Baked Salmon Air Fryer Recipe: A Flavorful And Healthy Delight

baked salmon air fryer recipe

In recent years, air fryers have taken the culinary world by storm, revolutionizing the way we cook our favorite dishes. Among the multitude of recipes that can be prepared using these versatile appliances, the baked salmon has become a go-to option for those seeking a tasty and wholesome meal. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the science behind cooking salmon in an air fryer, explore culinary details that enhance its flavors, provide tips for selection, cleaning, and preparation, suggest variations to suit different taste preferences, and share a mouthwatering recipe to bring this delightful dish to your table.

The Science of Cooking Salmon in an Air Fryer

Salmon is not only a delicious fish but also a nutritional powerhouse. Its high content of omega-3 fatty acids makes it a fantastic choice for promoting heart health and reducing inflammation. When cooked just right, salmon achieves a tender and flaky texture while maintaining its succulent flavors. The air fryer, with its rapid circulation of hot air, offers a unique cooking method that helps to preserve the natural moisture of the fish, creating a beautifully cooked dish.

Culinary Details: Choosing the Perfect Salmon

Before diving into the cooking process, it is crucial to select the right salmon fillet for your recipe. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Freshness: Look for fillets that have a vibrant color, ranging from deep pink to orange. Avoid any with a dull or gray appearance.
  2. Smell: The fish should have a mild, fresh sea-like scent. If it smells overly fishy or unpleasant, it might be old or spoiled.
  3. Texture: Choose fillets that are firm and spring back when pressed gently, indicating freshness.

Salmon can be purchased as wild-caught or farm-raised. While both options have their merits, many people prefer wild-caught salmon for its robust flavor and texture. Whichever type you choose, ensure that it is sustainably sourced to support responsible fishing practices.

Cleaning and Preparing the Salmon

baked salmon

Once you have selected the perfect fillet, follow these steps to properly clean and prepare it for air frying:

  1. Rinse: Give the salmon fillet a gentle rinse under cool water to remove any residual scales or debris.
  2. Pat Dry: Use a paper towel to pat the fillet dry, absorbing excess moisture. This step ensures better browning and crispness.
  3. Skin-on or Skinless: Decide whether you prefer your salmon with the skin intact or removed. Leaving the skin on can help to lock in moisture while cooking.
  4. Seasoning: Sprinkle your choice of seasonings on both sides of the fillet. Options include salt, black pepper, garlic powder, or a squeeze of lemon juice for a zesty twist.
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Top Tips for Air Frying Success

baked salmon

To optimize the cooking process and achieve a delightful outcome, keep these tips in mind:

  • Preheat for Perfection: Always preheat your air fryer before placing the salmon inside. This ensures even cooking and prevents sticking.
  • Don’t Crowd: Give each fillet breathing space by arranging them in a single layer. Crowding can hinder proper air circulation and result in uneven cooking.
  • Oil It Up: Lightly coat the salmon with cooking oil, such as olive or avocado oil, to enhance the browning and add a hint of richness to the dish.
  • Flip It Right: For skin-on fillets, start by placing the salmon skin-side down to allow for crispy skin. Flip it halfway through the cooking time for even browning.
  • Check for Doneness: Test the salmon’s doneness by inserting a fork or thermometer into the thickest part. It should flake easily and register an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Exploring Delicious Variations

close up view of air fried baked salmon

While baked salmon is already a delight on its own, you can experiment with different flavors by trying these variations:

  1. Herb-Crusted Salmon: Coat the fillet with a mixture of chopped herbs like dill, parsley, and thyme, combined with breadcrumbs or crushed nuts for an added crunch.
  2. Asian Glazed Salmon: Prepare a glaze using soy sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic. Brush it onto the salmon before air frying for a savory and sweet twist.
  3. Cajun Spiced Salmon: Rub a blend of Cajun spices onto the fillet, incorporating paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder for a bold and fiery flavor.

Feel free to get creative and tailor the recipe to your preferences. Explore different combinations and seasonings to discover your favorite way of enjoying this delicious fish.

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Baked Salmon Air Fryer Recipe

close up view of air fried baked salmon

Now that we have covered the essentials, let’s dive into the recipe for a mouthwatering baked salmon cooked to perfection in an air fryer.


  • 2 salmon fillets (6-8 oz each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lemon, sliced (optional for garnish)
  • Fresh dill or parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse the salmon fillets under cool water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  3. Place the fillets on a plate and drizzle both sides with olive oil, ensuring even coverage.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the salt, black pepper, and garlic powder together, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over both sides of the fillets, gently pressing the seasonings into the flesh.
  5. Once the air fryer is preheated, carefully place the seasoned salmon fillets inside in a single layer, ensuring they are not touching.
  6. Cook the salmon for about 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Flip them halfway through cooking for even browning.
  7. To check for doneness, insert a fork or thermometer into the thickest part of the fillet. The salmon should flake easily and register an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
  8. Once cooked, carefully remove the fillets from the air fryer and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  9. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley, and if desired, serve with lemon slices for an extra burst of citrus flavor.


Cooking baked salmon in an air fryer offers a convenient and healthy option for those seeking a flavorful meal packed with nutrients. By understanding the science behind air frying, selecting the perfect salmon fillet, and following our culinary tips and recipe, you can effortlessly prepare a delicious dish that will impress your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied. So, fire up your air fryer, grab some fresh salmon, and embark on a culinary journey that will surely elevate your cooking skills and your dining experience. Enjoy!

  • Baked Salmon – The Kitchen Community
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    FAQS On Baked Salmon Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is An Air Fryer?

    An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air circulation to cook food, resulting in a crispy texture similar to deep frying, but with significantly less oil.

    How Does An Air Fryer Work?

    Instead of using oil to fry food, an air fryer utilizes a heating element and a powerful fan to circulate hot air around the food, producing a crisp and golden exterior.

    Can I Cook Salmon In An Air Fryer?

    Absolutely! An air fryer is an excellent tool for cooking salmon. It can produce a deliciously crispy exterior while ensuring the inside remains moist and tender.

    What Is The Cooking Time For Baked Salmon In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time for baked salmon in an air fryer can vary depending on the thickness of the fillets. Typically, it takes around 10-15 minutes at 400°F (200°C) for perfectly cooked salmon.

    Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer Before Cooking Salmon?

    It is recommended to preheat the air fryer before cooking salmon. Preheating helps to ensure that the salmon cooks evenly and achieves that desirable crispiness on the outside.

    What Are Some Seasonings Or Marinades I Can Use For My Baked Salmon In The Air Fryer?

    You can season your salmon with a variety of herbs and spices like dill, garlic powder, lemon zest, paprika, or even a teriyaki marinade for added flavor. Feel free to experiment and find a flavor combination that suits your taste.

    Can I Use Frozen Salmon In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can use frozen salmon in the air fryer. However, ensure that you thaw the salmon thoroughly before cooking and adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure it reaches the recommended internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).