You Can Actually Cook A Whole Chicken In An Air Fryer

Air fryers are one of those genius products that just make life easier. In its simplest terms, an air fryer is a machine that essentially fries and crisps food without deep frying with oil. The market is saturated with different types of air fryers, with some doubling as a dehydrator and others acting as full rotisseries. If you're wondering what you can cook in the air fryer, a better question may be, what can't you cook in an air fryer? One of the most well-known uses of an air fryer is to reheat or cook a frozen pizza. The air fryer works its magic to cook the pizza while getting a nice, crispy crust. The same method is applied to frozen french fries, which are lightly sprayed in oil, then cooked until super crisp and golden brown (via 40 Aprons).

At first glance, it may seem that air fryers only work for savory meals, but luckily that is not the case. People have discovered tons of air fryer dessert recipes, with everything from chocolate cake to donuts. For the main meal, you can use your air fryer to cook up the veggies, and the protein. In fact, it is possible to cook several kinds of meat in the air fryer, including whole steaks and bacon. The air fryer is certainly smaller than a standard oven, but it can handle large cooking jobs, like roasting a whole chicken.

It's easier than you think

While some critics say you should never air fry a whole chicken, it can be done successfully. According to the blog, The Recipe Critic, it is possible to cook chicken in a standard air fryer. One of the main benefits of cooking the chicken this way is the amount of time that it takes. Roasting a whole chicken in the oven can take about 20 minutes per pound (via Tastes Better From Scratch) while roasting the chicken in the air fryer takes less than an hour. The key to cooking the chicken perfectly in the air fryer is to only flip the bird one time. This ensures that the skin stays nice and crispy, which if we're being honest, is the best part of the chicken. You'll also want to make sure to start with chicken breast side down. The breast has a tendency to dry out, so keeping it down for half the cook will ensure it stays nice and juicy.

One of the best parts of cooking a whole chicken is choosing the seasonings. If you want to replicate the flavor of store-bought rotisserie chicken, season the chicken with garlic powder, paprika, dried herbs, salt, and pepper (per Jennifer Banz). Make sure the chicken is nice and dry before oil and seasonings are added to ensure the seasonings stick to the skin. Spend with Pennies suggests that the bird is cooked at 350 degress for 30 minutes, then flipped and cooked for another 30 minutes for a 4-5 pound chicken.