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Cedar Planked Salmon with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs

5 stars based on 13 votes


Cedar planked salmon is a mainstay on restaurant menus, yet it’s so easy — not to mention less expensive — to make at home. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare it: the cedar plank and herbs impart a smoky, woodsy flavor, while the lemon zest and garlic add zing. To make life easy, I buy the salmon already skinned and portioned at the supermarket; then, when I get home, I make the marinade in ten minutes, put the salmon in the fridge, and go about my day. Come dinnertime, all that’s left to do is soak the plank, fire up the grill and make the sides. What’s more, the plank prevents the fish from sticking to the grill and makes clean-up a breeze. This dish pairs well with any number of salads and sides, but I like it best with my Caesar SaladSautéed Zucchini & Cherry Tomatoes and Rosemary Focaccia.


As you can see, the ingredients are very straightforward. Even the cedar planks are easy to find; most large supermarkets carry them near the seafood department.


Begin by making the marinade: combine the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper in a dish large enough to hold the salmon. Add the salmon to the dish and turn to coat evenly. Let the salmon marinate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to grill.


Meanwhile, soak the cedar plank in a sink or bowl of water for at least one hour, otherwise it will be more prone to catch fire on the grill. Then, pat dry and place the marinated salmon on the plank.


Grill over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the salmon is done to your liking.


Serve the salmon right off the plank with lemon wedges. Enjoy!


Cedar Plank Salmon with Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary

Servings: 4


  • Cedar plank(s) for grilling
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, from 2 lemons
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (6-oz) salmon fillets, skin removed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Fill a large bowl or sink with water. Soak the cedar plank(s) under the water for at least 1 hour.
  2. In a baking dish large enough to hold the salmon, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Mix well. Add the salmon and turn to coat evenly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to grill (you can do this up to 4 hours ahead of time).
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400°F to 450°F).
  4. Pat the soaked plank(s) dry and place the salmon on top. Place the plank(s) on the grill grates, close the cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until salmon is done to your liking. Douse or mist the plank(s) with a bit of water if it catches fire. Serve the salmon on a platter right off the plank(s) with lemon wedges.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Absolutely perfect! Made double the sauce since we had so much salmon! Kids, everyone loved the taste. Served with roasted broccoli and your Kale/Brussels Sprouts Salad. Yummy!

    - Irene on October 7, 2016 Reply
    • Your side dishes sound like a good match.

      - Rick Delaney on October 18, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Thank you so very much for this fabulous recipe! This is the only way I prepare my Salmon anymore! Since I do not have a cedar plank I just leave the skin on and grill my salmon until done, or I simply sauté it in a pan on the stove in the winter when I put my grill away. Its just delicious! :-)

    - Tammie Koehnen on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    When I don’t have fresh herbs, I use dried, approximately 1/3 the recipe amount. It is still delicious.
    If you use salmon with skin, put the soaked plank on the barbeque and let it get hot before putting on the salmon. The skin will stick to the plank and the rest of the salmon comes off pristine. This is a recipe I made many times this summer to rave reviews.

    - tanya abrams on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is now a family favorite! I have made this many times both on a cedar plank on the grill and indoors in my oven. When cooking in the oven I lower the temp to 375 degrees ,line a pan with tin foil and cook for 10 minutes per inch of height. Perfect every time. Every guest I have served this to raves and asks for the recipe. I serve this with your Strawberry Spinach Salad…. another awesome recipe! I tell everyone about your website and terrific recipes!!!

    - Nanci on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Everyone loved it, even the kids.

    - Kiersten Medvedich on September 9, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My family enjoyed this salmon immensely! I used parsley and dill and it was delicious.I’ve read many cedar plank salmon recipes and this was the simplest. I am a firm believer that less is more and I am so happy I chose this one! Thank you Jen!

    - Teresa on August 12, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was really, really good! I did it in the oven and it did take abut half as much time to cook. So worth it!

    - Lyn on June 30, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The salmon was delicious and moist; I will be using the cedar plank all summer. My kids prefer a sweeter marinade – soy sauce/brown sugar/olive oil/salt/pepper…do you think I could use that with the cedar plank? I usually roast it in the oven. I love your recipes.

    - Lisa on June 20, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I think that marinade will work but I would suggest not having too much liquid from the marinade on the cedar plank as it could burn. I’d love to hear how it turns out with these flavors!

      - Jenn on June 20, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    I made this last night and it was fabulous. It was a big fillet and cooked perfectly. Another winner! What can I do with the leftovers?


    - Jen on May 31, 2016 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it Jen! The leftovers would be delicious on top of a simple green salad, or for more inspiration with salads, see here. It would also be nice diced and tossed into pasta or a with a grain. See here for some ideas.

      - Jenn on June 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a really wonderful recipe. It is easy and fast and even my husband who had never eaten salmon because he said he didn’t like it loved this. I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you!

    - Linda on May 23, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, want to make this for company and plan to serve it with the focaccia and the cherry tomato zucchini sides. Do I need one more? I know you suggested a Caesar salad, but my company don’t care for Caesar so what would you suggest?

    - Deborah on May 18, 2016 Reply
    • You could get away with the 2 sides you’ve suggested, but if you want a third, a couple nice options are this spinach salad, or this asparagus dish. Hope everyone enjoys the dinner!

      - Jenn on May 19, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Made this last night exactly as shown and it was delicious! Next time, though, I will reduce the salt – it was just a tad too salty for me. The cedar plank imparted such a nice smokey flavor to the fish!

    - Sheri on April 18, 2016 Reply
  • Would this work well on an electric grill? I’m not allowed charcoal or propane on my patio so considering an electric grill. Thanks for your good advice!

    - Janet on April 17, 2016 Reply
    • Although I’ve never tried it that way, I think an electric grill would work. Just make sure to soak the cedar plank in advance. Also, you may want to keep some windows open while cooking so you don’t set off the smoke alarm :).

      - Jenn on April 18, 2016 Reply
  • Hi, this looks delicious.
    How can I use the same recipe without the cedar planks? Thanks

    - Ahu on April 15, 2016 Reply
    • It will work, Ahu — you just won’t get that woodsy, smoky flavor from the plank. It will still be delicious, though. :)

      - Jenn on April 15, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So, if it’s charcoal grill, cook until opaque?

    - Jeannine on April 14, 2016 Reply
    • Regardless of whether it’s charcoal or gas, you should cook it to your liking, but opaque sounds perfect.

      - Jenn on April 15, 2016 Reply
  • Sounds delicious! Are the cedar planks reusable?

    - Raquel on April 14, 2016 Reply
    • Yes, Raquel — so long as they are not too charred.

      - Jenn on April 14, 2016 Reply
  • This looks amazing and I would love to try it, but rosemary is the one herb that I don’t like. With something as delicate as salmon, I’m guessing it would pick up a lot of the rosemary flavor. Do you have any suggestions for replacements or would it be okay to leave it out without replacing?

    - Allison on April 14, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Allison, It’s perfectly fine to leave it out or replace with any other herb you like.

      - Jenn on April 14, 2016 Reply
  • Jen,

    What temp/time would you suggest for cooking in an oven? Maybe placing the cedar plank on oven racks if possible.

    - BR on April 14, 2016 Reply
    • I’d place the plank on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any drips and bake at 350°F; cook time will be just a bit longer.

      - Jenn on April 14, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        I have tried this recipe both on the grill and in the oven (necessary when it rained!). Both came out splendidly. In fact, roasting in the oven, at about 400, for about 25 minutes, yielded a nice tender inside with a crispy outside. I got more compliments about this salmon than I have ever had! I also find marinating for several hours intensifies the flavors. Simple recipe, but outstanding results. Thank you!!

        - Tom on May 19, 2016 Reply

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