This Cedar Plank Salmon Grill Recipe makes a stunning restaurant quality fish dinner that’s surprisingly easy to cook at home.
At a restaurant with some friends a few years ago I couldn’t decide what I wanted to order. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the delivery of a giant salmon filet on a steaming cedar plank. It was one of those moments where everyone kind of oohs about the dish coming out.
After checking the price in the menu, however, I decided I could make a stunning salmon fillet grilled on a plank at home, for a fraction of the price.
Want to wow your guests or treat yourself? Check out the easy cedar plank salmon grilling step-by-step instructions below.
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WHY IS SALMON COOKED ON A CEDAR PLANK?
There are lots of ways to cook salmon – so why is salmon cooked on a cedar plank?
When cooking salmon on a soaked cedar plank, the fish gently steams while cooking under high temperatures on the grill. The salmon ends up with a smoky flavor and the wood notes from the plank elevate simple salmon to a whole new level.
While traditionally the cedar plank is soaked in water, you can also inject other flavors into your cedar salmon grill recipe by choosing another soaking liquid. Wine, beer, and sake are great options to give the cedar plank salmon even more unique flavors.
The other benefit to grilling salmon on a plank is that you don’t need to worry about oiling the grate or having the fish stick. Plus, the wow factor at the table is second to none!
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HOW TO GRILL SALMON ON A CEDAR PLANK
To grill salmon on a cedar plank, the first step is to soak each plank thoroughly for at least two hours.
DON’T HAVE SOAKING TIME? TRY OUR QUICK LEMON PEPPER SALMON RECIPE!
Depending on the size of your fillets or how you want to serve your fish, you might be able to use one plank for two pieces of fish. Or, go with a side of salmon on each plank for a mouthwatering display at the table.
When I soak my planks, I either fill a large 13×9 baking dish or a clean plastic tub with water and set it aside. You can stack multiple planks on top of each other but be sure you regularly check to make sure the planks are thoroughly wet.
When you’re ready to grill, place the planks on the grill over medium but indirect heat. I suggest having a spray bottle filled with water next to the grill so you can squirt the plank if it starts to smolder or burn, or even if it starts to look dry.
I say this because I may have accidentally set a cedar plank on fire after not soaking it long enough. Notice those black char spots in the photos?
Don’t worry. If you’ve soaked the plank fully for the two hours, this shouldn’t happen during the cooking time. Soaking is key to success!
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK SALMON ON A CEDAR PLANK?
How long you cook salmon on a cedar plank depends on the thickness of the fish. Because of the moisture of the plank and the indirect heat, cedar plank salmon takes a bit longer than other cooking methods.
As a rule of thumb, you want to grill the fish for approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness or when the internal temperature hits between 130° – 140°F.
When the fish reaches this doneness, remove from the grill and tent it with foil for 3 – 5 minutes. This allows the center of the salmon to cook through and the fillet to rest before serving.
HOW TO MAKE CEDAR PLANK SALMON GRILLED WITH LEMONS AND ONIONS
Ready to make this cedar plank salmon recipe? Here’s everything you need to do, step by step.
- First, soak the cedar planks in water, or your liquid of choice. Planks should soak for at least two hours.
- Next, you need to marinate the salmon.
- Lay the salmon in the bottom of a shallow glass pan.
- Sprinkle both sides of the salmon with dill and ground pepper. No need for salt since there is plenty in the marinade.
- In a small bowl, mix sugar, chicken bouillon, avocado oil, soy sauce, green onions, and garlic. Pour over the fish.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Marinate for one hour, turning the fish halfway through.
- After one hour, preheat the grill to medium heat. Then drain and discard the marinade from the salmon.
- Place the fish in the center of each plank (if using more than one). Cover each fillet with onion and lemon slices.
- Transfer the planks to the grill. Check on the salmon halfway through the cooking time, being sure you have a spray bottle on hand to keep the planks damp if needed.
- Grill until the fish is done, between 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
- Remove the planked salmon from the heat and tent with foil for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Top the salmon with additional fresh dill and serve on the cedar plank for an impressive presentation.
I serve cedar plank salmon with fresh grilled vegetables and roasted potatoes – the entire thing can be made right on the grill!
And just wait until you taste it. When the lemon and onion slices start to caramelize on top of the fish, these sweet flavors mingle with the smoky, woodsy flavor of the salmon.
It is truly one of my favorite ways to cook and eat salmon!
AVOIDING SWEETENERS? YOU MAY WANT TO TRY OUR EASY BAKED SALMON.
PIN TO SAVE CEDAR PLANK SALMON FOR LATER
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This Cedar Plank Salmon Grill Recipe makes a stunning restaurant quality fish dinner that’s surprisingly easy to cook at home. Adapted with permission from Genius Kitchen.
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Chicken
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 2 slices onions separated into rings
Soak cedar planks for at least two hours before grilling.
Place salmon in a shallow glass dish and sprinkle with dill and fresh ground pepper.
Mix the chicken bouillon with three tablespoons of water to make a thick broth.
Mix broth, minced garlic, brown sugar, avocado oil, soy sauce, and green onions.
Pour marinade over salmon.
Cover and chill in the fridge for one hour, turning once at 30 minutes.
Drain and discard marinade, then place salmon fillets on soaked cedar planks.
Put planked salmon on a grill on medium heat. Place slices of lemon and onion rings on top.
Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until fish is around 130 F.
Remove from grill and tent with foil for a few minutes to get a perfectly cooked center.
3 WW points per serving.
Nutritional values are an estimate. These were calculated with 1/3 the marinade amount since about 2/3 of it is discarded after marinating.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.