Air Fryer Salmon – easy and delicious!
Don’t wait to try air fryer salmon! Lightly crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, you love this easy cooking method. Perfect salmon in just 10 minutes.
Why you’ll love it: It’s such a quick way to cook salmon and it turns out great.
How long it takes: 15 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: air fryer
My favorite restaurant serves the best salmon, never overdone or dry, always with just the right amount of crustiness on the outside, and piping hot. Cooking salmon like that can be tricky. I often wondered how they achieve that perfect balance every time. What’s the secret?
My aha! moment came when I used my air fryer to make salmon for the first time. Using an air fryer to cook salmon is the best idea ever. With a delicious glazed, almost caramelized crust, yet perfectly tender and super juicy on the inside, this recipe is a definite winner!
About This Recipe
Every method for cooking salmon has advantages. Often I bake salmon. My toaster oven does a great job and lemon salmon with dill is one of my husband’s favorite meals. I make sheet pan walnut crusted salmon with Brussels sprouts and shallots often because it’s a one pan meal. Grilled salmon in foil is so easy, there’s no dishes to wash, and you don’t have to turn your oven on. Or you can grill salmon, no foil, for a smokier flavor! Slow roasted salmon yields the most tender, almost creamy salmon ever.
BUT if you have an air fryer (and if you don’t, strongly consider buying one!), give air fryer salmon a try. In an air fryer, the hot air circulates rapidly around the food, giving it a nice crispy exterior without any added fat. Plus, it only takes 8-10 minutes.
Interested? Keep reading for more really delicious air fryer recipes. I just know you’ll be very pleased with how your salmon turns out.
I’ll give you the basics here with a few extra tips and ideas. You’ll find the printable recipe card near the end of the post with complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Salmon: The recipe is written for 3 fillets because that’s what fits in my air fryer but it’s easy to adjust. Skin-on or skinless salmon is fine. The skin will separate easily from the flesh once the salmon is cooked.
- Honey: The sugar in honey caramelizes to make a nice crust on the salmon.
- Whole Grain Mustard: You can choose your favorite mustard; Dijon is always a good choice.
- Olive Oil: Just add a smidge so the salmon browns nicely.
- Paprika, Salt & Pepper: Simple seasonings to add lots of flavor!
How To Make This Recipe
Air fryer salmon is super easy to make. Get your air fryer preheating, and stir up a simple honey mustard glaze.
With only a few ingredients, this glaze has loads of flavor and caramelizes as the salmon bakes.
Place the salmon fillets on the rack, sides not touching, and brush on the glaze.
Air fry for 8 to 10 minutes.
That’s it! Can you believe how easy that is? And you’ll love how it turns out every time!
Serve air fryer salmon with stovetop scalloped potatoes or Instant Pot risotto. It goes perfectly with asparagus panzanella salad or bruschetta orzo salad. Try cooked salmon right on a salad or eat it on a bun with lettuce and tomato, or a dollop of creamy coleslaw.
Oh yum, now I’m thinking this salmon would make a great fish taco, with mango slaw. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight!
The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F and that’s what we usually aim for, or a tad bit less. However, there are differing opinions. Some cooks consider 145°F way overdone. They say 120°F is better, with a five to ten minute rest before serving. Experiment and choose whichever temperature you feel comfortable with.
Don’t have an instant read thermometer? Insert the tip of a sharp knife into the thickest part of the salmon. If the flesh looks mostly opaque and flakes easily, it’s done. Perfectly done salmon should be very slightly translucent in the center and easily separates from the skin.
The main point? Try not to overcook salmon because perfectly done salmon is so much better. It’s like the difference between a medium rare steak and a well-done steak. If you’ve tried both, you know what I’m talking about.
No, there’s no need to flip the salmon because it cooks evenly on both sides. The air fryer blows air all around the salmon.
Set the air fryer for 380ºF to 400ºF. Keep in mind that thin fillets cook more quickly than thick fillets.
Thawing frozen salmon
Frozen salmon fillets are so handy to have in your freezer but you may be wondering about the best way to thaw them.
- Thaw overnight in fridge (easiest and best way).
- Submerge frozen salmon (in resealable bag) in cold water for 30-45 minutes.
- Or don’t thaw it at all. Put the frozen fillets in your air fryer basket and proceed with the recipe. You’ll probably need to double the cooking time, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Make It Your Own
- Brush on any glaze you like. I use this Asian inspired soy sauce and brown sugar marinade recipe or I make baked soy glazed salmon. It’s so good! If you love barbecue sauce, try this BBQ salmon. It can easily be made in your air fryer.
- If you prefer a rub, try your favorite rub or this easy to make BBQ rub. My all purpose seasoning works great, too.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Leftover salmon should be wrapped well and stored in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat gently in the microwave or pop it back in the air fryer for a few minutes to reheat. It’s great cold, too.
More air fryer recipes
I’m finding that the more I use my air fryer, the more I like it! Try:
- Breaded air fryer pork chops — you won’t believe how good these are.
- Air fryer chicken nuggets — so much healthier than fast food!
- Air fryer chicken thighs — simple and delicious.
- Air fryer French fries
- Air fryer French toast sticks — so good dipped in maple syrup, my kids can’t get enough of these!
- Air fryer falafel — this vegetarian Middle Eastern treat is so delicious.
- Air fryer Brussels sprouts
- Garlic roasted potatoes — make these in your oven or air fryer.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 3 salmon fillets (6 oz. each), rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon mustard (whole grain or Dijon)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine honey, mustard, olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat air fryer to 400ºF. Place salmon fillets in basket, skin side down, sides not touching.
- Brush fillets with honey mustard mixture, and air fry for 8-10 minutes or until done (I like an internal temperature of 145ºF for salmon, but cook it how you like it!).
- Depending on the size of your air fryer and how many salmon fillets you’re cooking, you may have to air fry them in batches.
- Leftover salmon should be wrapped well and stored in the fridge for up to three days.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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