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Cedar-Planked Salmon - CC


Soaking the cedar plank for 1 hour prevents it from catching fire too soon, and preheating it for 5 minutes starts the smoking process. Seasoning the fish with a simple “cure” of brown sugar, kosher salt, fresh dill, and pepper while the cedar plank soaks allows the flavors to penetrate the salmon. Using skinless salmon fillets allows the delicate cedar flavor to permeate the salmon, without overpowering it.

Be sure to buy an untreated cedar plank specifically intended for cooking. To ensure uniform pieces of fish, we prefer to purchase a whole center-cut salmon fillet and cut it into four equal pieces. Note that the seasoned fillets must be refrigerated for at least 1 hour before grilling. When preheating the cedar plank, you will know it’s ready when it is just giving off wisps of smoke. It should not ignite. Serve with lemon wedges and our Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce (see related content).

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  • 1 (2-pound) center-cut, skinless salmon fillet, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (16 by 7-inch) cedar plank
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges



Step 1

1. Cut salmon crosswise into 4 equal fillets. Combine sugar, salt, dill, and pepper in bowl. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salmon all over with sugar mixture, place on plate, and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. One hour before grilling, soak cedar plank in water for 1 hour (or according to manufacturer’s directions).

2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place. Place cedar plank in center of grill. Cover and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until plank is lightly smoking and crackling (it should not ignite), about 5 minutes.

2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Place cedar plank in center of grill. Turn all burners to medium-low, cover, and heat grill until plank is smoking and crackling (it should not ignite), about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on medium-low. Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature between 300 and 325 degrees.

3. Brush skinned side of salmon fillets with oil, then place skinned side down on plank. Cover grill and cook until center of salmon is translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 12 to 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer plank with salmon to baking sheet, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

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