Most crockpot recipes call for adding salmon towards the end of the cooking time to prevent it from becoming overcooked and rubbery. But your crockpot can cook salmon to perfection without being added last minute. Here are three cooking methods that allow your slow cooker to take its time cooking salmon to perfection.
Although salmon isn’t traditionally a protein that is slow cooked, poaching salmon in a crockpot is easy and gives great results. Poaching is perfect for those not wanting any added fat and since the fish cooks in water and wine, it remains moist and flavorful. To poach salmon in your slow cooker you will need one cup of water, 1/2 cup dry white wine, one yellow onion slice, one lemon slice, one sprig of fresh dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt and four (six-ounce) salmon fillets. Combine water and wine in the crockpot and heat on high for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 20 minutes or until salmon is opaque and cooked through. While you certainly can remove the skin prior to cooking, I just go ahead and cook my salmon in a crockpot with the skin on and remove it later. Poached salmon is tasty both hot and cold.
Foil Packet Method
While you may be familiar with using foil packets in your oven or on the grill, they work just as well in the crockpot. To cook salmon in a crockpot using a foil packet, lay out a piece of foil twice as big as the salmon fillet. Place a single fillet of salmon on the foil. Season the salmon any way you like on both sides. I then like to top my fish with lemon slices and parsley. Fold the foil over and crimp edges together, creating an airtight packet for the fish. Put all of the packets in the crockpot. It doesn’t matter if they overlap or are stacked on top of each other. Because of the way the crockpot cooks, the packets will all cook evenly. Cook on low for two to four hours or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Use caution when removing the packets from the crockpot as they will be extremely hot.
Cedar Plank Method
Cedar plank cooked salmon has been all the rage for the past few years. This method of cooking imparts a pleasing smoky and slightly woodsy flavor to the fish. Usually, cedar plank cooked salmon is grilled, but you can get great results easily in your crockpot. You will need to make sure you use food grade cedar planks for this recipe. It may also be necessary to cut the planks to fit your crockpot. Soak the plank in water for at least one hour.
To cook salmon in a crockpot using the cedar plank method, rub one pound of salmon on all sides with the spice rub of your choosing. Then drizzle with one tablespoon of honey and top with two sliced limes. Put the fish into a plastic storage bag and refrigerate while cedar plank is soaking, at least one hour. Marinating the fish overnight in the refrigerator will also work well. After soaking time has elapsed, place the wet plank in the bottom of the crockpot. Place salmon directly onto the plank and top with lime slices. Place a piece of foil over the fish and scrunch it down over the fish. Put top on the crockpot and cook on low for two hours or until fish flakes easily with fork.