How Long to Cook Salmon in an Air Fryer
Salmon is a delicious and healthy fish that can be cooked in a variety of ways. And one of the easiest ways is to use your air fryer. Cooking salmon in the air fryer is not only quick and easy, but also results in a delicious and healthy meal in under 15 minutes! This Ninja Foodi Salmon is tender and flaky on the inside with a flavorful crusty exterior.
I cannot sing the praises of salmon enough. It is naturally gluten-free and low-carb (if you are into that sort of thing) but more importantly, it is rich in potassium, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids which promote brain and heart health. And… it tastes amazing!
If you think that you don’t like salmon, chances are you’ve never had it cooked properly. Use your favorite seasoning blend to make it your own and then give this method a try. I think you will be a convert.
I like to use skin-on filets when cooking salmon in the air fryer. The skin has a dual purpose. Not only does it get crispy and delightful, but it also helps to hold the delicate fillets together while cooking. The result is a restaurant-quality dish at a fraction of the cost.
Let’s Gather Up the Ingredients
- Skin-on salmon filets– Try to choose filets that are similar in thickness to ensure that they cook evenly. Salmon should be vibrant in color and shouldn’t smell “fishy”, but more like a salty ocean breeze.
- Seasoning blend of your choice– Salmon is versatile and pairs well with a number of different seasoning blends. Cajun seasoning, Herbs de Provence, or a southwestern blend would all be good choices depending on what you want to serve with it. Or keep it simple with a combination of salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and garlic powder like I’m using here.
- Extra virgin olive oil– Brush on the outside of the fish to give the seasoning something to adhere to and make it crispy.
- Fresh lemon– Lemon cuts through some of the fattiness of the fish and adds an acidic brightness to the final product. Lemon and fish are a match made in heaven!
- Fresh herbs– Anything you happen to have growing in your garden or that catches your eye at the grocery store. They add color and freshness as well as incredible flavor without adding any extra calories.
Now Let’s Get Cooking
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
Brush the top of your salmon filets with olive oil. Season well with your favorite seasoning blend. I used garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Place the filets, skin side down, into the basket of your air fryer. Cook for 8-10 minutes. After 5 minutes, check the doneness by gently pressing down on the top of the fillet with a fork or your finger. If the flesh of the salmon flakes—meaning, it separates easily along the white lines that run across the fillet, it’s finished cooking. If not, close the lid and continue to cook. Check every two minutes until it is done.
Turn off the air fryer and remove the filets. You want your salmon to be medium. If you overcook it, the results will be dry and chalky.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t have a Ninja Foodi? Well, first off, you should get one! This appliance is awesome. Pressure cook, slow cook, and air fry all with one appliance but, any brand of air fryer will work for this method.
How will I know when the salmon is done? According to an article in Bon Appetite, the easiest way to see if your salmon has finished cooking is to gently press down on the top of the fillet with a fork or your finger. If the flesh of the salmon flakes—meaning, it separates easily along the white lines that run across the fillet, it’s finished cooking. You want your salmon to be medium. If you overcook it, the results will be dry and chalky.
Does salmon need to be flipped in an air fryer? Salmon does not need to be flipped in the air fryer. Cook it skin-side down and brush the top with olive oil, this will give the spices something to adhere to and make the outside crispy!
How long should you cook salmon in an air fryer? This will depend on the thickness of your filets. The thinner the fish, the less time you will need to cook it. 8-10 minutes at 400°F is a good rule of thumb.
How do I keep salmon from drying out in the air fryer? Preheat your air fryer for several minutes before cooking. This is an important step when using your Ninja Foodi. Preheating allows the cooking surface to heat up, causing the outside of the salmon to sear while the inside cooks – resulting in a crispy skin with a moist interior. Remember DO NOT overcook it. Salmon is safe to eat at medium.
I can’t wait for you guys to try this method for cooking salmon. It’s quick and easy and after you’ve tried it, I think it will be your new favorite way to cook salmon for your family too!
If you decide to try this method for cooking salmon in the air fryer, please be sure to give it a rating and let me know how yours turned out. I love hearing your feedback and I will do my best to answer any questions you have as quickly as I can.
As always, I will be back next week with more delicious recipes from my RV kitchen to yours!
Ninja Foodi Salmon
- 4 Fresh skin on salmon filets
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1½ Teaspoon Pepper
- Lemon wdges for serving
- Fresh herbs
- Preheat air fryer to 400°
- Brush salmon filets with olive oil
- Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- Place the filets, skin side down, into the basket of your air fryer. Cook for 8-10 minutes. After 5 minutes, check the doneness by gently pressing down on the top of the fillet with a fork or your finger. If the flesh of the salmon flakes—meaning, it separates easily along the white lines that run across the fillet, it's finished cooking. If not, close the lid and continue to cook. Check every two minutes until it is done.
- Remove the salmon form the air fryer, give it a squeeze of lemon and then sprinkle it with fresh herbs.