Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Grilled cedar plank salmon is an awesome technique that adds an irresistible cedar flavor. Cedar introduces a unique woody and mildly smokey flavor in less than 15 minutes of grilling! That’s the true beauty behind the whole process. Cooking delicious salmon has never been so effortless.

Three golden cooked salmon filets on a charred cedar plank after grilling.

Why This Recipe Works

My cedar plank salmon is grilled and finished with a drizzle of maple syrup and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The sweet maple and citrus complement the cedar flavor, creating a well-balanced blend of flavors.

The hot grill will slowly heat the cedar, steaming and rapidly infusing the fish with fresh cedar flavor. It’s an interesting method and worth trying, even if you aren’t a fan of traditional smoked fish.

No cedar at hand? Add extra flavor by using a Cajun technique of blackening. You can also make a quick weeknight dinner in the oven with foil packets. Try sesame ginger glazed salmon or an easy cilantro-lime honey blend.

Ingredients

  • Salmon filets: look for center-cut portions of salmon with the skin removed. You can optionally use a larger filet of salmon, just make sure it fits on the cedar. Removing the skin helps to soak in the wood flavor better.
  • Pure maple syrup: this is used to sweeten the salmon. Use sparingly. You can also use honey! Also, try my bourbon-glazed salmon with lemon and honey!
  • Lemon: citrus is optional but I love the freshness it adds to the fish. It’s delicious combined with honey or maple syrup.
  • Cedar plank for grilling: Most grocery stores will carry cedar for grilling. It’s typically more popular in the summer months. I’ve also used natural cedar shingles sold in hardware stores etc. Cedar is naturally rot-resistant so it’s not treated with coatings. You can also get them at Lowe’s and Home Depot in the grilling section.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Cook Cedar Plank Salmon

Step 1.

Soak cedar plank(s) in warm water for at least one hour before grilling. This is important to prevent burning! Preheat the grill to medium-high heat for 10 minutes with the cover down (about 400°F). Clean the grates well.

Step 2.

Arrange salmon fillets on the plank and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle each filet with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.

Step 3.

Place plank directly on the grates and above the heat source. Grill for 15-18 minutes for medium.

Step 4.

Give each piece of salmon a final 1-2 teaspoon drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

A hand pouring real maple syrup over a golden salmon filet sitting on a charred cedar plank after grilling.

Expert Tips

  • Soak the cedar in water for at least 1 hour before throwing it on the grill. It’s ok if the cedar browns and sears (it absolutely will), we just want to prevent full-on burning.
  • Remove the salmon skin. This recipe can be made with individual portions of salmon or a larger filet you later cut. My only suggestion would be to remove the skin to take full advantage of the wood flavoring.
  • Place cedar plank directly on the grill grates. Cook with the cover down for about 15 minutes, depending on the desired salmon temp. No flipping is required.
  • Don’t worry about turning the burner off where the plank is placed on the grill. The idea is to smoke/char the plank and release amazing flavor and aroma.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook Cedar plank salmon in the oven?

No, due to the smokey nature and risk of fire, I would not attempt to do this in the oven.

Do you cook salmon skin up or down on a cedar plank?

Always cook with the skin side down. That being said, I recommend you remove the skin so the steam better penetrates the fish,

Can I reuse cedar planks after grilling?

Cedar planks are single-use only. They will be charred and covered in juices. Discard and buy fresh.

What to Serve With Cedar Plank Salmon

This is a delicious summer recipe that pairs nicely with pesto pasta salad, honey and balsamic brussels sprouts, or cilantro lime rice. If you’re looking for starches, try my smashed potatoes or my cream cheese mashed potatoes!

More Salmon Recipes You’ll Love

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

Servings: 3
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Easy grilled cedar plank salmon dressed with a simple drizzle of maple syrup and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and chopped fresh parsley.

Ingredients 

  • 3 6-8 ounce salmon filets, skin removed (1-1.5 pounds)
  • 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, juice sqeuezed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Cedar plank for grilling
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Instructions 

  • Soak cedar plank(s) in warm water for at least one hour before grilling. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat for 10 minutes with the cover down (about 400°F). Clean the grates well.
  • Arrange salmon fillets on the plank and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle each filet with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.
  • Place plank directly on the grates and above the heat source. Grill for 15-18 minutes for medium.
  • Give each piece of salmon a final 1-2 teaspoon drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

Soak the cedar in water for at least 1 hour before throwing it on the grill. It’s ok if the cedar browns and sears (it absolutely will), we just want to prevent full-on burning.
Remove the salmon skin. This recipe can be made with individual portions of salmon or a larger filet you later cut. My only suggestion would be to remove the skin to take full advantage of the wood flavoring.
Place cedar plank directly on the grill grates. Cook with the cover down for about 15 minutes, depending on the desired salmon temp. No flipping is required.
Don’t worry about turning the burner off where the plank is placed on the grill. The idea is to smoke/char the plank and release amazing flavor and aroma.
Most grocery stores will carry cedar for grilling. It’s typically more popular in the summer months. I’ve also used natural cedar shingles sold in hardware stores etc. Cedar is naturally rot-resistant so it’s not treated with coatings. You can also get them at Lowe’s and Home Depot in the grilling section.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 488kcalCarbohydrates: 19.7gProtein: 57.9gFat: 18.6gSaturated Fat: 2.9gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 324mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 16.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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