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Easy Air Fryer Salmon Fillet with Crispy Skin

Cooked salmon with skin on. Cooked salmon filet meat side up.


This air fryer salmon fillet recipe has the crispiest skin ever, and will become a favorite in your weeknight dinner rotation. The salmon comes out perfectly cooked—not dry at all—with a delicious skin that crunches like a potato chip! Make this tonight in about 20 minutes, for an easy, no-fail meal.

Cooked salmon filet with skin on.

My family loves salmon for its rich flavor, and firm texture. It’s a great protein option that breaks up the usual chicken and beef we have during the week. Salmon is also so versatile when it comes to the types of seasoning and marinades you can pair with it, and when you cook it with an air fryer, you can literally set it and forget it, allowing you to prep and make your side dishes like this Chinese chicken salad to round out the meal!

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Ingredients & notes

Ingredients for salmon seasoning.

Salmon – I’m using a fresh Atlantic salmon fillet that’s about 1 inch thick. 

Seasoning – You can adjust the seasoning to taste, but the brown sugar adds a bit of sweetness that goes so well with salmon.

Olive oil– the bit of oil helps the seasoning stick on the salmon better, as you will be cooking it skin side up!

Air Fryer – I’ve had my Philips XXL Air fryer for a long time now, and it’s a workhorse and has lots of space. The basket holds up to 3 pounds of food which feeds the whole family easily!

Trivet/air fryer rack – You’re going to need this to help achieve that super crispy salmon skin. I use the trivet that came along with my Instant Pot. This helps to weigh down the salmon skin and prevents it from flying into the air fryer vent.

If you don’t have a trivet, try using 2-3 spoons or forks to keep the salmon skin in place while cooking. 

Instructions

Images on how to make air fryer salmon with skin.

1. Debone and de-scale the salmon filet as needed. Pat completely dry and season the salmon (meat side) with olive oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.

2. Place the salmon into the air fryer, preheated at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, skin side up. Air Fry for 10 minutes. 

3. Once salmon is done cooking, transfer it onto a plate. Use a fork to carefully lift the skin off the filet. The skin comes off really easily once the salmon is cooked. 

4. Place the salmon skin back in the air fryer, place the trivet over it and air fry for an additional 3-4 minutes or until the skin crisps up to your liking. 

Cooked salmon fillet.

Serve with a squeeze of lime and sides like this easy rice cooker turmeric rice!

Pro Tips

  • The only way to truly get crispy skin without overcooking the salmon is to air fry the skin separately after the salmon is done. I’ve tried many attempts and this is the best way to get perfectly cooked salmon with the best crispy skin!
  • Season the skin with a bit of salt after it crisps up.
  • Make sure to weigh down the salmon skin properly, otherwise it will fly into the vent. 
  • No need to add oil to the skin, there’s enough oil on the salmon to help crisp it up. 
  • Make sure the air fryer basket is clean before you cook it. The oil from the salmon skin can cause it to smoke up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you flip salmon in air fryer?

No need to flip the salmon, it will cook through.

How long does salmon take to cook at 400?

For a salmon with the thickest part at 1”, it takes about 10 minutes at 400. Adjust the cooking time according to how thick the fillet is. 

Can you put frozen salmon in an air fryer?

I would not recommend cooking frozen salmon, especially if it’s on the thick side. The edges will burn and dry out before the center thaws and properly cooks. Use fresh or completely thawed salmon, that way it cooks evenly and beautifully.

More Air Fryer recipes you’ll love!

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Cooked salmon with skin.

Easy Air Fryer Salmon Fillet with Crispy Skin

Kaylie

This air fryer salmon recipe has the crispiest skin ever, and will become a favorite in your weeknight dinner rotation. The salmon comes out perfectly cooked—not dry at all—with a delicious skin that crunches like a potato chip! Make this tonight in about 20 minutes, for an easy, no-fail meal.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 25 mins

Course dinner, Main Course

Cuisine American

Servings 3 people

Calories 128 kcal

Instructions 

  • Preheat air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

  • Debone and de-scale the salmon filet as needed. Pat completely dry.

  • Drizzle the salmon (meat side only) with olive oil.

  • Season with brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper.

  • Add the salmon fillet on to the air fryer basket, skin side up.

  • Air Fry for 10 minutes.

  • This step is necessary for extra crispy salmon skin! Remove the salmon and place it onto a plate. Use a fork to carefully lift the skin from the salmon (it should remove easily after the salmon is cooked).

  • Place the salmon skin back into the air fryer, weigh it down with a trivet and air fryer for an additional 3-4 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

  • Serve the salmon with the skin immediately with a side of fresh lemon wedges.

Notes

*Nutritional facts provided are only an estimate, accuracy is not guaranteed.

  • For a salmon with the thickest part at 1”, it takes about 10 minutes at 400. Adjust the cooking time according to how thick the filet is.
  • The only way to truly get crispy skin without overcooking the salmon is to air fry the skin separately after the salmon is done. I’ve tried many attempts and this is the best way to get perfectly cooked salmon with the best crispy skin!
  • When cooking the salmon skin, make sure to weigh it down properly, otherwise it will fly into the vent. Use a trivet or two forks/spoons. 
  • Make sure the air fryer basket is clean before you cook it. The oil from the salmon skin can cause it to smoke up.

Nutrition

Serving: 3peopleCalories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 15gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 422mgPotassium: 393mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 359IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg





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