Tender, flaky Air Fryer Salmon can be cooked in a matter of minutes. Lightly sweetened with honey and beautiful hints of garlic and ginger, it’s sure to be a new family favorite dish.
Reaching for fish for dinner is one of our sneaky ways to eat healthy and not have to think too much. The seasonings are always simple and easy while the taste is always phenomenal. This salmon, which we made as a full fillet or cut up into chunks, to serve over a bed of rise and veggies is one of our family’s favorite meals next to the Oven Foil Pack Salmon which is just a full recipe in one little envelope.
🍽️ Why This Works
Fast to Make | With very little prep, this air fryer salmon can be hot and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes.
Versatile | You have the option of cooking frozen or fresh salmon as well as with skin or without. It’s easy to customize to fit your needs.
It’s Healthy | Loaded with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, potassium, and protein it’s worth including in your diet.
Flaky | One of the key elements of salmon is nice flaky meat! Cooking it in the air fryer is the perfect way to get moist, tender salmon every time.
Salmon Fillets | Whether you use frozen or fresh, make sure to grab fillets that are similar in size. This allows them to cook evenly in the air fryer. Always start with patting the salmon dry so the seasoning can stick properly.
Brown Sugar | We don’t use a lot of brown sugar, just enough to give it a sweet taste without being overwhelming. If you prefer honey, it’s more than fine to make the swap.
Soy Sauce | While you can use any variety of soy sauce you like, we prefer to use low sodium. It still has the same great flavor but you are getting much less salt in every serving.
Seasonings | You aren’t going to find any easier seasonings to work with! We simply use ginger powder to get a subtle spiciness and garlic powder. Then include a little bit of salt and pepper and it’s good to go. Feel free to play around with the spices to see if there is something else you like.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Air Fryer | Our favorite air fryers are the Power Vortex XL and Ninja. There are many size options available, so choosing an air fryer that fits your family’s needs is a must. Whether you have the Cosori, Cuisinart, Nuwave or GoWise – always check the timing on the machines no matter what recipe you are trying out as they all vary.
Aluminum Foil | Lining the air fryer will make cleanup painless! Plus, it helps confine the sauce to one area. The photos show a disposable aluminum pan which works the same way.
Thermometer | When cooking any kind of meat it’s a great idea to use an instant-read thermometer. It gives you peace of mind that the meat is cooked to the proper temperature.
Step One: Pat dry the salmon fillets using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel.
Step Two: Mix together the soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger powder, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and olive oil to make the sauce. Combine well.
Step Three: Add a layer of aluminum foil to the bottom of the basket. This allows the sauce to gather and the underside of the salmon with soak it up to give you more flavor. Don’t cover the entire bottom of the air fryer as you still want some air flow.
Step Four: Place the salmon in the air fryer and add sauce to each fillet. Make sure to get it on both sides.
Step Five: Cook at 370 degrees for 8 minutes.
Step Six: Transfer the air fryer salmon fillets to a plate and add any leftover sauce on top.
Step Seven: Serve with veggies and rice and enjoy!
There are several different ways to can add some variety to this salmon. Don’t get me wrong, I love the recipe the way that it’s written, but sometimes adding a little extra pizzazz can be fun too. Try these ideas:
- Add some heat! Like things a little spicy? Well, no problem! Simply add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the sauce. Start with a little bit then taste it before adding more. You don’t want it to be overwhelming.
- Play with the sweetness. Yep, go a little wild and swap the brown sugar for pure maple syrup. This is a great option if you eat a diet that doesn’t allow for regular sugar. Plus, it adds a rich flavor to the air fryer salmon.
- Mustard is tasty. Add up to one tablespoon of your favorite mustard to the sauce. Spicy mustard is delicious or you can go with regular.
- Honey Mustard. Take the recipe we made for the oven and apply it to the fryer for a spin on something you may already be making, just quicker.
- Caribbean Jerk Rub. Look for this to have a slight taste of the tropics, especially if you make the fruit salsa topping. Either way, this one is packed with flavor and makes a lot of seasoning mix to put in your cupboard.
The best way to serve this is with a drizzle of any leftover sauce. It’s a delicious way to capture all the flavors of the dish in every bite.
Also, try a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice for a zesty surprise!
We typically serve our fish with a bed of fluffy rice and some roasted or grilled veggies.
❗ Expert Tips
While there are many methods for cooking salmon, we are hooked on using our air fryer. The key is choosing an air fryer that has all the features you need and is the right size for your needs.
While a convection oven essentially uses the same method as an air fryer to cook (circulating air around the food), the larger space slows the cooking process.
An air fryer is smaller and as the air circulates it is much faster, which is why your food cooks quicker.
It’s vital that you never overcrowd the air fryer basket, no matter what you are cooking. If you do, that hot air can’t circulate properly and the result is unevenly cooked food.
When cooking a lot of food, it’s best to work in batches or buy a larger air fryer.
Yes, absolutely! Make sure that you thaw the frozen salmon before you begin. Or you can place the frozen fillet in the air fryer basket and cook for 6-7 minutes at 370 degrees to defrost. Then add the sauce and continue following the recipe.
Yes, and cooking it in the air fryer allows it to get nice and crispy. For best results, cook with the skin side down. It will peel right off when you take it out after cooking.
Salmon needs to be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Don’t cook it a lot past that point or it will become rubbery and not as juicy.
Nothing is better than freshly cooked salmon, but you can actually reheat it! Keep in mind, it might lose some of its texture, but it’s still going to be delicious.
It’s best to reheat it slowly or it will dry out. Place it in your air fryer at 300 degrees for 4-5 minutes. Or heat it in the oven at 300 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until it’s hot.
Farm-raised salmon basically means that they raise it to be sold and eaten. In a controlled environment, the salmon is raised and sold to be processed.
Wild-caught salmon basically means that the salmon is caught in the ocean during the prime months of summer.
You can use either type of salmon, but it might be harder to find wild-caught depending on the season. The flavor of wild-caught is going to be much better, but more often than not, you will pay a heftier price.
Ultimately, wild-caught is a better choice but isn’t always readily available.
If you don’t have a thermometer you can tell that the salmon is done cooking when the meat begins to flake. Plus, the center is going to look done and no longer raw.
Nope, that’s the beauty of using an air fryer. You can simply leave it in there to cook and the air will circulate enough to cook both sides evenly. If it does bother you, can always flip it halfway through cooking, but it’s certainly not required.
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Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer
- 2 6 oz Salmon Fillets
- 1 tbsp Honey
- ½ tsp Olive Oil
- ½ tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Ginger ground
- In a small bowl combine your salt, pepper, honey, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Mix well.
- Taking your two salmon fillets, pat dry your salmon with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Line your air fryer liner with aluminum foil. This will help keep in all of the delicious flavors of the sauce.
- Add your two salmon fillets to your air fryer. Evenly distribute your sauce to each of the fillets on both sides.
- Cook at 370 degrees for 8 minutes.
- Once done cooking, transfer to a plate and spoon out any sauce that your aluminum foil might’ve caught.