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Cedar Planked Salmon with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs

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Grilled cedar planked salmon has a delightfully smoky flavor and never sticks to the grill!

cedar planked salmon

Cedar planked salmon is a mainstay on restaurant menus, yet it’s so easy to make at home. Marinating the salmon in lemon zest, garlic, and herbs in one of my favorite ways to prepare it. The citrus and garlic add zing while the cedar plank and herbs impart a smoky, woodsy flavor. To make life easy, I buy the salmon already skinned and portioned at the supermarket. Once home, I quickly whip up the marinade, refrigerate the salmon, and go about my day. Come dinnertime, all that’s left to do is soak the plank, fire up the grill, and make the side dishes. What’s more, not only does the plank prevent the fish from sticking to the grill, but it also makes clean-up a breeze. Serve the salmon with sautéed zucchini and cherry tomatoes and focaccia.

What you’ll need to make Cedar Planked Salmon

ingredients

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

How to make Cedar Planked Salmon

marinade

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.

salmon-in-marinade

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.

ready-to-grill

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

on-the-grill

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

Cedar-Plank-Salmon-with-Lemon-Garlic-and-Herbs-1

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Cedar Plank Salmon with Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary

Grilled cedar planked salmon has a delightfully smoky flavor and never sticks to the grill!

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Cedar plank(s) for grilling
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, from 2 lemons
  • 1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (6-oz) salmon fillets, skin removed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 478
  • Fat: 36 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 392 mg
  • Cholesterol: 94 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • My husband and I made this cedar planked salmon for dinner this evening and it was fantastic – our new favorite! We always enjoy our family dinners, but amazing food makes it even more fun! Thanks for sharing your talent with all of us Jenn.

    Carolyn & Sanders H.

    • — Carolyn Hall on January 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • Unlike anything I’ve ever had before! Fun cooking experience and delicious. I was not excited about pairing it with the zucchini and focaccia because I’m not a big fan of those foods in general, but they were AMAZING and complemented the salmon well.

    • — Liz on October 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • I really want to make this but am serving 5 adults and 4 toddlers. Will 2 planks fit on a standard gas grill? Do planks come in different sizes? Sorry for my ignorance but I am new(er) to grilling and never used a plank. Thank you.

    • — lily on August 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lily, Yes two planks will definitely fit. You may also be able to find a larger plank – they do come in different sizes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is my go-to recipe when I have company. It’s amazing.

    • — Kiersten on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • We picked this based on the 5⭐️ with a lot of reviews and was not disappointed! My kids don’t even want to try other marinades. They just want this now! KUDOS

    • — Patrick on June 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • Excellent! Lots of flavor, and fish was moist. My salmon was a little thinner and cooked in 8 minutes. I marinated for about 45 minutes. I’ll make again!

    • — Diane Wardell on May 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious!
    It’s tough to get salmon cooked *just right on the BBQ, but the plank helped maintain an even heat. Thanks to the marinade, no dry salmon!
    YUM.

    • — Anita on May 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • Love every single thing that i make from your blog! Does this work with other fish? Maybe swordfish or mahi mahi?

    • — Donna on May 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • sounds great! here is another, if you don’t mind, I made it up myself.

    I take a lemon, slice it and lay it down on sesame oil in an iron skillet.

    then turn on the heat to medium.

    lay the salmon down on the lemon slices – this cushions the fish so that it
    does not get too well done.

    put a lid on the pan, turn down heat.

    cook 4-5 min. depending on thickness of fish and what you like.

    turn fish over – making sure you keep fish well on the lemon slices and
    cover pan again.

    turn off heat.

    add sesame seeds. squeeze a lemon or a half of a lemon (your choice) over
    the fish.

    Serve.

    Items needed;
    sesame oil to cook the fish in
    sesame seeds (just because 😉
    lemon (one to slice to cushion the fish as it’s cooking)
    lemon (to squeeze on top after cooking the fish)
    *keep heat lowered, watch it, doesn’t take long, keep a lid on to “poach” salmon.

    this is how I like to do mine. (*you could add some fresh ginger bits as you are cooking too).

    • — Deborah on May 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Is it correct that the the skin side is down on the board?

    • — SM on May 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • Correct!

      • — Jenn on May 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • Jenn, could I put a cedar plank in the oven and roast it

    • — Carol on May 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, I think it will work, although I’m not sure you’ll get as much smoky flavor. I would bake it at 350°F; cook time will be about the same. I’d love to know how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 24, 2023
      • Reply
    • How did this turn out, Carol? I was wondering the same thing, thinking I might have to put a sheet pan under it in case juices drip?

      • — dee on November 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is a great recipe that I make frequently. My personal additions are bay leaf, tarragon, and capers. I prefer using a single large piece of salmon, although that may take longer to cook. Marinating the salmon in miso with beer also works really well.

    • — Bart on May 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can this be baked instead of cooked on a cedar plank? What temperature and how long?

    • — Marilyn Zartler on April 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Marilyn, I would bake in the oven at 350°F; cook time will be about the same. I’d love to know how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thank you, Jenn. I was going to enclose it in aluminum foil to keep it moist.

        • — Marilyn A Zartler on April 5, 2023
        • Reply
      • I baked the Cedar Plank Salmon @350 degrees for 20 minutes and it came out PERFECT. It was the best salmon I ever had. This recipe is going to be a KEEPER!

        • — Marilyn A Zartler on April 8, 2023
        • Reply
        • So glad you enjoyed it — thanks for taking the time to report back!

          • — Jenn on April 10, 2023
          • Reply
        • Yay, thank you! I wanted to bake it and was hoping it worked so thank you for the tips and temp to bake it at 🙂

          • — Jen on June 6, 2023
          • Reply
        • Me too. Sunday favorite now!

          • — Buddy Lisk on July 16, 2023
          • Reply
  • Wow. So simple and absolutely delicious. This will be a weekly staple for us as we always have these ingredients on hand.

    • — Alison on December 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe as written with fresh wild-caught Sockeye salmon. We may have slightly overcooked the salmon, but it still came out moist and delicious! A Keeper!!

    • — K on August 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe with some fresh West Coast Sockeye on a cedar plank soaked for 24 hours. (We live in Sidney BC) Came out delicious. Used a Genesis Grill with interior temp between 450 and 500 degrees F. Cedar plank right on the rack. Used Fresh Rosemary and Thyme from our garden and a bit more than 2 cloves of garlic. Will use this recipe again for any salmon on the BBQ.

    • — Richard Novek on July 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Do you think this recipe would work if I did these as kabobs instead? I love this marinade and wondered what you thought.
    Thanks!

    • — Katy on June 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on June 22, 2022
      • Reply
      • This recipe was delicious. We will make it over and over!!

        • — Trisha on August 22, 2022
        • Reply
  • This is my favorite cedar planted salmon recipe and my ‘go to’ for feeding guests in the summer. The salmon turns out moist & delicious every time we make this recipe. Five stars!!!!

  • I’m the person that chooses recipes based on reviews but I never leave reviews myself. This recipe was so perfect and easy to follow! My picky kids loved it and my husband asked for salmon this way from now on. I’ve made it twice now and I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about dry or tasteless salmon. Thank you!

    • Excellent recipe! My whole family loved it! I can’t wait to serve this to my guests!

      • — Mike on April 30, 2022
      • Reply
  • You must try this recipe!! I have some non-salmon lovers and they absolutely love this recipe. I even bake it in the winter…and it’s just as good.
    Totally a must to pair with the sautéed zucchini and tomatoes! Amazing!!

  • Had never even heard of cedar planks before I tried this recipe. Incredible flavor!!! Quite possibly the best salmon I have ever tasted. Also was so easy and fast to make. This is a new favorite recipe!

    (My grill must not get as hot, took a little longer than 15 mins, waited until fish turned 140 degrees. It was perfect!)

  • Great smoky flavor! Loved the plank element – easy to bbq without a lot of mess. Served with rice and your sautéed zucchini and cherry tomatoes (Also very tasty 😋).
    Will definitely be making this again!

  • I live in the boonies and used dried herbs….the grocery store was out of lemons(!) and had to substitute lemon juice with a couple drops of agave instead of zest. And it was still AWESOME. Grilled over charcoal. My husband is NOT a salmon fan and he loved this! Thank you!

  • Beautiful salmon recipe. Used an Alder plank but otherwise followed the recipe. Delicious and photo worthy. Sorry I did not take a pic.
    Save our wild salmon buy not eating open net raised farmed salmon.
    Thanks Jenn for another awesome recipe.

  • I am not usually I huge salmon fan but I loved it (and my two teens did too)! It is easy to prepare and super fresh tasting!! Can’t wait to try some of your other Salmon recipes, you might have converted me!!!! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Last year, I was recruited to make my mother-in-law’s birthday dinner (they didn’t want to eat out due to COVID) – she’s a good cook and a healthy eater. I made this salmon on the grill using fresh filets from a local seafood market, skin on. The only difficulty was making sure the cedar planks didn’t catch on fire, even after soaking. She said it was one of the best birthday meals she’d ever had!! Thanks, Jenn, for coming through when it matters most.

  • We were looking for new ways to eat salmon. This has become our favorite!

  • Absolutely amazing !! What else can I say.

  • Made this last night. Absolutely delicious, better than restaurant quality! Started with a great 1 lb. skin-on salmon fillet, marinated for a half hour and plank grilled to perfection! We will definitely be making this often! Thank you. @onceuponachef

  • So easy with fresh herbs. for 2 pieces of salmon I used only a 1/4 cup of olive oil. I used lemon thyme and added a tsp of fresh chives. Delish. My husband wants to try in foil too vs plank.

    • — Melissa Sprague
    • Reply
  • We tried this Jenn and felt it was just OK. I wasn’t a fan of all these herbs on salmon. Felt kind of bland and overpowering at the same time. I did enjoy using the cedar plank and am wondering if there are other recipes that it can be used for.

    • Hi Aman, Sorry you found this to be a bit bland. If you have the cookbook, I have a recipe for cedar plank salmon with an ancho-brown sugar spice rub on page 120. If you don’t own the cookbook, but would like the recipe, let me know and I can email it to you.

  • Delicious and easy to make. The flavors were clear and perfect balance. I used steelhead trout instead of salmon – good with both kinds of fish.

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