Cedar Plank Salmon

In the Pacific Northwest there is one fish that is King, and that fish is Salmon.  Whether you get it at your local Farmer’s Market, the Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard, from the flying fish guys at Pike Place Market or you catch it yourself, Salmon is best here in the Northwest.  Summertime is the perfect time of year for putting our local fishy royalty on the grill.  And there isn’t a recipe that is easier than this.

To take it up another notch without complicating things, you can throw the salmon on to a Cedar Plank (you can find these online and in some local grocery stores like Metropolitan Markets, PCC & Thriftway).

Cedar Planking gives the Salmon a rich, delicious smoky flavor and it really could not be simpler.  A few tips before you get started:

  • Make sure that the wood you are using is Food Safe – a Cedar Shingle from the hardware store is loaded with industry chemicals that can make you very sick
  • Soak the Cedar Plank for at least 3 hours in salted water before you plan on using it
  • Use fresh Salmon – check out your local fish market, the fresher the better
  • Keep the skin on the Salmon, it helps make it easier to remove the Salmon from the plank

Cedar Plank Salmon
This recipe can easily be doubled

  • 1 Cedar Plank
  • 1 lb Salmon, skin on, cut into fillets
  • 1 Orange, cut into round slices, then halved
  • 1 Red Onion, cut into round slices, then halved
  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flake or Chili Threads

Soak your Cedar Plank for at least 3 hours in salted water (Just enough salt in the water so that you can taste it, all it really is there to do is help season the fish during grilling).
Pull the Cedar Plank out of the water soak and lay the Salmon, skin side down, on the plank.  Place half a slice of Orange and Red Onion in between each piece of Salmon, followed by a sprig of Rosemary.
Now to season it: Drizzle the Olive Oil over the top, followed by the Black Pepper, Salt and Chili.  Set this aside and get your grill ready.
You will be grilling over a medium high heat setting.  If you have a gas grill simply turn your dial to Medium-High.  For Charcoal, get your coals ready and hold your hand over the center of the flame about 6″ above the actual grill, if you can comfortably leave your hand there for about 7-8 seconds your coals are ready.

Now the simplest part – stick the planks on the grill, put the lid on the grill, wait 20-25 minutes and they are done.
Tip: Do not keep opening up the grill to check on the fish.  You will lose all the delicious smoke that has built up in the grill and your fish won’t get that nice smoky flavor.

I like to use the boards to serve the fish, either put them on a platter, baking sheet or piece of foil to prevent the scorched underside from leaving any marks on tabletops.  Enjoy!

Full disclosure: I have received no compensation from PCC , Metropolitan Market, Thriftway or any other organizations mentioned for this article.

Images by Kelly Cline ©2010 All Rights Reserved
All content, text and images are  ©2010 All Rights Reserved and may not be used or reposted without express written consent.

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10 Responses to Cedar Plank Salmon

  1. Maria says:

    I bought my dad cedar planks for Father’s Day. He loves them! I will have to get some for myself now:) Gorgeous photos, like always:)

  2. Kelly says:

    Thanks Maria! Definitely go get yourself some they are so worth it. Plus you can re-use them at least a couple times :)

  3. Hey there,
    I’m a first time visitor of your blog and the moment I laid my eyes on your web page the first thing that came in my mind was, wow! how clean :-)
    Love your space!

  4. Kelly says:

    Thanks! I love your site too, thanks for stopping by. Indian Spices are so intimidating to me, but you make it look so wonderful and inviting :)

  5. Tunde says:

    Lovely port here Kelly. Great recipes with more AWESOME Images !! I’ll feast my eyes on the images for a bit . The cedar plank salmon looks delish :D !!

  6. Great recipe and photos. Look forward to trying the recipe. Wonder if Australian cedar will have the same results.

  7. Kelly says:

    Oh that’s a good question! If you try that out, please let me know how it works and how it tastes! I’d love to know

  8. Prerna says:

    Hey Kelly,
    Just read your msg on my blog and so wanted to tell that you just made my day!
    Being a photograher and blogger you must know how it feels when someone comes n tells you that your work made me try n fall in love with something I was intimidated by. I’m really very happy you tried n I’m loving you right now :-)
    That’s the whole idea behind my blog, to help people know that Indian cooking n food is not all that scary.

  9. Darren Tran says:

    WOW! This is my first time seeing your blog, but your pictures are so beautiful! What kind of camera are you using?

    I also have a question… how many uses do you get out of each plank? $4/plank for a one time use plank is a bit too pricey for me. Maybe I’m just burning mine but I haven’t had much success with planks :/

  10. Kelly says:

    Thanks! Some shots I’ve used my Leica and others Canon, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag ;)
    On the question of planks, I usually get 2 or 3 uses out of mine, and I use little thin planks that come 4 to a pack. The bottom of the plank does get really charred, and they will bow and buckle up a little. But if you give them a really good soak and wait for the heat to reach Medium-High (can take a while when using charcoal to let the heat die off a bit, you shouldn’t burn through them as fast. A good tip for after Summer and grilling season is over – stores will often put their special seasonal inventory out for huge discounts. So keep an eye out for deals on new planks at the end of the grilling season and tuck them away for next year.

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