I am excited to share my best Air fryer BBQ Roast Whole Chicken recipe! This method would make you say goodbye to conventional roasting methods and hello to a juicy, tender chicken with a smoky BBQ crust, all made in the comfort of your air fryer.

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The air fryer rotisserie chicken recipe cuts down cooking time and also infuses the chicken with rich flavors, making it a perfect centerpiece for family dinners, special occasions, or a cozy night in.

Why you would love the Air fryer BBQ Roast Whole Chicken recipe

Air frying a whole chicken with a BBQ rub results in incredibly tender, juicy meat with super crispy skin, and it’s the best way to enjoy rotisserie style chicken at home. 

This whole roast chicken would make an easy weeknight dinner.

I’ll walk you through choosing the right size and type of chicken, simple ingredients, preparation steps, air frying techniques, serving suggestions, and meal prep tips, ensuring that you can savor the flavor of this delicious roast chicken to the fullest. 

Essential Ingredients

  • Whole Chicken: I used 6 – 6.5 pound chicken for this recipe.
  • BBQ chicken Sauce: Adds the signature smoky, tangy flavor that coats the chicken beautifully.
  • Low Sodium Chicken Broth: This helps to keep the chicken moist during cooking and adds depth to the overall flavor.
  • Salt: Essential for enhancing the natural flavors of the chicken and the seasoning.
  • Pepper: Adds a slight heat and complements the smokiness of the BBQ sauce.
  • Chili Powder: Brings a mild, smoky spice that adds complexity to the BBQ sauce.
  • Smoked Paprika: Infuses the chicken with a deep, smoky aroma and vibrant color.
  • Onion Powder: Offers a subtle sweetness and onion flavor without the bulk of actual onions.
  • Garlic Powder: Adds a savory depth of flavor to the meat, complementing the BBQ rub.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and helps to crisp up the skin, while also carrying the flavors of the spices.
  • String for Trussing: Keeps the chicken in shape, ensuring even cooking and presentation.
  • Olive oil: To spray the air fryer basket.

Choosing Your Chicken

For a smaller chicken, around 3-4 pounds is ideal, while a larger chicken, up to 6 pounds, may fit in certain air fryer models. A smaller chicken ensures even cooking and allows the air to circulate properly around the whole bird, resulting in a perfectly cooked roast. It’s important to consider the size of the chicken in relation to the air fryer basket to ensure it fits comfortably for efficient air frying. 


Prep for Cooking: Preheat your airfryer to 425°F (218°C). This high initial temperature is key for starting the cooking process.

Prepare the Chicken: Check inside the chicken cavity for any giblets and remove them. Using a paper towel, thoroughly pat the chicken dry inside and out. Taking your time in this step is crucial for achieving crispy skin.

Make the Butter Mixture/spice rub: In a small bowl, mix all the spices with room-temperature butter until well combined. This mixture will flavor the chicken and help make the skin crispy.

Season Under the Skin: Carefully lift the skin over the chicken breast and insert about half of your butter mixture underneath. Gently spread the butter as evenly as possible under the skin to season the meat.

Baste the Chicken: Melt the remaining butter mixture in the microwave, then use it to baste the outside of the entire chicken, covering all areas for even flavoring.

Truss the Chicken: To ensure the chicken cooks evenly, tie the legs together with baking string. Tuck the wings under the body to prevent them from burning.

Prepare for Baking: Place the chicken on a wire rack set inside your air fryer. This setup allows air to circulate around the chicken for even cooking. Cover with aluminum foil to help lock in the moisture.

Cook the BBQ Sauce: In a small saucepan, mix your favorite BBQ sauce with low sodium chicken broth. Bring it to a low boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. This will be your basting sauce.

Begin Baking: Place the chicken in the preheated air fryer and bake with the chicken breast side up at 425°F (218°C) for 20 minutes. This initial blast helps start the crisping process.

Lower Temperature and Continue Cooking: After 20 minutes, reduce the air fryer temperature to 350°F (177°C), take the chicken out briefly to baste it with half of the prepared BBQ sauce, then return it to the air fryer. Continue baking for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Use a meat thermometer to check doneness; the chicken is ready when the thickest part reaches 165°F (74°C). Remember to turn the chicken at intervals and baste it again with the BBQ sauce about 20 minutes before it’s finished cooking.

Rest Before Serving: Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring your chicken is moist and flavorful when carved.

By following these simplified steps, you can achieve a deliciously moist and flavorful BBQ roast chicken with a beautifully crispy exterior, perfect for any occasion.

Pro tips for a perfect Air fryer BBQ Roast Whole Chicken

When air frying a whole chicken, it’s crucial to emphasize temperature control and ensure the chicken is placed correctly in the air fryer basket for even cooking.

Preheat the air fryer to the recommended temperature and carefully position the chicken inside the basket, ensuring it’s not overcrowded to allow proper air circulation for a consistently cooked, crispy exterior.

The use of a meat thermometer is paramount to guarantee the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature to prevent any risk of foodborne illness. By monitoring the temperature at the thickest part of the chicken, typically the breast, it’s possible to ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked while maintaining its juiciness and tenderness.

This attention to temperature control and placement in the air fryer basket ensures a safe and enjoyable cooking experience. 

Serving Suggestions

The crispy skin of the chicken complements a tangy Caesar salad or a refreshing kale and cranberry salad perfectly. You can also serve it with a side of garlic mashed potatoes or buttery corn on the cob for a comforting and filling meal. 

For a saucy twist, drizzle a zesty lemon herb sauce over the juicy chicken or serve it with a classic BBQ sauce on the side for dipping. These sauces enhance the flavors of the chicken, adding a vibrant and aromatic touch to the dish. 

When it comes to leftovers, shred the tender meat and incorporate it into a nourishing chicken pasta salad or use it as a filling for air fryer chicken enchiladas. The versatility of the leftovers allows for endless creative culinary explorations. 

Meal Prep & Storage Tips

I typically cook a larger chicken, tear it apart, and store it in freezer-grade bags for convenient meal prep. This allows us to have quick, ready-made protein options for busy days or when we simply don’t feel like cooking. To keep the chicken fresh and flavorful, it’s important to properly store it in the freezer and ensure it’s adequately sealed. Properly stored, the chicken can last for several months, providing a convenient protein boost for future meals. 

FAQ about Air Fryer BBQ baked Whole Chicken Recipe

Can I cook a frozen whole chicken in the air fryer?

  • It’s recommended to thoroughly thaw the chicken before cooking to ensure even cooking and the best texture. It also prevents food poisoning!

How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?

  • The safest way is to use a meat thermometer. The chicken is done when the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) at the thickest part of the thigh or thickest part of the breast, not touching the bone.

Can I make this recipe with skinless chicken?

  • Yes, but keep in mind the chicken skin helps to keep the chicken moist and adds flavor. You might want to baste the chicken more frequently.

How can I make the BBQ sauce stick better to the chicken?

  • Applying a thin layer of mustard before the BBQ sauce can help it adhere better and adds an extra layer of flavor.

Can I reuse the chicken broth from the air fryer?

  • Yes, the broth can be strained and used as a base for sauces or gravies, adding a rich flavor.

What if my air fryer isn’t big enough for a whole chicken?

  • Consider using chicken pieces instead, adjusting the quantity of the ingredients and cooking time as needed base on the size and type of air fryer
Air fryer BBQ Roast Whole Chicken recipe

Air Fryer BBQ Roast Whole Chicken Recipe

he air fryer rotisserie chicken recipe not only cuts down cooking time but infuses the chicken with rich flavors, making it a perfect centerpiece for family dinners, special occasions, or a cozy night in.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 5


  • Meat thermometer 
  • Air fryer
  • Cutting board


  • 6 – 6.5 lb whole chicken*
  • 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
  • ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp pepper
  • ½ Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ Tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter room temp
  • String for trussing


  • Preheat Air fryer to 425 degree F.
  • Remove any giblets from the chicken. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Take your time during this step as it will result in a crispier skin.
  • Combine all spices and room temp butter in a small bowl.
  • Lift the skin above the breast and insert roughly half the butter mixture. Spread the mixture as much as possible under the skin.
  • Melt the remaining butter in the microwave and baste the entire chicken.
  • To ensure an even bake on the chicken, tie legs together with baking string and tuck the wings under the bird so they don’t burn.
  • Place the chicken on a wire rack in your air fryer basket.
  • In a small saucepan, combine BBQ sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a low boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Bake chicken at 425 degree F for 20 mins. Then, lower the temp to 350 degree F and remove from the airfryer. Baste with half of the BBQ sauce. Place back in the air fryer and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird reaches 165 degree F. You will want to baste the chicken a second time – about 20 minutes before it is fully cooked.
  • Remove from the air fryer and allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.


Additional notes: Cooking time will vary based on the size of chicken. About half way through the baking time, if needed, cover chicken with aluminum foil so the top skin doesn’t burn.

Discover More Air Fryer Delights

From juicy air fryer chicken thighs to flavorful air fryer roast chicken, there are plenty of recipes to explore. Additionally, if you’re a fan of chicken, you might enjoy trying out some delightful air fryer chicken breast recipes. The air fryer presents a versatile way to cook up a range of delicious meals, from crispy french fries to succulent chicken drumsticks. For those who prefer a low-carb option, I’ve also got some amazing air fryer recipes for sides, like sweet potatoes and pasta with sauce. Whether you have a larger chicken or a smaller one, there’s an air fryer recipe for you. 

The air fryer whole chicken recipe is the easiest way to enjoy a chicken dinner with little effort. 

About the Author

Get to know me more.

I am Seun, and I love to share my first-hand experience using multiple air fryers. Stick around for yummy delicacies made from the air fryer and many amazing tips on using your newfound Kitchen appliance – the air fryer!

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