Make this Air Fryer Whole Chicken recipe for the best Sunday dinner entrée ever.
Let the air fryer work its magic and get a perfectly seasoned, juicy, whole chicken with a crispy skin on the table in minutes. Faster, easier, and fresher than store-bought rotisserie chicken, this is the best way to cook a whole chicken to tender, crispy perfection. Serve it up with favorite side dishes and a big salad, or use it for batch cooking to add to lunches and dinners all week long. The air fryer makes perfect chicken every time.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Follow Our Zesty Life on Pinterest for more great recipes and ideas!
PIN this Air Fryer Whole Chicken recipe to your ENTREES Board!
Amazing Air Fryer Whole Chicken!
- Season, air fry, and serve! If you have a NuWave, Corsori, a Ninja, or a Vortex, simply adjust power and cook times for your model and get perfectly air-fried chicken every time!
- Busy nights and busy families call for easy, wholesome, healthy meals! Air fryer whole chicken has that oven-roasted tenderness and crispy skin that’s made in an instant! Save prep, time, and clean up and make this foolproof dinner any day of the week!
- Or make this recipe on the weekend and use the breasts to top a salad or chop to make Classic Chicken Salad sandwiches, Grilled Quesadillas, or Chicken Taquitos Baked or Fried. Or make a pot of this hearty Chicken Taco Soup.
Ingredients and Variations
CHICKEN: Fresh, whole chickens will have intact skins and a mild aroma. PRO TIP: If the cavity has the neck, giblets, or other organ meats, freeze them to make richly flavored stocks and broths.
SEASONING: Use your favorite chicken seasoning or a delicious Montreal Steak Seasoning. Other tasty options include Homemade Taco Seasoning, Jerk Seasoning, Fajita Seasoning, or even this multi-purpose Pork Rub Recipe .
How to Cook Air Fryer Chicken
Who knew that cooking a whole chicken could be done so quickly? Here’s an outline of the basic steps:
- Rub chicken with oil and seasoning. PRO TIP: Marinate fresh or frozen whole chicken in buttermilk for an hour to tenderize the meat, if desired.
- Place the seasoned chicken breast side down in the basket or tray of the air fryer.
- Cook per recipe below. (Cook times may vary based on air fryer model and size of chicken).
- Flip chicken over and cook until meat thermometer reads 165°F.
- Remove chicken and allow it to rest 10 minutes before slicing. PRO TIP: Avoid cooking chicken too long as the legs and wings will become tough.
Here’s a primer on what capacity air fryer is best for what size of whole chicken:
- 4QT Air fryer = 5lb whole chicken
- 5QT Air fryer = 3lb whole chicken
- 6QT Air fryer = 4lb whole chicken
Delish Chicken Gravy
This recipe for chicken gravy is made with the drippings and a bit of flour and broth and can be made while the chicken is resting. Whip up this easy gravy while the chicken is resting.
- Whisk the drippings in a skillet with flour (per recipe below) and cook until bubbling.
- Slowly add in broth and continue to whisk until the gravy is smooth.
- Simmer until desired thickness is achieved. PRO TIP: For perfectly smooth gravy, pour into a small blender and blend until smooth. Mix in parsley before serving.
Tips for Success
- It is not necessary to preheat the air fryer for this recipe.
- Looking for even more savory flavor? Instead of olive oil, rub leftover bacon grease over the chicken before seasoning.
- For super crispy chicken skin, pat the raw chicken dry with paper towels before oiling and seasoning.
Storing Leftover Chicken
Store leftover air fryer chicken by removing the meat from the carcass and keeping it in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or use in other recipes. Freeze portions in zippered bags up to 12 weeks in the freezer. Use the carcass to make a tasty Homemade Broth.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
To Make Gravy, Optional
- 1 ½ Tablespoon flour
- 1 cup chicken broth or 1 cup water and 1½ teaspoons chicken base
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley optional
- Remove any giblets or packaging from the chicken cavity. If not already trussed, fold the wings back behind the chicken and tie the legs together (using a bow makes it easy to untie).
- Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning on all sides.
- Place the chicken breast-side down into the air fryer basket. Turn the air fryer on to 350°F (no need for preheating).
- Cook for 30 minutes and flip the chicken over (breast side up). Cook for 25-30 minutes,or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F using a thermometer.
- Remove from the air fryer and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
To Make Gravy, Optional
- While chicken rests, add all drippings from the air fryer to a small skillet on medium heat. Sprinkle with flour. Whisk until well combined and cook for 3-4 minutes (should be bubbling).
- While whisking, slowly add the broth. Once well combined and bubbling, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened to desired consistency.
- Strain through a sieve or strainer if desired. Stir in parsley and serve warm with the chicken.
- Choose a chicken that will fit in the air fryer. A 3 ½ pound chicken will fit comfortably in a 5.8 quart air fryer.
- If the chicken touches the top of the air fryer, press to flatten, and untie the legs only if necessary.
- Nutrition is calculated without gravy.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
Recipe from Spend With Pennies