This delicious cedar-planked salmon recipe is one of the easiest and most delicious dishes you could ever make for your whole family. 20 minutes is all it takes to grill these salmon fillets using cedar grilling planks. The salmon filet gets its sweet and savory flavor from the maple and dijon mustard. I guarantee this will become your favorite salmon recipe!
And if you're not in the mood for grilling, keep scrolling and check out the "Cooking Variations" section to see how you can cook salmon on cedar planks in the oven.
- Ingredients Needed and Substitutions
- How to Grill Salmon Using Cedar Plank
- Why Use Cedar Planks
- Cooking Variations
- Difference between Coho Salmon and Sockeye Salmon
- Cooking Tips for the Best Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe
- What to Do with Leftover Salmon
- Additional Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Seafood Recipes To Try
- 📖 Recipe Card
- 💬 Reviews
Ingredients Needed and Substitutions
- Salmon Fillets - preferably wild caught. My source for wild salmon is Wild Alaskan Seafood. It is literally the best salmon I've ever had. And if you want to give them a try here is a $25 off coupon you can use.
- Maple Syrup - you can use brown sugar as a substitute using a 1:1 ratio.
- Grainy Dijon Mustard - the grains provide a nice visual appearance and texture to the overall dish, however, you can substitute any mustard (plain or dijon).
- Aromatics - Minced Fresh Ginger and Garlic. There's nothing like using fresh aromatics, however, if all you have available come in a jar or powder form, that is fine to use. If the latter substitute ½ portion of powder for 1 portion of fresh.
- Dried Red Pepper Flakes - If you don't like the extra heat, you can omit this ingredient,
- Cedar Grilling Planks - you can find them at hardware stores and be sure they're food grade and are untreated cedar plank. I found some at Costco.
For specific measurements of ingredients to use for grilling salmon and the tasty maple dijon glaze, please scroll down to the recipe card below.
How to Grill Salmon Using Cedar Plank
Step 1: Place plank on a rimmed baking sheet with warm water and soak the cedar planks overnight or at least two hours before grilling the salmon. Use a mason jar filled with water to help keep the cedar plank immersed in water the whole time.
Step 2: In a small bowl make the maple dijon glaze for the salmon. Save ¼ cup for basting.
Step 3: Brush the salmon with the glaze and season with a bit of kosher salt and black pepper.
Step 4: Grill the salmon over indirect heat and place the salmon on the cedar plank with the skin side down. Close lid and set your timer for 6-15 minutes (see cooking variations below).
For more thorough instructions on how to grill salmon using cedar planks, please scroll down to read the recipe card.
Why Use Cedar Planks
Grilling the salmon using cedar planks provides protection to the fish so the flesh does not break apart and burn. It also provides a very tasty smokey flavor to the dish.
If using a charcoal grill: Place the salmon skin side down on a cedar plank over indirect heat on the grill grate. Grilling on a charcoal grill will not take long so stay close and set the times for no more than 10 minutes total. Internal temperature at the thickest part will read at 120 °F (52 °C), which is medium-rare. This is fine as the salmon will continue to cook.
If using a gas grill: Make sure the grill is smoking hot! Grill the salmon with the skin side down for 6 to 8 minutes on a 450°-500° F (232°-260° C) hot grill.
If using a conventional oven: Not feeling like using the grill to cook the salmon? No problem! If you're asking, "Can you put a cedar plank in the oven?" The answer is Yes! Reminder to always start with a hot cooking medium. In this instance, it's best to preheat the oven to 425° F. This ensures that the cedar plank is hot enough to heat the moisture in the cedar plank while delicately cooking the salmon all the way through. Place salmon, skin side down, on the cedar plank. Bake until salmon is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Difference between Coho Salmon and Sockeye Salmon
While both are equally delicious, there are some slight differences between the two. Take a look at the photo.
- Color: Wild Sockeye has a more vibrant red flesh. Wild Coho has a lighter shade of pink flesh.
- Taste: Wild Sockeye has a more robust flavor and holds up well to grilling with more intense rubs, spices, and marinades. Wild Coho has a milder and more subtle flavor and works nicely with tender herbs and is best prepared steamed or poached.
- Texture: Wild Coho has firm flesh and is a bit denser compared to Wild Sockeye which has a more flaky flesh.
Cooking Tips for the Best Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe
1) Bring the salmon to room temperature for 30 minutes prior to grilling or cooking. This will allow the fish to cook more evenly.
2) Before brushing the maple dijon glaze on the salmon pieces, dry the fillets by using a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from the packaging. This will allow the maple dijon glaze to get fully absorbed into the fish.
3) Make sure the grill is very hot. This will ensure that the salmon cooks with the least amount of time, and also will prevent the skin from sticking to the hot grates.
4) Do not overcook the salmon. Stay close by the girl and do not walk away when grilling salmon. Keep in mind that wild-caught fish will continue to cook after taking it off the heat.
What to Do with Leftover Salmon
- Promptly place the salmon in the refrigerator in a sealed container within 1 to 2 hours of serving. Any leftovers should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Well-wrapped leftovers can be kept in the freezer for up to three months.
- Any leftover salmon can be repurposed and minced to make salmon burgers, tossed in a salad, or with pasta.
- For sanitary purposes, cedar planks should be promptly discarded and not be reused.
- To save some time: you can make the maple dijon glaze the night before.
- It is very important to soak the cedar planks in water for a minimum of two hours if not overnight. This will keep the cedar planks from burning.
- A great way to keep the cedar planks submerged in water while soaking is by using a filled mason jar or canned food item and placing it in the center of the cedar planks.
- Be sure to always clean the grill grate by using this cleaning brush or by taking a paper towel with a little olive oil.
- Optional garnishes: lemon slices, slices of green onions, roasted sesame seeds, fresh rosemary sprigs, or chopped fresh parsley.
Frequently Asked Questions
The internal temperature should register 125° F (52° C) to 130° F (54° C) for a medium-cooked salmon, or 120° F (49° C) if you prefer it to be rare. Remember, cooked salmon will continue to cook when removed from the hot grill or stove.
Store any leftover glaze in an airtight container (like a Mason jar) and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Yes! This maple dijon glaze recipe can also be used with any type of protein like chicken or pork chops. It is perfect with grilled, baked, roasted, or fried foods.
Yes, soaking the plank will create steam from the heat of the oven, and that's how the cedar flavor will be carried into your food. *Make sure to soak your plank in hot tap water for at least 2 hours before using it in the oven.
Other Seafood Recipes To Try
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📖 Recipe Card
- 2 ½ pounds Salmon wild-caught
- ½ cup Maple Syrup
- 2 Tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
- 2 teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger peeled
- 1 Garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon Dried Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 1 Cedar Plank this should be the same size of your salmon; soaked for at least two hours
- Soak plank in water for at least two hours. I find that soaking them in a deep cookie sheet works and I weigh it down with something like a canned food item. Be sure not to miss this part, as it's important to soak them so they don't burn.1 Cedar Plank
- Make the glaze! Combine maple syrup, grainy dijon mustard, ginger, garlic, and dried red pepper flakes in a small bowl.½ cup Maple Syrup, 2 Tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard, 2 teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger, 1 Garlic clove, ½ teaspoon Dried Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place soaked plank on a hot grill.
- Reserve ¼ cup of glaze on a separate bowl. Drizzle remaining glaze over salmon.
- Close the lid and cook salmon for 12-14 minutes for medium-rare, 14 to 18 minutes for well done. Note that salmon continues to cook when you remove from the grill.2 ½ pounds Salmon
- Transfer cooked salmon to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining glaze. Garnish as desired.
- In order to save some time, pre-make the glaze the night before. This also allows for the flavors to blend, giving you a more flavorful Maple Dijon Glaze.
- Note that grilling times will vary depending on the thickness of the salmon. The internal temperature of medium-cooked salmon should be 125 to 130 degrees.
- Using a filet of salmon versus a whole piece of salmon will yield quicker cooking time and will also fit in your cedar planks better.
- Reserve a ¼ cup of the glaze to serve on the side and pour on little bowls for your guests to use with the Grilled Salmon.
- To avoid the cedar planks from burning, it is VERY important to soak the cedar planks for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, prior to placing them on the grill.
- And cedar planks are one-time use, so promptly discard them upon use for this recipe.
- And if you LOVE seafood, you must give our Soft Shell Crab Sandwich a try!
That salmon was so delicious! I’m printing the recipe now!!
I really liked the salmon glaze, will make it soon! Awesomeness!