Air Fryer Salmon
See my guide on how to use an Air Fryer.
This Air Fryer Salmon is moist, succulent and tender with a perfectly seasoned, caramelized crust. It’s one of the best easy salmon recipes!
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
If you haven’t tried cooking salmon in the air fryer, you are missing out! There’s so much to love about this healthy salmon recipe.
- Delicious Spice Rub: The salmon is seasoned with a flavorful rub that caramelizes on the fish as it cooks. It’s a slight variation of my favorite Salmon Seasoning, which would also work well here.
- Perfect Texture: Salmon cooks up perfectly in the air fryer – it’s moist, flaky and tender.
- Short Ingredient List: You’ll need just 4 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, to make this recipe.
- Quick and Easy: Like my Baked Salmon and Grilled Salmon recipes, this air fryer salmon is an easy dinner idea. This recipe takes only 5 minutes of hands-on prep time, and the salmon cooks in the air fryer in about 10 minutes.
How to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer
Here is an overview of how to make this recipe. Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts below.
Combine seasonings. Stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. The brown sugar will caramelize as the salmon cooks, creating a delicious crust on top of the fish. It also adds a touch of sweetness to the salmon rub, which complements the savory, spicy notes of the chili powder.
Season the salmon. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the salmon fillets and gently pat the seasonings onto the fish.
Air fry salmon. Put the salmon fillets, skin side down, in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 400° F for 8-14 minutes, until the salmon is cooked to your liking. The exact cook time depends on the size of the salmon pieces. Thin salmon fillets will cook faster than thick or large fillets.
How to Tell When Salmon is Done
The best way to tell if salmon is done is to use an instant read thermometer. According to the USDA, salmon is done when the internal temperature at the thickest part is 145° F. This is considered well-done. However, many people prefer their salmon cooked to 135° F (medium doneness) for a moister, less firm piece of salmon.
- No preheating needed. You do not need to preheat the air fryer for this recipe.
- Keep the skin on. Cook salmon with the skin on to keep the flesh of the salmon from sticking to the air fryer basket. It is easy to slide the fish right out of the skin after cooking.
- Fillets are best for air frying. It is best to cut the salmon into fillets before air frying because the smaller pieces of salmon cook more evenly.
- Sugar-free option. If you prefer to make salmon without sugar, you can omit the brown sugar from the spice rub and add 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika.
- Cook time. Different air fryers may cook differently, so adjust the cook time as needed.
Can You Cook Frozen Salmon in the Air Fryer?
Yes! First, you will thaw the salmon (before seasoning) in the air fryer. To thaw the salmon, place the frozen salmon fillets in the air fryer and cook at 370° F for 5-7 minutes, until the fish is thawed. Then rub the seasonings onto the tops of the fillets. Air fry at 400° F according to the cook times given in the recipe card below, or until salmon is cooked through.
- Potatoes: Serve the salmon with a Baked Potato, Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Potatoes.
- Vegetables: Try Roasted Vegetables or Sautéed Green Beans. If you are only cooking one or two salmon fillets and have extra room in your air fryer, you can cook a serving of Air Fryer Asparagus or Air Fryer Broccoli alongside the salmon.
- Salad: This air fryer recipe is a perfect way to cook salmon for my Salmon Salad recipe. We also love to serve it with this easy Greek Salad.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
The next time you’re not sure what to make for dinner, give this easy salmon recipe a try. Then leave a comment below to let me know how you liked it!
Air Fryer Salmon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 salmon fillets, skin on, about 6 ounces each
- Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir or whisk until well combined.
- Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the salmon fillets and gently pat it onto the fish.
- Place salmon fillets, skin side down, in a single layer in the air fryer. Air fry salmon at 400° F for 8-14 minutes, or until cooked to your desired doneness. The cook time depends on the size and thickness of the salmon pieces. Very thin pieces may cook faster than 8 minutes and very thick pieces will take longer to cook.
- If you prefer to make salmon without sugar, you can omit the brown sugar from the spice rub and add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.