In this study, a new device for semi-automated salt-assisted liquid–liquid extraction was designed and coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to determine three aromatic hydrocarbons in aqueous samples. In order to evaluate the performance of the designed device, three aromatic hydrocarbons including 2-naphthol, naphthalene and anthracene were selected as model analytes. Sample solution, extraction solvent and salt solution using separate channels were transferred to a sample holder, respectively. These three components were mixed using a magnetic stirrer. After stirrer stopping, the aqueous and organic phases were separated and organic layer transferred to the injection loop of HPLC system. Optimization process was achieved using response surface methodology by Design-Expert software. A central composite design was used to optimize the main parameters including pH (A), stirrer time (B), organic solvent volume (C) and salt concentration (D). The limit of quantitation for 2-naphthol, naphthalene and anthracene was 15.0, 25.0 and 1.0 ng mL−1, respectively. Under the optimum conditions, obtained recoveries for three analytes were in the range of 76.0–96.2% with relative standard deviation less than 8.2%. The salt-assisted liquid–liquid extraction method using the proposed device has been successfully used for the analysis of real samples containing studied analytes in various matrices.