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Air Fryer Salmon

Air fryer salmon is delicious, quick to prepare and cooks in just minutes. This is my favorite way to cook salmon, it is so simple and perfect every time.

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Air fryer salmon with green beans and lemon slices on a white plate.
Air fryer salmon.

How to cook salmon in an air fryer

While salmon is an expensive meal, it’s quick and easy to cook and makes a healthy and filling meal. Salmon is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, making it a great option for a nutritious dinner. And, if you’re looking for an easy way to cook it, try air frying it!

Air frying salmon is a convenient way to prepare it, and the prep for this recipe it easy too. As a bonus it is a really great way to cook salmon to get crispy salmon skin.

Some other recipes you might like to try are: air fryer tilapia, air fryer steak, air fryer chicken breast, air fryer duck breast.

Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer salmon recipe, or read on for all the details!


Fresh salmon fillets or salmon steaks: The difference between salmon fillets and salmon steaks is the way they are cut. Salmon fillets are rectangular fillets cut from the side of the fish, which often have the bones removed, while salmon steaks (also known as salmon cutlets) are cut directly through the fish, and include bones. I usually opt for salmon fillets as I find them easier to prepare (and to eat), and they look neater too!

You can use whichever you prefer for this recipe, though note that salmon steaks tend to be thicker than salmon fillets so the cook times may be a little longer than in the recipe below.

Seasoning: This recipe uses simple kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning. However there are many many options for seasoning salmon that you can use. Try:

  • A simple spice mix of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and salt
  • Press a tablespoon of dukkha on top of the salmon fillets before placing in the air fryer
  • Glaze with teriyaki sauce before air frying
  • Lemon pepper seasoning

Optional oil: a little cooking oil helps to crisp up the skin of the fish. I usually use light olive oil, but you can substitute any cooking oil with a high smoke point. Try avocado oil or vegetable oil.


Step 1: Prepare. Preheat air fryer to 390°F/ 195°C. Pat salmon dry, and remove any remaining pin bones. Season with salt and pepper. Optional step: brush a little cooking oil onto the salmon skin if you want to get it extra crispy.

Step 2: Air fry salmon. Place salmon fillets in the air fryer basket, skin side down. Air fry at 390°F/ 195°C for 8-12 minutes until cooked to your liking. The USDA recommends cooking seafood to at least 145°F/ 63°C.

Raw salmon in air fryer basket.
Place salmon in air fryer basket skin side down.
Cooked salmon in air fryer basket.
Air fry salmon for 8-12 minutes until cooked through and flaky.

Step 3: Rest salmon. Just like with other meats it is important to rest salmon after cooking to allow the juices to reabsorb and keep it juicy. Once the salmon has finished air frying, remove it from the air fryer, place it on a plate and cover with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This is a great opportunity to cook some sides in your air fryer, see below for some suggestions.

How long to cook salmon in an air fryer

Salmon is a delicious option for dinner, but can often be tricky to cook because it can so easily dry out. The most important thing with salmon is to make sure you don’t overcook it.

The exact cook times will depend on a few factors, including the thickness of salmon fillets or steak you have used, and how powerful your air fryer is.

I would recommend cooking it for a shorter time, and then testing the temperature before air frying for an additional 2-3 minutes, before retesting the temperature.

As noted above, the USDA recommends cooking seafood to at least 145°F/ 63°C, so use an instant-read thermometer to check if you have one. You can also check for doneness with a fork – once the salmon flakes easily with a fork the whole way through it is cooked. Just remember to check the thickest part.


For a simple option, serve cooked salmon salad and a freshly cut lemon wedge on the side. Alternatively, try making some fresh dill mayo: Fresh dill mayo: finely chop ½ tablespoon of fresh dill weed and mix with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Some great side dishes that go with salmon are:

Storage and reheating

Store any leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.

To reheat salmon, air fry at 245°F/ 120°C for around 10-12 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F.

Air fryer salmon recipe card

Air fryer salmon with green beans and lemon slices on a white plate.
Yield: 2 Servings

Air Fryer Salmon (fillets or steaks)

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

How to cook salmon in an air fryer.


  • 2 salmon fillets or steaks (approx 6oz/ 170g each)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • Optional - drizzle of light olive oil


  1. Preheat air fryer to 390°F/ 195°C.
  2. Pat salmon fillets dry, remove any remaining pin bones.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Optional step: lightly brush the salmon skin with olive oil.
  5. Place salmon in the air fryer basket, and air fry at 390°F/ 195°C for 8-12 minutes [Note 1], until 145°F/ 63°C in the center of the thickest part.
  6. Remove salmon from the air fryer to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.


  1. Cook times depend on thickness of salmon fillets or steak, and how powerful you air fryer is. Check internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 33g

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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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