Buttermilk Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

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This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious. It’s so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!

This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!
Air Fryer Whole Chicken

This easy weeknight whole chicken in air fryer recipe is delicious and family-friendly! So good, you’ll want to make it again and again! Out of all my air fryer recipes, this one has become a weekly staple. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake this in the oven too, or try this Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary.

This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!

This Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken recipe was adapted from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (affil link). It’s so good I’ve been making it weekly on those nights I don’t feel like cooking because it’s effortless. Her recipe, inspired by Southern fried chicken which is marinated overnight in buttermilk before frying, uses a whole chicken instead, no deep frying and no flour. She bakes hers in the oven, but the air fryer is so much much faster, and bonus no heating up the kitchen. The buttermilk and salt tenderizes the meat making the chicken so juicy chicken, with beautifully browned skin. Serve it alongside a simple summer tomato salad, chopped Feta salad or quick cabbage slaw.

How to Cook an Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

  • For best results marinate the chicken 24 hours.
  • You’ll need an air fryer with a large enough basket to hold the chicken. I used the Skinnytaste Vremi Air Fryer (affil link) which has a 5.8 quart basket.
  • If you don’t have a large air fryer, you can make this recipe with on the bone chicken breast with skin. Reduce the cook time as needed.

Reasons I love my air fryer:

  • Food comes out so much crispier than it does in my oven.
  • It takes only three minutes to preheat, it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
  • It’s safer and healthier than deep frying and it doesn’t smoke up the whole house.
  • The air fryer has now replaced my oven on most weekdays and nights, whether making hard boiled eggs, whipping up a side dish, heating up leftovers, or making dinner.

In fact, I love it so much I decided to partner with Vremi to create an air fryer with improvements from the one I previously owned. With a larger basket, built-in presets to make life a bit easier, easy-to-clean PFOA-free nonstick coating, and of course, making it dishwasher safe which is how Skinnytaste by Vremi Air Fryer and the Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook came about.

How To Make an Air Fryer Whole Chicken

This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious. It's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious. It's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!
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4.86 from 61 votes
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Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

329 Cals 50 Protein 1 Carbs 12.5 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Marinate Time: 1 d
Total Time: 1 d 55 mins
Yield: 4
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious. It's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 3 pound trimmed whole chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pint 1% buttermilk

Equipment

Instructions

  • The day before you want to cook the chicken, season the chicken generously with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. Tightly tie together the legs of the chicken with a piece of butcher’s twine.
  • Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl (large enough to hold the chickeand pour in the buttermilk. Cover tight and refrigerate overnight rotating the chicken half way so both sides gets marinated.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it, then remove the chicken from the buttermilk shaking excess and discarding the buttermilk.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer 350 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the air fryer basket (at least 5.8 quart) belly side down. Season the top of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Air fry about 25 minutes, until the top of the chicken is browned, then flip over, season the other side with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook 25 minutes, until golden and crisp and brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh.
  • When the chicken’s done, remove it to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
  • To bake in the oven, bake 400F until golden and crisp and brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh, about 1 hour or longer if needed.

Video

Notes

Nutritional values are based on the whole chicken divided by 4 with no skin. Values will differ depending on what part of the chicken you eat, and if you eat the skin or not. Points will also vary with and without the skin, and which part of the chicken is consumed.
Nutrition Values per serving with skin:
Calories: 426 · Protein: 46g · Carbohydrate: 1g · Dietary Fiber: 0g · Total Sugars: 1g · Total Fat: 25.5g · Saturated Fat: 7g · Cholesterol: 144mg · Sodium: 153mg

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 chicken, Calories: 329kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 12.5g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 153mg, Sodium: 162mg, Sugar: 1g
Keywords: air fryer buttermilk whole chicken, air fryer roasted chicken, how to cook a whole chicken in an air fryer, whole chicken in air fryer

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184 comments

  1. Any suggestions on using a convection oven with a basket.

  2. I had a 6 pound roaster and after cooking it for the time suggested, it was still undercooked. Took forever to get it done.   Next time I’ll hike the temp to 400.  Once it was done it was VERY tender!  

  3. Can you also do a half chicken?   What temp and how long would I cook it?   Just got my Ninja so I’m trying different things. 

  4. How much are the air fryer that you use

  5. I could only find 5 1/2 pound bird – how much time should i add to cooking?

  6. Winner winner chicken dinner!! I was somewhat intimidated by making a whole chicken. This was really easy and turned out so good. Thanks Gina!

  7. This is the best and easiest recipe. The chicken comes out perfectly cooked and is so moist. Better than a Costco chicken! Ha. Healthier too as only a couple of ingredients. I’ve made with a 3 pound and up to a 5 1/4 pound chicken (and just adjust time for larger bird). . Great flavorful easy do-over recipe. 

  8. I have the Ninja Flip so a chicken is too big.  I followed steps using fresh wings.  I air fried 400 for 30 minutes flipping half way through … check temperature if adjustments need to be made.   Really good! 

  9. Made this tonight and it was awesome. I just bought an air fryer so am still experimenting. Our electricity went out halfway through cooking time so I had to adjust and ended up cooking it about 6 minutes less than the recipe calls for. Could have been a miscalculation on my part or maybe my fryer cooks hotter than yours  but I would recommend checking on your chicken as I think mine would have burned. Thanks for all of your great recipes. Because of you, my family thinks I am an excellent cook. 

  10. Made this tonight and it was AMAZING!!! I forgot to marinate last night so started it this morning. Skin was crispy, inside was delish and juicy! 

  11. This turned out delicious!!!

  12. Can I replace the whole  chicken with a turkey breast?  If yes, how long do I cook in the air fryer or the oven?  I would love to make it for thanksgiving. 

  13. Hi
    So, breast-side up?

  14. I made this chicken was so surprised how well it was loved it. also mad the zucchini soup was so easy and all who tried it loved it these are the best recipes I have found on facebook.

  15. Divine. Only had a half pint of buttermilk but poured it in a gallon ziplock with my 5.5lb bird, cinched the air out, and turned it over a few times. This was so moist and juicy and pretty! I always fry brine the turkey at Thanksgiving – now thinking we should figure out how to do this buttermilk bath, too!

  16. Gina, I’ve been a fan of yours for years. I’ve had an air fryer for a while and have made a rotisserie chicken before, but decided to try your version. Delicious! Even my husband commented that he can’t wait for leftovers. We buy organic chickens from Costco, and it’s time to go up and get lots more. Easy and healthy. Thank you. The bones and skin will be saved and used for bone broth.

  17. Can you make this in a crockpot?

  18. So good. I used Greek yogurt and lemon. It was perfect, brown, juicy. Better than any whole chicken I’ve ever baked 😀

    • Can this be made dairy free? Not sure what I would use instead of buttermilk.

      • You can make a buttermilk by using what ever milk you choose and lemon juice but if you are just lactose intolerant you can use lactose free kefir.

  19. This is just an incredible recipe. I usually don’t eat chicken skin unless it’s fried and this skin was really good. Crispy and favorable! Chicken was so very tender. Thank you for sharing this!!!