Cedar Planked Salmon with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs

Tested & Perfected Recipes

cedar planked salmon

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!


My Recipe Videos

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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 477
  • Fat: 36 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 438 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.

Reviews & Comments

  • no question- I made this without the wood plank, in a fish basket. so good

    • — kathleen on June 28, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made this last night with fresh salmon shipped to me from Alaska. It was delicious, so light and tasted just like Summer. We all loved the lemony herbs, so fresh!

    • — Kelly B on June 19, 2018
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  • I made this for my husband today for Father’s Day. He likes salmon, I don’t. My husband told me to try it and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. I was really impressed, because I don’t like Salmon, but this was very good. This will be my go to recipe for salmon from now on. Thank you so much for this great recipe.

    • — Linda Rusick on June 17, 2018
    • Reply
  • Dear Jenn— do you ever use Atlantic salmon? What are your thoughts about it?


    PS — my wife and I love your recipes!

    • — freemsn stallings on June 7, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Freeman, Glad you like the recipes! I do use Atlantic salmon. While I try to be aware of my seafood purchases and the impact they have on the environment, I generally don’t shy away from it. Whenever I have any questions about this kind of thing, I refer to this site. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 8, 2018
      • Reply
  • This salmon preparation is wonderful! I knew it would be because Jenn tests all of her recipes. I even bought cedar planks because of this recipe! Tastes like one is in Washington State during the salmon run, try it and you’ll love it too!

    • — Karen on March 1, 2018
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  • This is absolutely outstanding!! My guests were so impressed! Deemed the meal of 2017/2018 😉 I had never used cedar planks on the bbq, was amazed at the ease of it all and the resulting smoke infused fish. Worth seeking them out just for this recipe! Definitely keep the water/spray bottle nearby. Needed to extinguish one of the planks toward the end of cooking and was happy I had things ready for that. Served with the mesculun/goats cheese salad which paired well. Thanks, Jenn, for yet another irresistible recipe 🙂

    • — Katrina on January 15, 2018
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  • This is a really great recipe. During the Summer, we cook this all the time. We purchase skin-on Salmon portions, and skin them at home. Then we do one additional step — we scrape off the strong-tasting flesh between the skin & fillet. We find that it is even there on skinned fillets as well. In addition to the fact that my wife does not care for that dark brown flesh, it interferes with the more subtle flavor of the cedar in the grilled fish.

    • The strong-tasting flesh I was referring to is brown in color. I was told that this is called the “bloodline”, and is a residual portion of the circulatory system. It is perfectly edible, but has a strong “fishy” taste that my wife does not like.

  • just wondering were to buy the cedar plank to cook salmon on thank you annette

    • — annette on November 5, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Annette, They are usually sold near the seafood department in the supermarket, but you’re more likely to find them during the warmer months.

      • — Jenn on November 5, 2017
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    • Amazon.com sells them.

      • — Flo on January 8, 2018
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    • Home Depot sells bundles of cedar shakes for about $10. Good value. Varying widths accommodate different size fillets. Place the thicker end of the salmon fillet over the thinner end of the cedar.

      • — Bill on February 6, 2018
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  • This recipe is perfect as is. The cedar plank protects the salmon from the heat, gives it a nice lightly smoked flavor, and no worries about it sticking to the grill. Everyone loved it!

    • — Kathryn Larson on September 14, 2017
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  • I had fresh caught Chinock, “King” Salmonfrom Lake Michigan. I love your ingredients for marinating, but I like spicy and crunchy. I added 1 tsp. Chopped fresh jalapeño, 1 tsp. Cayenne, 1 T. Chopped pine nuts. It was perfect. Tried and True.

    Big fan of all your gluten free and dairy free. A place I can ALWAYS go and find what I need. Thank you for all the easy marvelous receipes

    • — Peggy Riggs on September 14, 2017
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  • I made this last night and it was out of this world! Wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • — Sylvia Strom on September 3, 2017
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  • I made this recipe last night, and it was very good! Even my 8 year old daughter who hates fish (except fried) liked it! My husband did catch the cedar planks on fire though because he didn’t take the spritzer bottle outside with him. Lol. I will make this again, I loved it.

    • — Nicolette on August 14, 2017
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  • No one in our family really likes fish, but we’ve loved pretty much all of your recipes, and this looked so good, I had to give it a try. It was amazing! We ate every morsel, and I’ll be making it again soon. Thank you, Jenn, and keep up the good work!

    • — Emily on July 20, 2017
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  • Great flavors and so quick and easy to prepare. This will be a regular on our bbq grill.

    • — Celia Jiral on June 3, 2017
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  • Hi Jennifer,

    Can I substitute dried rosemary and thyme for the the fresh, an, if so, how much?

    Looking forward to trying this one over the weeekend:)

    • — Lynda on May 18, 2017
    • Reply
    • Sure, Lynda, that’ll work. I’d use about 1/2 tsp of each. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2017
      • Reply
  • WE LOVE THIS RECIPE!!! We have grilled it several times and have gotten compliments EVERYTIME! Moist, flavorful and liked the smokiness from the cedar plank!! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

    • — Cynthia Lucarotti on May 11, 2017
    • Reply
  • Another delicious recipe! Simple but super flavorful!

    • — Cheryl Burney on April 28, 2017
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  • This is the best recipe for salmon, simple yet really tasty …the flavor of the fish shines through. We’ve used the plank method and also baked it in the oven using these ingredients and it is always perfect!

    • — rust on April 27, 2017
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  • Can you marinade this longer then 4 hours in the refridgerator if needed? Thank you

    • — Betsy Elad on April 9, 2017
    • Reply
    • Yes, Betsy – should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 11, 2017
      • Reply
  • This is so easy and so nice. rather than a plank I have these lovely sheets of cedar that I wrap around them and put this on the grill (it works!). Also, my new favorite thing is preserved lemon rind. Since I made a lot of it I can spare some small bits, very thoroughly rinsed and dried then fine julienne over the top.

    • — Margot C on March 2, 2017
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  • 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
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    • Your side dishes sound like a good match.

      • — Rick Delaney on October 18, 2016
      • Reply
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Everyone loved it, even the kids.

    • — Kiersten Medvedich on September 9, 2016
    • Reply
  • 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!

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
      • 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
        • Jen,
          Can this recipe be made in the morning and served cold in the afternoon?

          • — Jean Burkart Lifshotz on May 20, 2017
          • Reply
          • Sure Jean, that would work. Enjoy!

            • — Jenn on May 21, 2017

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