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Salt-Baked Whole Fish

I love salt-baking things. You take an obscene amount of salt and pour it over meat or hearty root vegetables, then bake. After salt-“roasting” beets, I’ve moved on to fish and chicken. I was happy when I discovered that this method works just as well in the slow cooker! You would think that the fish baked in a frightening amount of salt would come out much too salty, but it doesn’t. The salt makes its way through the skin and seasons the fish deeply and thoroughly—and perfectly. Use this method only with whole fish or fish with skin. The skin prevents the meat from becoming overly salty.

Prep time 15 minutes
Serves 6

2 medium whole fish (that will fit in a 6-quart [5.7 liter] slow cooker), like trout, striped bass, or snapper, cleaned and scaled
1 3-pound (1.36 kg) box of kosher salt

1 Line the slow cooker with parchment paper, pressing and creasing the paper to the edge of the pan. It won’t lay completely flat at this point, so don’t worry.

2 Lay the fish in a 6-quart (5.7 liter) slow cooker to size them. Trim off the tail fins if necessary.

3 Pour 1 cup (300 g) of salt in the bottom of the cooker—on top of the parchment. Lay one fish inside the cooker, and cover with 2 cups (600 g) of salt. Lay the other fish inside, overlapping if necessary, and continue to pour salt over both of the fish until they are mostly covered. You’ll probably use about half of the box.

4 Cover and cook on low for 21/2 to 3 hours.

5 Carefully remove the fish from the slow cooker using the edges of the parchment, and transfer it to a large serving platter. Remove the cooked fish from