Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish. It’s available almost year-round and brings wonderful flavor and texture to any meal.
The best part is that it is also a heart-healthy choice, packed with Omega-3s, protein, Vitamin B, potassium, and selenium. Cooking in the air fryer only enhances its health benefits and flavor profile.
When I first got my air fryer, I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to cook in it. A quick trip to the grocery store sealed the deal. They had a special on wild sockeye salmon, flash frozen from Alaskan waters. Perfect way to try it out.
Now, I will say that my first attempt at cooking salmon in the air fryer wasn’t perfect. I miscalculated the time it took to cook and the salmon came out a bit overdone. However, even overdone, the flavor and texture of that sockeye salmon saved the day. It inspired me to explore more recipes to try in the air fryer.
After a few trials and a few more errors, I discovered the right combination of ingredients and the perfect cooking time. Partially cooking the salmon ensures the meat gets done without overcooking the sauce, which you add part way into the cooking cycle. The end result is a mouthwatering explosion of sweet and savory salmon, with a perfectly cooked texture.
What Makes A Good Salmon Recipe
Salmon is almost universally acclaimed as a heart-healthy, flavorful choice of fish. A good recipe for salmon is going to start with selecting the best fish possible.
The salmon sold in U.S. grocery stores are either from the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. Common types of Pacific salmon include sockeye, pink, and Chinook. There’s only one type of salmon from the Atlantic, known as Atlantic salmon. Salmon can be caught in the wild or farm raised. Most salmon from the Pacific are caught in the wild, though some are farm raised. Almost all Atlantic salmon is farm raised because of depleted wild populations.
Which type of salmon is best is a matter of debate. Wild-caught salmon tends to be leaner than farm raised ones. Farm raising salmon, especially species which are endangered, is often more sustainable than depleting wild populations.
One of the hallmarks of a good salmon recipe is one that preserves the flavor and texture of the meat. That’s why many recipes call for flavoring and cooking the fillets intact.
How To Make The Best Air Fryer Salmon
I’m not a big fan of air frying meat frozen. Make sure the salmon fillets are unfrozen. I normally buy salmon fresh so I never have to cook them frozen. However, if yours are frozen I suggest adding a few minutes into the cooking time.
I’m using the Power Airfryer Oven which comes with wire rack trays(see second picture). This is nice since it allows the salmon to crisp on both sides without having to flip it. Most smaller air fryers do not have this, so I suggest you flip the fillets halfway through cooking time.
Also, the skin side of the salmon fillets tends to stick on the bottom of the cooking basket. Spray some cooking oil into the cooking basket before cooking. This should help avoid too much sticking.
Air Fryer Salmon
Try this honey roasted air fryer salmon.
- 2 pieces Salmon Fillets
- pinch Salt & Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1/3 cup Sweet Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Orange Juice
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Rub a generous amount of olive oil on each salmon fillet.
Season each fillet with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the salmon fillets into the air fryer.
Air fry the fillets at 330F for 12 minutes.
As the salmon cooks, combine the rest of the ingredients in a sauce pan and place it over low heat.
Cook sauce for 15 minutes to reduce it.
When the salmon fillets are done, take them out and brush the reduced sauce over the top.
Place the fillets back in the air fryer for 10 more minutes at 330F.
Remove fillets from air fryer, cover with foil, and let them rest at least 10 minutes before serving.