Cedar Planked Salmon
September 11, 2013
While the Internet trend of “planking” may have come and gone, here at Grilling.com it’s not going anywhere. You won’t believe the flavor that comes from adding cedar to your grill. GrillGrrrl walks us through the basics of planking.
There’s nothing as good as wild sockeye salmon cooked on cedar or alder planks over charcoal. The salmon gets slowly smoked on the wood, while also absorbing the smoke of your charcoal. If I died and went to heaven, I imagine it would smell like this.
You get such great flavor from cooking them on the cedar plank, I usually do a simple seasoning such as slathering the fish in an old bay compound butter, or applying an ample amount of Dizzy Pig BBQ Tsunami Spin Rub Spice – 7.6 oz. But a good dash of sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of lemon afterwards should also do the trick.
Cedar planked salmon is great paired with any veggie, but one of my favorites is grilled asparagus drizzled in lemon. I like to grill a few lemons at the same time – this makes for great presentation on the plate as well as makes them extra juicy for squeezing on the salmon. Another great pairing is my Charleston style coleslaw.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 Cedar planks – soak in water for 30 minutes before using- I prefer Outdoor Gourmet Sustainably Produced Cedar Grilling Planks
Salmon (I prefer wild sockeye salmon)- at least 5 oz. per person
1 lemon, cut in half
I created a direct and indirect zone by moving the coals to one side.* I placed the cedar planks on the indirect side and let the grill cook at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, ensuring that the coals did not get overly hot and maintaining a steady “baking” temp. Once your fish has reached an internal temp of 140 degrees with an internal read thermometer such as a Thermapen, you can take them off the grill.
*While many other blogs do not mention creating direct and indirect zones on your smoker, I believe this is important so your planks are less likely to catch on fire or burn. If you don’t have the space to create zones by moving your charcoal to one side, I recommend keeping your coals very low and, once at temperature, almost sealing off the air once to essentially turn the smoker into a baking environment.