Air Fryer Salmon

Air fryer salmon cooks quickly and has a slight crust on the outside, but is tender on the inside. With a delicious rub, this salmon recipe can be on your table in 15 minutes!

overhead view of plate with four air fryer salmon portions and lemon wedges

Reasons you'll ♡ air fryer salmon

  • it's cooked through before your oven has even pre-heated
  • my tricks ensure the salmon is not over-cooked and doesn't stick to the air fryer
  • it has a slightly crispy outside with tender, flaky insides...the perfect salmon texture!

Use equal-sized salmon fillets

The only tricky thing about cooking salmon in the air fryer is that it can overcook quickly if you don't pull it out at the right time. For this reason, it's important that you have similar-shaped salmon fillets so that they cook through evenly.

Cook time depends thickness

When experimenting, I found that cook time does not necessarily depend on the weight of the salmon fillet, but rather the thickness. Here's a rough estimate of how the cook times vary based on thickness (but you should still use an instant read thermometer and check yourself)

  • 1 inch or less thick- 5 minutes
  • 1 - 1 ½ inches thick- 7 minutes
  • 1 ½ inches + - up to 9 minutes
  • 110-125°F- medium- rare * what I recommend (TRUST ME carryover cooking will ensure it is not raw in the middle, but flaky and moist)
  • 125-140°F- medium- well
  • 140+ - well done

I found that pulling the salmon out at 110°F, then covering and resting, was perfect for us, as the salmon continues to cook as it rests. At this temperature, it was flaky and tender in the middle.

Use a foil sling

In this recipe, we place a strip of foil underneath the salmon. This makes it easier to remove the salmon from the air fryer, and also prevents it from sticking. Unfortunately, even with spray oil, the salmon stuck to the basket without the sling.

Make sure that your sling does not have long ends as they can blow onto the salmon and stick.

collage image showing how to cook salmon in the air fryer

Step by step directions

  1. Brush salmon with olive oil. This helps the rub stick to the salmon and helps the salmon crisp up slightly in the air fryer.
  2. Mix up a simple rub of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and oregano. You can also add a touch of paprika for color.
  3. Rub the spice mixture all over the salmon, making sure to press it on so it sticks.
  4. Place a narrow foil sling into the basket. You'll want to take the basket fully out of the fryer so it doesn't blow around.
  5. Using tongs, carefully place the salmon onto the sling. Allow space between the salmon fillets and the edge of the basket.
  6. Cook to an internal temperature of 110°F, then carefully remove the salmon from the basket. Cover with a baking dish and allow to rest for 5 minutes, or the time it takes to cook the next batch.
  7. fork flaking into a portion of air fryer salmon
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. ½ teaspoon pepper
  10. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  11. ½ teaspoon onion powder
  12. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  13. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  14. ½ teaspoon paprika

 Instructions

    • Heat air fryer to 390°F or 200°C.
  • Stir together the rub in a small bowl.
  • Brush salmon with olive oil, then sprinkle with the rub. Using your hands, rub the spices all over the salmon, pressing it on gently.
  • Cut a strip of foil 1 inch thick and long enough to cross the air fryer and come up the sides slightly (you don't want long overhangs on the side).
  • Using tongs, place the foil into the air fryer basket. Spray with oil, then place the salmon on the foil.
  • Cook for between 5-7 minutes, and check salmon with an instant read thermometer.
    110-125°F- medium- rare * recommended temperature.
    125-140°F- medium- well
    140+ – well done
  • Remove salmon from the air fryer and place on a clean plate. Cover with a baking dish and rest for 5 minutes

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