Grilled wild cedar plank salmon with fresh herbs topped with tomatoes, kalamata olives and red onion. This is so flavorful, and simple to make, perfect for weeknight cooking or fancy enough to serve if you're having guests. Aside from soaking the plank in water, the rest takes under 30 minutes to make.
Grilling wild salmon on a cedar plank is easy to do, once you know how. I've learned a lot from my mistakes, so I am here to share what I learned.
The first time I made cedar plank salmon, I followed a recipe that said to put the planks on direct high heat for 15 minutes – well my plank caught fire about 5 minutes into cooking and although I was able to save the salmon, it certainly wasn't a success so I started asking all my grill master friends what went wrong. Here's what I learned:
Soak the planks at least 1 hour. Turn the left two burners of the grill on so you'll have indirect heat on the right side and direct heat on the left, then close the lid. You'll want the grill to get very hot. Because the smoke is what gives you such great flavor, I place the plank with the fish on the direct heat side for about 3 to 4 minutes, until it starts crackling and smoking, keeping a close eye on it and a water bottle handy just in case. Then I move it to the indirect heat side, close the lid and let the heat finish cooking the salmon. The results are perfectly cooked juicy salmon, with just enough smoky flavor and no fire!
A few more tips, I added fresh herbs from my garden to the plank before I put the fish on it to add more flavor as it cooks. My friend Joey also suggested soaking the planks in apple juice, cranberry juice or even wine. All things I plan on experimenting with in the future but for this recipe I went with water. If you have any tips to add to this, I'd love to hear it!