The Ultimate Guide to Grilled Salmon on a Cedar Plank

December 20, 2023 3 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Grilled Salmon on a Cedar Plank

Grilling salmon on a cedar plank is a culinary technique that yields a smoky, flavorful dish that is sure to impress your friends and family. Not only does it create a visually stunning presentation, but it also infuses the fish with a subtle woodsy aroma. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the art of grilling salmon on a cedar plank, providing you with all the tips and tricks you need to achieve perfection. From selecting the right plank to mastering the grilling process, get ready to elevate your salmon grilling game!

Selecting the Perfect Cedar Plank

Before we dive into the grilling process, it's essential to choose the right cedar plank. Follow these guidelines for a successful grilling experience:

1. Opt for untreated cedar planks

Choose planks made from untreated western red cedar or Alaskan yellow cedar. Avoid planks that have been chemically treated, as they can release harmful substances into your food.

2. Size matters

Ensure your plank is large enough to accommodate the size of your salmon filet. A plank measuring around 12 inches by 6 inches is usually sufficient for an average-sized filet.

3. Soak the plank

To prevent the plank from catching fire during grilling, soak it in water for at least one hour before use. This will also help to infuse the salmon with moisture and enhance the cedar flavor.

Preparing the Salmon

Now that you have your cedar plank ready, it's time to prepare the star of the show – the salmon!

1. Choose fresh, high-quality salmon

Selecting fresh, high-quality salmon is crucial for a delicious outcome. Look for vibrant, firm filets with shiny skin and no odor. Opt for wild-caught salmon whenever possible for its superior flavor.

2. Season to perfection

Season the salmon with your favorite herbs and spices. A simple mixture of salt, pepper, and dill can complement the cedar flavor beautifully. Don't be afraid to experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste.

3. Add a tangy twist

For an extra burst of flavor, consider marinating the salmon before grilling. A marinade with ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic can add a delightful tanginess to the dish.

The Grilling Process

Now that your plank and salmon are ready, let's get grilling!

1. Preheat your grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 375°F to 400°F) to ensure even cooking. If using a charcoal grill, create a two-zone fire by placing the coals on one side, allowing for indirect heat cooking.

2. Place the plank on the grill

Carefully place the soaked plank on the grill grates, allowing it to preheat for a couple of. This will create a slight char on the plank, intensifying the smoky flavors.

3. Position the salmon on the plank

Gently place the seasoned salmon fillet directly on the preheated cedar plank, skin side down. Close the grill lid to let the magic happen.

4. Monitor the cooking time

The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillet. As a general guideline, grill the salmon for approximately 12 to 15 minutes per inch of thickness. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F for perfectly cooked salmon.

5. Enhance the flavor with smoke

For an extra layer of smokiness, consider adding soaked wood chips or chunks to the grill throughout the grilling process. This will impart additional complexity to the salmon's flavor profile.

Serving and Enjoying the Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon

The moment has arrived to unveil your masterpiece! Follow these steps to savor the deliciousness of your grilled cedar plank salmon:

1. Remove the salmon from the plank

Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cooked salmon from the plank to a serving platter, leaving the skin behind.

2. Garnish and embellish

Add a finishing touch to your grilled salmon with fresh herbs like dill, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a drizzle of homemade sauce. Be creative and experiment with complementary flavors!

3. Serve and enjoy

Place the platter of grilled cedar plank salmon on your dining table, inviting everyone to dig in and enjoy the succulent fish. Don't forget to share the tale of your grilling adventure!


Grilling salmon on a cedar plank is a captivating culinary experience that elevates the flavors of an already delicious fish. The smoky aroma and delicate infusion of cedar create a mesmerizing dish that is sure to impress. With the help of this ultimate guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge and techniques to master the art of grilling salmon on a cedar plank. So go ahead, fire up that grill, and embark on a gastronomic journey that will delight your taste buds and leave lasting memories with your loved ones.

"Grilling salmon on a cedar plank adds an extra layer of flavor and complexity to the dish, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary."

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