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The Best Way to Cook Salmon Perfectly in an Air Fryer

Salmon is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, making it a popular choice for health-conscious individuals. When cooked properly, salmon can be tender, flavorful, and downright irresistible. One of the most efficient ways to cook salmon to perfection is by using an air fryer. Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieving perfectly cooked salmon every time.

Selecting the Right Salmon

Before you start cooking, it’s essential to choose the right type of salmon. Opt for fresh, high-quality salmon fillets with vibrant color and firm texture. Wild-caught salmon is generally preferred for its superior taste and nutritional value.

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Preparing the Salmon

  1. Thawing: If your salmon fillets are frozen, ensure they are completely thawed before cooking. Thawing overnight in the refrigerator is the safest method, but you can also use the defrost setting on your microwave for quicker results.
  2. Seasoning: Season the salmon fillets according to your preference. A simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice can enhance the natural flavors of the salmon. Alternatively, you can use marinades or spice rubs for added flavor.

Preheating the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for a few minutes. Preheating helps ensure even cooking and prevents the salmon from sticking to the basket.

Cooking the Salmon

  1. Spraying the Basket: Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil to prevent the salmon from sticking.
  2. Placing the Salmon: Place the seasoned salmon fillets in the air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving some space between each fillet for air circulation.
  3. Cooking Time: Cook the salmon at 375°F (190°C) for about 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. For every inch of thickness, cook for about 6-7 minutes.
  4. Checking for Doneness: To check if the salmon is cooked through, insert a fork into the thickest part of the fillet. The flesh should easily flake apart, and the internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C).

Serving Suggestions

  1. Garnish: Once the salmon is cooked, garnish it with fresh herbs like dill or parsley for a pop of color and flavor.
  2. Side Dishes: Serve the air-fried salmon with your favorite side dishes such as roasted vegetables, steamed rice, or a crisp salad.
  3. Sauces: Enhance the flavor of the salmon by serving it with a sauce or salsa of your choice, such as garlic butter sauce, mango salsa, or tzatziki.


Cooking salmon perfectly in an air fryer is a quick and convenient way to enjoy this nutritious and delicious fish. By following these simple steps, you can achieve tender, flavorful salmon fillets with minimal effort. Experiment with different seasonings and accompaniments to create your perfect air-fried salmon dish. Enjoy!

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