Grilling Salmon on Cedar Plank

grilling salmon on cedar plank

When you grill salmon on cedar plank it becomes subtly smoky with a delicious hit of citrus. Serve with a simple side dish for a light and summery dinner!

Soak your cedar plank in water for 2 hours prior to cooking. You can also soak in a mixture of water and wine for an extra infused flavor!

Gas Grill

Grilling salmon on a cedar plank is one of the easiest ways to infuse it with a delicate smoky flavor. The warm cedar plank gently steams the salmon, resulting in a tender center with a grilled texture on the outside.

You can buy cedar planks specifically made for grilling, but you can also use a baking sheet or large piece of wood cut into a plank shape. The key is to soak the plank for an hour before grilling to help prevent it from catching fire on the grill.

While the plank is soaking, make the salmon marinade by combining olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper in a shallow dish big enough to hold the fish. Season the salmon generously on both sides and place it skin-side down on the soaked plank. Grill over medium heat with the lid closed until the salmon flakes easily and is lightly browned, about 15 minutes per pound.


If you have an oven but no grill, cooking your salmon on cedar planks in the oven is a great alternative. Make sure your planks are completely soaked, just as you would for the grill. Soaking prevents the plank from catching fire on contact with an open flame, as well as infusing it with more wood flavor.

You can also soak your cedar planks in other liquids, such as bourbon for a smoky flavor or apple cider vinegar for a tangy kick. Just be sure to rinse them after soaking and pat dry before using.

Place the salmon skin side down on a soaked cedar plank and brush with the honey mixture. Cook the salmon until it flakes easily with a fork and the skin is crispy. Serve this grilled salmon with rice, roasted vegetables, or a salad. Leftovers can be reheated gently on a baking sheet in the oven or microwave. Enjoy!


While it may seem counterintuitive to put a piece of wood on your grill, plank grilling offers a host of benefits. Not only does it add flavor and a wow factor to your meal, but it also prevents salmon from sticking to the grates or overcooking in direct heat.

You can purchase cedar planks at cooking stores or from your local hardware store. But if you’re shopping at the latter, make sure to purchase untreated wood so you don’t inhale toxic chemicals used to treat the wood.

Soak the plank in water before grilling. While the plank soaks, prep the salmon. Season the fish with salt, black pepper and mustard. Once the plank is soaked, grill the salmon on the hot grate away from the flame until the fish is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees F. The warm plank will gently steam the salmon and infuse it with cedar flavor.

Best Cedar Planks

If you love salmon, or a light smoky flavor, grilling it on a cedar plank is one of the best ways to get that smoky flavor without overpowering the fish. It’s also very easy to do.

Just soak your planks in water before you start grilling. Soaking your planks prevents them from burning on the grill grate and helps the food cook faster.

Toss your salmon with a simple salt and pepper, lemon zest, or even a smoky BBQ rub or glaze. Whatever you use, the cedar will amplify the flavors of your seasonings.

You can buy pre-soaked cedar planks that are ready to grill, but it’s a lot cheaper to buy them raw and soak them yourself. Just make sure you are using kiln-dried planks, and not recycled ones. The recycled ones tend to absorb bacteria, spices and other foods that you are cooking on them. Also, you want to ensure the planks are the same size as your salmon.