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Only three ingredients are needed to make this incredibly moist, tender, and flavorful Air Fryer Whole Chicken with crispy skin. Choose your favorite dry rub, give it a light coating of olive oil spray, and in less than an hour you’ll enjoy the most mouth watering fall-off-the-bone chicken!

close up of a whole chicken that was air fried
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Why this recipe is so great:

  • Simple ingredients: Only your favorite dry rub and some olive oil spray are needed to make this simple whole chicken recipe.
  • Moist and flavorful: Nothing worse than dried out chicken. Air fried chicken circulates hot air around the whole chicken. The result is a super crispy skin and the most flavorful and tender meat that just falls off the bone.
  • Great for meal planning: Of course this air fryer whole chicken is perfect as an easy dinner option. But, if you are meal planning for the week, you can use the meat for meals like enchiladas or salads and then throw the bones and the skin in the Instant Pot and make chicken broth for soup!

Ingredient needed:

  • Whole chicken: The main consideration is if it will fit in your air fryer. I personally think pasture raised and air chilled chicken is the best choice.
  • Olive oil spray: Just a light coating on the outside of the chicken is all that you need. If you don’t have spray you can paint on a thin layer using a pastry brush.
  • Dry rub: Any kind will work. I personally love my homemade dry rub, but store bought works fine.
whole chicken with dry rub seasoning and olive oil spray

How to make this Air Fryer Whole Chicken:

Full ingredient list and detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

  1. Dry rub: Cover all surfaces of the chicken with the dry rub.
  2. Olive oil: Lightly spray the entire outside of the chicken with olive oil.
  3. Air fry: Cook the chicken breast side down first at a higher temperature, then flip and continue cooking at a lower temperature until done.


Air Fryer Whole Chicken on platter with lemon and parsley

Cooking tips for best results:

  • Chicken size: I used a rather small 3-pound chicken and it barely fit in my air fryer, but it worked. You can also spatchcock your chicken by cutting down the back bone and flattening the whole chicken out to make it fit.
  • Cooking techniques:
    • Breast side down first: Just like when I make my roast chicken on the grill or in the oven, I start off by cooking the chicken breast side down. This allows all the juices to pool in the breast area, making that white meat extra moist.
    • Higher temperature: Unlike other Air Fryer whole chicken recipes out there, I start mine off at a higher temperature. I find this is best in order to get perfectly crispy skin.
    • Twine: Cooking your chicken with the drumsticks tied together will make the entire chicken more moist but may increase the cooking time. My chicken came tied together with twine and I left it in place while it air fried.
    • Cooking times will vary: Depending on the size of the chicken and starting temperature, cooking time will vary and you must check the doneness with an accurate thermometer.
slice of breast meat cut off Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Other great air fryer recipes:

whole chicken on platter

If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!

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Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Prep5 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Total45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Only three ingredients are needed to make this incredibly moist, tender, and flavorful Air Fryer Whole Chicken with crispy skin. Choose your favorite dry rub, give it a light coating of olive oil spray, and in less than an hour you'll enjoy the most mouth watering chicken!

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 3 pound whole chicken pasture raised recommended, size can vary based on air fryer capacity
  • 2 Tablespoons dry rub
  • olive oil spray

Instructions 

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  • Coat entire surface of chicken with dry rub.
  • Lightly spray olive oil spray over seasoned chicken.
  • Place breast side down in air fryer basket and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300°F, turn chicken over so that the breast side if facing up, and continue cooking at the lower temperature for about 20 minutes. Internal temperature of the chicken must reach 165°F. Cooking times will vary based on size of chicken as well as how cold the chicken was when you started the cooking process. Allow to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing to allow juices to distribute throughout meat (you can loosely tent with foil to keep warm).

Notes

  • Chicken size: I used a rather small 3-pound chicken and it barely fit in my air fryer, but it worked. You can also spatchcock your chicken by cutting down the back bone and flattening the whole chicken out to make it fit.
  • Cooking techniques:
    • Breast side down first: Just like when I make my roast chicken on the grill or in the oven, I start off by cooking the chicken breast side down. This allows all the juices to pool in the breast area, making that white meat extra moist.
    • Higher temperature: Unlike other Air Fryer whole chicken recipes out there, I start mine off at a higher temperature. I find this is best in order to get perfectly crispy skin.
    • Twine: Cooking your chicken with the drumsticks tied together will make the entire chicken more moist but may increase the cooking time. My chicken came tied together with twine and I left it in place while it air fried.
    • Cooking times will vary: Depending on the size of the chicken and starting temperature, cooking time will vary and you must check the doneness with an accurate thermometer.

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 322mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 281IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m always struggling when roasting the chicken, and now that I got an air fryer will make this tonight!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been trying to branch out and using my air fryer more and this was perfect! So easy and the chicken came out moist and delicious.