This Air Fryer BBQ Whole Chicken is the BOMB! You guys are going to love how easy it is – because it is in the Air Fryer, after all! Break out the BBQ rubs and let’s make some chicken in less than an hour!
You don’t need it to be 80 degrees outside and sunny to have an incredible BBQ chicken that will satisfy the entire family. This Air Fryer version can be made with just a simple rub.
Add on a nice, rich BBQ sauce afterward and you are going to have an amazing meal, so get those napkins ready.
🐔 Why This Recipe Works
- Rotisserie Style Chicken for a fraction of the price – Who doesn’t love a good rotisserie chicken and now you get a version at home.
- Affordable and delicious – Grab whole chickens on sale and you can keep the family fed on a budget.
- Juicy and loaded with flavor – You know if you are using the Air Fryer, it is going to turn out to be juicy.
- No grill or oven required – Enjoy a crispy BBQ chicken without firing up the grill.
- Use leftovers for meal prepping or for meals – Use leftovers to meal prep lunches for the week. Add some veggies or a salad for a great lunch.
The ingredients for recipe are beyond easy. You barely need anything, and the Air Fryer does all the work for you. Let’s take a look at what you will need:
Whole Chicken – Start with a 3 – 3 ½ pound chicken. Your air fryer might be able to handle more, so start at this size and work from there for the next one.
BBQ Rub – Pick your favorite BBQ dry rub. If it doesn’t stick to the skin, spray it lightly with the olive oil spray.
Olive Oil Spray – Olive Oil spray will give the skin a bit of moisture to keep the seasonings on the food and will allow it to cook properly. If you don’t add oil, the seasonings may not stay put.
I love flexible recipes like this! If you don’t love the taste of BBQ rubs, pull out the good ol’ Mrs. Dash or Old Bay Seasoning.
It will cook the exact same way, but it changes up the flavor. Doing it like this allows you to put the whole chicken on your weekly dinner rotation.
Step One: Rinse off and dry the chicken.
Step Two: Spray the whole chicken lightly with the spray olive oil, then apply three tablespoons of your favorite BBQ rub.
Step Three: Heat up the Air Fryer to 375 degrees. Once it reaches temperature, place the chicken inside (breast side down) and cook for 45-60 minutes. Turn the chicken over half way through the cook.
Note: It took our Instant Vortex Plus 45 minutes to cook our 3.75 lb chicken. Larger ones will take more time.
This is a five minute prep and then completely hands off the rest of the time so it ranks very high up there for a repeat meal.
I get a lot done while dinner is cooking and I don’t have to pay attention to it.
Pro Tip: Always use the cook times on Air Fryers as a guide. Each one cooks slightly different. Rely on meat thermometers to know exactly when the dinner is done. For chicken, it should be 165 degrees and try not to have the meat thermometer touch the bone as it will give an inaccurate reading.
🧊 Freezer Cooking
Freeze this chicken in freezer safe containers like Rubbermaid, or break it up and put it into a gallon Ziploc freezer safe bag.
I love making this chicken for my husband’s lunches so I tend to freeze the leftovers with veggies and stack them in the freezer so he has healthy and affordable lunches at work. Trust me, he has never complained as this recipe stays juicy even through freezing.
🍽️ Expert Tips
- Change up the spices to fit your needs. Virtually anything will work.
- The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your bird and your air fryer. Check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it is fully cooked.
- Do not touch the bone when doing internal temperature check or it gives a false reading.
- This is a great way to cook up a whole chicken and then shred and freeze for meals down the line like we did in the Air Fryer Meal Prep Chicken.
🍳 Recipe FAQs
Depending on the size of your whole chicken, it will take 45 minutes to 60 minutes to fully cook at 375 degrees.
Absolutely! Just make sure that it fits. Depending on the brand of air fryer you have, you might find some whole chickens are too large to fit. A 3-4 pound bird is a great place to start.
I recommend cooking your chicken at 375 degrees. It gives the skin an optimal crispy texture while the meat is perfectly juicy and flavorful.
Air fryers are so popular because it helps to cut out fat by 70-80% compared to deep frying.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Air Fryer Whole BBQ Chicken
- Air Fryer
- 1 Chicken whole (3-4 pounds)
- 3 tbsp BBQ Rub your choice
- Olive Oil Spray
- Heat the Air Fryer to 375 degrees.
- Rinse and dry the whole chicken. Remove the giblets. Spray the chicken with the olive oil spray and rub the BBQ rub on the chicken.
- Place the chicken in the Air Fryer breast side down for 45-60 minutes, depending on how large your chicken is.
- Turn the chicken over half way. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, remove and serve.