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Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe

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Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken in an air fryer is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to enjoy a crispy, juicy meal without much hassle. With just a few simple seasonings and about an hour of cooking, you can have dinner ready in no time.

Using fresh ingredients like lemon, garlic, and herbs gives the chicken an amazing flavor. Plus, the air fryer keeps the meat tender while creating a perfectly crispy skin. This method is perfect for weeknight dinners and can be paired with your favorite side dishes.

You’ll love how straightforward and convenient it is to air fry a whole chicken. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, this recipe will become a favorite in your kitchen.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Whole Chicken: Aim for a chicken that is around 3-4 pounds. This size fits well in most air fryer baskets.

Olive Oil: Helps to crisp the skin. You can also use avocado oil or melted butter.

Salt and Pepper: Basic seasonings. Use them to taste.

Garlic Powder: Adds a delicious flavor. Fresh minced garlic works too.

Paprika: For color and a mild, sweet flavor. Smoked paprika can add a different touch.

Thyme and Rosemary: These herbs provide a nice aroma and taste. If you don’t have these, use Italian seasoning.

Optional Seasonings:

  • Onion Powder: Adds depth.
  • Lemon Zest: For a fresh, citrusy note.
  • Chili Powder: If you like it spicy.

Table of Key Ingredients:

Whole Chicken1 (3-4 pounds)None
Olive Oil2 tbspAvocado oil, melted butter
Salt2 tspSea salt
Pepper1 tspGround white pepper
Garlic Powder1 tspFresh minced garlic
Paprika1 tspSmoked paprika
Thyme1 tspItalian seasoning
Rosemary1 tspItalian seasoning

Prepare these ingredients before you start cooking your air fryer whole chicken. This makes the process smoother and ensures that your chicken turns out crispy, juicy, and flavorful.


  1. Preparation

    • Preheat your air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
    • Mix olive oil with your choice of spices and herbs. Common options include paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
    • Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken.
  2. Cooking Process

    • Place the chicken breast-side down in the air fryer basket.
    • Air fry at 360°F (182°C) for 30 minutes.
  3. Flipping and Continuing

    • Flip the chicken to breast-side up.
    • Continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy.
  4. Checking for Doneness

    • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken is done when it reaches 165°F (74°C).
  5. Resting

    • Remove the chicken from the air fryer.
    • Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.


  • For extra flavor, marinate the chicken for a few hours before cooking.
  • Baste the chicken halfway through cooking for added moisture.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Prepping the Chicken:

  • Pat it Dry: Make sure to pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This helps get that crispy skin.
  • Season Well: Use a mix of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to coat the chicken.

Cooking Tips:

  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Set it to 360°F to ensure even cooking.
  • Breast Side Down First: Start cooking with the breast side down for 30 minutes. Then flip it to breast side up for another 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature hits 165°F.

Extra Tips:

  • Use a Meat Thermometer: Always check the internal temperature to make sure it’s fully cooked.
  • Let It Rest: After cooking, let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving to keep it juicy.


  • Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, wrap the chicken in aluminum foil and place it in a ziplock bag. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F for 5-10 minutes to keep the skin crispy.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Herb-Infused Chicken
Rub your chicken with a mix of thyme, rosemary, and basil. These herbs add a fresh and fragrant flavor.

Spicy Chicken
For a kick, rub cayenne pepper and chili powder all over the chicken.

Sweet and Savory Chicken
Combine honey and soy sauce for a sweet and salty blend.

Lemon Garlic Chicken
Squeeze fresh lemon juice and sprinkle garlic powder on the chicken before cooking. Add lemon slices in the cavity for extra flavor.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve your air fried chicken with roasted vegetables like carrots and potatoes.

  • Pair it with a crisp salad, like Caesar or Greek, for a lighter meal.

  • Enjoy it with mashed potatoes and gravy for a comforting dinner.

  • Slice the leftovers and make a tasty chicken sandwich or wrap.

Side Ideas

Here’s a quick list of side dishes that go well with air fryer chicken:

  • Steamed broccoli
  • Garlic bread
  • Coleslaw
  • Buttered corn

Using an air fryer to cook a whole chicken is easy and opens up many options for different flavors and sides. This versatile meal can be tailored to your tastes and preferences, making it a staple in your meal rotation.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.