Cedar Plank Salmon on the grill

Perfectly moist, full of flavor, and foolproof this cedar plank salmon recipe couldn't be easier to make and I can guarantee you'll be grilling up this recipe all summer long.

Don't have a grill or cedar planks? Skip to the recipe and check the notes...I've got you covered!

Looking for gorgeous and easy grilling recipes? Try my jalapeño cheddar burgers. Gorgeous, delicious, and oh so easy!

Salmon on cedar planks on the grill.

If I have to pick a recipe of the summer for my home, this would be it. I have made this every week since early May and don't think that's going to stop anytime soon.

This recipe gives me perfectly cooked and tasty salmon that even my hubby, who doesn't like salmon, finds delicious. It's easy to make and looks absolutely fancy and decadent.

This is the recipe to make for company! I plan on bringing up the ingredients for a trip to our friends cabin. They love salmon and I know this will be a huge success. And, thankfully, it's easy to prepare in advance.

A ziplock bag of salmon marinating

Key Ingredients for Cedar Plank Salmon:

  • Fresh Pink Salmon. I usually cut the large filets into smaller ones to control portion size and help the salmon cook faster. Be sure to use really, really fresh salmon.
  • Soy Sauce. Tamarind if you are gluten-free, of course. Because of the salt content in soy sauce, don't add any additional salt to this recipe.
  • Vinegar. I think rice vinegar tastes the best in this marinade because it has a gentle flavor that doesn't overtake the salmon. But use what you have on hand.
  • Sesame oil. Sesame oil adds sooo much flavor. If you don't have sesame oil try using peanut oil or tahini. Or, simply omit it.
  • Ground spices. You can use fresh ginger and garlic, of course. But for the purpose of marinades, powder simply dissolves and blends the best.
  • Oil. You need an oil that is mild in flavor and can withstand grilling temps. Use avocado oil, canola oil, or peanut oil if you prefer.
Cedar planks getting a good soaking.

Tools needed for Cedar Plank Salmon:

  • Cedar Planks. Cedar planks are easy to find at every home improvement store and mega store. Anyplace that sells grilling stuff will have these. You'll need 2 if you plan on making 4 filets. Some grilling experts swear by fancy and expensive ones. I find the cheap ones to make this recipe taste amazing and am perfectly happy with them.
  • Grill. I use a gas grill because that's the only way I am able to control the heat. But if you are a charcoal master...go for it. You just want to be able to keep the heat fairly consistent.

How to make cedar plank salmon

  • Soak the planks in water for at least 1 hour.
  • Stir together the marinade ingredients.
  • Place the salmon fillets in a ziplock bag and add the marinade.
  • Marinate for at least 15 minutes, longer if possible.
  • Place the planks in a preheated grill and wait for the boards to smoke and crackle.
  • Place the salmon fillets onto the planks.
  • Close the cover, and grill for about 15 minutes.
  • Brush with saved marinade and grill for additional time.
  • Let the cooked fish rest.

Alternative cooking methods:

  • No cedar planks? 
    I have made this many times without cedar planks and grilling right on the grill and it is very tasty. Simply add the salmon to indirect heat, skin side down, and follow the same steps.
  • No grill?
    You can use cedar planks in your oven! Preheat your oven up to 400 degrees and reduce the time from 15 minutes to 10 minutes before you add the brush of the marinade. Watch it closely, after that. It'll be about 15 minutes and it will be done.
  • Want to try this on the stove?
    Yep, this is tasty made up on the fry pan. You won't get as tender of a texture as the grill or oven method but you'll still be making this again and again. Pull out a heavy pan, cast-iron if you have it, and heat to medium heat, add the salmon skin side down (do not add oil to the pan!) and cover with aluminum foil. After 10 minutes brush it with marinade and fry it for an additional 5 minutes. Check for doneness.

Make Ahead/Store Cedar Plank Salmon:

  • Make the marinade ahead as far out as a week and simply add the salmon to the marinade 15 minutes prior to grilling.
  • For camping, keep the marinade in one ziplock and the salmon in the other...simply add the marinade to the salmon ziplock right before it's time to cook.
  • Store cooked salmon in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze cooked salmon in ziplock bags (make sure the air is completely out) for up to 5 months. Use this for any instance where canned salmon or tuna would be called for. Not great for eating as fresh filets.
A plate of grilled salmon.
note: the photos in this post were taken on different days of recipe testing.

My husband is not fond of salmon and often passes on dinner when I make it. But this recipe...he ate all of his portion and took seconds. AND, he's requested it again. I am telling you...it is a winner!

In fact, be sure to have enough leftovers to turn into sandwiches the next day or throw into some pasta for a pasta salad.

What to serve with cedar plank salmon on the grill:

cedar plank salmon on grill

Cedar Plank Salmon

A foolproof grilled salmon using cedar planks and resulting in the ultimate flavorful and moist salmon filets. Easy to make!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
soaking time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 185 kcal

Equipment

  • grill
  • cedar planks

Ingredients
  

  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • cup soy sauce or tamarind
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 2 pounds salmon filets, skin left on.

Instructions
 

  • Soak the planks in water for at least 1 hour. You will need to weight the planks to be sure they stay submerged.
  • Stir together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ground ginger, and garlic powder. Add the oil and stir well, using a fork.
  • Place the salmon fillets in a ziplock bag and add the marinade.
  • Marinate for at least 15 minutes, if you can...try for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat or about 350 degrees.
  • Place the planks on the grate and close the grill.
  • Wait for the boards to smoke and crackle just a little and then Place the salmon fillets onto the planks, skin side down, save the marinade.
  • If desired, add a slice or two of fresh lemon to the salmon.
  • Cover, and grill for about 15 minutes. Maintain a medium heat or 350 degree temperature, opening the grill as little as possible.
  • After 15 minutes, brush with saved marinade and grill for another 5 minutes or until done.
  • Fish is done when you can flake it with a fork. Don't overcook it. It will continue to cook while it rests.
  • Remove it from the grill and let it rest.

Notes

NOTE: 
  • No cedar planks? 
    I have made this many times without cedar planks and grilling right on the grill and it is very tasty. Simply add the salmon to indirect heat, skin side down, and follow the same steps.
  • No grill?
    You can use cedar planks in your oven! Preheat your oven up to 400 degrees and reduce the time from 15 minutes to 10 minutes before you add the brush of the marinade. Watch it closely, after that. It'll be about 15 minutes and it will be done.
  • Want to try this on the stove?
    Yep, this is tasty made up on the fry pan. You won't get as tender of a texture as the grill or oven method but you'll still be making this again and again. Pull out a heavy pan, cast-iron if you have it, and heat to medium heat, add the salmon skin side down (do not add oil to the pan!) and cover with aluminum foil. After 10 minutes brush it with marinade and fry it for an additional 5 minutes. Check for doneness.

Nutrition

Calories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 2gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1081mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword gluten-free, grilled, salmon
Made this recipe?Mention miznelliebellie or tag #NBRecipes!

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