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Dec 16, 2010 06:29 PM

Extra Large Fish Poacher

I saw another post regarding fish poachers (, but I'm looking for a very big fish poacher. Ideally it would be one that could poach a large, narrow fish like a king salmon 30 inches or longer. I have a 24" poacher, but I have the cut the salmon tail off and then reassemble the big fish after cooking. I took a look at Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma but could not find one that size. Any ideas on where to buy one? Thanks! Ginger

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  1. Ginger9: You might try contacting Dish It Up, a new neighborhood indie shop in Seattle. When I was there browsing last week, I saw a relatively inexpensive SS poacher that I think was larger than 24". Sorry I didn't look closer as to size, but I remember thinking: "Oh, THAT'S a serious poacher for salmon." But kings in the 30" range tend to be so tall through the middle that you may not find any poachers WIDE enough.

    The L.L. Bean Fish & Game Cookbook (1983) says that 30" poachers are available, but gives no source.

    You have a 3-hob spread to put that big boy over? Own shares in a Court-Boullion supplier? LOL, I wanna see photos when you cook that fish!

    Edit: Bingo! Is 39x10x8 inches and 47 Quarts big enough? Bring money---$832

    7 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      kaleokahu, thanks for the leads. I called Dish It Up: the larger one is only 24" but at a great price of $50. The smaller one they have is 19" manufactured by All Clad for $210. The one you found on the Sears website is HUGE and would be perfect except for the $832 price tag! That's out of my budget range for a pot! Any other suggestions?

      1. re: Ginger9

        Hmm...I could have sworn I responded last night.... My recommendation was a bit offbeat but this has been my approach to poaching oversize (any size, actually) salmon for over 15 years - without an expensive fish poacher. Perfect every time:

        1. re: ferret

          ferret: With respect, this sounds like a good trick to STEAM a fish. And/or bake it, depending on whether you have heated drying selected! Funny picture at the linked site, LOL.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            While not a classic poach, it's not steaming. The idea is to create a watertight seal (to avoid contamination and prevent water (or steam) from infiltrating the package. I use a double wrapper of heavy duty foil. The texture is indistinguishable from poaching. A parlor trick, certainly, but one with very impressive results.

            1. re: ferret

              ferret: And a fine parlor trick it is, too. I bet it works well.

              But with respect, poaching is cooking food either partially or completely covered by a liquid which is brought to, and maintained at, a temperature just below the boiling point. The recipe given at the linked site includes no liquid but 2T of lime juice in the packet (the sauce is made separately from different ingredients), and if the foil packet is sealed airtight and watertight--as it should be--there should be no cooking difference between the DW and an oven.

              Perhaps you do some thing different than the author?

              1. re: kaleokahu

                I actually do a whole fish (the article advises against it, possibly because it can't be done on a single cycle) which is why I responded in the first instance. I also use several cut lemons and generous amounts of fresh dill. It does build up a good amount of liquid but I don't add more. So it's neither a true poach nor steaming. However, the end product is very similar to a poached salmon.

        2. re: Ginger9

          Ginger9: If you want a "real" poacher of this size, I think you just have to keep searching out restaurant supply houses. One might have (had for years) one they want to get rid of. Poaching an entire big king fillet can't happen very often, so the demand is probably low. Another suggestion: Call your city's biggest, toniest seafood places/hotels and see if they have one, and if so, ask where they found it. Better chance if you live in Vegas.

          Actually, $832 isn't a bad price. The 18-24" copper ones can easily go for more.

          Is this fish you're doing going to be PRESENTED in the poacher? If not, do you care what it LOOKS like while cooking? If no to both, you can basically poach in any nonreactive pan, box or tray. Like in a large-enough rectangular steam table pan. Some folks with old refrigerators actually poach smaller salmon in their metal meat or produce trays! If you "make do" with something like this, you will need to fanagle: (a) a tray to elevate the fish from the bottom and remove it when done (stout enough for your 25-50 pounds of salmon); and (b) a lid. The latter is easy, you can use a large metal sheet or aluminum foil. The drag about making do in a more square pan is that you have to use much more Court-Boullion, and what you get afterward will not be as rich and/or you will have to reduce it a LOT. If you're not making sauce, no big deal except the larger volume of C-B.

          OK, wild-assed suggestion: $832 will actually buy you a lot of custom metalwork. A fabricator who makes food processing tables, etc., would easily be able to bend+weld you up a narrow, open-topped box and rack. It would be worth asking around for quotes if you plan to do this more than a few times.

          What's next, a custom turbotier for a whole 200-lb halibut?

      2. I've been using my roaster! IT works perfectly.

        1 Reply
        1. re: knet

          knet: You have a +30-inch roaster? I want one.

        2. Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Will call some restaurant supply houses and see what they have! And... I'm not planning to poach a 200 pound halibut anytime soon!

          1. one more possibility: in James Beard's fish cookbook he reports keeping a baby's bathtub for use as a fish poacher for large salmon. We assume an enameled metal pan, not plastic...Not as classy as $800 of hammered copper, but you'd be in good company...Where are you finding a fresh chinook in December??

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