Cedar Planked Salmon
Sometime about a year ago after we’d settled into life in the suburbs (sigh), we discovered cedar planks. You can find them almost anywhere these days — Costco, Home Depot, your local fish store. You just have to look for them. Now the key to cedar planked salmon is soaking the cedar plank in water for at least 1-2 hours before you put it on your gas grill. If you are prone (as we are sometimes are) of cutting corners because time is something you bill by the hour and is always in short supply, do not give in to the urge to let it soak for 30 minutes. That is NOT enough time. Not unless you are a pyro and enjoy setting fires on your grill…Just sayin….
Trust me. Read the directions on the plank and soak it toward the end of the range that is recommended.
After soaking our plank for a good two hours the other night, we placed a wild sockeye salmon filet marinated in lemon juice, fresh dill, olive oil, fresh garlic and salt and pepper on the plank and cooked it until crispy on top (about 20 minutes).
The taste is/was DIVINE. The salmon infused with the smokey cedar just melts in your mouth. I personally think it is even better with Arctic Char, which is a slightly milder and a bit thinner filet (so you only need to cook it for about 15-17 minutes). But we have trouble finding that without pre-ordering it.
Keep in mind this post is coming from someone who swore she would never eat salmon again, after having one too many farm-raised icky tasting salmon dinners. So if you are one of THOSE people, try this recipe just once and see if you can be converted.
The recipe below can be easily doubled or tripled or quadrupled. Most of the planks can fit a full salmon filet, but they can vary depending on the plank and the size of the fish so you may need to do two if you are cooking this for a party for 5 or more. But the presentation is fabulous and we’ve been known to serve it directly from the grill to our outdoor table.
- Cedar Planked Salmon
- 1 cedar plank
- 1 lb salmon or arctic char
- 1 tsp fresh dill
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
- Soak cedar plank for 1-2 hours.
- Combine salmon with dill, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and ground salt and pepper in a shallow large bowl or dish so that the salmon can lie flat. Flip over the salmon so that the skin side is up. Let marinate for 30-40 minutes.
- Place salmon skin side down on flank.
- Cook on gas grill on medium high-high heat for 15-20 minutes until the top and sides are crispy and plank is quite burnt (!!) (time depends on thickness of the salmon).