Grilled cedar plank salmon with a flavorful herb spice mix is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy this tender a flaky fish. The cedar plank infuses a beautiful earthy and smoky element to the salmon dish.
Salmon is one of my favorite seafood choices because it cooks in minutes and is packed with healthy nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon also takes on any flavor you choose with very little effort. At our house, we have our lean “salmon Mondays” so I wanted to think of a new recipe to put into our weekly rotation.
I was really happy when Jason spent a good part of the weekend upgrading our Weber grill with some much-needed replacement parts. When he returned from Home Depot, he surprised me with a fun new cooking tool to play with, cedar planks! I had never tried this cooking technique before so I was excited test it out.
I made a recipe for grilled cedar plank salmon fillet and added a blend of aromatic herbs and spices to make the dish, even more, tasty.
There are a lot of great reasons to use a cedar plank when cooking fish or other food items. The cedar plank adds a subtle earthy and smoky flavor to your food. When you cook the fish directly on the plank, the direct contact gives maximum flavor transfer.
Jason bought me the Weber cedar planks, which are great because they come in a pack of two and are big enough to hold a 1 pound salmon fillet or other items you would like to grill. You can discard them after use, or wash and dry them to add some cedar smoke to your grill before cooking up your next meal.
When preparing the salmon for the grill, I created a sweet, spiced and savory herb blend to top the salmon fillet as a dry rub. I also sliced some fresh lemon and placed them down the center to add some aroma to the fish. This prevents the surface of the salmon from getting too dry. You can also add fresh sprigs of thyme to the cedar plank as your grilling to get even more herbaceous notes in the fish.
To make serving easier and cooking a little quicker, I pre-cut four portions of the fillet by gently scoring the sections but not cutting through the skin. This step is not necessary, so if you don’t slice the fillet just keep an eye on the doneness of the fish. This can be tested by gently using a fork to separate the center of flesh to see if it can easily flake apart from each other.
Be careful as the grill can be much hotter than your oven, so keep checking every few minutes, so the fish does not get too dry. I like to serve this dish with a fresh lemon wedge to squeeze on top and my summer succotash salad for a super healthy and antioxidant packed meal. Once you use this technique once, you’ll be hooked!
How do I safely cedar plank my food on the grill?
It’s important to remember to soak your cedar plank in water for an hour before cooking on the grill. The cedar plank is a dry piece of wood and can catch fire quickly if not pre-soaked, especially with direct contact of the grill plate at very high heat. I always keep a water spray bottle next to the grill in case flare-ups happen, and I can easily tame the fire with the spray. Please check out my easy how to cedar plank salmon guide for more instruction of this fun grilling technique, you will love it!
- 1 pound salmon fillet , (skin on)
- 1 cedar plank , soaked in water for at least an hour
- 10 sprigs of thyme
- 4 lemon slices
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper , ground
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Place cedar plank in a sheet pan, cover with water and put a heavy bottle on top of the board to keep beneath the water. Soak the cedar plank in water for at least 1 hour.
- Place the salmon fillet on cutting board. Cut the fillet into 4 individual portions, cutting right down to the skin but not through it. This will make serving easier after the salmon is cooked.
- Combine herb spice mix ingredients and evenly coat the surface of the salmon with 5 to 6 teaspoons of the seasoning. Reserve any additional spice mix for later use or extra spice after cooking the salmon.
- Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove the soaked plank from the water and place it on the cooking grate and close the lid. After 7 to 10 minutes, when the plank begins to smoke and char, turn the plank over.
- Put the seasoned salmon on the plank, skin side down. Place the 10 sprigs of thyme on top of the salmon, and then the 4 slices of lemon. Cook the salmon with the lid closed until the salmon is just opaque in the center and begins to brown slightly around the edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer the plank with the salmon to a heatproof surface. Remove the thyme leaves, keeping the roasted lemon on top of each salmon piece
- Slide a spatula between the skin and flesh and transfer to serving plates. Enjoy!