Go at any sushi/seafood restaurant and you’ll most certainly find salmon on the menu. This is for a good reason. This fish is an explosion of flavors in the mouth. Even if you’re not a fan of fishy tastes, you’ll most definitely like this one. There’s a refreshing and subtle taste to it that you will just adore.
Besides its taste, it’s one of the few foods that’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which is very beneficial to people with joint pains, cancer and heart problems. Its practically loaded with a whole boatload of nutrients.
Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon
If you’ve ever been to a seafood restaurant you’re likely familiar with cedar planked grilled salmon or something similar. (Click here to learn if you should grill or blacken)
Let me tell you, this is one of the best salmons you’ll ever taste. As a guilty carnivore, this simple but elegant technique for cooking salmon is a complete game-changer.
There’s this delicious smoky and earthy flavor that the cedar plank infuses into the tender flaky fish that is so good. When you cook the salmon directly on the wood, a unique aroma from the wood is transferred to the fish. The fish steams gently on the grill staying very tender and moist without sticking on the grill.
It’s a favorite for many people because of the unique but great taste and its easiness to make at home or anywhere. What’s more, cleaning the grill is very easy since the plank prevents the fish from sticking to it.
How to grill salmon cedar plank
If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Just follow the following simple steps below and you’ll be good to go.
- First of all, you need to prepare the plank to increase moisture for cooking and to prevent burning. To prepare it, follow these simple steps:
- Remove dust from the plank by rinsing it
- Fill a container with water and submerge the plank to soak for 1 to 4 hours.
- To enhance the plank’s flavor, add a teaspoon of salt. You can also add apple cider vinegar, citrus or berry juice if you wish to.
- Heat the grill to medium indirect heat, about 3500F.
- Lay the planks on the grill in a single layer while leaving a little space between them for heat and air regulation. Allow it to preheat until it starts to crackle and smoke.
- Coat your salmon with a thin layer of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice/zest. Place the salmon on the cedar planks. Make sure you’ve put them in a single layer and then cover the grill.
- Grill the salmon until it’s uniformly at the center and start checking for doneness after about 12 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness. You can check by inserting a fork into the thickest part of the salmon and if it flakes, it’s done.
- Place the salmon on a cutting board and then use a thin spatula to gently separate the skin from the salmon. This is optional and depends on you
- Using a sharp knife, cut it into portions and serve.
Easy ways to make your salmon even more delicious
- Use herbs to add tons of fresh flavor that will enhance your salmon without overpowering it. Just add a little oil and citrus juice with whatever herbs you have and you’re good to go.
- Try adding yogurt/crème fraiche sauce. This creates a creamy but slightly tangy flavor that works very well with salmon. That’s why cream-dill sauce over salmon is a classic. Mix in curry powder, sriracha or scallions into the yogurt/ crème fraiche for an elegant delicious salmon topper.
- Mixing butter with lemon zest and black paper or some creole seasoning and putting a pat on the salmon fillet when it’s finished cooking. This delicious butter will melt and mix with the salmon juices creating a flavorful sauce to eat with bread or rice.
- Coat your salmon with breadcrumbs before frying or baking it. You can do this by first dipping your salmon fillet into an egg or brushing it with mustard mayo mixture and then coating it with the breadcrumbs. You can also add herbs and spices to it.
- Another way to add flavor to your salmon is by marinating it.
Different types of plank to cook salmon on
Although cedar planks are most people’s favorite to cook salmon on, there are other types of planks for the same purpose.
You can use any type of wood for selecting plank since the main reason for grilling with one is for the flavor they add to food. With time and practice, you can be able to figure out what type you prefer.
Common choices for planks used for salmon are:
- Cedar plank– This plank imparts a gentle flavor making it ideal for poultry or seafood
- Maple – This will impart a sturdier flavor mostly described as rich, sweet and nutty.
- Alder – It’s usually described as gentle and mild and mostly used for poultry and seafood. This would be the best type for people who want to avoid the more distinctive flavor of cedar plank and prefer a mild, mellow flavor.
- Cherry – This is usually fit for gamer meats but also popular for fish especially salmon. It brings a rich, bright flavor (my favorite!)
TIPS: When choosing what type you want, you should consider what food you’re going to be grilling and what is the best size for it. You should leave a bit of room. The plank should be 8 inches from the heat.