Butter Poached Canadian Salmon

 Butter Poached Canadian Salmon

I recently had the good fortune of being invited to be the guest chef on a trip to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada with the West Coast Fishing Club thanks to a referral from my friend Tuffy Stone. Derek of the WCFC invited my wife and I and we were lucky enough to catch some beautiful chinook (king) and coho (silver) salmon as well as enormous halibut and lingcod. The scenery was 2nd to none with humpback and orca (Killer) whale sightings, bald eagles, sea lions & seals. Such an amazing trip to what felt like an untouched part of the world.

West Coast Fishing Club

I could not wait to come home and get to work in my outdoor kitchen preparing some of this amazing fish that we caught.

West Coast Fishing Club

I'm always looking to learn new cooking techniques, so I worked with Blaine, the executive chef at The Clubhouse in Haida Gwaii, on a new take on salmon. He recommended I sear the skin then butter poach the salmon. If you don't care for the skin you can skip that step or even remove it. This is such an easy technique, yet sophisticated taste. In this video we prepare this on a Traeger Timberline XL, but it could be done on your stove and oven.

Meat Church How To YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/i7BgTxoHFSc

Additional Seafood Recipes: https://www.meatchurch.com/blogs/recipes/tagged/seafood


  • 1 piece of salmon, skin on (small enough to be seared)
  • Meat Church Texas Sugar BBQ Rub (sub The Gospel, Holy Voodoo or Honey Hog)
  • 3 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T, chives, minced
  • 1 small lemon

Prepare your smoker or pellet grill
Prepare your smoker to a temperature of 300. We used a Traeger Timberline XL with alder pellets. Maple or fruit woods also pair nicely with fish while not being overpowering. However, this cook is so short and in butter that wood choice is not as important as it typically can be.

Prepare the Salmon
Season the salmon lightly with Texas Sugar BBQ Rub. Allow to adhere for 15 minutes.

Prepare the pan that will be used to butter poach
Prepare a cast iron pan over medium heat with a pat of butter. We used a small Griswold #5 pan in this video. After the butter melts, sauté the shallot and garlic until translucent. Place that pan in the smoker and add 3 sticks of butter. If you are using a bigger pan you may need to add more butter as the goal is to submerge the salmon all the way up to the skin. Add the chives, juice of half a lemon and stir.

Prepare the pan that will be used to sear
If you are using skin on salmon and desire to eat the skin, prepare a small pan to sear the salmon over medium high heat. Apply a high heat cooking spray or oil. 

Sear the Salmon
Place the salmon skin side down for ~2 mins to sear it. Remove the salmon from the pan. 

Poach the Salmon
Place the seared salmon flesh side down (skin up) in the butter. The goal is to submerge the flesh completely while not covering the seared skin. 

Butter Poached Salmon

Using your instant read thermometer, cook the fish until 120 internal temperature in the thickest part or your desired internal temperature. Some people prefer fish be cooked to a higher internal temperature. Not me. :)


This took 15 minutes in this video.

Remove the salmon, top with additional lemon juice and enjoy!

Butter Poached Canadian Salmon

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