This Cedar Plank Salmon is made with a simple marinade and cooking technique that imparts a complex, irresistible flavor.
Plank Grilling Salmon changed our grilling routine about 10 years ago. Besides the smokey flavors from the charcoal grill, the soaked cedar infuses a secondary robust smoky and spicy flavor. Just think of the aroma of a cedar closet and you’ll know Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon is something special.
Cedar Plank Salmon
This recipe for Cedar Planked Salmon came with a pack of cedar planks I picked up at the grocery store years ago. It was so simple, yet the cedar gave a nice complexity to the salmon’s flavor.
With common pantry items used for the marinade, it’s super easy to prepare. The original recipe called for simmering the used marinade as a glaze, but I doubled the ingredients and reserve half to reduce and drizzle on the cooked salmon. This is a quick, healthy, and delicious way to grill salmon.
What is a Cedar Plank?
You may not even know what a cedar plank is, though they can be found in many grocery stores, especially during grilling season. But note that you can also use cedar planks in the oven. Just follow the soaking recommendations and place the salmon topped plank in a preheated oven.
A cedar plank is a thin slab of durable, fragrant wood from a coniferous tree of the pine family. Cedarwood is well known for lining storage closets since it repels moths. The cedar imparts a faint woodsy flavor which reminds me of the scent of the pine forests we hike through when transitioning to higher elevations in Colorado.
Can Cedar Planks Be Reused?
Yes, as long as they aren’t totally charred. Some of the less expensive planks are for one use only. If only the bottom is blackened, it may be OK for a second use. It will need to be soaked again.
How to Grill Using a Cedar Plank
The cedar plank board is soaked in water for a few hours, then preheated on the grill before the marinated fish is placed upon it. The cedar imparts a faint woodsy flavor which reminds me of the scent of the pine forests we hike through when transitioning to higher elevations in Colorado.
The soy-based marinade is made with all pantry ingredients except for a wee squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Part of it is reserved and reduced to drizzle on the salmon after cooking. Don’t skip that step!
How to Grill Cedar Plank Salmon
- Soak your plank in cold water for about 60 minutes before grilling. Hydrating the plank will help keep it from catching on fire. Most likely, it will get charred.
- PRO-Tip: Shake things up by using salted water, wine, cider, or even sake as for your soaking liquid.
- Place the salmon on the plank, skin side down, shut the top of the grill, and cook for about 10 minutes or until salmon is cooked to your desired doneness.
- Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon and the temperature of your grill. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the salmon is cooked to your liking.
- The FDA recommends cooking salmon to 145º. You can pull it off the grill at 135º and let it rest, covered, for about 10 minutes and it will come up to temperature. But, personally, that’s too well-done for me. PRO-Tip: I prefer grilling more fatty farmed salmon to 125º. and wild salmon to 120º for the moistest results.
- Reduce the leftover marinade by half while salmon is cooking. Pour reduced sauce over the salmon before serving.
- Reducing the marinade will concentrate the flavors and prevent any foodborne illnesses from being transmitted from raw juices.
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This recipe was first shared in September 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2019.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons, dry white wine (I used Gallo Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 salmon fillets
- Combine the first six ingredients. Reserve half this marinade for later use.
- Marinate salmon for 20-30 minutes. Soak cedar plank in water for at least 60 minutes.
- Preheat plank on the grill. Grill salmon on the plank for about 8-10 minutes with the lid on or to the desired doneness.
- For the glaze, take reserved marinade and simmer in a saucepan till reduced by half.
- Place salmon on a serving platter and drizzle with glaze.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 633Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 579mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 51g