We’ve been enjoying much warmer than normal temperatures (can you say HOT???) in the Pacific Northwest this summer. Hot temps (in the high 90’s) have meant that I don’t use my oven as much to fix meals, so I don’t add to the heat in our home, PLUS it has meant more time outside on the deck, bonding with our Weber BBQ at dinner time. This Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon was our dinner last night.
Last night my hubby (the “Grill-Meister”) grilled a salmon fillet on a cedar plank on our BBQ, and man oh man, it was sooooo good! I typically pan-sear or bake salmon inside, in my kitchen, but there’s just something about grilled salmon in the summer, with the smokey smell from the BBQ and the cedar plank that you cook it on, that makes everything right with the world.
I had to remind my husband to put the lighter fluid on the charcoal briquets and NOT in his glass of wine, but after we got that sorted out, he took over the grilling duties! We cooked the salmon on our Weber BBQ on medium heat (lid closed, top vent open); if you are using a gas grill, be sure the flames don’t reach the cedar plank or you WILL catch it on fire!.
Have you ever grilled salmon fillets on your BBQ? Yum. It’s SO easy. First you buy a package of cedar planks at the grocery store (most stores carry them by the fish counter). They look like this, and usually a package contains 3-4 planks. You will need to soak the plank you are going to use in water for at least 30-40 minutes before putting on the grill. (I weigh mine down with filled glasses of water in the sink, then cover board completely with water). The wood plank needs to be soaked this long, so it doesn’t catch fire on the grill. Makes sense, right? (this particular package of cedar planks say to soak for 2 hours. Nah. A good 30-40 minute soak is plenty of time!)
Once it is done “soaking”, you place a fresh salmon fillet on it SKIN SIDE DOWN (we used one of two wild sockeye salmon fillets we bought at good old Costco). Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter all over the top of the salmon. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top, also. I like to “garnish” the salmon fillet with thin slices of lemon while it cooks.
Once you have that done, you simply put the entire plank on the hot BBQ grill (with the top little vent open). Put the lid on the BBQ, and let it cook covered for about 35 minutes, until salmon is done (flaky). That’s it! No need to mess with it at all.
This is what it should look like when it is done. See? The soaked cedar plank didn’t burn up!
Remove the entire plank from the BBQ, take it inside, and cut salmon (not the cutting board!) into serving pieces (4-5 out of this piece of salmon). See how easy that is? When you realize how much 4-5 servings of cedar plank grilled salmon would cost in a restaurant, it REALLY is an inexpensive and easy way to make it yourself!!! Why not? I served the salmon with some grilled mixed veggies (including yellow squash and peas from our garden), and we had a wonderful, healthy dinner that was incredibly delicious! AND we have a couple extra pieces of salmon for leftovers, too!
Hope you will give this easy grilled salmon recipe a try this summer! Throw it on the grill, sit back and relax with a refreshing beverage, and let your BBQ do almost all the work for you!
Have a great week!