Cedar Plank Salmon 

Cedar Plank Salmon originates in the Pacific Northwest, and offers wonderful smoky flavors and a great presentation! Click here for Wikipedia's page that discusses indirect grilling and Plank cooking. This form of cooking originated with the native Americans. Here we will put our spin on these dishes with multiple recipes.

Smoky, Sweet & Spicy Cedar Planked Salmon


If you are looking for a quick and easy salmon dish that has tons of flavor, this is an outstanding option.  Cedar Planked Salmon is a great entertaining dish.  I really enjoy the smoky sweet and spicy of this recipe!

Serves 4 

2     cedar planks soaked in water for one to two hours

2     filets of salmon or steelhead a nice fit for the planks is around twelve ounces to a pound each.

3     tablespoons coarse Dijon Mustard, regular is OK too. I like the texture and bolder flavor of the    coarse in this instance

1-½  tablespoons Brown Sugar

1-½  tablespoons Apricot Preserves

1      teaspoon finely chopped Jalapeño seeded and white pith removed.

1     teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper 

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt


Prepare and soak your plank (s) as per instructions. 

Prepare your two zone fire if using coals it is important to have a fire at around 375 to 400 degrees, so let your coals get to the point where they have a nice even layer of ash over them. Then check your temp.  

On a gas grill get your temp to the 400 ranges Leave off one side of your grill for a two-zone fire

While your fire is preheating or lighting up, combine the entire ingredient for the glaze in a bowl, mix well until the sugar is well combined.

Oil your plank, then place your filets on the plank and evenly distribute be the mustard mixture over all the filets. Place the planks on the non-fire side of the grill for indirect heat. Close your lid on the grill. Cook fish using the basic theory that you cook ten minutes per inch of thickness of your fish.  Check your fish as you approach cooking time. 

Using hot pads, tongs or spatulas pick you your plank as set it on a non-flammable surface or a sheet pan. The planks can be fun to serve on or simple lift your fish off with a spatula. If the fish is skin on then just slide your spatula between the filet and the skin gentle lift off.


Wine suggestions, I like a crisp J. Lohr Carol’s vineyard Sauvignon Blanc with this or for a red wine, a nice Pinot Noir is amazing with this.

Cedar Planked Salmon with Lemon and Herbs


In this cedar plank salmon recipe is really easy and your guests or family will love it! I love the smoky flavor that planked salmon has. The combination of the smoky rub and the counter point of the lemon zest work great together. 

Serves 4

Cedar plank grilling rub

¼ cup Paprika

¼ cup Smoked Paprika

¼ cup Dark Chili Powder or Ancho Chili Powder

4 tablespoons Kosher salt

2 tablespoons ground Coriander 

2 tablespoons granulated Garlic Powder

2 tablespoons Curry powder

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 tablespoon freshly ground Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Oregano

1 tablespoon Thyme

1 tablespoon Cumin

1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper

Combine all well and store in a air tight container.

4     six ounce cuts of fresh Salmon or whole filet 1.5 to 2 lbs for single piece presentation. Skin on is best.

Garnish for salmon

½   cup fresh Basil cut thin julienne (strips)

½    cup sliced Red Onion slice paper thin

2    cloves of Garlic chopped fine

1    teaspoon Lemon zest finely grated 

1    lemon thinly sliced

2    tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

     juice of one lemon 

    salt and pepper to taste

1   cedar plank for grilling soaked in water for a couple of hours as per instructions

Make a nice hot fire, I really like charcoal for this dish. The coals should be nice an even row to cover under the plank. Not too hot

Season the salmon with the rub to taste, somewhere from 2 – 4 tablespoons to your taste. 

Mix all the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, juice and olive oil in a bowl,  then evenly coat the salmon with the mixture.

Place on the plank, top with the lemon slices and place the plank on the grill cover the grill. Depending on the heat and the thickness of the salmon the time can be from 12-17 minutes to medium. There is no need to turn the fish and it would ruin the presentation, so just say no.

Check back after a few minute to make sure that your plank has not caught fire, especially those who try to cut corners and not soak their plank well. 

When the salmon is done slide the plank on top of a plate, pan or another plank to carry. Allow to cool for a minute or two on a heat proof surface. 


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