Can you air fry rotisserie chicken? Yes! If you have an air fryer with a spit, you can make your own air fryer rotisserie chicken at home. Impress your family with a dish of succulent chicken that has basted in its own juices. The skin will cook to crispy perfection while the meat underneath remains incredibly moist. I'm going to help you succeed in air frying a whole chicken!
Here's my recipe for air frying a whole rotisserie chicken, as promised in my Air Fryer Calamari post. If you own a large air fryer with a spit, you need to try this.
This is an updated post, though I did not change the actual recipe at all. However, I did create a new recipe video that will show you how to truss the chicken before air frying. I hope that you find it helpful!
Also, I've added new photos, as well as side dish suggestions to serve with your chicken. Most of us don't eat rotisserie chicken alone! These tips should help you make the most of your meal.
The reactions of my family to this recipe were a bit humorous. My husband, straightforward person that he is, pointed out that rotisserie chicken can be had for $5 at Costco. This is both less expensive than purchasing a whole raw chicken and also a lot less fuss.
On the other hand, my son seemed a bit more impressed. When he came into the kitchen and saw the chicken rotating on the spit, he remarked I was getting fancy.
If your fryer has a window, you too can enjoy watching your air fryer rotisserie chicken cook. There's something extremely satisfying about watching the chicken turn crispy golden brown. You can anticipate the deliciousness that is about to happen!
- ⭐ What are the benefits of air frying a whole chicken?
- 🥘 Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken Ingredients
- 🐓 Air Fryer Chicken Tips (Buying a Chicken to Air Fry)
- 🔪 How to Air Fry Rotisserie Chicken
- 🍗 How to Truss a Chicken for Air Frying
- 🌡️ Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken Temperature
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 🥗 What should you serve with rotisserie chicken?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 👩🏻🍳 Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Recipes You May Enjoy
- And now for the disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
⭐ What are the benefits of air frying a whole chicken?
Chicken is a crowd-pleaser, it's an economical lean protein, and leftovers can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. Once you see how easy it is to cook chicken on an air fryer spit, I bet you'll do it regularly.
I love that there is no roasting pan to scrub after I cook a chicken in my air fryer. (I wish that I could say the same when I roast a whole chicken in the oven!) Here are some other benefits of air frying your own chicken:
- You can cook and season the chicken to your liking. We have purchased some rotisserie chickens in the past that were undercooked, unfortunately.
- You can use whatever sort of chicken fits your preferences (from a local farm, organic, etc.).
- Since the chicken bastes itself in its juices, the results will be moister than most oven-roasted chickens. This includes the chicken in my chicken and gravy over rice recipe, though that chicken is amazingly delicious as well.
- You can save the bones and use them in a bone broth recipe. This is a benefit of using whole chickens, including store-bought rotisserie chickens, versus chicken breasts, wings, or thighs.
- It looks freaking impressive. If you are having guests over, wow them by having a chicken going on the spit. As my son said, it's pretty fancy.
Just make sure that you truss your chicken with twine prior to air frying. I failed to do this the first time I made this recipe.
As you can see in the video outtakes below, I nearly lost a leg as a result! The leg managed to hang on for the last few minutes of cooking, but why risk a broken leg?
🥘 Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken Ingredients
For a basic air fried rotisserie chicken on a spit, here's all you need:
- 3-5 lb. Whole broiler or fryer chicken (completely thawed)
- Cooking oil (I prefer either olive oil or avocado oil)
- Salt and pepper
You'll also need kitchen twine to truss the chicken and a large capacity air fryer oven with a spit. I use and highly recommend the 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven. I've been really happy with the results of cooking rotisserie chicken in my Kalorik air fryer!
I'm going to offer you two different options for side dishes in the recipe card. Here's what you need for option one:
- Frozen roasted corn
- Frozen asparagus
If you'd rather serve fresh roasted vegetables with your chicken, here is the second option:
- Fresh broccoli
- Fresh sweet potatoes
- Cooking oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pesto (optional, to add additional flavor to the sweet potatoes)
The fresh veggie option is a little more work and a bit higher in calories. You could also just serve whatever veggies you happen to have on hand on the side.
Consider keeping the meal simple (pairing the chicken with some cooked-from-frozen vegetables) if you've never tried this recipe before. Figuring out how the spit functions on your fryer can take some time. Why not make things easier on yourself if you are trying this cooking technique for the first time?
Similarly, though I like to flavor oven-roasted chicken with items like herbs and lemon, I decided to skip those things here. For one, I'm not sure if those items would remain in the chicken's cavity while turning on the spit. Second, the self-basting makes this chicken incredibly flavorful, making additional seasoning completely unnecessary. Enjoy it!
🐓 Air Fryer Chicken Tips (Buying a Chicken to Air Fry)
One important tip is to use the smallest whole fryer chicken that you can find unless you have a huge air fryer. You don't want the chicken to come in contact with the heating element while it rotates. On the other hand, it is nice to get a chicken large enough to self-baste in the drip pan.
If the smallest fryer chicken you can find is 4.5-5 pounds, it should fit perfectly. If you cannot find a chicken that is small enough, you can break the back of your chicken so it fits. This seems like too much work to me, so I suggest seeking out a small chicken.
Air Fryer Cornish Hens do work here as an alternative. They won't be able to reach the drip pan for self-basting. However, since they require a shorter cooking time than larger chickens, they shouldn't dry out on you.
🔪 How to Air Fry Rotisserie Chicken
As mentioned previously, I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven. It is an inexpensive off-brand with a large capacity and many features (such as the spit). The downside is that the manual and cooking guide that comes with the fryer lacks specific instructions for many dishes.
The spit that comes with the fryer has three pieces. There are prongs for each end to hold the food in place, plus the bar the food rotates on. It looks like this:
The manual implied that I should attach one end of the spit to the fryer and then thread the chicken on the spit. This method was extremely cumbersome, and I do not recommend it!
Instead, I suggest that you first attach one of the prongs to the bar (as shown). Second, after removing the chicken's giblets, thread the chicken on the bar. Make sure the chicken is securely attached to the prongs on the bar.
Next, attach the second prong piece to the empty end of the bar. Again, ensure the prongs are securely skewering the chicken.
Now it's time to break out some kitchen twine. We're ready to truss the chicken!
🍗 How to Truss a Chicken for Air Frying
I'm going to describe how to truss the chicken with words, but I highly recommend watching the recipe video below. A video may be worth 1,000 words in this case! I think the visuals for this process are very helpful.
After the chicken is secured to the spit, cut a long piece of kitchen twine, about 3 feet in length. Lay the chicken with its breast facing up.
Place the midpoint of the string in front of the chicken's neck (under the spit). Hold an end of the string in each hand. Now bring the twine up over the bird, securing the wings.
Bring the ends of the string between the legs and under the top of the chicken's cavity. Cross the twine under the top of the chicken's cavity.
Now, cross the chicken's "ankles" (the base of the drumsticks). Loop the twine around the ankles to secure, pulling tightly. Make a secure knot with the string.
Make sure the wing tips are secured under the twine. Now cut off the excess twine at the ankles with a pair of sharp scissors. Well done!
Brush your trussed chicken with a little oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Try to cover all sides of the chicken. This will help get the skin nice and crispy.
Finally, attach the spit with chicken to your air fryer. Make sure the air fryer's drip pan is in place.
The chicken should not make contact with the heating element in the oven while it turns. If your chicken is too large, you may have to break the chicken's back to get it to fit. Starting with a smaller chicken is definitely the way to go!
🌡️ Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken Temperature
Air fry the whole chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Don't forget to hit the fryer's "rotate" button!
Chicken should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for food safety. You can check your chicken with a kitchen thermometer to ensure it has been cooked to the proper temperature. All air fryers are a little different; yours may require a slightly longer or shorter cooking time.
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.
While the chicken cooks, you can prepare the vegetables or other side dishes you'll have with dinner. Microwave frozen vegetables for no chopping and low effort, or go with fresh vegetables if you don't mind a little more work. Before long, you'll be ready to plate things up!
If you have an air fryer with a spit, what sort of foods you are cooking on it? I continue to be amazed at all of the foods you can make with an air fryer!
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). The calorie count on this recipe is for a meal that contains the following:
- 4 ounces of cooked chicken breast (including meat and skin)
- 1 cup of roasted corn
- ½ tablespoon of butter
- 3 ounces of asparagus
Leftover chicken (minus the skin) freezes well and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. One of my favorite ways to use cooked chicken is in meal prep recipes. Remove the meat from the carcass, freeze it, and you'll have a protein source ready when you want it.
Feel free to change up the veggies you use in this meal if you don't like asparagus and corn. I typically aim to get (at minimum) one green veggie and one veggie of another color into my evening meal.
🥗 What should you serve with rotisserie chicken?
I try to add (at least) 2-3 veggies of different colors to my lunches and dinners. I provided some side dish suggestions in the ingredients section above. If those don't suit you, here are some other side dishes that go with rotisserie chicken:
- Award-Winning Peach and Pineapple Salsa (wonderful over chicken!)
- Air Fryer Corn Bread (Jalapeno Cheddar Flavor!)
- Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables
- Kale Apple Slaw with Brussels Sprouts, Tahini, and Dates
- Air Fryer Radish – Loaded!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you reheat air fryer rotisserie chicken?
Yes, you can reheat this Kalorik rotisserie chicken! The crispy skin does not reheat well (though you could try popping it back in the air fryer to crisp it up a bit). Fortunately, the cooked chicken breast and thigh meat are wonderful in soups, stews, casseroles, sandwiches, and more.
To keep the cooked chicken from drying out too much, I would add it to your recipes at the end of cooking. I prefer using leftover chicken in recipes with broth or another fluid source to help keep the chicken moist.
Can you heat up rotisserie chicken in an air fryer?
If you've purchased a store-bought rotisserie chicken, you can use your air fryer to reheat it! The folks at Southern Living suggest putting the cooked chicken on the spit and reheating at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 minutes.
How nutritious is rotisserie chicken compared to fried chicken?
Rotisserie chicken and fried chicken both provide essential nutrients that you would find in chicken (e.g., niacin, vitamin B6, high-quality protein, etc.). The issue with fried chicken is that it provides things you may not want to include more of in your diet. This includes refined grains in the chicken breading and lots of energy dense added oil used for frying.
As a result, your fried chicken meal may wind up being much higher in calories than a similar-sized meal of rotisserie chicken. Another reason rotisserie chicken may be lower in calories than fried chicken is that fat often drips off rotisserie chicken while turning on the spit. If you are looking for lighter meal options, rotisserie chicken is a better choice than deep fried chicken.
What's a good way to use rotisserie chicken after it gets dry?
Wondering what to do with dry leftover chicken? Salvage it with a sauce or other recipe that provides moisture. I love using leftover rotisserie chicken in soup and stew recipes. Stirring a bit of warmed pesto or tomato sauce into your chicken is another option to help revive it.
👩🏻🍳 Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Recipes You May Enjoy
Most small families will have leftovers if they air fry a whole chicken. It's a good thing that leftover air fried chicken is wonderful in many different dishes! Here are a few ways to use leftover chicken:
- Easy Stir Fry Vegetables Recipe with Chicken
- Turkey Curry Salad Sandwiches (substitute chicken for the turkey)
- Turkey Soup with Wild Rice Crockpot Recipe (substitute chicken for the turkey)
- Chicken Salad with Apples and Pecans
- Spicy Chicken Southwest Salad
- Best Cobb Salad – Meal Prep Recipe!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken
- 1 whole broiler, roaster, or fryer chicken (3-5 pounds; 1.36-2.27 kg)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
For side dishes (option one):
- 4 cups roasted corn, frozen (I used Trader Joe's brand)
- 12 ounces asparagus, frozen (340 grams; I used Trader Joe's frozen grilled asparagus)
- 2 tablespoons butter
For side dishes (option two):
- 9 ounces fresh broccoli, chopped (255 grams)
- 25 ounces sweet potatoes, chopped (709 grams; peeling not necessary if they are scrubbed well)
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- ¼ cup pesto
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Remove the giblets from your chicken and reserve to use in another recipe. I like to use the giblets to make bone broth.
- Thread the chicken on the air fryer spit. Truss your chicken with baking twine so that the chicken does not break a leg. (Watch the video below to learn how to truss a chicken!)
- Brush the outside of the chicken with the avocado oil and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Attach the spit to your air fryer. Make sure the drip tray is in place in your air fryer oven.
- The chicken should not make contact with the heating element while it turns. If it does, you may have to break the back of your chicken to help it to fit.
- Cook at 350°F (175°C) for one hour. Don't forget to press the "Rotate" button (i.e., the button that makes the spit turn) on your fryer!
- When it is done cooking, remove the chicken from the fryer and let it rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the side dishes.
To make the option one side dishes:
- Heat the frozen corn and asparagus according to package directions. I microwaved each for 2-3 minutes each, stirring and microwaving for 2-3 more minutes if not fully heated through. Steaming works for cooking the veggies as well!
- Plate ¼ of the corn and put ½ T of butter on top. Slice 4 ounces (113 grams) of the chicken and add it to your plate. Put ¼ of the asparagus on the side. Get ready for some deliciousness!
To make the option two side dishes:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Put the broccoli and sweet potatoes in a large metal roasting pan. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast the veggies for one hour, flipping and stirring halfway through cooking time.
- Stir the pesto into the sweet potatoes when they come out of the oven.
- To serve, plate ¼ of the broccoli and ¼ of the sweet potatoes. Slice 4 ounces (113 grams) of the chicken and add it to your plate. Yummy!
- 4 ounces (113 grams) of cooked chicken breast (including meat and skin)
- 1 cup of roasted corn
- ½ tablespoon of butter
- 3 ounces (85 grams) asparagus