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Easy Air Fryer Salmon (10 minutes Only!)

Air Fryer Salmon is your new, best way to get the juiciest roasted salmon with a beautiful golden, crispy exterior in just under 10 minutes. The rapid hot air crisps up the salmon fillet without making it dry. This Salmon in the Air Fryer recipe, the Crispy Potatoes, and the Steak Bites were all the reason we needed to grant the air fryer permanent counter space.

Air Fried salmon fillets in the air fryer with spears or asparagus.

The kind of crispiness that can be achieved on the salmon exterior with the air fryer is unmatched by any other way of cooking the fish. The outside gets crispy while the inside remains very juicy and moist.

I love my counters uncluttered and free from any appliances, so when the Air Fryers became all the rage I was very skeptical and hesitant to give the Air Fryer a try. But, with the promise of being able to “fry” without oil, I caved in. After all, who doesn’t love the crispy bits of goodness (think, steak bites, potatoes, salmon, crab cakes, meatballs, chicken wings, homemade french fries) without the guilt that usually comes with eating fried foods?

So what is an Air Fryer and how does it “fry”?

An Air Fryer is a compact, countertop convection oven. The cooking compartment is small, the heating element is large (compared to the cooking space) and the fan that circulates the air is fast. Those three components allow reaching high temperatures quickly, which means that no preheating is required before you can start cooking.

The fast circulating fan allows increasing the cooking temperature while fanning off the extra moisture from the outside surface, which aids in crisping. The Air fryer has all the key ingredients needed for the perfectly crispy “frying”.

Air Fried Salmon fillet on a bed of arugula with flakes of salmon exposing the juicy center.

Crispy Salmon fillet with all the juices and flavor preserved.

How does cooking salmon in the air fryer compare?

There are quite a few ways of cooking salmon. You can bake, pan sear, air fry, sous vide, and even poach it. Here’s why you should use the air fryer instead of all of those other ones.

Cooking salmon in the air fryer is faster and easier than any other method, remember 10 minutes is all you need. There’s minimal cleanup with this method – just throw the air fryer basket in the dishwasher. You’re only heating up a small appliance, instead of the whole oven. And you get the best sear all the while leaving the center juicy and buttery. Need I say more?

Ingredients for Air Fried Salmon and Asparagus laid out on a wooden cutting board.

Salmon and Asparagus is the perfect quick, healthy meal.

So, is an Air Fryer worth it? 

The slick appliance has its pros and cons. We love everything it has to offer. Locking in the juices while crisping up the outside, as it does in this beautiful Air Fried Salmon recipe is our favorite part. But here are the facts, so you can decide for yourself.
Pros:

  • Quick-cooking without heating up the kitchen.
  • Uses less electricity than an oven.
  • Crisp, fried texture without the fat.
  • Healthy alternative to deep-frying.
  • Fast and easy cleanup (most air fryers have a dishwasher safe basket).
  • Could be used as an alternative to an oven in small kitchens/RVs.

Con’s

  • Not being able to cook large quantities.
  • Takes countertop space.
  • Takes lots of space in the dishwasher.
Before and after process shots of cooking the salmon in the air fryer.

Cooking the salmon with plenty of space around allows the hot air to circulate freely around the salmon and thus crisp up better.

How to make Air Fried Salmon

  • Start the air fryer at 400F while you prep the salmon fillets.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of oil over the salmon fillets to help the seasoning stick better.
  • Season the salmon on both sides, patting it down firmly to help it stay on the fillet.
  • Place in the air fryer and cook for 8-10 minutes or until it registers 145F in the center.
  • Add the asparagus about 4 minutes into the cooking of the air fried salmon.
  • Serve with a slice of lemon on top of the salmon.
Step by step process shots of before and after cooking of salmon and asparagus in the air fryer.

Adding asparagus between the fillets of salmon allows you to cook both the protein and the vegetable at the same time, but prevents the sies of the salmon fillet to brown as well as if the salmon was cooked alone.

There you have it, Quick, Easy Salmon in the Air Fryer in under 10 minutes. Doesn’t get easier or more delicious than this. I hope you give it a try!

Two air fried salmon fillets surrounded by asparagus and a lemon wedge in a ceramic baking dish.

Other Air Fryer Recipes you’ll love:

Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Main Course
Keyword: air fryer salmon
Calories: 393 kcal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Air Fryer Salmon Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon fillet 1 serving = 8 oz
  • 1 tsp Johny's seasoning (Note 1) or your favorite fish seasoning
  • 1 tsp neutral-flavored oil
  • 2 slices of lemon

Air Fryer Asparagus

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F as you work on the ingredients.

  2. Cut the salmon into 8 oz fillets. Tuck the thin belly side of the salmon under to create an even thickness fillet for even cooking.

    Drizzle with 1 tsp of oil and 1 tsp of the seasoning (Note 1) and pat it down firmly on both sides. Place the lemon slice on top of the fillet, if desired.

  3. Spray the air fryer with non-stick spray and add the salmon fillets to the air fryer cooking rack, spacing the fillets evenly. Close the air fryer and cook for about 8 minutes to 10 minutes or until the fish registers 145°F in the center of the thickest part of the salmon fillet using an instant-read probe thermometer.

    Add the asparagus with a sprinkling of salt (1/4 tsp salt per 1 lb of asparagus) 4 minutes into the cooking time if desired (Note 2).

  4. Remove to a serving dish and serve while hot with a wedge of lemon.

Recipe Notes

Note 1:
If no prepared seasoning is available, replace it with

  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt (use less if using table salt)
  • 1/4 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/8 (a pinch) of smoked paprika

 

Note 2
Adding the asparagus will slightly hinder the crisping of the salmon on the sides, but does allow you to cook both at the same time, keep this in mind.

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 125mg42%
Sodium 105mg5%
Potassium 1594mg46%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 50g100%
Vitamin A 1832IU37%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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