Air Fryer Salmon - Perfectly cooked salmon in just 8 minutes!

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Air Fryer Salmon - Perfectly cooked salmon in just 8 minutes!

Salmon is a quick, easy, and healthy dinner option.

While there are many ways to make salmon, from roasting and grilling it to simply searing it in a skillet, the air fryer is a fantastic option, especially if you're trying to make four servings or less!

The concern with cooking salmon in a deep fryer is that it could overcook. Watch the timer on the fryer and don't put too much heat on the fish as it can dry out quickly.

However, it is one of the easiest and fastest ways to cook delicious salmon for dinner!

Why fry salmon

The deep fryer is a marvel of the modern kitchen. Allows you to cook at a constant high temperature.

The hot air circulates, which means that the fish will cook more evenly.

It will also cook much faster than in the oven or pan because the hot air circulates around the salmon. You will get crispy salmon on the outside, soft and moist!

The best salmon for air frying

You can really use any salmon for this recipe, but I find the 4-5 ounce servings work best. That's pretty much what you want for a serving anyway.

Plus, it's the best size for air to circulate evenly around the salmon, ensuring perfect cooking at the same time.

2 Quick Tips

  • Remove the bones from the salmon. Tweezers are the best tool for this job!
  • Keep the skin of the salmon, which will prevent it from drying out.

Season the salmon

We like a basic seasoning on my salmon: a mix of lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil. This allows the flavor of the fish to really shine through.

You can make any seasoning like:

  • Blackened Cajun seasoning, such as Cajun's Choice
  • Garlic seasoning
  • Light brown sugar and soy sauce topping
  • Dukkah Spice Mix
  • A homemade seasoning for fish

With the skin down or up?

We tried two versions of salmon in the air fryer: one skin side down and one skin up. We like crispy salmon skin so We was hoping that cooking it skin side up would give me that.

It worked - the skin was a bit crispy, but not as crispy as it would be in a hot skillet. Also, the fish got a bit stuck in the fryer basket and was hard to get out.

When cooking skin side down, the skin can get caught in the fryer basket. The skin will be slaughtered for the purpose of making excellent salmon.

But the salmon will be much easier to get out of the fryer. Plus, you get the benefit of the skin acting as insurance against overcooking the fish. Win, win!

Don't want to lose your skin? They do this!

Place the lemon wedges under the salmon in the fryer basket. The lemon will act as a barrier so the salmon skin doesn't stick together.

This tip applies to any fish, but it works especially well with salmon.

Also, spray the inside of the fryer basket with nonstick spray. Nothing should stick and you will find it easier to clean!

Do you want to make a side? Expect!

We have seen recipes that fry vegetables along with the salmon. I don't love this method.

Packing your deep fryer means less air can circulate and can lead to uneven cooking.

It is impossible to guarantee that salmon and vegetables will be done at the same time.

Since it only takes about 8 minutes to cook the salmon, I recommend cooking the vegetables immediately afterward.


  • nonstick spray
  • 4 (4 to 5 ounce) salmon fillets with skin on
  • 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 slices, to decorate


Prepare the fryer basket:

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

Season the salmon:

Place the salmon skin side down on a plate. Drizzle the top (skinless sides) with olive oil and season with lemon pepper, salt, and black pepper.

Air Fried Salmon:

Place the salmon in the fryer basket. Make sure they don't touch. I like to put it skin side down, but skin up is also an option. If desired, place a few lemon wedges under each piece of salmon.

Fry the salmon for about 8 minutes at 350˚F.

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.

Serve the salmon:

Serve salmon with fresh lemon wedges for squeezing on top.

Refrigerate leftover salmon for up to 3 days.

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