The most tender and juicy air fryer salmon recipe that’s ready in 7 minutes. There’s a reason it’s so popular!
Salmon in Less Than 10 Minutes
I have to admit, I was initially against the idea of getting an air fryer (and now they’re so common). And it wasn’t just mild resistance; I was really against it. I imagined the air fryer becoming another underused small appliance in my kitchen, joining the ranks of so many others.
My air fryer reluctance wasn’t just about potential non-usage; I have an aversion to clutter on my kitchen counters. Obviously, I took the plunge and purchased the air fryer and I’ve never regretted it.
When I posted this recipe making salmon in the air fryer, no one else on the internet had ever made it, so this is THE ORIGIANL RECIPE for AIR FRYER SALMON. I’m sure you’ll love it.
Why I Love This Recipe
- It’s one of the tastiest and healthy weeknight dinners I make. Also, try my recipe for air fryer frozen salmon, which is just as tasty!
- Air frying salmon is one of the quickest dinners I can get on the table.
- The air fryer locks in the juices and the salmon stays juicy and flakes perfectly when done.
- It’s easy to make extra and use it for salmon salad or sushi bowls the next day.
Air Fryer Salmon Ingredients and Substitutions
- Salmon Fillets: I love using wild caught salmon. Make sure size-wise they have a comparable thickness. Feel free to substitute with farm-raised salmon if that’s what you have.
- Avocado Oil: Avocado is always my high temperature oil of choice. Use whatever high smoke point oil you have on hand.
- Paprika: I love using paprika for its visual appeal and mild flavor in this recipe. It’s up to you if you want to sub in a smoky or hot version.
- Salt and Pepper: Use for flavor enhancement.
- Lemon Wedges: Additionally, when your salmon is done, serve with lemon wedges.
Reader Missy says …“This air fryer salmon is not only perfect it is so easy to make. We used smoked paprika and it was so delicious, tender and flaky. Thanks for the great recipe, we will be making this often.”
How To Air Fry Salmon
- First, prepare your salmon with all ingredients.
- Then, nestle salmon fillets in the air fryer basket and begin air frying.
- Check to make sure salmon is done by flaking with a fork.
- Serve immediately.
- Full directions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Salmon has been on the menu a lot more since I started making it this way.
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: Just like with an oven, preheating is going to give you even cooking. Let it warm up for a few minutes before you start.
- Room Temperature: Let the salmon warm up on the counter so it’s not ice cold going into the air fryer.
- Pat Dry the Salmon: Moisture is the enemy of a nice brown top. Use paper towels to pat the salmon dry before seasoning.
- Season Generously: Don’t be shy with your seasonings!
- Over-Crowding: Don’t crowd your salmon too much, you want the air to circulate around them.
- Use Cooking Spray or Brush with Oil: To enhance a nice top, lightly coat the salmon with cooking spray or brush it with a thin layer of oil.
- Place Skin Side Down: Importantly, if your salmon has skin, start cook with the skin side down. This helps to protect the flesh and keeps it moist. It’s going to slide off the skin easily when it’s done cooking.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Air Fryer Basket: Get proper air circulation by arranging the salmon in a single layer without overcrowding. This promotes even cooking.
- Check for Doneness: Salmon cooks quickly in an air fryer, so keep a close eye on it. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C). Use a meat thermometer to check the thickest part of the fillet.
- Finish with a Squeeze of Lemon: A fresh squeeze of lemon juice right before serving adds brightness and complements the natural flavors of the salmon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How long does it take to cook salmon in an air fryer? To clarify, it typically takes about 7-8 minutes at 390°F (190°C), depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet and how cold the salmon is when you start.
- Do I need to preheat the air fryer for salmon? I recommended preheating the air fryer for a few minutes before cooking for more consistent results, but it’s also okay if you don’t.
- Should I marinate the salmon before air frying? This recipe does not focus on marinating, but it can enhance flavor. Check out my recipe for Air Fryer Maple Glazed Salmon if you’re looking for a marinade recipe.
- How do I prevent the salmon from sticking to the air fryer basket? Lightly coat the basket with oil or use parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Is it necessary to flip the salmon during cooking? Flipping is unnecessary.
- Can I use skin-on salmon in the air fryer? Yes, you can. The skin can become crispy and delicious in the air fryer. Place the skin side down for better results.
- Any tips for getting a crispy skin? Pat the salmon skin dry before cooking and brush it with a bit of oil. Cooking at a higher temperature can also help.
- Can I cook multiple salmon fillets at once? Yes, but make sure they are not overcrowded in the air fryer basket. Leave some space for the hot air to circulate for even cooking.
- How do I know if the salmon is cooked perfectly? Use a fork to gently flake the thickest part of the fillet. If it easily flakes and is opaque in the center, it’s done. Be careful not to overcook, as salmon can dry out.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Chickpeas
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
- Air Fryer Fish Nuggets
- Air Fryer Chimichanga
- Air Fryer Chicken
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Perfect Air Fryer Salmon
Air Fryer Salmon:
- 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.2 wild caught salmon fillets with comparable thickness, mine were 1-1/12-inches thick, 2 tsps. teaspoons avocado oil, 2 tsps. paprika, generously seasoned with salt and coarse black 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. Serve with lemon wedges.lemon wedges
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