Perfect Air Fryer Salmon

updated Oct 8, 2020
Perfect Air Fryer Salmon

These salmon fillets cook up perfectly on all sides in minutes, and the resulting salmon is crisp on the outside and juicy and flaky on the inside.

Serves2

Prep15 minutes

Cook7 minutes to 9 minutes

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Perfect air fryer salmon plated with a side salad.
Credit: Photo: Christine Han | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Salmon is one of my family’s favorite weeknight proteins — it’s fast to cook and always comes out flavorful. So when I learned I could pop salmon fillets into my air fryer and they’d cook even faster with even more flavor, I just had to try it!

Thanks to the circulating hot air of the air fryer, these salmon fillets cook up perfectly on all sides in minutes, and the resulting salmon is crisp on the outside and juicy and flaky on the inside. In short, air frying salmon is a fail-proof way to get perfect salmon every single time.

Credit: Photo: Christine Han | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Perfect Salmon Is Minutes Away, Thanks to the Air Fryer

For these air fryer salmon fillets, you’re going to make a little spice rub for the salmon before cooking. I love a combination of smoked paprika and kosher salt, but you can use any dried spices you like. Season the salmon on all sides with the spices, then coat the salmon in a little olive oil for cooking. Asking you to season the protein and then add oil might seem counter-intuitive, but coating the spices in the oil protects them, and helps give the salmon a pan-fried-like exterior.

Pop your salmon fillets into a preheated air fryer, giving them plenty of room, and cook for seven minutes before checking for doneness. One of the great things about air frying is that you can add another minute or two of cooking without much effort. Your goal is lightly browned salmon that is still moist inside (use a fork to peek at the doneness). Serve the salmon immediately after cooking.

Perfect Air Fryer Salmon

These salmon fillets cook up perfectly on all sides in minutes, and the resulting salmon is crisp on the outside and juicy and flaky on the inside.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 7 minutes to 9 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 (6 to 8-ounce)

    skin-on salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 inches thick)

  • 2 teaspoons

    olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat an air fryer for 10 minutes at 390ºF.

  2. Place 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Check 2 salmon fillets for pin bones and remove any missed bones with tweezers or pliers. Season the salmon on all sides with the spice mixture. Drizzle the salmon with 2 teaspoons olive oil and rub to evenly coat.

  3. Place the salmon skin-side down in the air fryer and cook until golden-brown on top and the flesh flakes at the end when gently tested with a fork, 7 to 9 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.