The Best Way To Cook Salmon Perfectly In An Air Fryer

Salmon is not just a delicious fish but also a powerhouse of nutrients, making it a favorite for health-conscious food enthusiasts. Cooking salmon perfectly in an air fryer can elevate its flavors while retaining its moisture and texture. If you’re looking to achieve that ideal balance of crispy skin and tender flesh, here’s a guide to help you master the art of cooking salmon in an air fryer.

Choosing the Right Salmon

Before diving into the cooking process, selecting the right salmon is crucial. Opt for fresh salmon fillets with firm, shiny flesh. Wild-caught salmon tends to have a richer flavor compared to farm-raised varieties.

Preparing Your Salmon

  1. Thawing: Ensure your salmon fillets are completely thawed if previously frozen. This helps in even cooking.
  2. Seasoning: Keep it simple yet flavorful. A popular choice is a mix of olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs like dill or parsley. You can also add lemon slices or a splash of soy sauce for extra depth.

Preparing Your Air Fryer

  1. Preheating: Preheat your air fryer to around 400°F (200°C) for about 3-5 minutes. This helps in achieving a crispy exterior.

Cooking Process

  1. Placing the Salmon: Place the seasoned salmon fillets skin-side down in the air fryer basket. For optimal results, avoid overcrowding the basket to allow proper air circulation.
  2. Cooking Time: Cook at 400°F (200°C) for 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. As a general rule, calculate about 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of thickness.
  3. Checking for Doneness: Salmon is done when it easily flakes with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Tips for Perfect Salmon

  1. Crispy Skin: To achieve crispy skin, lightly coat the skin with oil and place it skin-side down in the air fryer.
  2. Flavor Variations: Experiment with different seasonings and marinades. A honey garlic glaze or a spicy Cajun rub can add a delightful twist.
  3. Resting: Allow the salmon to rest for a couple of minutes after cooking. This helps in redistributing the juices and ensures a moist texture.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Side Dishes: Serve your air-fried salmon with a side of roasted vegetables, quinoa, or a fresh green salad.
  2. Sauces: Consider pairing with a creamy dill sauce, lemon aioli, or a tangy mango salsa for added flavor.


Cooking salmon perfectly in an air fryer is all about timing and temperature control. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy restaurant-quality salmon at home, packed with flavor and nutrients. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, mastering this technique will surely impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds. So, fire up your air fryer and treat yourself to a delightful salmon dish tonight!


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