5 Steps To A Cedar Planked Salmon

5 Steps To A Cedar Planked Salmon

In our cooking classes here at the Weber Grill Restaurant, we have showcased this recipe a number of years, with great success. One of our key tips is that you want to purchase salmon from the freshest of a source as possible.

Look for busy fish markets, or stores that specialize in seafood, so the inventory is constantly being replaced with fresh catch. When cooking this simple recipe, the raw ingredients need to shine.

Roasted Whole Salmon on Cedar
By Matt Jost

Special Equipment:
1 large cedar plank (12” X 6”), soaked for 60 minutes
3-4 large cherry wood chunks

Ingredients:
1 side whole salmon, skin on, pin bones removed (about 4 lbs)
1 bunch fresh dill
1 lemon, sliced thinly
Seasonings of your choice (Old Bay, cumin, dried citrus peel, kosher salt, black pepper, etc)

Instructions:

1. Lay the salmon filet out on a flat surface and run your finger along the filet, from head to tail, to check for pin bones.  If you feel any hard points, remove them with a clean pair of fish tweezers.

2. Prepare the grill for direct, low heat grilling (about 350F). Place a few chunks of cherry wood (if extra smoke is desired) on top of the coals and close the lid.

3. Wait for the smoke to start pouring out of the grill and the grill reaches about 350F.

4. Char one side of your presoaked plank for about 5-7 min directly on the grate over the coals. You will hear some cracking and popping at the 5-7 minute mark which is give the plank some char, this does a great job in adding smoke flavor to the salmon.  Flip the plank so that the char side is up and place the salmon on the plank. Season the salmon with desired seasonings, then top with dill springs and the sliced lemons. 

5. Place the plank with the salmon in the center of the grill over direct heat. Close the lid and roast the salmon for about 30 minutes. Check the filet after 20 minutes with an instant read thermometer. When the filet reaches 135F in the thickest part of the filet, remove it from the grill. For best aroma and presentation, keep the salmon on the plank when serving.

What are your thoughts? (10)

01.21.17

MIKE S

On my gas grill:
You started by charring the plank on one side- for a charcoal grill.

Is this step also used on a gas grill?

01.21.17

Matt Jost

Hi Mike, Thanks for the great question! The great thing about Weber Grills is that they work the same, whether gas or charcoal. So go ahead, char that plank on gas the same way, flip it over and infuse that great cedar taste into the salmon.

Happy Grilling!
Matt

01.18.17

Kevin D. H

Having been stationed at Adak, Alaska, another good choice for the wood would be apple. I can't tell you how many pounds of apple wood I went through in my smoker! And cherry is nothing to sneeze at. Good stuff as well. Of course, while fishing, we would have the ingredients on hand, and whoever caught the first one had to donate it to the fire on the shore. A bit of aluminum foil, some butter, lemon, salt and pepper, some parsley or rosemary.... Wrap it up, toss it on the edge of the fire, 15-20 minutes later, mmmmmmm!!! Just pick a chunk with your fingers and enjoy, and cast again. And keep an eye out for the eagles.

01.18.17

Matt Jost

Hi Kevin, Using apple wood is a great idea! Any kind of fruit wood works well with lighter proteins, like fish or chicken. And I also love the story about the “shore lunch” you make when fishing. I too, enjoy a good shore lunch when fishing, and there is nothing like it. Great story!

Happy Grilling!
Matt

01.18.17

Leland A

This works very well except, I leave out the dill sprigs. Also, adding a little maple drizzle near the end is great. Thanks

01.18.17

Matt Jost

Thanks for the comments, Leland. I love the combination of cedar and maple, great idea!

Keep grilling!
Chef Matt

01.18.17

Dennis M

I'm a long-time Weber user and planner on gas grills, but I recently bought a Weber electric grill and so far love it. I recently plank grilled a salmon on my new Weber and it came out very well, but I never charred to plank and turned it over before putting the salmon (or other meat) on the plank. I have always used indirect heat with the gas grills but it is not possible to use indirect heat with the electric. I charred the plank and then turned the heat down on my electric. That extended the cooking time as the heat had to cook down before kicking back in. What are your suggestions as to how to do it on the electric?

01.18.17

Matt Jost

Hi Dennis, What a great question, I love that you have having fun with your new electric grill! I have been using mine for a little while now and can answer that very definitively. Because of the direct nature that the electric grill has, you have to use a 2-phase approach. First, char the plank on medium just as you have already done. Second, flip the plank over and place it on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Then, place your seafood on top, season and place back on the grill, with the foil between the plank and the grill grates. This will extend your cooking time without completely charring the board up. Remember to use heavy duty foil, or this technique won’t work as well.

Happy plank grilling!
Matt

01.18.17

James H

What's the best way to add some smoke with a gas grill?

01.18.17

Matt Jost

Hi James, for seafood, I find that less is more when adding smoke. The cedar plank does add a nice hint of smoke. If you like to add more, use a smoke box filled with soaked apple or cherry wood chips. Place on the grill at least 10 minutes before cooking the salmon, when the smoke begins to appear, place the salmon on the grill and cook it with the added smoke.

Happy grilling!

01.18.17

Scott H

Looking at the directions, step 2 says to prepare the grill for direct cooking, while step 5 says to cook in the center of the grill indirectly. Is this a typo, are you to use 2 zones, or are you supposed to change the setup midway through?

01.18.17

Matt Jost

Hi Scott, Thank you for pointing that out. It was a mistake. The step 5 should be to continue cooking directly. I hope this didn’t ruin your salmon! If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Happy Grilling!
Matt

07.23.16

Nicholas S

Leave the skin on, or remove before planking?

07.23.16

Matt Jost

Thanks for reaching out, Nicholas. Your best bet for flavor is to remove the skin when cooking on a cedar plank. This allows the cedar flavor to transfer to the fish more easily when roasting on the grill. Happy Grilling!

Thanks!!!

07.09.16

Scott E

Are the planks reusable?

07.09.16

Matt Jost

Hi Scott! We don't recommend reusing the cedar planks due to food safety and cross-contamination concerns. Thanks!

06.30.16

Helen M

Can this recipe be used on gas Webber?

06.30.16

Matt Jost

Hi Helen, This recipe works fantastic on a Weber Gas Grill! You need to set the grill for direct, medium heat (about 400-500F) and cook it until the salmon has been cooked through. It should take about 12-15 minutes. Make sure you soak the plank at least 30 minutes before using, or it may begin to burn up before the salmon is done. Happy Grilling!!!

06.24.16

cheryl f

OMG! Scrumptious. Best way to do fish by far.

06.24.16

Matt Jost

Thank you Cheryl! I am happy you enjoy this recipe, it has been a favorite of mine for quite a while now. Happy Grilling!

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