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Tips for Preheating Your Air Fryer for Perfect Salmon

When it comes to air frying, achieving the best results often requires more than just popping it in and hitting start — especially when it comes to cooking fresh or frozen salmon. Preheating your air fryer is the most important step that ensures your fish emerges from the basket flawlessly cooked and beautifully whole. 

So, why is preheating so important when cooking salmon in an air fryer? It all comes down to preventing the fish from sticking. No one wants to pry pieces of fish from the bottom of the basket. By preheating the air fryer basket, you create a hot surface that helps to set the proteins in the fish, preventing it from adhering to the metal.

But how does this magic work? It’s all about heat transfer. When you preheat the air fryer, you’re essentially creating a hot surface that provides a barrier between the fish and the metal basket. This barrier helps to sear the surface of the salmon quickly, forming a protective layer that reduces the likelihood of sticking.

Try lining your air fryer basket for easy clean up

lined air fryer basket

In addition to preheating, there are a few extra tips and tricks you can employ to prevent salmon from sticking in the air fryer. Consider lining the basket with air fryer-safe materials. You can try placing a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil underneath the fish to provide an extra layer of protection. You can even buy rimmed liners online that will fit into the basket and prevent any spills when moving the food.

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And don’t forget to pat the salmon dry with paper towels before cooking to remove any excess moisture that could contribute to sticking. Extra moisture on the fish will cause it to steam and stick to the basket too. For delicious results, try our Korean-Style Air Fryer Salmon. 

So, the next time you’re craving perfectly juicy salmon that is quick to clean up and easier to cook, don’t underestimate the power of preheating your air fryer. With this simple step, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a simple weeknight dinner — even down to cooking the vegetable sides in the air fryer. 

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