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How Long to Cook Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Air fryer whole chicken is amazing! Copycat Ninja Foodi rotisserie chicken with super crispy skin outside and tender meat inside. Way better than store bought and makes the best dinner. Give this easy air fryer recipe a try. 


Ready to make an air fryer whole chicken in about an hour right at home?! Picture a rotisserie style chicken from the store but FRESH and super crispy skin that hasn’t been sitting around all day. Then try our other easy air fryer recipes. (originally published 3/19, affiliate links present)

Ninja Foodi Whole Chicken

We made a Ninja Foodi roasted chicken since that is the machine we have, but you can use any brand of air fryer for this. As long as it fits in the basket when you close it you’re good. Choose a smaller bird if you need to in order to try this, I guarantee you’ll never buy one bagged again at the store.

All of these handy small kitchen appliances work basically the same. The biggest difference is the size and shape of the basket. In this case it does make a difference.

You will need at least a 6 quart pot to make this well, bigger is better. Mine is 5.6 qt. or something shy of 6 and it’s just fine. Grab some olive oil and the seasonings of your choice to start. Just choose a smaller bird and get going y’all!

If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:

Then join our Facebook page where you can share and find more ideas you’ll love. We have a Foodi social media group as well.

cosori review

Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken

In case you aren’t familiar with the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and air fryer we will tell you why we love it! I have the 6 quart air fryer version, any brand including the xl air fryer works with these instructions. It’s one of our favorite air fryer Costco recipes.

No need to heat up your oven and cook at 350 degrees anymore. This is the BEST way to cook a chicken now. A great way to do it if you’re in a hurry for sure OR you love rotisserie chicken at the store but want it super fresh and ultra crispy on the outside.

Ninja Foodi Rotisserie Chicken

Now you can leave it in an extra few minutes so your legs, wings and chicken skin all over is super golden brown and crisp to your liking. Store bought ones can become soft as they sit, and I like that I can choose to cook organic birds which in our opinion have leaner and more flavorful meat.

whole chicken in air fryer

Whole Chicken in Air Fryer

This is the goal right? You are used to just grabbing one of those in a bag at the store with tender meat but a bit of crisp on the skins. But then by the time you eat it that gets soft and isn’t as good as if you had it right out of the oven. THIS is how you do just that.

We make Ninja Foodi chicken breast like a lot during the week. It is way cheaper to buy the whole bird though y’all. Air fryer accessories you will need aren’t much. Just the basket is basically it, and something to prep it on of course.

I chose to use the air fryer basket that comes with the Ninja Foodi machine. (seen below) You can also use an air fryer trivet so the top skin doesn’t get as brown.

ninja foodi trivet

Whole Chicken Air Fryer

This is because the trivet will be lower and further away from the heating element.

  • That is it, you’re ready!
  • I also recommend spraying non stick spray on either way before placing chicken on top.
  • Beyond this meal there are tons of other easy Ninja Foodi air fryer recipes you’ll love.

Take a peek at ours all rubbed up with all the things. Use what you normally would if you threw this into the oven.

Refer to the detailed ingredient list and instructions below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a quick step by step though so you can get the general idea.

ninja foodi whole chicken

Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken

Wash your chicken and remove bag from inside cavity. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub or spray with olive oil cooking spray on both sides.

Season both sides and put in air fry basket with breast side facing down. Close air crisp lid and set to 360 degrees for 30 minutes. Reset to 360 degrees for another 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Quicker method

  1. Put chicken breast side up into your air fryer basket.
  2. Rub with olive oil. Season.
  3. Close air fryer lid, set to air crisp, 360 degrees for 60 minutes.
  4. Remove, allow to sit for 5 min., slice and enjoy!
  5. Rotating is best if you can so you get a more even crisp on the outside though

I mean rotisserie chickens are good but this is great! You can even cook it right out of the freezer too if you have had a forgetful moment. That is right, we have figured out how long to cook a frozen whole chicken in air fryer this way too.


Ninja Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Yes the very top skin does get quite brown but believe it or not it still tastes amazing. Looks quite similar to a rotisserie you would buy at the store except that it is much crispier on the outside and the bottom isn’t soggy like those are sitting up against that bag all day long.

The first time I made this I looked at the air fryer cooking times printable to determine how long it would take. I share that with you now because it was so helpful to me.

I keep it on my fridge with magnets so I can refer to it daily which saves time, you could laminate it too.

air fryer cook times

How to Cook a Chicken in Ninja Foodi

For the size I purchased 75 minutes seemed too long so I set it to 60 instead. I wouldn’t cook it any longer than that. It was absolutely perfect.

If you’re an air fryer Costco shopper you’ll find hundreds of other foods to make in your hot air machine too. Buying in bulk has always saved us money and time.

Air Fryer Whole Chicken 2

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in an Air Fryer

Cooking it whole in an air fryer ensures it will not overdone at all. Just follow the steps below and it will turn out tasty and juicy every time you make it for sure.

If you’re cooking a Ninja Foodi chicken there is a second way to cook a whole chicken.

  • You follow the first 3 steps below the same way.
  • Then close your pressure cooker lid (one that isn’t attached).
  • Once this is done switch lids and close your air fryer lid.
  • Press crisp button 390 degrees for 10 minutes or until the top is as brown as you want it.
  • Remove immediately and slice.

We have other great Instant Pot chicken recipes here and how to make a Cornish hen in air fryer is really delicious.

air fryer whole chicken recipe

Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi Air Fryer

Let’s talk about whole birds just a bit shall we? You should have a few choices at the store to choose from. Typically they’ll have organic, store brand, and if you dig further you can find some without the bag of “stuff” inside, you want that to begin with. Details about the whole chicken we used:

  • It was 4.2 lbs.
    • I wouldn’t buy one more than about 4.5 lbs.
  • Our whole chicken was organic.
    • Personally I feel these are leaner and have a better texture.
  • There was no bag inside our cavity to be removed.

I’m telling you y’all this is going to be a game changer all around. Whole chickens are so much cheaper than buying it already cut up by the butcher, like by a lot.

frozen chicken

Things to serve with your Ninja Foodi chicken breast, legs and thighs are many but we usually go with a vegetable of some kind of course.

  1. Brussel Sprouts in the air fryer
    1. Buttermilk air fryer chicken legs are great
  2. Our air fryer baked potatoes are great.

Next try our air fryer chicken parm! Even my girls love this one and it is pretty cheap. You can use fresh or frozen and breaded meat to begin with.

Air Fryer Chicken Parm

How long before cooked chicken goes bad?

Some bacteria such as salmonella may exist if the chicken was not cooked properly. This could potentially cause food poisoning.

It’s best to discard your chicken if it has been sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If it’s been sitting in the fridge for more than 4 days, it’s probably not good either. Always ensure the internal temperature of your chicken is at least 165 degrees when done to be safe. 

Air Fryer Whole Chicken Rotisserie Style

Can you freeze cooked chicken and then reheat it?

Leftovers that you originally bought raw (for example fresh chicken, beef, or pork that comes packaged) that you’ve since cooked can be frozen and reheated again.
I wouldn’t freeze chicken that was once frozen and then cooked, that’s just my preference because the taste will be compromised.

How long to cook 3lb whole chicken in air fryer

3-4 pound whole chicken in air fryer will take about an hour or so. Cook time will depend on fat content and the temperature you’re cooking it at but keep 60 minutes set aside to get it done.

crockpot chicken and rice

Whole Fried Chicken

Our favorite leftover chicken recipe is our pressure cooker chicken and rice. We’ve also made this simple chicken pot pie with it too. Add some vegetables and it’s a creamy dinner everyone will rave

When reheating chicken in air fryer there are a few tips you should remember too, we go over them in the above post.

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Air Fryer Whole Chicken
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4.75 from 24 votes

Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Air fryer whole chicken is amazing! Super crispy skin outside and tender meat inside makes the best dinner ever. Give this easy air fryer recipe a try. 
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, crispy, moist, ninja foodi, whole chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5
Calories 375kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Rinse your chicken and remove bag from cavity if there is one.
  • Pat dry with paper towels. Rub olive oil on skin and season top and bottom of the bird. Spray inside of air fryer basket with non stick spray and put chicken into basket with the breast side facing down.
  • Close air fryer lid, press air crisp at 360 degrees for 30 min.
  • Then flip to breast side up. Cook remaining 30 minutes at 360 degrees. Always check middle of breast to ensure meat has reached a safe temp. of 165 F before consuming. If your bird is larger than mine it may take more time.
  • Remove when done, or leave in the machine when done for at least 5 minutes to retain juices, cut into pieces and enjoy!
  • Alternatively if you cannot tend to the chicken you can put chicken into basket after covered with olive oil and seasonings with breast side facing up at 360 degrees for 60 minutes. This is good too but top will get quite a bit more brown on top.


Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 130mg43%
Sodium 587mg26%
Potassium 329mg9%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 245IU5%
Vitamin C 2.8mg3%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
ninja foodi whole chicken
air fryer chicken
Recipe Rating

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Heather Jones

Sunday 12th of November 2023

When you cook chicken properly, you kill all the harmful bacteria, so washing chicken does no good, and possibly a lot of harm. This is because washing raw chicken can spread food poisoning bacteria around your kitchen. The spray from the sink can travel up to 80cm - an arm's length.

Kathy Fetke

Saturday 22nd of October 2022

Rotisserie Chicken, AWESOME!!! I added a couple of potatoes I cut in half, wish I would have added carrots.

The Typical Mom

Saturday 22nd of October 2022

Oh carrots are good too


Monday 4th of April 2022

I think you need to add to flip the bird after the 1st 30 minutes. I saw the flip in the recipe itself but not under the Ninja section.

Close air crisp lid and set to 360 degrees for 30 minutes. Reset to 360 degrees for another 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.


Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Hello from Ireland. I'm loving my new Ninja Foodi. Many thanks for the recipe. I was just wondering if the temperature is for Fahrenheit or Celsius please? I'm just after popping in my chicken at 180°C because I'm going to assume it is for Fahrenheit as I think you're from the US? I hope this works. Wish me luck🤞


Thursday 10th of February 2022

The recipe is fine but for all that is good and holy stop telling people to wash their chicken!! All it does is spread salmonella everywhere:( There never was and never will be a need to WASH chicken, just pat dry and season:) Cheers🙏

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