Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon—Are you looking for an easy and delicious way to cook salmon?

This salmon recipe is simple and takes less than 20 minutes to make. The best part is that the salmon is crispy, juicy, and delicious. Give it a try!

Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon
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Summertime is all about grilling out and enjoying the season’s fresh flavors. But if you’re looking for a healthy and delicious alternative to grilled food, check out the air fryer!

This easy recipe can cook fantastic salmon in your air fryer. The firecracker sauce is packed with flavor and makes this dish irresistible. So give air frying a try and enjoy a hassle-free meal that’s sure to please.

What Is Firecracker Salmon?

Looking for a new way to enjoy salmon? Firecracker salmon might be just the recipe you’re looking for! This dish is easy to make and full of flavor.

This dish will quickly have your family asking for seconds. The Firecracker Salmon features lightly air-fried salmon topped with enough sauce to coat every inch of it well before being air-fried to perfection.

A little spice goes a long way here—meaning you can make this recipe mild or hot as desired, but we recommend going with something closer to the moderate side since kids might be eating these, too!

As the sauce breaks down, the result is a sticky, sweet dish with a trace of spice. This is a fantastic way to air-fry salmon!

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

Prepare for a flavor explosion with Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon, a dish that combines salmon’s rich, oily goodness with a spicy, sweet, and savory marinade. Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients needed to create this tantalizing dish:

Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Salmon Fillets: The show’s star, salmon fillets, provides a rich, buttery canvas for the firecracker sauce. They offer heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a satisfying texture.
  • Lime and Lime Juice: A splash of lime juice adds a bright acidity, cutting through the dish’s richness and balancing the flavors.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: perfectly seasoned the salmon fillet.
  • Butter: Enhances the marinade’s adherence to the salmon and contributes to the crispy exterior of the fish when air-fried.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce, Sriracha, or Hot Sauce provides the “firecracker” element, introducing a vibrant heat that can be adjusted to suit your spice tolerance.
  • Brown Sugar: The molasses notes of brown sugar balance the sauce’s heat and salt, caramelizing beautifully under the air fryer’s heat.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic infuses the dish with an intense, aromatic flavor essential to the firecracker sauce’s character.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: For added heat.

How To Make Firecracker Salmon In Air Fryer

Follow these steps to make a perfectly air-fried firecracker salmon recipe.

Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

Start by placing parchment paper into your air fryer, spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.

Add your lime slices on top of the parchment paper. Season your salmon with salt and black pepper, and place your salmon on top of the limes.

Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

Add the butter, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small mixing bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the sauce over the salmon. Set the salmon in the air fryer, set the temperature to 400 degrees F, and set the air fryer setting to cook for 8-10 minutes. The thickness of the salmon will determine the exact cooking time. For best results, brush your salmon frequently during the cooking process. Remove the salmon when a fork easily flakes it.

Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

Pro Tips

Elevate your Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon with these expert tips to ensure a dish bursting with flavor and cooked to perfection:

  • Selecting Salmon: Choose fresh, skin-on salmon fillets for the best flavor and moisture retention during cooking. Skin-on fillets also tend to hold together better in the air fryer.
  • Marinating Time: Marinate the salmon for at least 30 minutes to infuse it with flavor. For an even deeper flavor, consider marinating it overnight in the refrigerator, but not longer to avoid the fish getting mushy.
  • Balancing Flavors: Adjust the heat of the firecracker sauce to your liking. If you prefer a milder taste, reduce the quantity of sriracha or hot sauce and add more brown sugar to balance the spiciness.
  • Preheating the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer if the model requires it. A hot cooking environment helps sear the salmon’s outside and lock in flavors.
  • Cooking in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to ensure each salmon fillet cooks evenly and gets a nice exterior texture. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Skin Side Down: Start with the skin side down when cooking. This approach initially protects the delicate flesh from direct heat and helps render the skin, making it easier to achieve a crispy finish if desired.
  • Checking for Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the salmon reaches the ideal internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for perfectly cooked, moist, and flaky results.
  • Resting Before Serving: Let salmon rest for a few minutes after cooking. This brief rest period allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a moist and flavorful fillet.
  • Sauce Application: After cooking, brush the salmon with a bit of reserved or extra marinade for an additional layer of flavor.
  • Garnishing: A sprinkle of sesame seeds and finely chopped green onions adds a pop of color and introduces fresh, complementary flavors that enhance the overall dish.
Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon


What makes it “firecracker” salmon? Firecracker salmon is named for its spicy, bold flavor profile, achieved with ingredients like sriracha or hot sauce. It is balanced with sweetness from brown sugar and depth from soy sauce, giving it a fiery kick.

Can I use frozen salmon fillets? Yes, you can use frozen salmon fillets. For the best results, thaw them completely in the refrigerator before marinating and cooking to ensure even cooking and flavor absorption.

How can I adjust the dish’s spiciness? You can adjust the heat by varying the amount of sriracha or hot sauce according to your taste. Start with less if you prefer milder, and add more gradually to reach your desired spice level.

Is it necessary to remove the salmon skin? It’s not required to remove the skin; cooking it skin-side down at first can help keep the salmon moist. Plus, the skin gets crispy and can be very tasty.

What side dishes pair well with firecracker salmon? Light and fresh sides complement firecracker salmon well, such as steamed rice, quinoa, sautéed vegetables, or a crisp green salad to balance the dish’s spiciness.

Can I make the firecracker marinade in advance? Absolutely! Preparing the marinade in advance can save time. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If it thickens, gently reheat it or whisk well before using.

How do I know when the salmon is fully cooked? Salmon is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), appears opaque, and easily flakes with a fork. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Can firecracker salmon be made without an air fryer? Yes, if you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake it in the oven or cook it on a grill. Adjust cooking times accordingly, and ensure the salmon is cooked through.

How do I store and reheat leftovers? Store leftover firecracker salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven to avoid drying out the salmon.

Can the firecracker marinade be used with other proteins? Definitely! The firecracker marinade is versatile and can be used with chicken, shrimp, or even tofu for a delicious twist on your favorite proteins.

Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

Serving Suggestions

Firecracker salmon pairs perfectly with various side dishes, making it the perfect weeknight meal.

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

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Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Looking for an easy and healthy way to cook salmon? You'll love this air fryer firecracker salmon recipe! It's ready in just minutes, and the spicy sauce is absolutely delicious. Plus, it's a great way to get your daily dose of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Give it a try today!
YouTube video


  • 1 pound skin-on salmon
  • 3 large limes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted and melted
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Serve with lime wedges and scallions (diced)


    • Line your air fryer basket with parchment paper
    • Place your lime slices on top of the parchment paper, and then place your salmon on top. Season with salt and black pepper.
    • In a small bowl, add the butter, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes.
    • Brush the mixture ontop of the salmon.
    • Set the salmon on top of the limes, and set the temperature to 400 degrees F, air fryer setting, for 8 to 10 minutes. (The time will depend on the thickness of the salmon) For best results, brush your salmon frequently during the cooking process.
    • Remove the salmon, when you can easily flake it with a fork.
    • Add some sliced limes and diced scallions on top.
    • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


    • Air Fryer
    • Parchment Paper, optional
    • Cooking Spray


    Serving: 1ServingCalories: 430kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 23gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 946mgPotassium: 640mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 848IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg

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    Air Fryer Firecracker Salmon