We make this meal a lot, Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon is one of our favorite grilling recipes and definitely the healthiest thing we cook on the grill! It’s a quick, easy recipe that is beautiful and gets a lot of ooooh’s and ahhhh’s from your guests. The cedar planks infuse a really delicate smoked flavor into the salmon leaving it tender, flaky and juicy.
cedar smoked salmon
Simple seasonings of salt, pepper, and lemon help keep the focus on the salmon, sometimes we put rings of onions or some herbs on top of the salmon to infuse additional flavors into the fish as it smokes, but not necessary. A little olive oil on the underside of the fish will keep it from sticking to the board
The key I’ve found is to wait until the coals are no longer flaming, but still hot enough that you can’t hold your hand over the top of them for more than 3-4 seconds.
Oh yeah, by the way, don’t do this inside, the smoke from the cedar planks is more than your ventilation can handle!
Here’s how I make Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon:
EQUIPMENT: cedar smoked salmon
- Gas or charcoal grill (I use charcoal, but gas will work fine)
- Cedar planks, soak overnight
- Grilling utensils
- Salmon, I used 6oz pieces, don’t crowd the planks
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Lemon, sliced thinly for cooking
- Lemon, cut into wedges for serving
-Light the charcoal one hour before time to cook, enough charcoal to spread evenly, one layer along the bottom of the grill
-I use a ‘chimney’ to start the charcoal, they work great and there’s no chemical smell or taste from a harsh lighter fluid
-After about 20 minutes, the charcoal should be ready, spread evenly along the bottom of the grill. Let the coals cool down enough to hold your hand over the coals for 3-4 seconds. 1,2,3, ouch is how the count should go
Meanwhile, as the grill is warming up…
-Remove the skin from the salmon (optional), I do it because I think the cedar flavor gets into the fish better and for ease of eating.
-Oil the skin side of the fish to prevent sticking
-Salt and pepper both sides of the fish cedar smoked salmon
-Place a lemon slice, or two, on the fish cedar smoked salmon
-Place the salmon on the planks, careful not to crowd them together or let them hang over the edge of the plank
-Place planks on the grill, cover, leave the vents open to allow airflow cedar smoked salmon
-Smoke the fish for 30 minutes