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, afterall! Break out the BBQ rubs and let’s make some chicken! Similar to the Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken we made, it is going to come out dripping in juices and so full of flavor that you will think “I cooked that?” And the answer is YES!
You don’t need it to be 80 degrees outside and sunny to have an incredible BBQ chicken recipe that will satisfy the entire family. This Air Fryer version can be made with a simple rub or you can add on a nice, rich BBQ sauce afterwards and heat it up in the Air Fryer for 3-5 minutes. Either way, you are going to have some amazing chicken so get the napkins ready.
The ingredients in this whole chicken 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 – When you buy a chicken, you will see that they come in various sizes. Most of them are around 3 to 3 1/2 pounds. Find one that works for you, but don’t go bigger than what your Air Fryer can handle.
BBQ Rub – Using a rub or seasonings instead of a sauce will allow the seasonings to stick to the meat better. You can use regular sauces, but you don’t want to add them until the last few minutes of cooking.
Olive Oil Spray – When you cook with your Air Fryer, it’s essential to spray the food with some type of oil. This will keep the seasonings on the food and will allow it to cook properly. If you don’t add oil to this bbq chicken, the seasonings will not stay put.
You will love flexible recipes like this one! If you don’t love the taste of BBQ rubs, pull out a good ol’ Mrs Dash or Old Bay Seasoning instead. It will cook the exact same way, but it changes up the seasoning. Doing it like this allows you to put the whole chicken on your weekly dinner rotation knowing that it is going to be easy and can be made with several variations so you will never get bored of it!
Step One: Rinse off and dry the chicken.
Step Two: Spray the whole chicken with the spray olive oil, then apply three tablespoons of your favorite BBQ rub. Again, use whatever one you like or choose a different seasoning in your cabinet.
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 3.75lb chicken. Larger chickens will take more time.
This is going to be 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. Also rely on meat thermometers to know exactly when the meat 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.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Depending on the size of your chicken, it will take 45-60 minutes to cook in the Air Fryer at 375 degrees. I have cooked a whole chicken at 350 and it took a bit longer and I have cooked it at 390 and it does cook faster, but I was worried how a larger bird would cook at that high heat, so I settled in the middle at 375 for this one.
Can I Stack Two Chickens in a Basket
Nope! Just like all Air Fryer recipes, you need that air to circulate and flow around the food. This helps it cook evenly and the meat tends to stay moist and tender.
🧊 Freezer Cooking
Yes! You can freeze this chicken in freezer safe containers like the Rubbermaid ones or you can 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 moist even through freezing.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You Will Love
Air Fryer Cornish Hens – These are so tender and juicy that they moved up the ol’ food chain to be a monthly rotation contender! You know how you usually cook cornish hens “sometimes” or for “special occasions?” Nope! Not with the Air Fryer! They are quick and easy to make for a dinner that you will love!! Did I mention it is a 30 minute meal?
Air Fryer Chicken Livers – If you haven’t tried chicken livers before, give it a try! They are crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside! They are packed full of iron and you don’t have to worry about the greasy mess when you air fry! What a great appetizer that is ready in minutes.
Air Fryer Ravioli – These crispy little appetizers are so delicious that I can’t wait to share them with everyone. Dip them in the homemade marinara sauce for an appetizer that your guests will beg for!
Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli – This is a super fast side dish that you should look at using constantly. Having a couple bunches of broccoli in the refrigerator each week will allow you to whip this one up without thinking. I love go-to recipes like that!
Air Fryer Whole BBQ Chicken
- Air Fryer
- 1 chicken whole
- 3 tbsp BBQ Rub your choice
- olive oil spray
- Heat up 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.