I recently discovered yet another use for my slow cooker: slow-poaching fish like salmon. This method actually doesn’t take that much longer than poaching fish on the stovetop. But it has several advantages over the stovetop method.
For one thing, you don’t have to pay too much attention to the fish while it’s cooking. You just need to check for doneness once you near the end of cooking time. There are no worries about the liquid evaporating away or the temperature being too high. The slow cooker regulates those things for you.
Also, the fish tasted much more flavorful and moist after being cooked in the slow cooker, for exactly those reasons. The temperature remained stable and didn’t get too hot, which is the primary difficulty when poaching. The fish was well submerged in the liquid and didn’t have a chance to dry out.
Finally, this is a really easy way to put fish on the table more often. And since it only takes about an hour — most of that hands-off time — you can easily prepare this recipe on a weeknight.
Time to make: ~1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup white wine (the same kind you would use for drinking)
- 4 small or 2 large salmon fillets
- 1 slice yellow onion
- 1 slice lemon plus additional lemon slices for serving
- 1 sprig fresh dill
- coarse salt and pepper to taste
Heat the water and wine in the slow cooker on high for 20-30 minutes. Add the fish, onion and lemon slices, dill sprig, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Serve the salmon with additional lemon slices.
Notes: The poached salmon can be served hot or cold. It also makes a good base for salads. I’m sure you can substitute other kinds of fish for the salmon in this recipe. Just vary the cooking time according to the thickness of the fish. My estimate is that it will take about twice as long to cook through in the slow cooker as it would on the stovetop.