This Air Fryer Whole Chicken recipe produces the BEST, juicy whole chicken, with perfectly crispy skin. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and is so flavorful and delicious.

Don’t miss my other popular air fryer recipes, including Air Fryer Chicken Wings, Air Fryer Meatballs, Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries.

A whole chicken, cooked in the air fryer, served on a platter.

Why I love this Air Fryer recipe:

  • Crispy Skin and Bold flavor: the air fryer does it’s job well, cooking the chicken to perfecting, with crispy skin and delicious flavor.
  • EASY – takes 10 minutes to prepare, and the air fryer does the rest.
  • Any Occasion: It’s easy enough to prepare on a weeknight, but seems fancy enough for a special occasion too. Serve it with your favorite bread and salad for a meal everyone will enjoy!

How to Make Air Fryer Whole Chicken:

Prep Chicken: Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Discard neck and giblets from cavity of chicken.

A whole chicken on a tray, with butter and seasonings to prepare air fryer whole chicken.

Add butter under skin: Loosen skin from breast meat of the chicken. Spread a tablespoon of softened butter underneath the skin on each breast, smoothing it out into an even layer.

Butter being smoothed under the skin of a raw whole chicken.

Season: Brush olive oil on the outside of the bird, then sprinkle seasoning all over the outside.

A whole chicken with poultry seasoning all over it, ready to cook in the air fryer.

Air Fry: Preheat air fryer, if needed. Place the whole chicken, breast-side down, into the basket of your air fryer–this will help all of the juice run to the breast meat while cooking, ensuring it stays moist. Cook chicken at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

A whole chicken, placed breast-side down in an air fryer basket.

Flip: Open air fryer and carefully flip the chicken breast side up. Place back in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees.

A whole chicken cooking in an air fryer, flipped to breast side up.

Rest chicken for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Rolls, and this Apple Pecan Salad!

Gravy: Use the drippings from the bottom of the air fryer basket to make Chicken Gravy.

Make it a Meal and Serve with:

Storage and Freezing Instructions:

To Store: Pull leftover chicken meat away from bones and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Use the leftover carcass to make chicken stock, for homemade chicken noodle soup.

To Freeze: Store chicken meat in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use in White Chicken Chili, Chicken Noodle Soup, or Chicken Pot Pie! You can also freeze the chicken carcass to make homemade Chicken Stock, later.

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Recipe

A whole chicken, cooked in the air fryer, served on a platter.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 55 mins

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter , softened
  • Olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3-5 pounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons poultry rub/chicken seasoning

Poultry/Chicken Seasoning*:

  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika , or regular
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper , or more, if you like it spicier

Instructions
 

  • Combine poultry seasoning ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Remove chicken from packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Remove and discard neck and giblets from cavity of chicken.
  • Loosen skin from the breast meat of the chicken by running a small spatula or your fingers gently underneath the skin. Spread 1 tablespoons of softened butter underneath the skin on each breast, and smooth it out into an even layer.
  • Brush the outside of the bird with a little oil, then sprinkle seasoning all over the outside.
  • Place the whole chicken breast-side down in the basket of your air fryer. This will help all of the juice run to the breast meat during the first part of cooking, ensuring it stays moist.
  • Set the air fryer to 350 degrees and cook the chicken for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes is up, pull out the basket and flip the chicken breast side up. Place back in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees.
  • Allow chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy!
  • Use the drippings from the bottom of the air fryer to make gravy, if desired.

Notes

Poultry Seasoning: you can substitute 2 Tablespoons of you favorite chicken or poultry seasoning.
Serve with:
Storage Instructions: Pull leftover chicken meat away from bones and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezing Instructions: Store chicken meat in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use in White Chicken Chili or Baked Taquitos or freeze the carcass as well to make Chicken Stock and Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 29gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 1544mgPotassium: 343mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 821IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been loving all of your air fryer recipes lately and this was no different. Honestly, this was a game changer for cooking chicken. The outside was perfectly crispy, but the meat was so tender and juicy. Yummy!

  2. The whole chicken in the air fryer was a game changer for me!! Now, I want to try making other things in my air fryer! The chicken was moist and crisp and the seasoning was phenomenal!!! Thank you for this awesome recipe and for getting me to try my air fryer!!

    1. Thank you Annette!! I’m glad you’re crazy for this recipe too and I’ve got other great air fryer recipes for you to try! The chicken tenders are amazing.