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A cooked filet of salmon on a cedar plank on a grill

Easy Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Cedar Plank Salmon. Cedar-wood smoked salmon from your backyard grill.


  • Salmon fillet (2- to 2½ pounds, about 1¼ inches thick)
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt(or 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • zest of ½ a lemon

Sour Cream and Caper sauce

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped


  1. Soak the plank: Put the plank in a large container, weigh it down, and cover with water. (I use a rimmed baking sheet.) Soak for at least one hour, or up to overnight.
  2. Prepare the salmon and sour cream sauce: Remove the plank from the water, and pat dry. Put the salmon fillet on the plank, skin side down, and sprinkle with the kosher salt, black pepper, brown sugar, and lemon zest. (The brown sugar and zest tend to clump together; gently rub the seasonings onto the fish until it is evenly coated.) Mix the sour cream sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Prepare the grill: For my Weber Summit, I preheat the grill for 15 minutes with all the burners on high, then I turn off the middle burners (leaving burners 1 and 6 lit and on high heat). For my Weber Kettle, I light a chimney full of charcoal, let it get covered with ash, then pour the coals into charcoal baskets on two sides of the grill, leaving the center of the charcoal grate clear.
  4. Cook the plank of salmon: Put the plank on the grill grate over the unlit burners, and cook with the lid closed. Cook until the salmon reads 135ºF in its thickest point, measured with an instant read thermometer, about 30 minutes. (30 minutes is for a 1 ¼ inch thick salmon filet - thicker filets can take up to 40 minutes.)
  5. Serve: Remove the plank from the grill with tongs. (Heatproof gloves are a good idea too.) Move the plank to a rimmed baking sheet or other fireproof surface, and set that on a heatproof pad. Cut the salmon crosswise into 2 inch wide pieces and serve, passing the sauce at the table.


Simplest cedar plank salmon: Skip everything but the salt, pepper, salmon and cedar plank.


Grill (I use a Weber SummitHere is the current version of my grill.)

Cedar plank (1"x8"x16", roughly)

Sheet pan (for transferring hot plank from the grill)

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American