Air Fryer Whole Chicken

The easiest air fryer whole chicken recipe flavored with loads of fresh lemon, garlic and herbs will quickly become a dinner-time staple.

Air Fryer Whole Chicken

We all know by now that air frying is a great way to cook food quickly, easily and with no fuss. Anything that can be made in an oven can be made in an air fryer and often with much better results. I love roast chicken but it’s not always the best option for weeknight dinners when you need food on the table as fast as possible. This air fryer whole chicken recipe delivers tender chicken with crispy skin and I guarantee it will become a family-favorite in no time.

Ingredients Needed

  • Whole chicken. I used a 3-lb (1.5kg) whole chicken, giblets removed. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you might want to buy a large or smaller chicken. 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil. Avocado oil can also be used. 
  • Fresh garlic cloves. 
  • Lemon juice. 
  • Fresh herbs. I used parsley, thyme and dried oregano. Other herbs like sage, rosemary, basil, and marjoram are also delicious on chicken. Dried herbs can be substituted. I wanted to keep this recipe simple and only flavor the chicken with lemon and herbs but spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder or any seasoning blend of your choice can be used too.
  • Salt and black pepper.
Ingredients for whole chicken in air fryer

How to air fry a whole chicken 

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then make the seasoning oil by finely mincing the garlic and herbs. Combine in a small bowl with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, a few teaspoons of salt and a generous pinch of pepper then rub over the chicken. I like to loosen the skin over the breasts and drumsticks and rub some of the oil over the meat too. Remember to also season the cavity of the chicken – you could even add half of a lemon and a few sprigs of herbs to the inside cavity for extra flavor. 

Place the chicken in the basket of your air fryer, breast-side down, then air fry at 350°F/180°C for 30 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another 20-30 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden and the meat is cooked. Remove from the air fryer and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving. 

Cook’s tip: The drippings left behind will make a delicious pan sauce. Simply add to a frying pan with a few cups of chicken broth/chicken stock and reduce over medium-high heat then season to taste. I also always freeze the chicken carcass in freezer bags to make stock with later.

What temperature is chicken cooked?

Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75°C on a meat thermometer. The meat will be white to the bone and all juices will run clear when cut.

Can I make this ahead? 

The chicken can be seasoned and kept covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. 

Serving suggestion

This chicken recipe is delicious served with a variety of side dishes and can be even be prepped to use in chicken saladsoupssandwiches, etc. (similarly to how a rotisserie chicken would be used). We love serving rice or mashed potatoes and veggies with this air fryer chicken but if you want an easy Keto/Paleo/Low carb meal, serve it with vegetables like green beans or a big salad.

Chicken seasoned with olive oil, lemon, garlic and herbs

FAQ

Can whole chickens be cooked in an air fryer?

Whole chickens are delicious cooked in an air fryer. Not only does it result in crispy skin and juicy meat, a whole chicken also cooks much faster in an air fryer than in the oven. Can you put foil in an air fryer?

Can you put foil in an air fryer?

You can use foil in an air fryer (as long as it doesn’t touch the heating element) but I have never found the need for it. Why is air fryer chicken so juicy?

Why is air fryer chicken so juicy?

A few things contribute to making chicken cooked in an air fryer so juicy. Because of the compact design, there isn’t as much room for moisture to evaporate but the fast cooking aided by the air flow and heating element so close to the chicken means there’s less time for the chicken to dry out while cooking.

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Easy Air Fryer Whole Chicken

The easiest air fryer whole chicken recipe flavored with fresh garlic, lemon and herbs delivers crisp, juicy chicken every time.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fry whole chicken, Air fryer whole chicken, Whole chicken in air fryer
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 282kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 lb (1.5kg) whole chicken giblets removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. 
  • Make the seasoning oil by finely mincing the garlic and herbs.
  • Combine in a small bowl with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, a few teaspoons of salt and a generous pinch of pepper then rub over the chicken.
  • I like to loosen the skin over the breasts and drumsticks and rub some of the oil over the meat too.
  • Remember to also season the cavity of the chicken – you could even add half of a lemon and a few sprigs of herbs to the inside cavity for extra flavor. 
  • Place the chicken in the basket of your air fryer, breast-side down, then air fry at 350°F/180°C for 30 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and cook for another 20-30 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden and the meat is cooked.
  • Remove from the air fryer and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 288IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

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