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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

Salmon ingredients including lemon, rosemary, and garlic.

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

Baking dish with a layer of 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 and marinade in a baking dish.

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.

Marinated chicken on a cedar plank.

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

Salmon on a cedar plank on the grill.

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

Cedar planked salmon with lemon, garlic, and herbs on a table.

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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


  • 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


  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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  • Can you use other types of fish? We get a lot of fresh mahi (dolphin) here in south Florida.

  • Tried it and loved it.
    Thanks for the easy recipe.
    Kansas Salmon lover.

    • — marilyn flaming
    • Reply
  • This was so delish and super easy. I’ve made cedar planked salmon many times and this recipe will go into the “favorite and repeat often” category. We also cooked corn on the cob (unhusked) on the grill with the salmon and it absorbed some lovely cedar smokiness.

  • Hi Jenn, love your recipes and tips, just wondered if I could make your cedar planked salmon with lemon and herbs and place on plank and cook in oven (?temp) or cook on a smokeless indoor grill. Thank you Ann B.

    • Hi Ann, I think it will work, although I’m not sure you’ll get as much smoky flavor. 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!

  • I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times now and it is spectacular. Well, I’ve been told so by guests wanting the recipe (I don’t eat fish). The most recent time was Easter 2020. I had to quadruple the recipe to accommodate all the fish we bought. Hubby did a fantastic job on the grill.. the planks can set fire so keep a watch on that. Used the recipe as-is… depending on the size of the lemons you have to make a judgement call on the amount of zest. This is definitely our go-to menu for guests.

    • — Toni-Jean McGraw
    • Reply
  • I’m confused about the 2 lemons. That seems like too much for 2 tsps of zest. Are you supposed to use the lemon juice too?

    • Hi Sherry, I generally need two lemons to get 2 tsp. of zest, but feel free to use only one if necessary (and you don’t need to use any lemon juice). Hope you enjoy!

  • I’m not a huge salmon fan but thought I’d try it with this recipe. It is outstanding! I will most definitely make this again.

  • I have never tried to cook on a cedar plank before, I followed the recipe to a t and omg the fish was amazing. Moist and smokey yet not overpowering. Will definitely make again.

  • Amazing!!!! So flavourful. It is genuinely great salmon. I used dried spices because thats all I had and I just used a but less that the recipe called for. It was fantastic

  • Hi, just wanted to say my one year old and husband really enjoyed this recipe! Very similar to one of my chicken recipes. We will be using the leftovers combined with goat cheese for some awesome eggs tomorrow morning!

  • Followed the recipe exactly as described, it was easy and the flavor was amazing! To get the most out of the cedar plank flavor, I heated the boards on both sides for 4-5 minutes each (until smoking) then put the salmon filet’s on to cook. This one has become a family favorite, thank you for sharing it Jenn!

  • The most flavorful salmon dish! The cedar adds to the flavor. Every time I make this dish, guests ask for the recipe. I usually pair it with the cilantro lime sweet corn recipe.

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Dear Jenn— do you ever use Atlantic salmon? What are your thoughts about it?


    PS — my wife and I love your recipes!

    • — freemsn stallings
    • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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 🙂

  • 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

    • 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.

    • Amazon.com sells them.

    • 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.

    • Loved it, loved it, loved it. Thank you.

      A suggestion re where to buy cedar planks – check your local lumbar yard for untreated cedar fence planks – you can saw them into lengths that work for you – I pay around $1.25 CAD for them in the Vancouver, B.C. area. Might be more if you aren’t fortunate enough to live where the salmon is fresh 😉

  • 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
    • Reply
  • 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

  • I made this last night and it was out of this world! Wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Great flavors and so quick and easy to prepare. This will be a regular on our bbq grill.

  • 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:)

    • Sure, Lynda, that’ll work. I’d use about 1/2 tsp of each. Hope you enjoy!

  • 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
    • Reply
  • Another delicious recipe! Simple but super flavorful!

  • 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!

  • Can you marinade this longer then 4 hours in the refridgerator if needed? Thank you

    • Yes, Betsy – should be fine. Enjoy!

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Your side dishes sound like a good match.

  • 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
    • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • Everyone loved it, even the kids.

    • — Kiersten Medvedich
    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • 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?


    • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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 :).

  • Hi, this looks delicious.
    How can I use the same recipe without the cedar planks? Thanks

    • It will work, Ahu — you just won’t get that woodsy, smoky flavor from the plank. It will still be delicious, though. 🙂

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

    • Regardless of whether it’s charcoal or gas, you should cook it to your liking, but opaque sounds perfect.

  • Sounds delicious! Are the cedar planks reusable?

    • Yes, Raquel — so long as they are not too charred.

  • 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?

    • Hi Allison, It’s perfectly fine to leave it out or replace with any other herb you like.

  • Jen,

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

    • 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.

      • 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!!

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

          • — Jean Burkart Lifshotz
          • Reply
          • Sure Jean, that would work. Enjoy!

            • — Jenn
          • Had this the other night. We heaped the marinade on top of the salmon while it cooked. The lemon and fresh herb flavor was absolutely perfect! Fresh herbs are a MUST! This is the only way I will cook my salmon from now on!

            • — Chrystal England

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