Air Fryer Whole Chicken is an incredible dinner idea that only requires 4 ingredients! Fall off the bone chicken that is juicy, flavorful, and has crispy skin to give you pure comfort food. It's a low-carb, keto, gluten-free, and grain-free recipe your family is going to love.
You guys! If you don't have an air fryer yet, or the air fryer lid for your Instant Pot, this is the time to do it! Don't be afraid because you can actually make some very incredible dishes like this whole chicken recipe. The chicken stays moist (even the chicken breast) and the skin gets crisp. What more do you need?
And the best part is that you don't even have to turn on your oven for that delicious roasted chicken flavor. This is ideal in the hot summer months!
Odds are your entire family is going to be head over heels in love with this air fryer chicken recipe. And naturally, you are going to enjoy it because you can put it together with minimal effort. If you can't tell, I am pretty excited about this one. This is the best air fryer whole chicken recipe!
Because you only need a few ingredients and whole chickens are cheap, this is a super frugal dinner idea.
- Chicken - Look for a whole chicken that is around 3 - 5 pounds. That is a great size to feed the family, and it will cook easily.
- Butter - Adding butter gives the chicken a fabulous flavor.
- Salt & Pepper - You can add in more or less if you want. It's amazing how much the flavor of the chicken is so much better when you use salt and pepper.
How To Make Air Fryer Whole Chicken
Cooking chicken in the air fryer is an easy way to make the meat moist and juicy while allowing the skin to be crispy. I didn't bother starting with the chicken breast side down so I didn't need to flip the bird halfway through cooking. It can be difficult to finagle flipping over a whole hot chicken and I really don't think it is necessary.
Step One: Start by preheating the air fryer setting to 400 degrees. Give the air fryer basket a quick spray with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.
Step Two: Loosen the skin and rub butter on the meat, then rub some more on the skin. Add salt and pepper to the inside and outside of the bird.
Step Three: Air fry for 55 minutes or until the temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Remove and let rest on a cutting board for ten minutes before carving. Perfection!
What Air Fryer Should I Buy?
There are many air fryers on the market nowadays. I decided to upgrade my Instant Pot and get the 8-quart Instant Pot that came with an air fryer lid. You can also just buy a 6-quart air fryer lid if you already have an Instant Pot.
My recommendation when buying any kitchen appliance to read all the reviews. And to make sure you buy the right size appliance for your family. The first air fryer we owned was way too small for a family of 8. It took us hours to make enough chicken wings to feed everyone!
Tips For Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Don't skip adding butter between the skin and flesh of the chicken. It's a game-changer and is what helps keep the chicken tender and juicy. If you've never done it before, simply use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat. It comes apart easily.
- If you don't want to eat the skin, you don't have to. It's all about preferences, so if the skin isn't something you like, simply stick to eating the tender chicken meat.
- Be careful not to overcook the chicken. It will become dry as it cooks, so pulling it out of the air fryer when it's 160 degrees is vital.
Herbs - Thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, basil, and fresh chives are all great additions. You can rub them until the skin along with the butter. I prefer fresh herbs on my roasts but Italian seasoning can work in a pinch. Just use a small amount so it doesn't overpower the flavor of the chicken.
Spices - Add some garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, or any of your favorite spices. Pick something you like! Lemon pepper or barbecue rub are also both really tasty.
Spicy - Sprinkle on some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Don't go overboard, so it doesn't become too spicy.
What Do You Serve With Air Fryer Whole Chicken
There are tons and tons of options to consider serving with this air fried whole chicken recipe. Here are some of our favorite ways to serve it:
- Slaw - We love my homemade Keto Broccoli Slaw with the chicken. My Keto Coleslaw is also a great option.
- Salad - I don't think there is anything much better than a big, fat, fresh salad! Try out this Keto Broccoli Salad or Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries.
- Vegetables - Whether you are in the mood for fresh veggies or you want some roasted vegetables, they are both great.
- Mashed Cauliflower - If you really want to make a comforting meal, don't forget the mashed cauliflower. So good and the best low carb swap for mashed potatoes I've ever tried!
- Biscuits & Gravy - Go rustic and serve this with a side of biscuits and sausage gravy.
Another thing to think about is you can use the meat from a whole chicken in a bunch of different recipes. You can use it the same way you would use a rotisserie chicken. By adding it to casseroles, salads, or anything else you want chicken meat included in. I love saving some of the white meat to use in my Pesto Chicken Casserole.
How do I Store Roast Chicken?
You can store cooked chicken in the refrigerator. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze cooked chicken in your freezer for 2-3 months if it is wrapped well.
Want to make a whole chicken in your instant pot instead? Try this instant pot rotisserie-style chicken.
Only cooking for one or two? Make an Air Fryer Cornish Hen.
What are your favorite air fryer recipes? Besides my air fryer filet mignon, of course. Let me know in the comments section.
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 and spray the basket with cooking spray.
- Rub the chicken both under and on top of the skin with the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on the skin and inside the cavity.
- Cook for 55 min or until the internal temperature is 160 when checked with a meat thermometer.