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Smoky, succulent Cedar Plank Salmon is a rite of grilling passage. It’s one of those dishes that sounds tricky and fancy, but once you give it a try, you’ll want to show off and make it for everyone you know.

Four cedar plank salmon fillets on a white plate

Why You’ll Love This Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

  • The Best Smoky Flavor. Cedar planking is a way of cooking salmon by placing it directly on soaked cedar planks on a hot grill. The cedar plank infuses the salmon with a gentle smoky flavor, making the fish taste more rich and complex. It’s fantastic, and a great alternative to Smoked Salmon if you don’t have a smoker!
  • Easy Salmon on the Grill. Cooking salmon filets on a cedar plank also means you don’t need to stress over your fish falling through the grates (a reason I also love Grilled Salmon in Foil).
  • Versatile. You can use the cedar plank method with just about any marinade or spice rub such as Salmon Seasoning or Salmon Marinade. And if you are grill-less (or it’s pouring rain and you don’t want to grill outside), fear not. You can also make cedar plank salmon in the oven!
Easy cedar plank salmon on a plate

How to Make Cedar Plank Salmon on the Grill

The Ingredients

  • Salmon. As far as healthy salmon recipes go (and I have a bunch!), cedar plank salmon is one of my favorites. The flavors are complex and subtly smoky, the salmon is tender and moist, and the plank makes cleanup a breeze. Plus, salmon is also rich in protein and healthy fats like omega-3s.
  • Cedar Planks. You can buy cedar planks at most grocery stores.
  • Honey. Sweet and sticky, the honey caramelizes on the salmon and helps all the other ingredients adhere to it.
  • Dijon Mustard. Tangy, zippy, and delicious paired with the honey.
  • Soy Sauce. Adds salty, umami flavor to the salmon.
  • Garlic. For scrumptious garlicky flavor.
  • Cayenne. An optional sprinkle brings a touch of heat.
Two pieces of salmon on a cedar plank

The Directions

  1. Prepare. Soak the cedar planks.
  2. Season. Remove the skin from the salmon and season.
A plate with four cedar plank salmon fillets
  1. Sauce. Brush the salmon with a honey Dijon mixture or your sauce of choice.
Two pieces of fish on wood
  1. Get Started. Cook the soaked planks on the grill grate for 4 minutes over medium-high heat (this will give you a more smoky flavor). Flip them over and add the salmon.
Salmon fillets on cedar planks on a grill
  1. Finish. Continue grilling (no need to flip the salmon on the cedar plank). Place the salmon on a serving platter to rest. ENJOY!
A fork flaking a piece of fish on a plate

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. You can freeze cedar plank salmon. Freeze salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

What to Serve with Cedar Plank Salmon

  • Grill Tongs. A must-have for the grill.
  • Baking Sheet. I use these to soak the cedar planks.
  • Brush. An easy way to add the seasoning mixture to the salmon.
Healthy cedar plank salmon being flaked with a fork

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Remove the Skin. If you leave the skin on, it will block the smoke flavors from the wood, and you’ll miss the point entirely. Unlike Grilled Salmon Fillets, since it’s on the plank, you don’t need to worry about the skin acting as a buffer to keep the salmon from falling through the grates.
  • Soak the Planks in a Flavorful Liquid. We love apple juice or white wine. This infuses the salmon with even more goodness!
  • Don’t Flip the Salmon. While some fish you need to turn on the grill (like Grilled Swordfish), cedar plank salmon does not need to be flipped; it will fall apart.
  • Cook Salmon to 135°F. Use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness (whether using a gas grill or charcoal grill), then let it rest. The carryover cooking will bring the fish the rest of the way to the internal temperature. For more tips, see my Salmon Temperature Guide.
  • Don’t Reuse the Salmon Planks. You technically could reuse it if it’s still in good condition. However, even if your plank isn’t completely charred (it likely will be from the grill), it will likely have lost some flavor after one use. Starting with a fresh plank each time is the best way to ensure optimal flavor.
  • Keep a Spray Bottle with Water Handy. If the planks catch fire at any point, you can quickly spritz it out.

Cedar Plank Salmon

4.93 from 13 votes
How to make perfect cedar plank salmon. Easy, tender, smoky, and flaky! The best way to cook salmon on the grill, with oven option too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cedar planks approx. 6×14-inch in size; each should be large enough to hold two fillets of salmon
  • Apple juice, water, or white wine for soaking the planks
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets skin removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper optional
  • Spray bottle with water or apple juice for the planks when grilling

Instructions
 

  • At least 2 hours before cooking, soak the planks in apple juice (or water or wine). I use rimmed baking sheets. Drain.
  • Remove the skin from the salmon fillets (if it is not removed already). Pat dry and season on both sides with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together the honey, soy sauce, mustard, garlic, and cayenne.
  • Place the salmon on what (was) skin-side down on a plate. Brush all over the top and sides with the honey mixture.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high (375° to 400° F). Place the planks on the grill and let cook for 4 minutes. Flip the planks over (they should have nice char marks), place the salmon on top, then close the grill. Cook until the salmon reaches 135° F on an instant read thermometer, about 7 to 12 minutes depending upon your grill and the thickness of your fillets.
  • Check on it every few minutes and if the edges of the plank catches fire, mist with water. Transfer the salmon to a serving platter. Cover and let rest 5 minutes, then serve. Discard planks after use.

Video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350° F or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • TO MAKE CEDAR PLANK SALMON IN THE OVEN:
    1. Soak the planks and prepare the salmon fillets as directed. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
    2. Once the oven reaches temperature, place the pre-soaked cedar planks on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven.
    3. Let the planks heat up for about 5 minutes, then add the salmon fillets on top. Bake cedar plank salmon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 34gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 94mgPotassium: 861mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 70IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. After trying this grilled cedar plank salmon, I’m not sure I can ever go back. WOW it is so moist and flavorful! My husband and I both couldn’t get enough of it.5 stars

  2. This salmon turned out perfect. This was my first attempt using a cedar plank and I was really impressed with the subtle cedar flavor. I read a lot of recipes before choosing this one and am so happy I did. I served it with garlic potatoes grilled in aluminum foil grilled and a side dish of garlic with lemon asparagus chargrilled is an excellent meal.5 stars

  3. First off this turned out to be some of the best fish I’ve literally ever had. I soaked my plank for a little over an hour and I think it did fine. I topped the salmon w/ some honey before cooking. I’ll definitely make this again.5 stars

  4. This was our first experience with cedar plank cooking and it won’t be the last. The fish had a wonderful taste and texture and the aroma was amazing. Thank you so much!5 stars