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Cedar Plank Salmon on the Grill

Jennifer Chandler

Up your Summer grill game by cooking fish on a cedar plank.

One of my favorite ways to cook salmon is on a cedar plank. It’s super easy, makes a great presentation, and the fish always comes out deliciously smoky and moist.

Cedar planks are available at most grocery, kitchen supply, and hardware stores. Cedar is the most common wood used but you can also use other woods like Alder, Cherry, Hickory, or even Maple. When buying wood planks for cooking at a hardware store, be sure to look for untreated wood. You don’t want to add chemicals to your supper!

Before cooking, you need to be sure to soak the wood for at least an hour before placing it on the grill.  Soaking not only helps prevent the wood plank from scorching but also imparts flavor. As the wood heats up, the steam that comes off infuses a delicious smokiness into the fish.

You can use plain water to soak the planks, but other liquids like wine, sake, or cider are also great options because they can add even more flavor to your fish.

You can cook either whole sides of salmon or individual filets. Just keep in mind that smaller cuts of fish will cook more quickly than larger pieces.

Season your fish with lemon slices, fresh herbs, dry rubs, or simply salt and pepper.  I like to make a quick and easy remoulade with capers to accompany my cedar planked salmon.

And don’t forget that cedar planks can be re-used. Just scrub them off as you would any other dish and allow them to dry until their next use. Throw the planks away when they become too charred or cracked.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Cedar Plank Salmon with Caper Remoulade

For the Caper Remoulade:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons capers, drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salmon:

  • 4 boneless salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cedar plank, soaked in water at least 4 hours and drained

To make the Caper Remoulade: In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, and lemon juice. Stir in the capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the salmon: Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes.

Generously season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon fillets on the cedar plank, skin side down. 

Place cedar plank in the center of the grill directly on the grates. Cover the grill and cook until the fish is medium, about 10 to 12 minutes, or until desired doneness.

To serve, place the fish on a plate and top with a generous spoonful of the remoulade sauce.

Serves 4.

Tip: The Caper Remoulade can be made the day before. Store covered in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.