An air fryer is a fantastically low-lift way to perfectly cook fillets of salmon. We like to use four ounce fillets, which cook a little faster, fit in the basket better, and offer more surface area for the air fryer to work on. That way they get nice and crispy on the outside while staying buttery-tender inside. While the USDA recommends fish be cooked to 145°F, that often leaves salmon dry and overcooked. Many chefs recommend 120-125°F as acceptable—and as long as you're using high-quality wild-caught salmon, we agree.
You can air fry salmon with nothing but a little salt, or you can season it with your favorite marinades or rubs. Here, we've put together a very basic combination of maple syrup, lime juice, and soy sauce, which can be cooked down into a delicious glaze in about 5-10 minutes, while the fish is cooking. It's important to not let the fish marinate for too long or the acid from the lime juice will make the salmon turn mushy, the ideal amount of time is 15 minutes.
lime, zested and juiced
pure maple syrup
(4 oz.) fillets of skin-on wild-caught salmon
- Combine lime zest and juice, maple syrup, and soy sauce in a quart-size zip-top bag.
- Add salmon fillets and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Marinate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat air-fryer for 2 to 3 minutes at 400°F. Remove fillets from bag, reserving liquid, and arrange skin-side up in the basket.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F on an instant-read thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes.
- While salmon cooks, simmer marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over salmon.