Salmon in the air fryer dry rub style comes out amazing! With a sweet glaze on top cooking fish in a Ninja Foodi or other brand is easy and a healthy dinner you’ll love. Make fresh or frozen salmon air fryer style works too.
Have you tried dry rub salmon in the air fryer yet? I was hesitant at first. It is one of my favorite foods and wasn’t so sure it would come out tender like we love it. It’s mind blowing!! Find this and many other easy air fryer recipes post. (originally published 12/19, affiliate links present)
Ninja Foodi Salmon
OH MY was this a hit at my house the other night. Using our great salmon with dry rub recipe and altering to this method, you too can make amazing fish in a Ninja Foodi or Cosori hot air machine now too. Use any brand you have on your countertop and the directions are just the same.
There is a ton of flavor so no need for sauce after it is done. We have directions for fresh, thawed, and frozen salmon as well. Yes that is totally possible to do without defrosting ahead of time.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:
- My Favorite Air Fryer is a Cosori or for a dual machine, the Foodi.
- You can find more easy air fryer recipes here, we have Ninja Foodi recipes as well; bookmark them both!
Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Salmon
The wonderful thing about this hot air cooking device is dinner is done fast! We don’t just want it done fast though, we want it perfect too.
It does both! I’ve been amazed at just how much I love this method of cooking.
To start with you’ll want to buy a nice fillet of salmon. Fresh is always best but occasionally you might need to buy frozen salmon and defrost it.
Air Fryer Salmon Dry Rub
Get out a plate or cutting board so you can prepare it before placing it inside your air fryer basket. You will want to choose a piece that fits nicely inside your basket depending on how large of a machine you have.
- Salmon fillets
- Brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garlic powder
- Or for seasoning you can use our dry rub ingredients listed below, your own with smoked paprika and garlic salt, or use our salmon dry rub recipe that is sweet and savory.
A bit like our oven fried fish method, you need no oil to cook this either. Since there is no breading it won’t have a crunchy outside texture. The inside will be flaky and tender just as you’d want it.
Before this, our favorite method was this smoked salmon recipe which is still incredible. If we don’t want to wait hours and hours though, this is a close second.
Salmon in the Air Fryer Dry Rub
First you’ll want to make sure your fillet is defrosted and free from any bones. Obvious but let’s take this step by step shall we.
- Mix together the ingredients for your dry rub.
- Lay your fish on a cutting board and season salmon filet well on the side without skin.
Spray the inside of your air fryer basket with non stick olive oil cooking spray so it’s easier to clean later.
- Lay your filet inside and put slices of butter on the top
- Close your drawer and set to 400 degrees for about 13 minutes or until it’s flaky and as done on the inside as you’d like. My husband likes his rather rare while I am closer to well done so cook time will vary.
Remove, slice and enjoy with a side or as is.
Here’s a peek of what air fryer salmon looks like when it’s done to perfection. It needs to stay ultra moist and fork tender when done. Overcooking until it is grey is a tragedy, don’t do it.
How long does it take to cook fish in an air fryer?
Typically if you cook salmon at 400 degrees for 10 minutes it is a good beginning. I suggest checking it at this time. Open basket and spray the fish on the side that is facing up if you want the outside super crispy.
For non breaded fish this step isn’t necessary. If there is no skin on your piece, then flip and cook other side for 7 minutes.
- For this piece there isn’t any flipping involved. Just check for doneness and continue cooking 2 more minutes at a time until it is perfectly cooked.
How do you know when salmon is finished?
Air fryer salmon recipe ideal temp when done is 125 degrees F. It will change from translucent (red or raw) to opaque (pink) as it cooks. After 10 minutes of cooking a whole fillet, check for doneness.
- Take a sharp knife to peek into the thickest part.
If the meat is beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle, it is done. That is what I look for in our best baked salmon recipe too.
- It should not however, look raw.
- If salmon is cooked too long the meat can start to turn grey. (you don’t want that)
The whole process of prepping and cooking will take approximately 30 minutes start to finish. Cooking in an air fryer has been a game changer for us! Healthy fish recipes take just minutes to make, and pork chops in air fryer come out nice and tender every time.
Here are a few questions you might have before you get started on this:
What side dishes go with fish?
Grilled, steamed, or air fryer vegetables. Flaky fish like tilapia, salmon and flounder are probably our favorites. Air fryer baked potatoes always make a great side dish no matter how you prepare them: roasted, fried, or mashed potatoes loaded with toppings are a must for dinner here.
- Butter noodles are on the top of my girls’ list as far as side dishes go.
- Salad and white rice in Instant Pot are a given for almost every meal.
- Add it into tuna casserole! Skip the canned tuna and substitute what you have left over inside this old fashioned favorite of a meal.
The next day rolls around, and you’re left wondering if it’s okay to still eat it. YES. Salmon lasts in the fridge for up to 3 days after it has been cooked.
Of course it has the best texture and taste the very next day but in case you forget about it you can eat it beyond that.
Dry rub ingredients for air fryer salmon include herbs such as dill, thyme, or parsley, as well as spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. You can also add a touch of lemon zest for extra flavor.
How long to cook salmon in Ninja Foodi
You can pressure cook it using our Instant Pot salmon instructions or air fry it using the ones below, this one takes just a while longer. Storing leftover salmon is easy. Just put inside of an airtight container, or we use gallon freezer bags.
Once you have your piece(s) inside make a small opening at the zipper closure and suck the air out. This will ensure it stays as moist as possible in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it.
Use our printable recipe below and let us know what you think in the comments when you make this. I bet it will become a new family favorite like it has for us here. You might make fish lovers out of your kids with this one too! It is just amazing I tell you my friends! Other fish recipes you might like:
- Instant Pot fish and vegetables cooked together is a favorite.
- We have made both air fryer tilapia and Instant Pot tilapia we love this type so much.
- Then try our air fryer fried shrimp another night.
We have a bunch of other air fryer fish recipes here too.
Salmon in Ninja Foodi
Mix seasonings together listed, or use our dry rub recipe. Place fillet on a cutting board, pat dry with paper towels and rub flesh generously seasoning blend. Spray air fryer basket with non stick spray and put piece with skin side down inside. Cut butter into thin slices and put on top evenly across top of fish.
- Close and air fry for 13 – 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until fish is flaky and as done as you desire.
- you can use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature so it doesn’t over-cook
- 125 F is ideal for farm raised and at least 120 F for wild pieces
- Serve air fried salmon with side dish and eat immediately for best texture and taste.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Salmon in the Air Fryer
- Mix seasonings together. Place fillet on a cutting board and rub flesh generously with it.
- Spray air fryer basket with non stick spray and put piece with skin side down inside.
- Cut butter into thin slices and put on top evenly across top of fish.
- Close and air fry for 13-15 minutes at 400 degrees or until fish is flaky and as done as you desire.