There are numerous methods to cook salmon, but one of my favorites is on cedar planks.
The delicate fish meat has a lovely smokey taste infused in it. I promise that once you try it, grilled cedar plank salmon will become one of your favorite fish recipes.
If you don’t already have cedar planks, you may have a bundle shipped at a reasonable price.
- Selecting the right salmon
- How to prepare the cedar planks
- Preparing and seasoning the salmon
- The perfect side for cedar plank salmon
- Setting up the grill to perfectly cook your salmon
- Reusing your cedar planks
- Serving suggestions
- Other seafood recipes to check out
- How long does it take to grill cedar plank salmon?
- Do you grill cedar plank salmon direct or indirect?
- How to cook cedar bay plank salmon?
- Do you wet the cedar plank before grilling?
- Do you flip fish when grilling on cedar plank?
- Do you flip salmon on cedar plank?
- Do you have to flip salmon on cedar plank?
- How do you know when cedar plank salmon is done?
- How long to grill cedar plank fish?
Selecting the right salmon
When it comes to seafood, fresh is always better.
You may either purchase fillets or buy a whole fish and fillet it yourself (or consult your fishmonger).
If you choose a whole fish, it is a bit simpler since you just need to glance at the eyes and if they are not hazy and there is no strong fishy odor, it is fresh.
When dealing with fillets, make sure that they smell fresh and are not oily to the touch. The best option is to go to a fishmonger or market and deal with them directly.
When choosing fillets to cook, I usually want comparable sized pieces to ensure they cook uniformly and that I am not flipping parts on the grill or beginning some later than others.
If I can, I’ll inquire about the 2nd sliced piece. It is placed between the thinner tail region and the upper loin, loin, and belly sections.
If you can’t get enough second cut pieces, most restaurants will offer fillet portions of top loin, loin, and belly, which will enough.
Crowd Cow’s fish is also excellent if you want to have it delivered.
Items that will help you cook these are:
- A hooded BBQ (Im using a 22 Weber Kettle)
- Lump charcoal
- Various spices
- Cedar planks
- Fish tweezers
- Boning or trimming knife
How to prepare the cedar planks
Raw cedar planks are an excellent technique to infuse smoky flavor into salmon before grilling it.
This technique does not include smoking the fish, but rather fast frying or baking it.
You obtain the smokey appearance we all adore by putting the fish straight across cedar boards.
First and foremost, we must soak the planks in water for at least an hour before using them. This will prevent them from catching completely alight and destroying your fish.
After an hour of soaking, lay the planks directly over the lighted charcoal for 10 minutes to blacken the cedar on one side until the plank begins to break.
Then it is ready to be used.
When your salmon is done (see below), remove the cedar plank from the direct heat and set it on the cooler cooking zone of your BBQ, skin-side down, on the charred side of the cedar plank.
Preparing and seasoning the salmon
While the cedar plank soaks in water, prepare and season your fish.
Salmon chunks may still include a few tiny bones known as pin bones, which are difficult to see but may be felt by gently running your finger over the skin. You can grab a hold of them and remove them using a pair of food tweezers.
Place the salmon fillets on a tray, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with finely chopped dill, smashed garlic, freshly cracked black pepper, and melted butter.
Give it a brief stir before pouring it over each piece of salmon. To level it out, use a silicone basting brush.
Finally, season the salmon with kosher salt, cover with cling wrap, and chill until required.
The perfect side for cedar plank salmon
To pair with this salmon, we need something light and tasty. There is nothing better than a celery and parmesan salad that is fast and simple to cook yet packed with taste.
Thinly slice some celery stalks and set them in a dish with some celery leaves, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and celery salt and pepper.
This just requires a gently toss, followed by some shaved Parmesan cheese and a light stir before placing in the fridge until ready to serve.
Setting up the grill to perfectly cook your salmon
I adore my Webers because they are so flexible and simple to operate. However, any hooded charcoal barbecue will be capable of producing similar results.
Set up dual-zone cooking, which means a hot zone and a cooled zone.
To do this, ignite a chimney starter filled three-quarters with lump charcoal. Transfer it to one side of the grilling grate after it is completely ignited and ashed over.
Insert the grill, close the lid, and open all of the vents, making sure the lid vent is on the opposite side of the ignited fuel. This distributes heat over your meal and enables the Weber to cook as intended.
Remove the cedar board from the water and set it directly over the fire charcoal for 10 minutes.
When it begins to burn, smolder, and crack, we must remove it from the fire and flip it over, revealing the blackened split wood.
We can now take the salmon out of the refrigerator and set it skin side down on the cedar plank, which is now in the colder cooking zone, which should be approximately 300F.
Before closing the lid, I’ll cut a couple of lemons in half, smear the exposed flesh with olive oil and kosher salt, and set them, flesh side down, straight over the hot embers.
Now replace the top and simmer the fish for 15 minutes.
Lemons will begin to burn and caramelize. The acidity and bitterness will fade and become sweeter. This will be a wonderful taste addition to the meal.
After 15 minutes, remove the cover to inspect your work. You should have salmon chunks that have changed color, are opaque, and have some browning around the edges.
Place the cedar plank on a heatproof dish or plate after removing it from the grill. You could serve them right off the plank, but since we produced a wonderful side dish, we’ll place this with our charred lemons.
Place some of the delicious fresh fragrant celery and parmesan salad on a platter and top with a piece of salmon and half of the grilled lemon. Squeeze the scorched lemon juice over the whole dish immediately before serving, and remember to come back and thank me for what you’ve just enjoyed.
Reusing your cedar planks
There is a lot of misinformation out there about recycling cedar boards.
When cooking salmon on a cedar plank, the wood has to become heated enough to release its oils; after the first cook, the oils are almost completely depleted.
If you attempt to reuse them, you will notice no gain. You’d get just as much flavor out of utilizing a wooden chopping board to generate a smoky flavor as the oils in the wood give the fish its specific flavor.
Yes, you can clean the cedar planks, even sand them back to remove the first charring and soak them in water again, but you now have a split serving platter.
Buy fresh ones to get the most out of every cedar plank salmon meal you make. You deserve it.
Cedar planked salmon may be served with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables, as well as some fragrant jasmine rice.
Other seafood recipes to check out
- Hot smoked salmon
- Smoked salmon burnt ends