[GUIDE] How Long To Cook 5lb Whole Chicken In Air Fryer

Cooking a whole chicken in an air fryer can yield delicious, juicy meat with crispy skin, all in a fraction of the time it takes to roast in the oven. But if you’ve never done it before, you might be wondering how to cook a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to successfully cook a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer, from choosing the right chicken to preparing and cooking it to perfection.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook 5lb Whole Chicken In Air Fryer

The quick answer to this question is that it will take approximately 60-70 minutes to cook a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer. However, the exact cooking time will depend on the make and model of your air fryer, as well as the size and shape of the chicken.

Choosing Whole Chicken

When it comes to cooking a whole chicken in an air fryer, it’s important to start with a high-quality bird. Look for a 5lb whole chicken that is fresh and free-range, if possible, as this will ensure the best flavor and texture. You’ll also want to make sure that the chicken will fit comfortably in your air fryer basket without overcrowding, as this can affect the cooking process.

Preparing Whole Chicken

Before you can pop the chicken into the air fryer, you’ll need to prepare it properly. Start by removing the giblets from the cavity, if they are included. Then, rinse the chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Next, truss the chicken by tying the legs together with kitchen twine and tucking the wings under the body to ensure even cooking. Finally, season the chicken generously with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like, making sure to coat the entire surface for maximum flavor.

Air Fryer Temperature For Cooking Whole Chicken

The optimal temperature for cooking a whole chicken in an air fryer is 360°F. This temperature allows the chicken to cook through evenly while also achieving a crispy, golden-brown skin. Preheat your air fryer to this temperature before adding the chicken to ensure that it cooks properly from the start.

Air Fryer Cooking Time For Cooking Whole Chicken

As mentioned earlier, the cooking time for a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer will be approximately 60-70 minutes. However, to ensure that the chicken is cooked through to a safe internal temperature of 165°F, it’s important to check the chicken’s doneness using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone, and make sure it reads at least 165°F before removing the chicken from the air fryer.

During the cooking process, it’s a good idea to check on the chicken periodically to make sure it’s cooking evenly and not getting too dark on top. If you notice that the skin is browning too quickly, you can tent it with foil to prevent it from burning while the rest of the chicken finishes cooking.

Cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer is a convenient and delicious way to enjoy a classic roast chicken dinner without the long wait. By choosing a high-quality chicken, properly preparing it, and cooking it at the right temperature for the correct amount of time, you can achieve juicy, flavorful meat with crispy skin every time. So next time you’re craving roast chicken, why not give your air fryer a try and see just how easy and delicious it can be?

How To Cook Whole Chicken In An Air Fryer

Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to cook food quickly and efficiently using hot air circulation. One of the many dishes that can be prepared using an air fryer is a whole chicken. Cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer can result in a delicious and crispy meal, with the added benefits of reduced fat and cooking time compared to traditional oven methods.

Cooking a whole chicken in an air fryer requires some preparation and proper technique. Follow these steps to ensure a perfectly cooked and satisfying meal:

Step 1: Preparing The Whole Chicken

Start by prepping the chicken. Thoroughly wash the chicken under cold running water, inside and out, to remove any dirt or debris. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. If desired, season the chicken with your favorite spices or marinade to enhance the flavor. Remember to generously season the inside cavity as well.

Step 2: Preheating The Air Fryer

Preheating the air fryer is important to ensure even cooking. Set the air fryer to the desired temperature and allow it to preheat for approximately 3-5 minutes. The recommended temperature for cooking whole chicken in an air fryer is 375°F (190°C).

Step 3: Placing The Chicken In The Air Fryer

Carefully place the seasoned and prepped chicken into the air fryer basket, breast-side down. This position helps to retain moisture in the chicken while it cooks. If your air fryer has a rotating basket or tray, use it to ensure even cooking on all sides.

Step 4: Cooking The Chicken

Once the chicken is securely placed in the air fryer, you can start the cooking process. Set the timer for the recommended cook time, which is typically around 25-30 minutes per pound. For a 5lb chicken, this equates to approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes. However, it’s important to note that air fryers can vary in cooking time, so always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidelines.

Step 5: Checking The Chicken’s Internal Temperature

To ensure that the chicken is safely cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken should reach a minimum temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the breast and thigh. If the chicken has not reached this temperature, continue cooking it in the air fryer for additional time until it reaches the desired internal temperature.

Related:  [GUIDE] How Long To Cook Medium Ribeye In Air Fryer

Step 6: Resting And Carving The Chicken

Once the chicken has reached the safe internal temperature, carefully remove it from the air fryer using heat-resistant kitchen gloves or tongs. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before carving. This resting period helps distribute the juices within the meat, resulting in a moist and flavorful chicken. Use a sharp knife to carve the chicken into desired portions, and serve immediately.

Cooking Time For Frozen Whole Chicken

If you are cooking a frozen 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer, the cooking time will be slightly longer than for a thawed chicken. It is essential to thaw the chicken completely before air frying to ensure thorough and even cooking. Here’s a guideline for adjusting the cooking time for a frozen whole chicken:

  1. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. This slow thawing method allows the chicken to defrost evenly and eliminates the risk of bacterial growth.
  2. Once the chicken is fully thawed, follow the steps mentioned above for prepping, preheating, and cooking the chicken in the air fryer.
  3. Increase the cooking time by approximately 50% compared to a thawed chicken. For a 5lb frozen chicken, this means cooking it for around 3 hours and 7 minutes.
  4. Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, ensuring that it reaches the required minimum of 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Adjusting Air Fryer Temperature For Cooking Whole Chicken

While the recommended temperature for cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer is 375°F (190°C), there may be reasons to adjust the temperature.

  1. Lower Temperature: If you prefer a slower cooking method, you can lower the temperature to 350°F (175°C). Keep in mind that this will result in a slightly longer cooking time.
  2. Higher Temperature: On the other hand, if you want a faster cooking time and a crispier skin, you can increase the temperature to 400°F (200°C) or even 425°F (220°C). However, be cautious not to set the temperature too high, as this can cause the chicken to dry out.

It’s important to test different temperature settings to determine the ideal one for your air fryer and personal preference. Monitoring the chicken’s cooking progress and adjusting the temperature accordingly will help you achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture.

Adjusting Air Fryer Cook Time For Cooking Whole Chicken

Cook times in air fryers can vary depending on the size and model of the appliance. Adjusting the cook time according to your specific air fryer will ensure that the chicken is cooked through and achieves a golden, crispy exterior. Follow these tips to accurately adjust the cook time for your air fryer:

  1. Monitor Cooking Progress: Keep an eye on the chicken throughout the cooking process. Check its color, texture, and internal temperature periodically to gauge how the cooking is progressing.
  2. Check Manufacturer’s Instructions: Consult your air fryer’s user manual for specific instructions on cook time adjustments. Manufacturers often provide guidelines and recommendations for different types of food, including whole chicken.
  3. Experiment: If you notice that your chicken is consistently undercooked or overcooked at the recommended cook time, make adjustments accordingly. Increase or decrease the cook time in small increments, testing the chicken’s doneness each time until you find the perfect balance.

Remember, the goal is to achieve a crispy, golden-brown skin while ensuring the chicken is fully cooked and safe to consume.

Cooking Techniques

While the basic process of cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer remains the same, there are various techniques you can employ to enhance the flavor and appearance of your dish. Here are a few techniques to consider:

1. Seasoning And Marinades

Experiment with different spices, herbs, and marinades to infuse the chicken with delightful flavors. Classic options include garlic, rosemary, lemon, and paprika, but feel free to get creative and customize the seasoning to your taste preferences. Marinades can be applied before cooking or as a rub during preparation, allowing the chicken to absorb the flavors more deeply.

2. Basting

Basting the chicken with oil or butter during the cooking process can help keep the meat moist and add a beautiful shine to the skin. To do this, simply open the air fryer halfway through the cook time and use a basting brush to spread the oil or melted butter evenly over the chicken’s surface. Be careful not to overcrowd the air fryer basket or rotate the chicken too aggressively while basting to avoid any mishaps.

3. Rotating The Chicken

If your air fryer has a rotating basket or tray, take advantage of it to ensure even cooking on all sides. Rotating the chicken every 15-20 minutes will help distribute heat more evenly and result in a more uniformly cooked chicken.

4. Tenderizing And Brining

To ensure a tender and juicy end result, consider tenderizing the chicken before cooking. You can do this by using a meat tenderizer or simply piercing the meat with a fork. Additionally, brining the chicken in a saltwater solution for a few hours or even overnight can help it retain moisture while imparting flavor.

5. Air Fryer Accessories

Air fryer accessories such as a roasting rack or skewers can provide added versatility and aid in achieving desired results. A roasting rack can elevate the chicken, allowing hot air to circulate evenly beneath it for more thorough cooking. Skewers can be used to secure the chicken in a desired position, keeping the meat intact and facilitating even browning.

Cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer can result in a delicious and convenient meal. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can achieve a perfectly cooked chicken with a crispy, golden-brown skin and juicy, flavorful meat. Whether you choose to experiment with different seasonings, adjust the cooking time, or explore various cooking techniques, the versatility of the air fryer allows for endless possibilities. So fire up your air fryer, get creative, and enjoy a mouthwatering whole chicken cooked to perfection right in your kitchen.


Cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer can be a flavorsome and convenient way to prepare a delicious meal. The air fryer uses innovative technology that circulates hot air around the food, allowing it to cook quickly and efficiently. However, there are certain factors to consider to ensure that the chicken is cooked perfectly, avoiding undercooking or overcooking.

Undercooking a whole chicken can be unsafe as it may lead to the consumption of raw poultry, which can harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. To prevent this, it is crucial to ensure that the 5lb whole chicken is thoroughly cooked.

The air fryer’s hot circulating air cooks the chicken quickly, but the cooking time may vary depending on various factors, including the air fryer model, chicken size, starting temperature, and desired level of doneness. To avoid undercooking, it is necessary to cook the chicken for an appropriate amount of time at the right temperature.


Overcooking a whole chicken in an air fryer can result in dry and tough meat. To avoid this, it is essential to monitor the cooking time and temperature carefully.

The air fryer typically cooks food faster than traditional cooking methods, so it is crucial to avoid overcooking the chicken. This can be achieved by following the recommended cooking times and temperatures provided by the air fryer manufacturer or by using a reliable recipe as a guide.

Related:  [GUIDE] How Long To Cook Thin Chicken Breast In Air Fryer

Checking For Doneness Of Whole Chicken

To ensure that the 5lb whole chicken is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat, it is necessary to check for its doneness. There are a few reliable methods to determine if the chicken is properly cooked in an air fryer.

  1. Internal Temperature: The most accurate way to check the doneness of chicken is by using a meat thermometer. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in its thickest part, such as the thigh or breast. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone for an accurate reading.

  2. Visual Inspection: Another method to assess doneness is by visually checking the chicken. The skin should be golden brown and crispy. Additionally, the juices released by the chicken should be clear, not pink or bloody. A properly cooked chicken will have firm, opaque flesh.

  3. Wiggle Test: You can also perform a wiggle test to determine if the chicken is cooked. Gently wiggle the leg or thigh of the chicken – if it moves easily and the joint feels loose, the chicken is likely cooked. Conversely, if it feels firm and resists movement, additional cooking time may be needed.

Using one or more of these methods will help ensure that your 5lb whole chicken is cooked to perfection in the air fryer.

When Things Go Wrong

Sometimes, even with careful monitoring, things can go wrong during the cooking process. It is important to be aware of potential issues and how to troubleshoot them.

  1. Undercooked Chicken: If you discover that the chicken is undercooked after checking its doneness, it is essential to immediately resume cooking. Return the chicken to the air fryer and continue cooking until it reaches the correct internal temperature. Remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.

  2. Overcooked Chicken: If the chicken turns out dry and overcooked, it can still be salvaged. One option is to shred the chicken and use it in dishes such as tacos or sandwiches, where the moisture can be added with sauces or dressings. Another option is to chop the chicken into smaller pieces and use it in soups or stews, where the liquid can help rehydrate the meat.

  3. Uneven Cooking: In some cases, the chicken may cook unevenly, with certain parts being overcooked while others remain undercooked. To address this issue, you can try rotating the chicken halfway through the cooking time. Additionally, you can use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature in different parts of the chicken to ensure uniform cooking.

With these troubleshooting tips, you can correct any issues that may arise and still enjoy a deliciously cooked 5lb whole chicken.

Tips For Cooking Whole Chicken In An Air Fryer

To achieve the best results when cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer, consider the following tips:

  1. Preheat the Air Fryer: Just like with an oven, preheating the air fryer before cooking helps ensure even and consistent cooking. Preheat the air fryer to the recommended temperature for the chicken.

  2. Seasoning: Before cooking, season the chicken with your desired spices, herbs, or marinade. This enhances the flavor and creates a delicious outer crisp.

  3. Truss the Chicken: Trussing the chicken with kitchen twine helps maintain its shape during cooking and promotes even cooking. This step is optional but beneficial for a more visually appealing result.

  4. Bent Leg Position: Place the chicken in the air fryer with its legs bent inward. This position helps the chicken fit better in the air fryer and promotes even cooking.

  5. Cooking Time: As cooking times may vary depending on the air fryer model and chicken size, it is crucial to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or a reliable recipe. A general guideline is to cook the chicken for about 25-30 minutes per pound at a temperature of around 350°F (175°C).

  6. Basting: If desired, baste the chicken with melted butter or oil during the cooking process to enhance its moisture and flavor.

  7. Resting: Once the chicken is cooked to the correct internal temperature, it is essential to let it rest for a few minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute within the chicken, resulting in tender and succulent meat.

By following these tips, you can elevate your cooking skills and produce a flavorful and perfectly cooked 5lb whole chicken in your air fryer.


Cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer can provide an efficient and tasty meal option. Remember to consider factors such as undercooking, overcooking, and checking for doneness to ensure a safe and delicious outcome. In addition, troubleshoot any issues that may arise and utilize the tips provided to achieve the best results. With practice and attention to detail, you can master the art of cooking a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer and create mouthwatering dishes for your friends and family.


What Is An Air Fryer And How Does It Work?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air circulation to cook food using minimal or no oil. It works by rapidly circulating hot air around the food, creating a crisp and crunchy exterior while cooking the interior evenly.

How Long Does It Take To Cook A 5lb Whole Chicken In An Air Fryer?

The cooking time for a 5lb whole chicken in an air fryer can vary, but on average it takes about 40-45 minutes at 375°F. For a more accurate cooking time, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, which should be 165°F.

Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer Before Cooking The Chicken?

Yes, it is recommended to preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before adding the chicken. This ensures that the air fryer is at the right temperature for cooking and helps to achieve a more evenly cooked chicken.

Can I Season The Chicken Before Cooking It In The Air Fryer?

Yes, you can season the chicken with your preferred spices and herbs before cooking. This will enhance the flavor of the chicken and create a delicious crust on the outside. Just make sure to lightly oil the chicken before adding the seasoning to help it stick.

Can I Cook A Frozen Whole Chicken In The Air Fryer?

Yes, it is possible to cook a frozen whole chicken in an air fryer, but it will take longer than cooking a thawed chicken. The cooking time may vary, but you can expect it to take about 60-70 minutes at 375°F. It is important to use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption.