- 1 to 2 pounds salmon fillets, skin left on
- Spices, optional
- Sliced lemon, optional
- Sliced aromatic vegetables, like fennel, onions, or celery, optional
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups liquid, like water, broth, wine, beer, cider, or a mix
- 6-quart or larger slow cooker (see Recipe Note for smaller slow cookers)
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil
- Measuring cups and spoons
Cut the salmon into pieces: I usually cut the salmon into large pieces roughly the same size of my slow cooker, staking the smaller piece on top of the larger one. You can also cut them into smaller, individual-serving fillets.
Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper: Be generous! Sprinkle on any other spices you’re using and rub them in with your fingers.
Place aromatics over the bottom of the slow cooker: If you’re using them, place a layer of lemon slices and sliced aromatics on the bottom of the slow cooker. This adds flavor, but isn’t strictly necessary.
Add another layer, if needed: If you’re cooking more salmon than fits in a single layer, you can add a second layer. Place a piece of parchment over the first layer, lay the rest of the salmon over, and top with aromatics. (I don’t recommend adding a third layer.)
Choose your cooking liquid: The liquid helps to poach the salmon gently. It can be as simple as plain water, or as complex as a cup of amber beer with soy sauce and fish sauce mixed in. My standby is half water and half white wine. You’ll need between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
Cook on LOW for 1 to 2 hours: The exact cooking time will vary based on your particular slow cooker, the number and thickness of your fillets, and how “done” you like your salmon. Check the salmon after an hour and continue checking every 20 minutes until it’s done. If you prefer fully cooked salmon, check it with a thermometer in the thickest part — the fish is done when it reaches 145°F.