Air fryer salmon is the BEST way to cook salmon that turns out crispy and flaky every single time! Ready in just 6 minutes, a secret trick guarantees perfectly cooked fish every single time.
The Best Air Fryer Salmon
I often use my air fryer for our dinners. They cut the cooking time of our favorite proteins, and honestly, it’s been a game changer.
This air fryer salmon recipe is one to add to your weekly dinner menu. If you’ve been skeptical of cooking salmon well, then this is the method for you (just like our sous vide salmon).
Texture-wise, it is perfectly crispy and flaky. My secret trick to perfectly cooked salmon every single time is to remove it from the air fryer basket a little earlier than usual. You then let the salmon rest for five minutes before serving, and it turns out perfectly flaky every time.
Oh, and it Cooks in just 6 minutes, and the total prep time is under 10 minutes.
No fancy or hard-to-find ingredients for this recipe: You probably have everything in your pantry right this second! Here is what you’ll need:
- Salmon fillets– Skin-on salmon is preferred, as it helps cook it completely.
- Olive oil– Keeps the salmon crispy on the outside but flaky and soft inside.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
- Brown sugar– helps caramelize the fish and gives it a crispy exterior.
- Spices– Smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder enhance the flavor of the fish and gives it a lovely, smokey flavor.
How to cook salmon in the air fryer
Simple is an understatement for air frying salmon. It follows a simple 3-step process, and it is essentially foolproof!
Step 1- Preheat the air fryer
For high-fat fish like salmon, cooking it at a high temperature is key. Preheat your air fryer to 200C/400F and lightly grease the air fryer basket.
Step 2: Season the salmon
Next, add the salmon and olive oil into a small bowl and mix. Add the salt, pepper, and spices, and rub them onto the fish. Ensure all sides of the fish are seasoned.
Step 3- Air fry the salmon
Put the seasoned salmon in the air fryer basket and air fry for 6 minutes.
Remove the salmon from the air fryer basket and serve immediately.
How to know when salmon is cooked?
The best way to check when the salmon is cooked is to check its internal temperature. Once the center of the fish shows an internal temperature of 145F, the fish is cooked.
If you follow my secret trick to the best-cooked salmon, remove it from the air fryer basket once it reaches 135F. You then let it rest for five minutes before serving.
Tips for making salmon in the air fryer
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket so each fillet will cook completely. If needed, cook the salmon in batches.
- Choose salmon fillets of similar size so they cook evenly.
- Do not overcook the salmon, or you risk it being dry. Use a thermometer to check.
What to serve with fried salmon
Like most simply cooked fish, the side dishes to pair it with are endless. Here are a slew of ideas for you to try:
- Salads– Simple and delicious options include coleslaw, cauliflower potato salad, spinach salad, and a green goddess salad.
- Vegetables– Air fried zucchini, buffalo cauliflower, air fryer Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
- Sauces- Try some Asian-inspired sauces like bulgogi sauce, katsu sauce, or eel sauce.
- Potatoes– Baked potatoes, French fries, potato wedges, or even a baked sweet potato.
- Bread– Toasted keto bread, rolls, buns, and even tortillas!
To Store: Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled salmon in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
Reheating: Heat the leftovers gently in a skillet or pan on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
More air fryer seafood recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
The temperature of the air fryer should be set to 200C/400F.
Avoid flipping the salmon in the air fryer, especially if the skin is intact. Salmon can be quite delicate and flipping it risks the fish breaking apart.
You can use frozen salmon directly in the air fryer. Increase the cooking time by two minutes.
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Air Fryer Salmon | Cooks in just 6 minutes!
- In a small bowl, coat the salmon with oil, then add the salt and pepper.
- Mix the remaining sugar and spices and rub over the salmon.
- Add the salmon skin side down to the air fryer basket and air fry at 200C/400F for 6 minutes, or until cooked.
- Remove from the air fryer basket and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
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