Salmon Steaks Air Fryer Recipe : A Comprehensive Guide

salmon steaks air fryer recipe

Salmon steaks are not only delicious, but they are also packed with nutrients and offer numerous health benefits. Cooking salmon steaks in an air fryer is a great way to enjoy this fantastic dish without the need for excessive oil or extensive clean-up. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of preparing salmon steaks in an air fryer, from selection and cleaning to culinary tips and variations. So, let’s dive into the wonderful world of salmon steaks cooked to perfection in an air fryer!

Food Science and Culinary Details

Salmon is a fatty fish that contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and heart health. When cooked, salmon’s fats break down, resulting in a deliciously tender and flavorful piece of fish. The air fryer provides a unique cooking method that enhances the flavor and texture of the salmon steak.

Unlike traditional frying methods that require excessive oil, air frying involves circulating hot air around the food, resulting in a crispy exterior while locking in the natural moisture. The air fryer also minimizes the risk of overcooking, allowing you to achieve the perfect doneness without drying out the salmon.

Selection and Cleaning

When selecting salmon steaks, opt for fresh or high-quality frozen salmon. Look for vibrant, firm flesh with a shiny appearance. Avoid any fillets that appear discolored, dull, or have a strong fishy odor. The thickness of the salmon steak should be uniform to ensure even cooking.

Before cooking, it is essential to clean the salmon thoroughly. Rinse the steaks under cold water to remove any remaining scales or residue. Pat them dry gently with paper towels to ensure that excess moisture is absorbed, allowing the seasonings to adhere better to the surface.

Preparation and Seasoning

salmon steaks

Preparing the salmon steaks for the air fryer is simple yet crucial for a delicious result. Start by preheating your air fryer to the desired temperature, usually around 400°F (200°C). While the air fryer is preheating, brush the salmon steaks with a thin layer of olive oil or your preferred cooking oil. This will help create a crispy crust and prevent sticking.

Now, it’s time to season the salmon. The options are endless, but one classic combination is a simple mixture of salt, pepper, and minced garlic. You can also experiment with various herbs and spices such as dill, lemon zest, paprika, or even a hint of cayenne for some heat. Ensure that the seasoning is evenly distributed on both sides of the salmon steaks, gently pressing it onto the surface.

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Tips for Perfect Salmon Steaks

salmon steaks

Cooking salmon steaks in an air fryer requires attention to detail and a few tips for achieving the perfect outcome:

  1. Avoid overcrowding: Arrange the salmon steaks in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring some space between them. This allows the hot air to circulate around each steak, resulting in even cooking.

  2. Monitor cooking time: Salmon steaks can be cooked to various degrees of doneness, depending on your preference. It is important to keep an eye on the cooking time, as overcooking can result in dry fish. As a general guideline, aim for approximately 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness.

  3. Flip halfway through: To ensure thorough cooking, gently flip the salmon steaks halfway through the cooking time. Use a spatula or tongs to avoid damaging the delicate flesh.

  4. Test for doneness: Use a fork to check the doneness of the salmon. When the fish is cooked correctly, it will easily flake with gentle pressure. Additionally, the internal temperature of the salmon should reach 145°F (63°C).

Variations and Creative Additions

close up view of air fried salmon steaks

While a simple seasoning can be delightful, feel free to explore various flavor combinations to elevate your salmon steaks. Here are some variations to consider:

Honey Mustard Glaze

Combine honey, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and a splash of lemon juice in a small bowl. Baste the salmon steaks with this glaze before cooking for a tangy and slightly sweet taste.

Teriyaki Marinade

Marinate the salmon steaks in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil for at least 30 minutes before air frying. This will infuse the fish with a delightful sweet and savory flavor.

Pesto Crust

Spread a layer of store-bought or homemade pesto over the seasoned salmon steaks before air frying. The aromatic herbs and garlic in the pesto will create a flavorful crust that enhances the natural taste of the fish.

Recipe: Air Fried Salmon Steaks

close up view of air fried salmon steaks

Now that you have an understanding of the culinary details and preparation tips, let’s dive into a basic recipe for air fried salmon steaks. This recipe will serve two people and can be easily adjusted to accommodate a larger or smaller serving size.

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  • 2 salmon steaks (~6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Additional seasonings or variations, if desired


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).

  2. Rinse the salmon steaks under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.

  3. Brush each side of the salmon steaks with olive oil, ensuring an even coating.

  4. Season the salmon steaks with salt, pepper, and any additional desired seasonings or variations.

  5. Place the seasoned salmon steaks in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving space between them for proper air circulation.

  6. Air fry the salmon steaks for approximately 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness, flipping them halfway through the cooking time using a spatula or tongs.

  7. Test for doneness by gently flaking the salmon with a fork. It should easily separate into large, moist flakes. Additionally, ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).

  8. Once cooked to perfection, transfer the salmon steaks to a plate and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serve the air fried salmon steaks hot with a side of your choice, such as roasted vegetables, quinoa, or a fresh salad.


Cooking salmon steaks in an air fryer opens up a world of flavorful and healthy possibilities. The unique cooking method of the air fryer allows you to achieve a crispy exterior while maintaining the natural moisture and tenderness of the fish. By following the selection, cleaning, preparation, and cooking tips provided in this article, you can confidently create delicious salmon steaks that will impress your family and friends. So, fire up your air fryer and get ready to indulge in a delightful meal that is both nutritious and satisfying!

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  • FAQS On Salmon Steaks Air Fryer Recipe

    What Are The Health Benefits Of Cooking Salmon In An Air Fryer?

    Cooking salmon in an air fryer reduces the amount of oil needed and makes it a healthier option. It also helps to preserve the nutrients and flavor of the fish.

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    Can I Use Frozen Salmon Steaks In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, frozen salmon steaks can be cooked in an air fryer. However, it may take longer and you may need to adjust the cooking time.

    How Do I Prevent The Salmon From Drying Out In The Air Fryer?

    To prevent the salmon from drying out, make sure to coat it with a small amount of oil, lemon juice, or a marinade before cooking. You can also add a few tablespoons of water to the air fryer basket to create steam and keep the fish moist.

    What Is The Recommended Cooking Time And Temperature For Salmon Steaks In An Air Fryer?

    The recommended cooking time for salmon steaks in an air fryer is around 10-12 minutes at a temperature of 375°F (190°C). However, the exact time and temperature may vary based on the thickness of the salmon and the type of air fryer you are using.

    Can I Use Foil Or Parchment Paper In The Air Fryer When Cooking Salmon?

    It is not recommended to use foil or parchment paper in an air fryer as it can interfere with the air circulation and affect the cooking process. Instead, you can use a non-stick cooking spray or line the air fryer basket with silicone mats.

    What Are Some Recommended Seasonings And Toppings For Salmon Steaks In An Air Fryer?

    Some popular seasonings for salmon steaks include garlic powder, lemon pepper, and dill. You can also top the salmon with a mixture of butter, garlic, and lemon juice before air frying for added flavor.

    Can I Cook Other Types Of Fish In An Air Fryer Using This Recipe?

    Yes, you can use this recipe to cook other types of fish, such as tilapia or cod, in an air fryer. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature according to the type and thickness of the fish.