how to cook salmon in air fryer

salmon in air fryer

Salmon is a healthy and delicious food that can be cooked in a variety of ways, and one of the best methods is using an air fryer.

With an air fryer, you can cook salmon fillets to perfection, with crispy skin and tender, juicy flesh.

It’s quick, convenient, and healthier than other methods like pan-frying or baking in the oven.

In this article, we’ll show you how to cook salmon in an air fryer, from preparing the fish to serving it up on a plate.

We’ll also give you tips and tricks for making the perfect meal, as well as some alternative recipes to try.

So if you’re ready to learn how to cook salmon in an air fryer, let’s get started!

Introduction to Cooking Salmon in Air Fryer

Cooking salmon in an air fryer is a healthy and easy way to enjoy this delicious fish.

The air fryer cooks the salmon quickly and evenly, resulting in a crispy and perfectly cooked dish every time.

Why Cook Salmon in Air Fryer

Air frying salmon is a great way to cut down on calories and fat. Unlike traditional frying methods, an air fryer requires little to no oil, resulting in a healthier meal. Plus, the air fryer cooks salmon quickly and evenly, making it a convenient option for busy weeknights.

Preparing the Salmon for Air Frying

Choosing Salmon Fillets

When selecting salmon fillets for air frying, look for those with firm flesh and a bright color. Avoid fillets with any signs of discoloration or a strong fishy smell.

Thawing Frozen Salmon

If using frozen salmon, be sure to thaw it completely before air frying. The best way to do this is to place the salmon in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

Removing Scales and Pin Bones

Before air frying, remove any remaining scales and pin bones from the salmon fillets. Use a pair of tweezers or pliers to carefully pull out any visible bones.

Seasoning and Marinating for Best Results

Basic Seasoning Blend

For a simple and delicious seasoning blend, combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Marinade Recipes

To add extra flavor to your salmon, try marinating it before air frying. Some popular marinades for salmon include soy sauce, honey mustard, and lemon herb.

How to Apply Seasoning and Marinate to Salmon Fillets

To apply seasoning or marinade to salmon fillets, simply brush them over the surface of the fish using a pastry brush or your fingers. Be sure to coat the salmon evenly for the best flavor.

Cooking the Salmon in Air Fryer Step-by-Step

Preheating Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for at least 5 minutes before cooking.

Putting Salmon Fillets in Air Fryer Basket

Place the salmon fillets in the air fryer basket, leaving space between each fillet for air to circulate.

Cooking Time and Temperature Guidelines

Cook the salmon in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. The internal temperature of the salmon should reach 145°F.

Checking Doneness and Adjusting Cooking Time

To check the doneness of the salmon, insert a fork or knife into the thickest part of the fillet. The flesh should be opaque and flake easily. If the salmon is not yet cooked to your liking, adjust the cooking time and continue to air fry until fully cooked.

Tips for Perfectly Crispy Skin and Moist Flesh

Cooking salmon in the air fryer is an easy and healthy way to enjoy this flavorful fish. However, getting the right texture can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips for ensuring the perfect crispy skin and moist flesh:

1. Brushing Oil onto Fillets

Before cooking, brush a thin layer of oil onto the salmon fillets. This will help the skin crisp up and prevent the flesh from drying out. Be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or grapeseed oil.

2. Flipping the Salmon Fillets

To ensure even cooking and crispy skin on both sides, flip the salmon fillets halfway through cooking. Use tongs to carefully turn the fish over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

3. Using a Baking Mat or Parchment Paper

To prevent the salmon from sticking to the air fryer basket, use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Cut the parchment paper to fit the basket and place the salmon on top. This will also make cleanup a breeze.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

Air fryer salmon is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides and drinks. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Side Dishes to Serve with Air Fryer Salmon

– Roasted vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts
– Quinoa or brown rice pilaf
– Green salad with a citrus vinaigrette

2. Wine Pairings

– Chardonnay: pairs well with a buttery salmon dish
– Pinot Noir: a light and fruity wine that complements the mild flavor of salmon
– Sauvignon Blanc: a crisp wine with herbaceous notes that pairs well with grilled or herb-seasoned salmon

Alternative Air Fryer Salmon Recipes to Try

If you’re looking to mix things up, try these alternative air fryer salmon recipes:

1. Teriyaki Salmon

Brush salmon fillets with a mixture of soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger. Place in the air fryer and cook as directed. Serve over rice and steamed vegetables.

2. Lemon and Herb Salmon

Season salmon fillets with fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Add lemon slices on top and place in the air fryer. Cook until the salmon is flaky and the skin is crispy.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cooking Salmon in Air Fryer

1. Can I cook frozen salmon in air fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen salmon in the air fryer. Increase the cooking time by a few minutes and ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

2. Can I use skinless salmon fillets?

While skin-on fillets are best for air frying, you can use skinless salmon fillets. Just be sure to brush the surface with oil to prevent sticking and drying out.

3. Can I air fry salmon nuggets or sticks?

Yes, you can air fry salmon nuggets or sticks for a crispy and healthy snack.

Coat the salmon in breadcrumbs or panko and cook until golden brown and crispy.

Cooking salmon in an air fryer is a great way to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal without the hassle of traditional cooking methods.

With the tips and guidelines in this article, you can easily prepare perfectly cooked salmon fillets in your air fryer, with a crispy skin and moist flesh that will impress your taste buds.

So don’t hesitate to try this method at home and experiment with different seasonings and marinades to create your own unique recipes. Enjoy your air-fried salmon and happy cooking!


Can I cook frozen salmon in air fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen salmon fillets in an air fryer.

You just need to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.

It’s recommended to thaw the salmon first for better results, but if you’re short on time, you can cook it directly from frozen.

Can I use skinless salmon fillets?

Yes, you can use skinless salmon fillets in an air fryer, but the skin helps to keep the fish moist and protect it from overcooking. If you prefer skinless salmon, you can brush some oil on the fillets before air frying to prevent them from drying out.

Can I air fry salmon nuggets or sticks?

Yes, you can air fry salmon nuggets or sticks, but the cooking time and temperature may vary depending on the size and thickness of the fish pieces.

It’s recommended to coat the salmon with breadcrumbs or batter for a crispy texture and avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket.