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Air Fryer Salmon

Air Fryer Salmon

by Ünal Güler

Salmon is a quick, easy, and healthy dinner option. While there are many ways to make salmon from baking and grilling it to simply searing it in a pan, the air fryer is a fantastic option, especially if you are trying to make four servings or less!

The worry with cooking salmon in an air fryer is that you might overcook it. Watch the timer on the air fryer and don’t blast the fish with too much heat as it can dry out quickly. However, it is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make very delicious salmon for dinner!

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Why Air Fry Salmon

The air fryer is a modern kitchen marvel. It allows you to cook at a high, consistent temperature. It circulates hot air, which means the fish will cook more evenly. It will also cook much faster than in the oven or a skillet because the hot air circulates around the salmon. You’ll get salmon that’s crisp on the outside, tender, and moist!

The Best Salmon for Air Frying

You can truly use any salmon for this recipe, but I find that 4- to 5-ounce portions work best.

Plus, it’s the best size for the air to flow around the salmon evenly, ensuring it cooks perfectly at the same time.

2 Quick Tips 

  1. Remove the pin bones from the salmon. A tweezer is the best tool for this job! 
  2. Keep the skin on the salmon, which will keep it from drying out.

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Season the Salmon 

I like a basic seasoning on my salmon—a mix of lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil. This lets the flavor of the fish really shine.

You could do any seasoning, like: 

  • Cajun blackened seasoning, like Cajun’s Choice
  • Garlic seasoning
  • Light brown sugar and soy sauce glaze
  • Dukkah spice blend
  • A homemade dry rub for fish 

Skin Side Down or Up? 

I tried two versions of air fryer salmon: one with the skin down and one with the skin up. I like crispy salmon skin, so I was hoping that cooking it skin side up would get me that.

Also, the fish got a little stuck to the air fryer basket and was hard to remove.

When you cook it skin side down, the skin may get stuck to the air fryer basket. The skin is going to be sacrificed for the purpose of making excellent salmon. But the salmon will be much easier to remove from the air fryer. Plus, you get the benefit of the skin acting as insurance against overcooking the fish. Win win! 

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Don’t Want to Lose the Skin? Do This! 

Tuck lemon slices under the salmon in the air fryer basket. The lemon will act as a barrier so that the salmon skin doesn’t get stuck. This tip goes for any fish, but it works particularly well with salmon. 

Also, spray the inside of the air fryer basket with nonstick spray. Nothing should stick and you’ll have an easier time with clean up! 

Want to Make a Side? Wait! 

I’ve seen recipes that air fry vegetables alongside the salmon. I don’t love this method. Packing your air fryer means that less air can circulate and can lead to uneven cooking.

  • Air Fryer Crispy Cauliflower
  • Air Fryer Onion Rings
  • Air Fryer Avocado Fries

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

More Ways to Cook Salmon 

  • Hoisin Glazed Baked Salmon
  • Easy Baked Salmon
  • Quick and Easy Jerk Salmon
  • Honey Mustard Baked Salmon
  • Miso Glazed Salmon

Ingredients

  • Nonstick spray

  • 4 (4- to 5-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Method

  1. Prepare the air fryer basket: 

    Lightly spray the inside of the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray.

Drizzle the tops (the skinless sides) with olive oil and season with lemon pepper, salt, and black pepper.

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Air fry the salmon: 

Place the salmon in the air fryer basket. Make sure they aren’t touching. I like to place mine skin-side down, but skin-side up is also an option. If you’d like, place a few lemon slices under each piece of salmon.

Air fry the salmon for about 8 minutes at 350˚F. The salmon is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F to 140˚F when measured with an instant read thermometer. You can cook it longer if you want a slightly more well-done piece.

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Serve the salmon: 

Serve the salmon with fresh lemon wedges for squeezing on top. 

Refrigerate leftover salmon for up to 3 days. 

Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Nutrition Facts (per serving) 372 Calories 21g Fat 16g Carbs 33g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
× Nutrition Facts Servings: 4 Amount per serving Calories 372 % Daily Value* Total Fat 21g 27% Saturated Fat 4g 20% Cholesterol 89mg 30% Sodium 472mg 21% Total Carbohydrate 16g 6% Dietary Fiber 5g 17% Total Sugars 4g Protein 33g Vitamin C 94mg 471% Calcium 68mg 5% Iron 2mg 9% Potassium 783mg 17% *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

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