Salmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank is a common method for preparing salmon, traditional to the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest of the United States and British Columbia in Canada.
The cedar planks should be free of any chemical treatments or coatings. The planks are soaked in water for several hours prior to grilling, to prevent burning. A baking pan of water with the planks weighted down to submerge them works well.
The salmon should be prepared to fit on the planks of cedar. Whole fillets can be placed on longer planks, while shorter ones can be used for salmon steaks. Salmon should be as fresh as possible. Wild salmon has the most flavor, but farm raised salmon is also acceptable, and less expensive.
- Salmon 1/3 to 1/2 lb (150-225g) per person (I like left overs)
- Cedar planks
- A BBQ pit. Charcoal should be spread somewhat to the back so the fish can be moved for more or less fire.
- Preheat the grill
- Briefly place the salmon in the marinade
- Place the salmon on the plank skin side down. It should not hang over.
- Grill watching carefully. A glass of water or the left over marinade by the grill can be used to partially douse the fire when it gets too hot. As an alternative, a squirt-bottle or mister filled with water can douse any fire that commences on the plank. Individual planks give flexibility in moving to get all done evenly. Don't turn the fish on the plank, just move the plank(s) around, rotate, etc.
- Remove the plank to onto a baking pan when the fish is cooked to the desired "doneness" and transfer to plates or a serving platter.
Notes, tips, and variations
- A microwave oven can be used to cook the salmon to greater degrees of "doneness".