Frozen Salmon in the air fryer is just about the easiest possible way to make this healthy, Omega-3 packed fish. It’s done in minutes and you’ll never go back to making it any other way.
Salmon is a delicious fish, but it can sometimes be a pain to cook. By using an air fryer, you take out most of the guesswork and clean up. The air fryer not only leaves the salmon flaky, but also cooks the salmon thoroughly, even when cooking air fryer salmon from frozen, in just a couple of minutes.
The combination of herbs and seasonings gives the humble salmon that extra kick. Sugar may sound like a strange addition, but the sweetness brings out the savory flavors of the salmon, and balances out the spice from the paprika.
So even if you haven’t thawed your salmon, you can easily make air fryer frozen salmon and have it turn out perfectly. Just follow this recipe.
Ingredients You Need
Since this is a simple dish, I recommend keeping in all the ingredients as is. After making it the first time, you can adjust the ingredients as you see fit.
- Salmon filets: The salmon you use can be frozen or fresh. If you use frozen, you don’t have to defrost it before putting it in the air fryer, but it’s best to let it defrost a little to get a better texture at the end.
- Brown sugar: For this recipe, light or dark brown sugar can be used. For a stronger flavor, dark brown sugar is better since it has a higher amount of molasses in it.
- Dried dill: Dried dill tastes similar to anise or parsley. It’s best to use dried dill instead of fresh dill, because the flavor is much more concentrated when it’s dried.
- Smoked paprika: Despite its red color, paprika doesn’t add much spice to the salmon. It adds a smoky flavor, so I recommend keeping it in. If you find it spicy, you can take it out.
- Garlic pepper: There are many varieties of garlic pepper, but the simplest is a mix of garlic powder and ground black pepper. It provides a little bit of heat to the salmon without making it spicy.
- Salt: Salt balances out the flavors of the herbs and spices used, and makes the fish juicer. I recommend keeping the salt in, but you can adjust the amount if you prefer more or less salt.
- Air fryer: I use the 5.5-quart Ninja MaxXL basket-style air fryer. Angie uses this 5-quart Cosori Pro LE air fryer. We also both occasionally use the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill that has an air fryer setting.
- Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
- Meat thermometer: The only way to tell if meat is fully cooked to the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer. I use this Instant Read thermometer. It’s so quick to open the basket and check the temp.
How to Make Air Fryer Salmon
Spray the basket, then place fillets, spaced out, in the basket of the air fryer.
Mix the seasonings together in a bowl and use half to season the tops of the fillets. Lightly spray with olive oil.
Cook at 390 degrees for 6 minutes. Turn the salmon over, season the tops, lightly spray, and continue cooking for another 6 minutes.
Check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer to be sure it’s done before taking it out of the basket. It should be at 145 degrees F internal temperature.
If you’re cooking your salmon from fresh, it will only need about 6-8 minutes total cooking time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Fryer Salmon
Can I use fresh salmon instead of frozen?
Yes, you can use fresh or frozen salmon. That’s the joy of this recipe. If cooking from fresh, follow the same steps above, but cook it for about 7-8 minutes, total. You can always cook salmon to your liking, whether that’s on the more rare side or well done, so check on it frequently the first time to make sure it’s how you like it.
Is this recipe meal-prep friendly?
Of course! You can prep multiple pieces of salmon to add to your meal-prep. To store the salmon, place it in an airtight container. It will last up to four days in the refrigerator, so you’ll have plenty of meals prepared.
Do I have to preheat the air fryer?
This depends on what model of air fryer you use. The air fryer’s manual should let you know if preheating is necessary. I have three air fryers and none of them require preheating, so if in question err on the side of not preheating. This recipe doesn’t include preheating time, so if you do preheat, you will likely need to cut down on the cooking time by a minute or two to compensate.
Tips and Notes
- Salmon is done cooking when it reaches 145°F. If you have thicker filets, you may need to increase the cooking time. Always check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer to be sure.
- You can use both skin on and skin off salmon in this recipe. When using skin on, finish cooking with the skin side up for maximum crispiness.
- Make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. This will make it much harder for the salmon to get nice and crispy.
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Frozen Salmon in the Air Fryer
- 4 wild caught salmon filets 5 oz each, frozen or fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Spray the basket, then place fillets, spaced out, in the basket of the air fryer.
- Mix the seasonings together in a bowl and use half to season the tops of the fillets. Lightly spray with olive oil.
- Cook on 390 degrees for 6 minutes. Turn the salmon over, season the tops, lightly spray, and continue cooking for another 6 minutes.
Salmon is done when it reaches 145°F. If your fillets were thicker, you may need to continue cooking for a few additional minutes. Always check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer to be sure.
You can use skin on or skin off salmon. Finish cooking on the skin up side for maximum crispiness.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Laura is a passionate foodie and owner of Air Fry Anytime She is dedicated to sharing delicious recipes and helpful tips for using air fryers at home. With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for healthy, flavorful cooking, Laura has become an expert at using air fryers to create amazing meals that are both nutritious and delicious.