I would have never guessed making salmon in an air fryer would have produced the most tender and juicy salmon every time. I promise this Perfect Air Fryer Salmon will become your new way to conquer salmon in the kitchen.
I have to admit, I was totally, totally against the idea of purchasing an air fryer. And not just a little bit against it, but really, really against it. I figured an air fryer was going to be another small appliance we rarely used. Who else has lots of those?
And not only did I think we were not going to use it, I especially did not want another "thing" on my kitchen counter. Extra stuff on my kitchen counters is really one of my pet peeves. I really despise anything being dumped on them, whether it's mail, car keys, computers...take them to your room and keep them there! But that's a rant for another day.
Anyway, I really did not want this new appliance and felt it was going to be a waste of money. However, my husband kept insisting on getting one and he finally just pulled the plug and ordered it even though I was not feeling it. I'm so glad he did not listen to me.
It's really kind of ugly and kind of reminds me of Darth Vadar's head/mask thing, but oh my gosh, best appliance ever. There are lots of air fryers out there, but I do particularly love my air fryer.
In the air fryer, everything comes out crispier, juicier and always perfectly cooked in an incredibly short amount of time. Tatar tots in the air fryer are the best. Chicken in the air fryer, breaded or not is so juicy, tender and delicious. Even ribeye steaks are awesome in the air fryer and I can't even believe I was willing to try that. Anyway, you get it, it's worth every penny.
There is no preheating time and the cleanup is very minimal. The air fryer locks in all the juices so you barely have any mess to cleanup. It even makes the perfect crostini toast. I would not recommend an air fryer smaller than a 5.3 quart, it would just be too limiting.
Look at that beautiful flaking of the salmon after being in the air fryer, it's absolutely perfect.
For your air fryer salmon, you'll want to use fillets that are the same thickness. These were both
1-1/2-inch fillets. And they were out of the fridge for about an hour to warm them up.
Since my boys fish for salmon every summer, all of our salmon is wild caught and still has the bones. I find the bones are easily removed with needle nose pliers since they do not tear apart the fish.
Here are the salmon fillets in the air fryer basket. It's best not to crowd things too much.
You can see how beautiful the color is when they are finished, not to mention extemeley juicy and tender.
Salmon has been on the menu a lot more since I started making it this way.
When you reheat food that's been cooked in an air fryer, it remains juicy and tender, as if the juices were locked in...it is amazing.
If you've been waiting to get an air fryer, I hope this propels you to make it happen. This is the first air fryer recipe I've shared here, but I hope to do a lot more.
There are so many things you can make in an air fryer, in fact, the possibilities are endless. I know my kid's would love these Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets. And who wouldn't love a batch of these Air Fryer Spicy Sweet Potato Fries? And who would have thought Air Fryer Roasted Corn would turn out so perfect. And holy wow these Copycat Taco Bell Air Fryer Crunch Wraps sound over the top. But these Air Fryer Reuben Egg Rolls also sound crazy addictive.
One year ago I shared my Grapefruit Cranberry Martini with you, have you made it yet? Five years ago this quick dinner of Loaded Sausage and Gravy Baked Potatoes came into my life and is still a quick dinner for us. Seven years ago I learned to make Chicago-Style Hot Dogs at home and shared them with you. Eight years ago these Cornmeal-Blueberry Scones made me feel like spring in the middle of winter. And nine years ago this Asparagus Popover won me over.
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Perfect Air Fryer Salmon
- 2 wild caught salmon fillets with comparable thickness, mine were 1-1/12-inches thick
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- generously seasoned with salt and coarse black pepper
- lemon wedges
- Remove any bones from your salmon if necessary and let fish sit on the counter for an hour. Rub each fillet with olive oil and season with paprika, salt and pepper.
- Place fillets in the basket of the air fryer. Set air fryer at 390 degrees for 7 minutes for 1-1/2-inch fillets.
- When timer goes off, open basket and check fillets with a fork to make sure they are done to your desired doneness.
- Notes: One of the beauties of the air fryer is that it's so easy to pop something back in for a minute if you want it cooked longer. You can also open it while it's cooking to make sure it's not overdone. I always set my timer for a little less so I can check on how things are coming along so I don't overcook an item. Things cook so fast sometimes a minute more is all it needs.
- Times for cooking will vary for salmon based on the temperature of the fish and the size of your fillets. Always set your air fryer for a little less time than you think until you become more used to the timing of your appliance.
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