The smoky flavor of cedar helps make this salmon dish the easiest and tastiest you’ve ever made! Cedar Plank Salmon is easy, delicious and healthy! Salmon is infused with subtle smoke using a cedar plank on the grill—no fuss, with easy clean up. + 25+ Amazing Salmon Recipes!

This recipe for Cedar Plank Salmon couldn't be any easier! Infuse wild salmon with subtle smoke and our flavorful Northwest Salmon Rub, using a cedar plank on the grill. No fuss with easy clean up.

Here is one of my favorite ways to cook salmon fillets- on top of a cedar plank on the grill. The smoke from the cedar smells heavenly- like a real wood-fired sauna – and gently infuses the salmon with love. Here we’ve seasoned the salmon with our Northwest Salmon Rub.

Why You’ll Love Cedar Plank Salmon

  1. It’s SO easy, and the grill grates stay clean. No mess, no fuss, with very little cleanup.
  2. The flavor. Nothing is better than salmon infused with a little wood smoke- subtle but magical!
  3. It’s fun. It is good to mix things up-. It keeps cooking fun.
  4. Salmon is healthy- full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids  and (DHA), high in protein, vitamin B-12, B-6, and selenium.

What you’ll Need

ingredients in cedar plank salmon

Cedar Plank Salmon Ingredients

  • Cedar planks – one plank fits about 4-5 salmon filets. Yes, you can reuse these, but they seem to be the most aromatic on the first use.
  • Salmon fresh, wild, skin off, thicker cuts work best here. Thicker cuts allow them to cook long and slower, allowing more smoke flavor to infuse the salmon. Use fresh wild salmon for the best flavor. Ask your butcher to remove the skin for you. AND Just a heads up- Trader Joe’s Wild Sockeye Salmon is just not good. Sorry TJ.
  • Olive oil– extra virgin all the way!
  • Salt and Spices– see the recipe notes for our Northwest Salmon Rub. Or use salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
  • Fresh Thyme.

How to Grill Salmon on a Cedar Plank

Step 1: Soak the cedar plank in water for 1-2 hours, then preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. See recipe notes for a charcoal grill.

Step 2: Pat the salmon dry with paper towels then brush all sides of the salmon with olive oil and sprinkle all sides with Northwest Salmon Rub (recipe below) – or sub salt, pepper and lemon zest.

Grilling cedar plank without salmon first.

Step 3: Place the soaked cedar plank on the hot grill and grill until it smells smoky and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. This is KEY to great flavor!

grilled cedar plank

Step 4: Flip the cedar plank over, then place the seasoned salmon overtop. Lower the heat.

grilling the salmon on cedar planks

Step 5: Cover the grill, turn the heat to low, and grill covered, low and slow, (capturing all that lovely smoke) until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F (medium rare) or 130 degrees F (medium), about 8-9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.

grilled salmon on plank on the grill.

Optional: If you have a broiler, broil for 1 minute to caramelize the top. Or use a cooking torch!

Cedar plank Salmon

Expert Tips

  1. Grill the cedar plank before putting the salmon on it. This will allow a little more smoke flavor to infuse the salmon.
  2. Grill the salmon low and slow, extending the grilling time- allowing the salmon to capture more smoke flavor.
  3. Broil the top ( or use a cooking torch) to caramelize the top of the salmon until just golden.

What to serve with SalMon!

There are so many side dishes that go with cedar plank salmon. Here are some of our favorite veggie side dishes that you can grill alongside the salmon, plus a few others.

Faqs

Can I use skin-on salmon on a cedar plank?

While you can, it is not recommended! Placing the salmon flesh directly on the grilled cedar plank helps infuse it with a delicious smoky flavor. The skin will act as a barrier and will stay soggy. If using skin-on salmon, I would recommend oiling and seasoning the skin side, then placing it directly on the grill grate so it crisps up.

How long does it take to grill salmon on a cedar plank?

Grilling salmon on a cedar plank only takes 10-15 minutes. It’ really fast and easy, once you soak the cedar plank in water.

What is special about cedar plank salmon?

Grilling salmon on a cedar plank is healthy, easy, and delicious- the smoke from the cedar plank infuses the salmon with a subtle smoke flavor.

Can you reuse a cedar plank?

Yes, you can reuse a cedar plank if it is still sturdy and not overly charred. Wash and dry- soak again when ready to reuse.

This recipe for Cedar Plank Salmon couldn't be any easier! Infuse wild salmon with subtle smoke and our flavorful Northwest Salmon Rub, using a cedar plank on the grill—no fuss with easy clean up.

More recipes you'll love

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
The smoky flavor of cedar helps make this salmon dish the easiest and tastiest you've ever made! Cedar Plank Salmon is easy, delicious and healthy! Salmon is infused with subtle smoke using a cedar plank on the grill—no fuss, with easy clean up.

Cedar Plank Salmon

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: fish, salmon, main, dinner, dinner idea
  • Method: grill
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

The smoky flavor of cedar helps make this salmon dish the easiest and tastiest you’ve ever made! Cedar Plank Salmon is easy, delicious and healthy! Salmon is infused with subtle smoke using a cedar plank on the grill—no fuss, with easy clean up.


Ingredients

Scale
  1. 1 cedar plank, soaked in water 1-2 hours.
  2. 45 pieces salmon, wild, skin-off, thicker cuts are best.
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. salt and pepper and lemon zest, or use 2 tablespoons Northwest Salmon Rub (see notes)
  5. Fresh thyme.

Instructions

  1. Soak cedar plank in water 1-2 hours.
  2. Pre-heat grill to medium (400-450F) 
  3. Brush salmon liberally with olive oil and sprinkle all sides with the salmon rub mixture and set on a plate in the fridge. Alternatively, you could brush with oil and season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. 
  4. Place the cedar plank on the grill (without the salmon) cover and grill the plank until smells wonderful (like a Finnish Sauna) and grill marks appear on the plank, 4-ish minutes. Turn the cedar plank over. 
  5. Place the salmon on the grilled cedar plank, lower heat to low (300F), cover, and grill the salmon low and slow until cooked to medium 130-135F, about 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets. Add the thyme halfway through. 


Notes

To elevate: If using the Salmon Rub- caramelize the sugar by broiling in the oven for 1-2 minutes until the tops are just golden. You can also use a kitchen torch. 

If seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon zest, squeeze with lemon at the end (or serve with lemon). 

Northwest Salmon Rub:  Mix together 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Makes 3 tablespoons.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 ounce piece of salmon
  • Calories: 192
  • Sugar: 3.3 g
  • Sodium: 380.3 mg
  • Fat: 8.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 25.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 57.9 mg

Keywords: cedar plank salmon, cedar planked salmon recipe, cedar plank salmon recipe, cedar planked salmon

Share this with the world!

Subscribe
to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Comments

  1. This is my new go-to recipe for salmon. The northwest rub is perfect and the salmon really picks up the flavor from the cedar plank! Delicious!!!

  2. Amazing! This is my favorite salmon recipe of all time! The cedar plank, the Northwest rub, and sustainable salmon made this another winner from this blog in my household!

  3. Great recipe, made the northwest seasoning. Liked how you did the cedar plank, by grilling it on its own first. Salmon turned out great. Don’t have a torch yet, may need to get one, as that would be better sometimes then trying to broil. Had this with your Harvest Succotash which I make frequently. So good right now with all the fresh veggies available. Thank you

  4. Made the Northwest rub, the cedar plank salmon with great tips by the way and your grilled potatoes. All outstanding will make again.

  5. I cook Salmon on cedar planks all the time. I have never cooked the plank then placed the salmon on the cooked side. I will have to try this method. Also, I cannot find the Northwest Salmon Rub recipe, I would love to try the rub so could you direct me the the recipe. Thanks Sylvia, I love using your recipes since they have been yummy!

    1. Hi Lisa- it really brings out the cedar flavor! Rub is in the notes!

  6. I’m anxious to make this tomorrow but I can’t find the rub ingredients listed in the notes. Am I missing a link? Thanks.

  7. Super excited to give this a go! We have friends who have just returned from Alaska with some amazing king fillets, but I’m not seeing your recipe for Northwest Salmon Rub?

  8. Hi-I don’t see the ingredients for the Northwest Salmon Rub in the notes! Am I missing seeing them somewhere else? Thank you!

Our Latest Recipes