Air Fryer Whole Chicken is the easiest, hands-off way to air fry rotisserie chicken. The tender, juicy inside and crispy outside makes it a miracle chicken dinner for busy home cooks!
Air fryer whole chicken is my favorite method to get rotisserie style chicken without needing to use rotisserie tools. 5 minutes of prep and one hour of hands-off air frying make a crispy, juicy chicken right at home.
The convenience frees you up to make mashed potatoes, 10-minute gravy, salad, or mac and cheese at the same time. Or, make Air Fryer Mushrooms while the chicken rests before serving. No matter what, you will nail dinner with this crazy easy recipe!
Why we love whole chicken in the air fryer
- 5 minute prep and hands-free cooking (except for the one-time flip).
- Budget-friendly because buying the whole bird is more economical than buying in pieces. Also, store bought rotisserie chicken is expensive (if it's not from Costco lol).
- The chicken sits above the grease in the fryer which makes crispy skin.
- It makes delicious leftovers to add soup, salad, casserole, or bone broth.
- Easy cleanup, especially if making Cosori air fryer whole chicken (or Vortex chicken).
Minimal ingredients with big flavor
See recipe card for ingredient amounts.
- garlic powder - If using garlic salt, you'll likely want to reduce the amount of salt in the recipe
- paprika - Use Hungarian or smoked paprika. Both are fabulous on chicken.
- salt and pepper - Use as much or as little as you like.
- extra virgin olive oil - or preferred oil
How to cook a whole chicken in the air fryer
- Let the chicken rest at room temperature 20 minutes to remove the chill. Combine the seasonings.
- Pat it dry, then brush oil and seasonings over the entire surface.
- Place it into the preheated basket and bake 30 minutes.
- Remove from the cooker, flip it over and bake another 25 minutes, or until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Remove, cover loosely, and allow to rest 5 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Boom! You have a scrumptious, juicy, tender rotisserie style, whole cooked chicken that's ready to devour.
Basket vs toaster oven
I own three models because, well, I'm obsessed. But also, I love to test recipes and work out every kink, so you don't have to. I have tested this recipe in various models, so I know they're all capable of turning out optimal results. But, I do have a favorite style.
1. Basket style
The Cosori Air Fryer or the Instant Vortex are great fryers to cook chicken because it's so compact yet fits a 5 lb. bird. As a result, any mess is contained to a portable drawer that's easy to clean. Also, there's no need to truss the bird because the basket allows you to tuck the legs in, which prevents them from drying out.
2. Toaster oven style
I've tested this recipe in the Instant Vortex AF and the Instant Omni Plus AF Toaster Oven. Either of these will turn out amazing, but it does help to truss the legs to avoid them drying out, which means extra steps.
Let me just say for now that the basket fryer wins on A) easy cleanup and B) the fact that no trussing is required. Stay tuned as I'm planning to share more extensive reviews and test kitchen adventures.
Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe tips
Before air frying:
- remove chill: Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature before cooking to remove the chill and promote more even heating.
- remove moisture: pat the skin completely dry before adding seasoning because it helps make the skin crispy.
- type of oil: You can use your preferred oil. I prefer extra virgin olive oil because it's heart-smart. Also, most AF's max temperature is 400°F so the extra virgin olive oil won't burn.
- seasonings: Use any combination of seasonings. I'm using my favorite minimalist seasoning because I love the gorgeous orange-red color it adds.
- trussing: I don't recommend trussing chicken for the basket fryer because it causes the legs to sit too close to the burner. I've made this mistake using the Cosori XL air fryer. However, trussing chicken for the AF toaster oven totally works and prevents the legs from drying out.
During / after cooking:
- food safety: Always cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165°F (74 °C). Use an instant read thermometer that has been sanitized between uses to avoid contamination.
- rest after air frying: Always allow a minimum 5 minute rest after air frying to allow carryover cooking and to keep the juices from spilling out.
Chicken recipes you'll love
- Simple Roast Chicken Thighs
- Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Southwest Baked Wings
- Greek Lemon Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Chicken Vegetable Soup
Air Fryer Whole Chicken Rotisserie Style
- 5 lb. Whole Uncooked Chicken
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Allow CHICKEN to rest at room temperature about 20 minutes to remove the chill.
- Preheat the fryer to 360°F.
- Pat the chicken completely dry with a paper towel and remove any giblets from the inner cavity.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together GARLIC POWDER, PAPRIKA, SALT, PEPPER, and OLIVE OIL.
- Brush or smear spice mixture over the surface of the whole chicken.
- Place the bird breast side down in the air fry basket (press the back side as flat as possible to prevent it being too close to the burner inside the cooker.)
- Air fry the chicken for 30 minutes.
- Carefully open the unit, remove the basket (or tray) and use tongs to flip the chicken over so it's facing breast side up.
- Air fry another 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
- Transfer whole chicken out of the basket, loosely cover, and allow to rest 5 minutes at room temperature before cutting and serving.
Serving and storage instructions
- Serve chicken warm. To store, allow to cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days. Freeze up to 30 days (or longer if vacuum sealed).
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.