chicken I have ever had! I love the air fryer I have the same one but I think it's bigger. I can cook a five to a five and a half pound chicken in mine and it comes out perfect every time. I'm going to try your seasonings because that sounds delicious!
Thank you! I love my cosori 5.8 qt. It fits everything. Thank you for commenting.
I made this in my Power XL today for dinner. It was wonderful and I will make it again for sure.
I will never not use an air fryer recipe if I can. They always come out perfect.