How to Air Fry Salmon with Skin

Air frying salmon with skin on is a quick, healthy, and delicious way to prepare this nutritious fish. The air fryer crisps the skin beautifully while keeping the inside moist and tender. Here’s how to do it:


  • Salmon fillets, with skin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional: your choice of seasonings (e.g., garlic powder, lemon zest, dill)


1. Preheat the Air Fryer

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (about 204°C). Some models do not require preheating, so adjust according to your air fryer’s instructions.

2. Prepare the Salmon

  • Pat Dry: Use paper towels to pat the salmon fillets dry. This helps achieve a crispy skin.
  • Season: Lightly brush the salmon with olive oil on both sides. Season the skinless side with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings.

3. Place in Air Fryer

  • Arrange the salmon fillets in the air fryer basket, skin-side down. Ensure there’s space between each fillet for air circulation.

4. Cook

  • Cook for about 7-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. There’s no need to flip the salmon during cooking. The salmon is done when it easily flakes with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

5. Serve

  • Carefully remove the salmon from the air fryer. The skin should be crispy, and the flesh should be moist and flaky. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon or your favorite side dishes.

Tips for Perfect Air-Fried Salmon

  • Do Not Overcrowd: Cooking in batches is better than overcrowding the air fryer basket. This ensures the hot air circulates evenly around each fillet, crisping the skin perfectly.
  • Thickness Matters: Adjust cooking time based on the thickness of your salmon fillets. Thicker fillets may need a couple of extra minutes.
  • Skin Side Down: Cooking the salmon skin-side down protects the delicate flesh from direct heat, allowing the skin to become crispy without overcooking the top of the fillet.
  • After Cooking: Let the salmon rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the salmon even more moist.

Cooking salmon with the skin on in an air fryer not only adds a delicious texture contrast but also increases the intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in the skin. Enjoy this simple, healthy method for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion.

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Bubbly Chef author