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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 fully submerged in a flavorful liquid, it remains moist and flavorful.
Foodal recommends Kathy Hunt’s Fish Market: A Cookbook for Selecting and Preparing Seafood
Let different flavors inspire the cooking liquid. You can cook the salmon in a bright and acidic broth of white wine, lemons, and fresh herbs. For another idea, try our recipe for miso-poached salmon fillets. The broth is a savory mix of miso, ginger, scallions, and garlic.
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. I like add a little dill sauce over the top as a final touch.
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 (go here for a grilled recipe – all the way at the bottom), 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 the 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.
If you enjoyed reading about these techniques, you’ll also love learning how to cook salmon in the electric pressure cooker!
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!
26 thoughts on “3 Easy Ways to Prepare Salmon in a Crockpot”
Thanks for the tips. I’ve never tried cooking fish in the crockpot before, but I’m looking to start using it more often so maybe I will have to give this a try. Cedar plank smoking sounds a little scary, but I like the idea of the foil parcels; it’s something that I often do in the over but never thought of trying in the crockpot. For me the main advantage of the crockpot is being able to put it one in advance and let it get on with its business while I get on with mine, so that method fits the bill quite nicely.
I’m on a tight budget though, so maybe will try this with some cheaper white fish before I risk my salmon in there.
Oh my dad will love this! Sending it to him now. Thanks!
Cedar planked salmon, what an interesting idea and process to smoke the fish in a crock pot on a cedar plank. It will be so much fun trying out the above recipes. I am always open to new ideas, especially when I do not have watch the food cook. Thanks, for sharing.
These all look so good! Lovely photos. I had no idea I could cook salmon in my crockpot. I will have to try it this week. I love having salmon and I tend to buy it at least once a week. I always roast it but I’ve been looking for new ways to prepare it. Thanks!
Right? I would have never even thought of one way to make salmon in the Crock Pot, much less three ways! They look wonderful, don’t they?
Also, how could anything with dill sauce not be good? Mmmm. I’ll be trying that recipe as well.
I love salmon, but cooking it in my crock pot is not something that ever occurred to me. I love this recipe. I can hardly wait to cook this! Right now is the perfect time too, as my mom is with me until her place is ready, and she is constantly ‘hungry’ and eats tons and tons of unhealthy food. I am going to finish up here and head to the store in the next hour.
I got a plan!
These are wonderful ideas. I had never thought about putting salmon in my crockpot. We eat a lot of salmon, but we typically broil, grill, or bake ours. It is nice to have some new options for cooking it. I think I will need to thaw some of our wild salmon out and try the poaching method! I always cook my salmon with the skin on.
This is the recipe I needed and didn’t even realize it! My husband and I always pass up salmon at the grocery store because we have no clue how to cook it. This is so great. Thank you. I am saving this and showing him so we can make it ASAP (after heading to the grocery store again haha).
I have never thought about cooking salmon in a crockpot! That is such a strange concept to me! I can see the poached method being really tasty, but I am very nervous about using foil and cedar in my crock pot! It sounds risky. I don’t know if I will try this one, might just stick to broiling my fish.
Wow, I never thought I would ever be able to cook salmon in a slow cooker! I personally use my slow cooker about twice a week and also love to eat salmon every week. Now I finally have a way to combine these. I especially can’t wait to try the method with the cedar plank because it gives salmon a great and different flavor.
Omg I’ve never thought about using foil before. That’s really cool. Whenever I cook something in the crockpot, I usually just throw it in and then forget about it, so I never considered making salmon. Will definitely try this soon. Thanks for the post
I will be honest – I never thought to try and cook salmon in a slow cooker. Your pictures look amazing. I would have assumed the salmon would have come out looking steamed with no color whatsoever but that is not the case. I will for sure be trying the cedar plank method this week. Fingers crossed mine comes out looking just as delicious!
Hmm, I’ve never heard of the cedar plank method before and I’m officially intrigued. I guess I have to find cedar planks that are food grade and soak them; they may have the same problems as wooden chopping blocks. Bacteria might seep into the pores easily and they might prove to be a health hazard to I have to be thorough.
I think you could probably find food grade cedar planks in a Kitchen specialty store such as Williams Sonoma, or Sur La Table. Maybe even on Amazon.
I never considered cooking salmon in the crock pot. However I’m the queen of lazy so if I can possibly throw it in there and forget about it for awhile, I’m very happy. We love salmon. That cedar plank one looks like my favorite. It’s so gourmet but really simple too. I think I’ll have to try that this week (and gives me a reason to go shopping at the kitchen store! 🙂
I already eat a good deal of salmon (since I want omega-3s) but I tend to simply pan-fry it with coconut oil, garlic powder, and some more condiments. I love the result and can have my meal done relatively quickly.
This method works very well for me and is likely to remain the main way I cook it, but I might give cedar planked a try one day. That last image was very persuasive to say the least.
However, I do think I’ll skip on the honey because I avoid sugars like that. I am pretty sure it would still taste and look great even then, right?
I keep telling my husband we need to have fish soon and I’ve been looking for something to make and came across this recipe that looks like it’d be really good. Salmon is good and it falls apart so easily. Maybe it’s just the picture but it looks like it wouldn’t fit in the crock pot. At least the one I’ve got. I’ll be saving this for sure though.
These all sound like great recipe ideas. I had no idea that you could cook salmon in a crockpot, and I definitely never would have thought of poaching it, wrapping it in tinfoil, or cooking it on wet cedar planks if I hadn’t read this blog. I’ll have to try all of them.
I must admit I haven’t had salmon in years. I had a bad first experience with it being a salmon version of lutfisk. The texture didn’t appeal to me at all, and I haven’t tried it since even though I’ve wanted to try it cooked in a different manner for years. What would you recommend for a first time salmon consumer?
I’ve always associated crackpot with meat dishes cooked in delicious sauces. So this is indeed quite an interesting take on how to use crackpot and with fish! Among the three presented here, I’m more curious to try the Cedar Plank Method. While it’s mentioned that this method has been all the rage, I must admit that this is my first time to hear of this. I’m not even sure if I can find Cedar Planks in my country. Pity. 🙁
I have to start out by saying thank you for these recipes! Both my fiance and I love salmon. The only problem is, I never cook it right and it always tastes somewhat dry. I have never thought to try making the salmon in a crockpot before, or cooking any fish in the crockpot. I think I may head to the store and we will be doing salmon for dinner tomorrow night. I like the Cedar Plank recipe, and will be trying this very soon.
Hi Lynn! Thanks for the article! I’ve always been very fond of salmon, but it has always been cooked at another’s hands because I don’t know how to cook it very well. I know it’s actually not complicated, but it tastes better when someone else cooks it. I love the recipe you have included and all the great tips. The salmon look simply delightful, and delicious. The Cedar Plank Method really calls my attention a lot. I had never seen it before, and the finishing results have left me speechless! Wow! I would like to try making it one day.
Of late, my time is increasingly limited and so cooking healthy delicious meals is difficult. I have actually thought of turning to a slow cooker as a means to alleviate this dilemma a bit, but was a bit apprehensive because I believed it would limit the type of meals I could create. After seeing this, I am not so apprehensive and am ready to get a slow cooker just to try this out. I love salmon (I love fish in general) and this seems to be a recipe I would enjoy. Thank you for the tips on cooking it this way.
I’ve cooked salmon in a crockpot before, but only flaked as part of a stew. It never occurred to me to use the crockpot to cook foil packets, far less that you could put a cedar plank in it!
The only problem I can see is that I don’t think my crockpot is large enough for the cedar plank method.It would be at a bit of an angle and even if the fish doesn’t slide off, I don’t think it will cook evenly, and that is a shame because the photos are making me hungry!
I wonder if you can reuse the cedar planks for the salmon? Having pre-cut planks for your crockpot that you could reuse would be awesome. I`m a salmon lover but we rarely get to eat it unless it is on sale. I usually end up with the bland stuff that comes pre-packaged that you have to bake or microwave (shudder). I never thought to use the crockpot, going to try soon!
Doing the foil method, should you be adding some water to the crock pot?