Cedar planks add sweet and fresh flavors with a slightly smokey finish to your salmon while retaining its moisture when grilling. The natural, earthy aromas infuse the salmon before escaping the grill and enticing your backyard company. It’s an easy way to add seemingly complex, yet subtle flavor to your fresh fish or other meats.
Simply soak the cedar planks for a few hours or overnight, then dry and lightly coat the plank with olive or vegetable oil. Season the plank with herbs or salts to compliment the cedar. Pre-heat your grill to 350º for ten minutes, then pre-heat your plank on the grill for another five. Always have a spray bottle of water handy for any flare-ups.
Rest your salmon on the plank, skin-side down if it has skin. Close the BBQ, and resist the urge to peek— the closed lid retains the sweet smoke and heat. Check every few minutes for flame flare-ups. If flames flicker on your board, reduce the heat and spritz with water, but don’t drench the board. The smoldering board will release more smoke, and therefore more flavor.
The salmon is ready when it’s easy to flake apart, though doneness is personal preference. The cooking times vary with BBQ types, so it’s best to inspect meats with an instant-read thermometer. Rare, medium and well done temperatures are 120°, 125° and 130°F.
The salmon can be dished out to a serving platter or plate, or served directly from the cedar plank when placed on a metal serving platter. The aromas create mouthwatering anticipation and the salmon is sure to satisfy.
Cedar planks are designed for one-time use, though if the plank was used on indirect heat or has not been charred, it may be re-used with warm water.
Soak some cedar, fire up the grill and entertain your tastebuds with a sweet and smoky twist on grilled salmon.