1-Hour Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken (How To Air Fry A Whole Chicken!)


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Yes, you CAN cook a whole chicken in your air fryer! Just cover with a quick and easy spice rub, then cook for just one hour (maximum!) for a perfect rotisserie-style chicken. It’s delicious – moist and juicy with a crispy skin. Try this once and you’ll use your air fryer to cook a whole chicken every single time.

A whole cooked rotisserie style chicken in an air fryer basket on a blue background

Why cook a chicken in your air fryer?

You might be wondering why you’d bother to air fry a whole chicken. Well, what if I told you it’s the perfect way to cook a smaller chicken? It takes almost half as long as in a regular oven, and turns out moist, juicy, crispy and delicious every time.

This cooking method is particularly perfect on a summer’s day because your air fryer won’t heat up your kitchen like your oven does. You won’t need a roasting pan, either. Just pop the chicken in the air fryer, paint with a quick rub and cook.

Unbelievably, your chicken will be perfectly cooked in just 35 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the chicken and your particular air fryer.

Achieving a rotisserie-style chicken is just so EASY when you cook it in your air fryer!

Just one thing to note: If your chicken is on the larger side – say over 4.5 pounds or 2 kilos – I would in fact stick with your oven. It might be just a little too snug in your air fryer and you won’t get the best results.

About the ingredients

A whole (raw of course) chicken: As mentioned above, it’s best to choose a small to medium sized chicken – up to about 4.5 pounds/2 kilos in weight. Any bigger and it can be a bit of tight squeeze in an average sized (around 4L) air fryer!

I always choose a free range or organic chicken if I can. It’s worth it if you eat up every scrap of the chicken and perhaps even use the carcass to make a stock or broth.

Overhead view of a small dish of olive oil and spices and herbs for rubbing over a rotisserie style air fryer chicken

For the rub: I usually use some basic herbs and spices and some olive oil. Brushing this all over the chicken before cooking and again half way through will help the skin to crisp up nicely. Not to mention that it will taste absolutely delicious!

I typically throw in dried herbs (either mixed Italian or oregano), onion and garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper. If I’m feeling fancy I might add a little ground cinnamon (trust me!) and a squeeze of lemon juice.

If I do add lemon, I usually stuff the rest of it inside the chicken to subtly flavour the meat as it cooks. You can also throw some garlic cloves in there too if you have some.

Prefer to keep a quick and easy dry rub on hand, ready to use every time you want to air fry a chicken? Make a batch of this all purpose seasoning instead.

How to roast a whole chicken in an air fryer

Collage of 4 images showing how to baste a chicken to cook in an air fryer

Firstly, make the olive oil rub by whisking all the rub ingredients together.

If you added lemon juice to your rub, push the rest of the lemon into the chicken cavity (if not, no worries!).

Paint the chicken all over with the rub. I usually use a pastry brush but fingers work too if you don’t mind the mess! Be generous!

Place the chicken inside the air fryer basket. You want it to be BREAST SIDE DOWN at first. This way the legs and wings stay moist as they are tucked under the rest of the chicken.

Cook for 20 minutes (smaller chickens) to half an hour (medium chickens) at 355F/180C.

Then, using big tongs or meat forks, turn the chicken over so that it’s now BREAST SIDE UP. Paint again with any remaining rub.

Continue to cook for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. For a 4.5 pound or 2 kilo (medium) chicken, I find 25 minutes longer (on top of an initial 30 mins) is about right. So around 55 minutes altogether. To be sure, however, invest in a meat thermometer. (See below!)

A cooked rotisserie style chicken in an air fryer from above

How long to air fry your chicken for

It’s always quite hard to know how long to cook a chicken for, right? You want it to be properly cooked without overcooking it, but chickens come in different sizes. Ovens can vary, too.

The answer? Use a meat thermometer! I used to think this would be a hassle, but it’s actually super simple. Just insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. A good spot is between the breast and the thigh. Push the thermometer deep into the breast but don’t touch the bone. It should read at least 165F or 74C.

That should give you some peace of mind, but here’s a rough guide as to how long different size chickens should take to roast in an air fryer:

3 pounds/1.3 kilos: 35 to 45 minutes

3.5 pounds/1.5 kilos: 45 to 50 minutes

4.5 pounds/2 kilos: 50 minutes to an hour

Another way to look at it is to allow roughly 12 to 15 minutes for each pound or 500 grams. But do always check the temperature with your thermometer before declaring your chicken cooked. Cooking times do vary a bit in different air fryers!

Helen’s Top Tips

  • Choose the right sized chicken. For a chicken up to 4.5 pounds/2 kilos, a standard to large sized air fryer (4 to 7 L) will be fine. If you have a smaller air fryer (3 to 4 L), it’s simple – choose a smaller chicken!
  • Use a meat thermometer! I know, you heard me the first time, but I can’t emphasize this enough.
  • Let the chicken rest. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes after cooking. This helps the juices to flow through the meat, keeping it super moist and juicy.
  • Short on time? Skip the rub and just brush with olive oil and grind over plenty of salt and pepper instead. Your chicken will still be moist, juicy and delicious!

Serving ideas

Make a simple roast chicken dinner with roast potatoes and vegetables of your choice. While your chicken rests, make a simple gravy with the juices that have collected at the bottom of your air fryer. Skim off any fat and serve as a French style ‘jus’. Alternatively, pour into a small saucepan and heat with cornflour and extra chicken stock (or instant gravy powder) for a more traditional style gravy.

Craving mashed potatoes as well? I recommend this very simple truffle mashed potato (you’ll need just 2 teaspoons of truffle olive oil for the flavor).

Wild card option – make this delicious and very easy lemon & butter sauce to go with it!

This is also a great solution for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Free up space in your oven by cooking a chicken in your air fryer!

Either these sautéed frozen green beans or stir-fried frozen broccoli would go perfectly, and both take only 10 minutes to make! Or how about this 5-minute recipe for frozen spinach? Alternatively, make your air fryer do double duty with this air fryer cauliflower. Make it in just 12 minutes while your air fried chicken rests.

Make chicken and fries! While the chicken is resting, quickly slice up some potatoes into skinny fry shapes and toss them in a little olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Wipe out the air fryer. Cook the fries for around 15 minutes, shaking the basket half way through. Serve with salad or veggies.

Alternatively, make these crowd pleasing small smashed potatoes in your air fryer!

Serve with pasta or rice: Whip up this delicious and vibrant creamy pea pasta while the chicken is cooking. If you prefer rice, you can’t go wrong with this simple Greek lemon rice.

Serve Greek style. Make these ‘phenomenal’ Greek potatoes (I don’t say this lightly), and a quick traditional Greek salad. Yum – dinner is served!

Make tacos! Pull the meat off the chicken and stuff into tortillas with salad, avocado, Greek yogurt and 5-ingredient fresh tomato salsa.

Chicken salad. Use the ideas in this easy tuna salad post to make a chicken version. Or serve with another easy but delicious salad such as this beet salad with feta and walnuts.

Use up the leftovers on pizza or in sandwiches, pastas and crustless quiche (impossible quiche!) or in this creamy chicken and leek pie.

More things to know (recipe FAQ)

Is it best to use a basket style air fryer or an oven style air fryer?

Use what you have! The only consideration is whether the chicken you have will fit into it comfortably. An oven style air fryer is ideal for cooking a whole chicken though as it’s usually bigger than a basket style one. I have one of these and simply put the chicken in the air fryer basket and place a baking tray lined with baking paper underneath to catch the juices.

The cooking time is sometimes slightly longer in this type of air fryer. Checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer always takes the guess work out, however.

I don’t have all the ingredients for the spice rub. Will my chicken still taste good?

Yes! Just combine any dried herbs and spices that you have with a little olive oil and you’ll have a tasty rub. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t have any of the ingredients that I usually put in my rub – you can create your own!

Do I really have to preheat my air fryer?

I like to, but you don’t HAVE to. You can just add a few minutes to the cooking time instead.

Er… what does breast side down mean?

Don’t worry, I nearly always have to think about this when I cook a whole chicken! Your chicken is breast side down if the legs and wings are facing down, tucked underneath the chicken. It’s breast side up when the legs are pointing up too.

My chicken is a little dry. What did I do wrong?

There are two possibilities. Firstly, your chicken is a little overcooked. Don’t worry, you’ll get it right next time. Just check your chicken with a meat thermometer towards the end of the cooking time. Remember to take into consideration the size of the chicken (Use my handy guide in the post above!).

The second possibility is that part of the chicken was too close to the air fryer elements at the top. To avoid this, make sure your chicken isn’t too big for your air fryer so that it can sit nice and straight. Also tuck the legs and wings under the chicken for the first 20 to 30 minutes before you turn it over. Tying the legs together with some string will help, too, if they aren’t already tied.

Is air fryer rotisserie chicken healthier?

The main advantage of roasting your own rotisserie chicken is that you know exactly what’s in the marinade. When you buy one from the supermarket you often don’t.

A whole air fryer rotisserie chicken cooked on a plate and scattered with parsley

More really easy air fryer recipes

  • This air fryer banana bread is a great way to use up that last browning banana. It’s also tiny so you won’t be tempted to eat more than you should!
  • Make a double batch of bacon in your air fryer and store it in the fridge for salads, sandwiches and pastas. No extra oil needed, and no grease splattering everywhere!

Or see all my easy air fryer recipes.

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A whole cooked rotisserie style chicken in an air fryer basket on a blue background
5 from 3 votes

1-Hour Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken (How To Air Fry A Whole Chicken!)

Cook a chicken in your air fryer once, and you may never cook a whole chicken any other way again. Add a quick herb and spice rub and you'll end up with a perfectly moist and juicy rotisserie style roast chicken in under an hour.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 5 to 7


  • 4.5 pound whole chicken, (2 kilos approximately) Choose a smaller chicken if you have a small air fryer (see post and notes section for more info).

For the olive oil rub

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried herbs, (Italian style mixed herbs or one or more of: basil, oregano, parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, regular or smoked
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Extra rub ingredients (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 2 squeezes lemon juice, optional (Stuff the rest of the lemon inside the chicken)


  • Whisk all the rub ingredients together in a small jug or bowl.
    3 tablespoons olive oil, 1.5 teaspoons dried herbs, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 squeezes lemon juice
  • Pre-heat the air fryer to 355F/180C for 3 minutes.
  • Place the chicken on a large plate and 'paint' all over with around ⅔ of the olive oil rub (You can do this after placing the chicken in the air fryer if preferred). If using a lemon in the rub, stuff the remainder of it inside the chicken.
    4.5 pound whole chicken
  • Place the chicken in the preheated air fryer basket breast side up (with the legs and wings tucked under). Cook for 30 minutes (or 20 minutes if your chicken is a smaller one).
  • Use large tongs to turn the chicken over so that it's breast side down (with the legs now pointing up). Paint with the remainder of the spice rub.
  • Cook for a further 25 minutes (for a 4.5 pound/2 kilo chicken) or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165F/74C in the thickest part of the breast (use a meat thermometer to check). Reduce the time for smaller chickens (see notes).
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.



How long to cook chicken for (approx.):
3 pounds/1.3 kilos (very small chicken): 35 to 45 minutes
3.5 pounds/1.5 kilos (small chicken): 45 to 50 minutes
4.5 pounds/2 kilos (medium chicken): 50 minutes to an hour
In other words, allow roughly 12 to 15 minutes for each pound or 500 grams. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure. It should be 165F/74C in the thickest part of the breast. 
Letting the chicken rest: Letting the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving will help the juices redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring it’s the moistest and juiciest it can be. 
Note on nutrition info: Nutrition info includes all of the olive oil spice rub and every scrap of the chicken. It’s also based on only 5 servings. As a result, the values will be very approximate. 1 portion of roast chicken is likely to contain fewer calories than stated!


Calories: 500kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 147mg, Sodium: 371mg, Potassium: 390mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 484IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 2mg
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About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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  1. 5 stars
    I just tried this for the first time and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. My chicken was just over 2 kilos and fitted into my air fryer fine (I don’t have a really big one – I guess it’s medium sized?)

    Thanks will definitely roast chicken in my air fryer a lot from now on!

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback, Rachel, and I’m so glad you’ll cook a chicken this way again! 🙂