The first time we made cedar-planked salmon on our grill was a bit of a game changer; it was one of the, if not the best salmon fillets we’d ever had. Of course we had expected the cedar planks to infuse the salmon with subtle wood and smoke flavors. It did not occur to us that they would also gently steam the fish, giving it a perfect texture — a little juicy, very buttery, and lightly flaky.
We were also surprised at how easy it was to make planked salmon. The plank and the grill really do all the work, and since the fish is not on the grill rack, there’s less cleanup. We may never go back to plank-free salmon!
Our tips: Cook your salmon fillets on the smooth side of the plank. Resist the urge to look at the fish; keeping the lid down seals in the heat, smoke, and steam. That said, keep an eye on the smoke and have a spray bottle handy, just in case your planks catch on fire!
And, since the planks require indirect heat, you’ll have some nice coals at the edges of the grill. Use them to grill veggies, like sliced summer squash, zucchini, or eggplant.
4 6-oz salmon fillets
Kosher salt, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 8 dill stalks
1 lemon, sliced
2 cedar planks
Soak the cedar planks in water in a baking pan for 2 hours.
Open the vents on the bottom of grill. Light a large chimney starter full of charcoal.
When the coals are ready, dump them out along the sides or off to one side of the bottom grill rack, leaving a large enough space free of charcoal to accommodate the planks.
Add the cedar planks on the top rack of the grill.
On a baking pan or platter, season the salmon with salt. Bbrush the salmon with olive oil, and then add the garlic, dill stalks, and lemon slices.
Transfer the salmon to the cedar planks, cover the grill, and cook the fish for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it’s just cooked through.