This air fryer blackened salmon recipe is loaded with bold, vibrant, Cajun goodness. With just the right seasonings, this simple recipe turns an ordinary salmon filet, into extraordinary.
I love the versatility of salmon and all the culinary possibilities it offers. I also love the versatility and simplicity of the air fryer. It does so much more than just “fry” foods. And for a recipe such as this, it’s a match made in heaven.
What is Blackened Salmon?
Blackening is a cooking technique that’s very popular in Cajun cuisine. Blackening is not just about having food with char. It’s about deep colors and deep flavors. Blackened dishes usually have just a bit of heat, but not enough to be overwhelming. The heat from an ingredient such as cayenne is there just to bring out the other other ingredients and create that deep, bold flavor profile.
We’ll start with 6-8oz fresh salmon filets. Our blackened seasoning will consist of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, ground mustard, oregano, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. What I love about this seasoning blend is that you probably already have these ingredients in the pantry or spice rack. They blend perfectly together to create an awesome blackening rub for our salmon.
I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make for your air fryer. The prep is just so simple – combine the ingredients, add a little olive oil to the salmon filets and then generously apply the rub. That’s really it. Preparation is done and ready to go in the air fryer.
Air Fry at 400°(F) for 8-10 minutes
Start by preheating your air fryer at 400°(F) for 5 minutes. This is important as it help to get just a little char on the edges of the salmon. Once the air fryer is preheated, add the salmon filets to the basket or tray (middle tray position), set to “air fry” for 8-10 minutes. For salmon filets smaller than 8oz, it may be a minute or 2 less. For thicker, larger salmon filets, it may need a minute or 2 more. The key is to get an internal temperature of 145°(F). Use an instant read food thermometer to check the thickest part of the salmon for doneness.
Let Rest and Serve
When the salmon is done, remove it to a plate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can this recipe be doubled?
It sure can. Just double all the ingredients. Make sure all the filets will fit comfortably in the air fryer with room around each one.
Can I use frozen salmon filets?
I always recommend using fresh salmon filets for best results. If using frozen, run filets under cold water for a minute to defrost as best possible. They apply the seasoning. Cooking time will be up to 5 minutes more.
How to store?
Store your cooked blackened salmon filets in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen in freezer bags. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags before placing in freezer.