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Perfect Air Fryer Roast Chicken

Perfectly cooked and seasoned, this roasted air fryer whole chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. You’ll love how crispy the skin gets in the air fryer without drying out the chicken at all!

Whole air fryer roast chicken on a platter with fresh herbs around it
Air fryer whole chicken is tender and juicy with crispy skin

How to cook a whole chicken in the air fryer

The air fryer makes getting a perfectly cooked, crispy skin rotisserie like chicken pretty easy!

Here’s how you do it:

  • Check the size – First and foremost, check the size of your air fryer. You’ll need at least a 6 quart fryer to fit a whole chicken. Our 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer will fit a whole chicken up to 6 lbs. Check your air fryer size and make sure your whole chicken will fit.
  • Pat dry – Remove any excess moisture from the chicken by patting it dry with a paper towel.
  • Oil it – After patting dry, rub the chicken with cooking oil. This helps the seasoning rub to stick to the skin and also helps to get that perfectly crispy skin.
  • Season it – Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken, making sure to get it over the wings, drumsticks and all the the crevices.
  • Cook it – Let the air fryer do its thing! Details on cooking times for different sizes of chicken are below.

Want more seasoning ideas? Check out these 10 Easy DIY Spice Blends.

Whole roasted chicken in an air fryer basket
Make sure your whole chicken will fit in the air fryer basket

How long to air fry a whole chicken

Depending on the size of the chicken, it will take about 1 hour to get a perfectly roasted chicken.

Here are the approximate cooking times by size:

  • 4 lb chicken: 20 minutes at 400° + 25 minutes at 350° = 45 minutes total
  • 5 lb chicken: 20 minutes at 400° + 35 minutes at 350° = 55 minutes total
  • 6 lb chicken: 25 minutes at 400° + 35 minutes at 350° = 60 minutes total

Roasting the chicken at 400° for the first 20 minutes helps it to cook a little faster without burning the skin. Be sure to turn the air fryer down to 350° when you flip the chicken to get that perfectly crispy air fried chicken skin on top.

Each air fryer is a little different, so these times are approximate. Watch the chicken carefully at the end of the cooking time and use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature.

Looking for more? Check out all of our Air Fryer recipes here.

Straight on shot of a whole roast chicken on a platter with fresh herbs around it
Perfectly seasoned rotisserie-style chicken in the air fryer

What to serve with this perfectly cooked chicken

We like making a whole chicken almost once a week because you can eat it with just about any healthy side dish for a complete meal!

Here are some perfect pairings for this juicy chicken, you can make them while the chicken is cooking 🙂

Don’t forget to save the chicken carcass to make some easy crockpot bone broth!

Close up overhead shot of whole air fryer roast chicken on a platter with fresh herbs around it

Your turn to air fry some chicken

Plan on making a whole chicken for dinner this week! We know you’ll love how it turns out perfectly crispy in the air fryer.

If you make this recipe, take a pic to share on Instagram and tag us @realsimplegood so we can check it out! We love to seeing you make our recipes and sharing them.


Close up image of roasted chicken in air fryer basket with text overlay on top

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Split image with text in middle. Straight on shot of cooked whole chicken on top and overhead image of roasted whole chicken on a platter on bottom

Perfect Air Fryer Roast Chicken (Whole Chicken)

4.62 from 21 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 653kcal
Perfectly cooked and seasoned, this roasted air fryer whole chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
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Equipment

Ingredients

For the seasoning rub:

  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
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Instructions 

  • Make sure your whole chicken will fit into the air fryer you have. We use a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer and it fits a chicken around 5-6 lbs. Your air fryer may be different, so check the size of the basket and the size of the chicken first.
  • Make the seasoning rub by combining all of the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
  • Make sure your chicken is completely thawed and everything is removed from the cavity. Pat the chicken down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Drizzle oil over the chicken and rub it all over the skin with your hands.
  • Rub the seasoning rub all over the chicken. Try to coat it as evenly as possible and get the seasoning over every piece of the chicken.
  • Preheat air fryer (if yours preheats) to 400° Fahrenheit and set it to cook for 20 minutes. (See notes below for cooking times for different chicken sizes)
  • Place the chicken in your air fryer basket breast side down and cook for 20 minutes.
  • After the 20 minutes is up, carefully flip the chicken using tongs. Set the air fryer to 350° Fahrenheit.
  • Cook for another 30-40 minutes at 350°, until the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit. Every air fryer cooks differently and each chicken is a different size, so check the chicken 20 minutes after flipping it and continue cooking and checking it as needed until it is up to temperature.
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit, remove the chicken and place it on a cutting board to rest. Allow the chicken to sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

Approximate cooking times for chicken sizes:
  • 4 lb chicken: 20 minutes at 400° + 25 minutes at 350° = 45 minutes total
  • 5 lb chicken: 20 minutes at 400° + 35 minutes at 350° = 55 minutes total
  • 6 lb chicken: 25 minutes at 400° + 35 minutes at 350° = 60 minutes total
Nutrition details are per serving and an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet. Nutrition details were calculated using a 5lb whole chicken for this recipe. See our full nutrition information disclosure here.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Fiber: 1g
Tried this recipe?Take a picture and tag @realsimplegood so we can see it!
Perfect Air Fryer Roast ChickenPerfect Air Fryer Roast ChickenPerfect Air Fryer Roast Chicken

6 thoughts on “Perfect Air Fryer Roast Chicken

  • This was my first “Erica/Justin” cook, and clearly won’t be my last. Other than using a bit less salt for my 4 pound chicken I followed this recipe to the letter. The results were stunning, and all I can tell you is that for the first time I realized that my air fryer is no toy. I’ve cooked MANY whole chickens over decades, and making in an air fryer trumped any version to date. (remember when that word had nothing to do with politics?)….the point is that I’ve never known from such crispy skin but leaving the meat so tender and moist. A fantabulous recipe/technique.

  • Turned out perfect! My only complaint was that while cooking at 400 degrees my kitchen got pretty smokey. Once I turned it down it was fine and perfectly cooked with crispy skin.

  • Gonna try it tomorrow. Sounds good. I need to get a oven thermometer to see just how hot my fryer gets. Tryed baked potato at 400 and it seemed to take a long time, over an HR. It was a good size spud.

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