Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Recipe

Contributor: Traci DeVito

No standing in the hot sun over the grill! This BBQ Chicken is made in the comfort of your air-conditioned (hopefully) kitchen right in the air fryer.

  • Author: Traci DeVito
  • Prep Time: 4 minutes
  • Cook Time: 21 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 whole (3.5 lb.) chicken, cut into leg, thigh, and breast pieces*
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup barbeque sauce (homemade or store-bought)


  1. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 375°F.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken to coat.
  4. Place chicken in the air fryer skin-side-down. Cook for 18 minutes, until chicken is golden brown.
  5. Transfer chicken to a plate and brush all over with barbeque sauce.
  6. Wipe off excess chicken fat from air fryer basket, if desired.
  7. Return chicken to the air fryer and cook, skin-side-up, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant read thermometer, about 3 minutes for smaller pieces and as much as 12 minutes+ for larger pieces. After about 6 minutes, reduce heat to 300F and continue cooking as needed.

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*Alternatively, use 3.5 pounds of bone-in skin-on drumsticks or 3.5 pounds of bone-in skin-on thighs, or a combination.