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Air Fryer Lemon-Pepper Salmon Jerky

Using an air fryer to make jerky is a pro move for those without a dehydrator.
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Having convenient, good-for-you snacks on hand is a healthy-eating must. One such snack is salmon jerky—a crispy, crunchy, dehydrated version of salmon meat that's high in fat and protein. The trick to making dry fish taste amazing is, of course, spicing it up. We're using things like soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and spices to make this the most craveable version of jerky you've ever tried.

Plus, making your own salmon jerky couldn't be easier! As long as you have a dehydrator or, in our case, an air fryer, you can make this healthy snack with all kinds of meats and vegetables.

When shopping for salmon, look for wild and sustainably caught Alaskan salmon. It is loaded with some of the highest levels of healthy omega 3 fats: DHA and EPA, which are exclusively found in shellfish and fish. Eating omega 3's has been also to sharper brain function, cognition, and memory, and having seafood just once a week is enough to reduce the risk of death by coronary heart disease. Talk about smart snacking!

Here's our easy Lemon-Pepper Salmon Jerky recipe made in an air fryer:

Makes 10 servings


1 3/4 lb filet wild Alaskan salmon, skin on, bones removed
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp mixed whole peppercorns
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt

How to Make It

  1. Freeze salmon for 1 hour.
  2. In the meantime, in a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, peppercorns, lemon zest, liquid smoke, celery seeds, onion and garlic powders, and salt.
  3. Remove the salmon from the freezer and cut it into thin strips (about 1/2 inch), then place in the marinade. Cover and marinate for 1 to 3 hours in the fridge.
  4. Remove strips and place on a plate, patting dry with a paper towel.
  5. Set the air fryer to 180°F (or lowest available temperature), and place the salmon strips in the fryer basket in a single layer. Fry for about 3 hours, flipping over halfway through. Salmon is done when dried all the way through, but slightly chewy.
  6. Store in a cool dry place in a sealed container.

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Carlene Thomas, RDN, LD
Carlene Thomas RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and culinary creator. Read more about Carlene