I Made Salmon in the Air Fryer and It Couldn’t Have Gone Better     – CNET

I Made Salmon in the Air Fryer and It Couldn’t Have Gone Better – CNET

The air fryer is easily my new favorite kitchen toy. It cooks fast, makes almost no mess and uses less energy than the big oven. My latest air fryer discovery is roasted salmon which takes about 10 minutes from start to finish and comes out perfect every time.

As with most filets of fish, salmon does well with a battering of high heat to give the outer layer a crust without overcooking it through the middle. Air fryers are designed to do just that with super-convection that blows hot air at rapid speeds using a powerful fan to inside a small cooking chamber.

Air fryers only take a couple of minutes to preheat so if you’re making a quick weeknight meal for one or two, cooking salmon in the air fryer is an ace up your sleeve. Air fryers also cost less to run and use less energy than big ovens, and they don’t create an oily mess like searing salmon on the stovetop will.

raw salmon filet on cutting board with ramekin of sauce

A fresh filet and seasonings are all you need to make the perfect air fryer salmon dinner.

David Watsky/CNET

To make perfect salmon in your air fryer, you’ll need olive oil and a sauce or seasoning — that’s about it. Your flavor agent can come in the form of a dry rub or marinade, either store-bought or homemade. You can also keep the recipe simple with salt, pepper, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon over the top. Adaptations of this salmon air fryer recipe can see you through a lot of busy evenings without having to resort to expensive and often unhealthy takeout.

Making salmon in the air fryer takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Here’s how to make a perfect fish filet every time.

For more, see our favorite places to order salmon online and the best air fryers we tested for 2024. If you’re wondering how these trendy and efficient countertop cookers work and which model is best, read my complete guide to air fryers.

Ingredients for air fryer salmon

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parchment paper (optional)

How to make perfect 10-minute salmon in an air fryer

  • Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F on either “air fry” or “roast.”
  • Step 2: Whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce and green onion.
  • Step 4: Pat salmon filet dry and place it in the air fryer on top of parchment paper (paper optional).
  • Step 5: Pour soy sauce mixture over salmon, brush to coat completely.
  • Step 6: Close basket and cook for about 8 minutes, checking with a fork or internal probe for doneness (cook a minute or two more if you prefer your salmon medium well or well done).

salmon cut into revealing medium rare center

Just 8 minutes in the air fryer and you have perfectly medium rare salmon.

David Watsky/CNET

What else can you cook in the air fryer?

It’s become my go-to for roasted chicken, replacing my slow and dirty dish-heavy oven recipe. I recently learned to make juicy air fryer cheeseburgers and sizzle bacon in less than 10 minutes and without dirtying a skillet or sheet pan. 

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David Watsky

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