Cedar plank grilling is an easy way to infuse salmon with a lush, smoky, aromatic flavor. Follow these simple steps to get this grilling technique just right.
If you've never used wooden grilling planks, don't be intimidated -- we'll show you how in four easy steps. To get started, pick a plank-grilled salmon recipe you want to try. We recommend our simple but delicious Lime Barbecue Salmon Sandwiches.
Cedar lends the most intense, aromatic flavor to salmon, but other woods are excellent for plank-grilling, too. Here are some examples:
Tip: Look for grilling planks at specialty cookware stores, hardware stores, and grilling supply outlets.
Plank-grilling gives salmon the flavor imparted by a smoker with the convenience of a grill. Be sure to prepare your wood properly to increase moisture for cooking and prevent burning. Take these steps to prepare your wooden grilling plank:
Leave the salmon filet whole, cut it into serving-size portions, or use individual salmon steaks. You can add a dry rub, marinade, or herb mixture to flavor the salmon. Apply rubs to the salmon up to 24 hours in advance. Add marinades or herb mixtures to the salmon 2 hours or less before cooking.
For a charcoal grill:
For a gas grill:
Tip: To test the level of heat, carefully place the palm of your hand at the level of the grill rack and count the number of seconds you can hold it in that position. If the heat is low, you should be able to hold your hand in the position for 6 seconds. If the heat is medium, you should be able to hold your hand in the position for about 4 seconds. If the heat is high, you should be able to hold your hand in the position for 2 seconds.
To adjust the heat on a charcoal grill:
To adjust the heat on a gas grill, turn the burners to higher or lower heat settings as needed.
Tip: The plank should be approximately 8 inches from the heat. If you do not have control over the plank height, closely monitor the salmon while on the grill to make sure it doesn't overcook.