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This air fryer method for cooking a whole chicken is far and away the best and easiest way to get a juicy whole chicken with crispy skin, short of picking up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work. The simple salt-and-pepper seasoning keeps things versatile enough to serve with any side or even use for pasta dishes or your favorite Mexican meal.

A whole chicken cooked in and resting in an air fryer basket.

💨 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Cooking a whole chicken in the air fryer is ridiculously easy. A simple seasoning, then into the basket for an hour. No basting or injecting or brining. Honestly, there’s basically no prep work at all, and the actual cooking is super hands-off.
  • The results are delectable. The seasoned, oil-rubbed skin comes out beautifully golden and crispy. Inside, the meat is tender and juicy, not stringy or dry or tough. Absolute perfection.
  • You’re welcome to get as creative and involved with the seasonings as you like, but we kept it super simple with just 4 ingredients. 2 of them don’t even really count! Besides the chicken itself, all you need is a neutral oil (avocado oil, olive oil – or even butter or melted ghee) plus salt and pepper.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • Before you season and air fry the whole chicken, pat it completely dry with paper towels. It won’t pull out so much moisture that the bird becomes dry or tough. It will, though, make the skin of the chicken super crispy.
  • Leave your chicken to rest for 20-30 minutes after air frying it. That rest time is crucial for two reasons. 1 – it gives the meat time to reabsorb the natural juices, locking them in. 2 – it lets the chicken finish cooking with residual heat, hitting that food-safe temperature without drying out.
A whole chicken cooked in and resting in an air fryer basket.

♨️ Don’t Miss These Easy Air Fryer Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Easy Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Rest 30 minutes
Total 1 hour 45 minutes
Cooking a whole chicken has never been easier! Not only that, but it gives the chicken a mouth-wateringly crispy skin while keeping the meat tender and juicy.
6 servings


  • air fryer
  • Cutting board
  • Paper towels
  • internal meat thermometer
  • serving platter or clean cutting board


  • 1 whole fresh chicken approximately 45 pounds, giblets removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil avocado oil, olive oil, etc.
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Preheat air fryer to 360° Fahrenheit.
  • Place 1 whole fresh chicken on cutting board. Pat chicken completely dry on all sides with paper towels.
  • Gently rub 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil into skin of chicken, covering all sides of chicken completely.
  • Season chicken on all sides with generous amounts of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Remove basket from preheated air fryer. Place chicken in basket breast-side down. Return basket to air fryer. Air fry chicken 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, remove basket from air fryer. Carefully flip chicken over so breast-side faces up, then return basket to air fryer.
  • Air fry chicken 5 minutes more, then open air fryer and check chicken with internal meat thermometer. Return chicken to air fryer and continue air frying as needed, checking temperature every 2 to 3 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 162° Fahrenheit at thickest part of chicken breast and 173° Fahrenheit at thickest part of chicken thigh.
  • Once target internal temperatures are reached, remove basket from air fryer. Transfer chicken to serving platter or clean cutting board. Set chicken aside and let rest 20 to 30 minutes, then serve with desired sides.
  • Make sure your air fryer is both wide enough and deep enough to  fit the whole chicken comfortably. You don’t want the chicken to scrape the bottom of the heating element when you slide the basket in or out. The air also needs to be able to circulate around the chicken in order to cook it properly.
  • Salt and Pepper: Feel free to replace these or add to them with any spices or spice blends you like!
  • Internal Temperature: Do not skip the 20-30 minute rest time at the end of the recipe. It helps to lock in the natural juices of the meat, plus the chicken will continue to cook residually as it rests. For food-safety, serve white meat at 165° Fahrenheit and dark meat at or above 175° Fahrenheit.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 255calProtein: 20gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 76mgPotassium: 206mgVitamin A: 152IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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