Home Dinner Chicken Easy Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin

Easy Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin

This air fryer whole chicken recipe is just what you need for busy weeknights.

It’s quicker, easier, and requires less clean-up than the oven. Plus, the meat turns out way better overall.

The skin is crispier, and the meat is juicier and more tender. Everything about air fryer whole chicken is superior. Try it and see for yourself.

Air fried whole chicken on a plate garnished with herbs and lemons.
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Why You’ll Love Whole Chicken in the Air Fryer

There are so many reasons to love the air fryer.

I mean, did you try these air fryer chicken thighs? They’re insanely good!

And this whole chicken recipe is just as scrummy. Here’s why I love it so much:

  • Convenience. A conventional oven needs well over an hour to cook a whole chicken. This recipe has it done in under an hour. It’s also a very hands-off process, and clean-up is a breeze.
  • The taste and texture are amazing. You can’t get the same crispy skin in a normal oven. And that ensures the moisture is locked in the meat, making it extra juicy.
  • It’s energy efficient. I don’t know about you, but my oven takes at least 5-10 minutes to heat up. Plus, it always seems like a waste to heat up the whole oven for one thing. But that’s not the case with the air fryer, which is ready to cook in minutes.
Whole chicken in an air fryer basket covered in spices

Ingredients

As with any roast chicken recipe, you can adjust the following however you like. But if you’re unsure, stick with the ingredients below.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken. Be sure to get the right size chicken for your air fryer. It shouldn’t touch the element at the top.
  • Oil. Olive oil or avocado oil both work well.
  • Seasonings. Sweet paprika, garlic and onion powders, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  • Optional stuffing. Though optional, a lemon, some rosemary, and an onion will give your bird an even better taste.

How to Make Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken in the air fryer isn’t difficult. Just follow these steps:

1. Prepare the chicken. Pat it dry, remove the giblets, and trim extra skin and fat. If you plan to stuff the chicken, do so now.

2. Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Mix the spices and coat the chicken. Be sure to get it all over, top and bottom.

4. Cook. Place the chicken breast side down in the basket. Cook for 40 minutes, then flip and cook for another 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Serve. Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, serve and enjoy!

Keep in mind: the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken and the size/brand of the air fryer.

Whole air fryer chicken with herbs garnished on plate

Tips for Success

If you’ve ever made a whole chicken before, you’ll know it’s pretty simple. Still, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve:

  • Make the skin extra crispy. Pat the chicken dry, then place it in the fridge, uncovered, for 1 hour or overnight. Then, season and cook it as instructed.
  • Use a thermometer. It’s the best way to ensure the chicken is fully cooked. Check the thigh and the thickest part of the breast.
  • Ensure the chicken fits in the basket. I know I said it already, but it’s important. The chicken shouldn’t be crowded tightly against the sides or touch the top. If it is, it won’t cook properly.
  • Remember: Breast Side Down! It may not seem important, but it is. Cooking the chicken breast side down at first will ensure the white meat stays as juicy as possible.
  • Don’t forget to let it rest. If you cut into a cooked chicken too soon, all the juices will run out. So, let it sit for about 10 minutes so it can reabsorb its juices and stay moist.

How to Store Leftovers

Wondering what to do with leftovers? I’ve got you!

To Store. Pull the meat from the bones and transfer it to an airtight container. Discard the bones, and refrigerate the meat for up to 5 days.

To Freeze. Store just the meat in a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To Reheat. Let frozen chicken thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, place it in a microwave-safe bowl with a damp paper towel on top. Reheat it on high until got. (Times will vary.)

Whole chicken on a white table garnished with copped parsley

Ways to Use Leftovers

When served with potatoes and air fryer carrots, this tasty chicken dinner won’t last long.

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But if you do have some leftover and need dinner inspiration, you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways to use the extra meat. Such as:

More Air Fryer Recipes To Try

Air Fryer Frozen Waffle Fries
Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs
Air Fryer Pancakes
Air Fryer Chex Mix

Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Course: DinnerCuisine: American
Servings

4-6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour

This juicy air fryer whole chicken recipe is just what you need for busy weeknights. It’s quick, easy, and super tasty with ultra-crispy skin.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed

  • optional stuffing: 1 lemon (cut in half), 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 whole onion (cut in half)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Remove the giblets and cut off excess fat or skin. Then, stuff the cavity with the lemon, onion, and rosemary, if using.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  • Generously season the chicken with the spice mixture. Spread half over the top, turn it over, then spread the other half over the bottom. Be sure to get under the wings and legs, and rub it well into the skin.
  • Place the seasoned chicken breast side down in the air fryer basket and cook for 40 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the chicken over and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Check the temperature after 40 minutes and adjust the remaining time as needed.
  • Take the chicken out of the basket and leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Then, carve and serve.

Notes

  • A note about temperature. Check the bird’s internal temperature after the first 40-minute cooking time. Doing so will give you a better idea of how much longer it needs to cook.
  • This recipe is for a 4-pound chicken. If your chicken is larger, you may have to add an additional 5 to 10 minutes to the overall cooking time.
Air fryer whole chicken with herbs

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

2 thoughts on “Easy Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin”

  1. Good day Kim,

    Your recipes are all very testy and easy!
    You are the best!
    Love reading and making your easy foods with air Fryer.

    Be blessed!

    Reply

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