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Overhead view of Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon on a white plate with asparagus and lemon slices

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon

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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.

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon on a white plate with asparagus

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!

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon on a plate i with a bite on a fork

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.
 Two fillets of Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon on a cedar plank

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This recipe was first shared in September 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2019.

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon | Salmon Recipe | That Skinny Chick Can Bake

The Recipe: Cedar Planked Salmon

A simple marinade and cooking technique for salmon that impart a complex, irresistible flavor

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Combine the first six ingredients. Reserve half this marinade for later use.
  2. Marinate salmon for 20-30 minutes. Soak cedar plank in water for at least 60 minutes.
  3. Preheat plank on the grill. Grill salmon on the plank for about 8-10 minutes with the lid on or to the desired doneness.
  4. For the glaze, take reserved marinade and simmer in a saucepan till reduced by half.
  5. Place salmon on a serving platter and drizzle with glaze.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 633Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 579mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 51g

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57 comments on “Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon”

  1. This is beautiful – and another great salmon recipe that is calling me to go back to Alaska! 😉

  2. Hi Liz, yes, I have cooked with a cedar plant before and it was wonderful, love your glaze/sauce.

  3. What an interesting way to cook the fish. We’re not salmon lovers, but I’m sure you could use this method for other fish as well, right? I hope you’ll bring this recipe by my recipe link party The Yuck Stops Here this Tuesday evening sometime after 8pm ET to share with my friends there, I’m sure they’ll love it too. You can find the party on my blog, Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos. HUGS

  4. p.s. your mention of StumbleUpon reminded me I hadn’t been on the site in awhile. Stumbled your post & adding my SundaySupper swordfish.

  5. Count me as another one that hasn’t grilled on a plank…yet! Inspiration to try it here.

  6. For all the grilling I do, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve not grilled on a cedar plank yet. I can only imagine the amount of flavor that is sent up through the wood. It definitely looks delicious.

  7. I have yet to bust out a cedar plank on the grill. This salmon looks amazing. Pinned.

  8. Wow, this is so interesting and sounds absolutely delicious. I’m still surprised that the board doesn’t burn!

  9. Aw, yah. I loves me some planked salmon! This sounds divine…

  10. Those cedar planks always catch my eye, bet they’d be good for chicken too:@)
    PS-No Sunday Supper link list this week? I’ll stop back…

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