Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon

Paul and Gene with Salmon

Yes, that’s me and yes, that’s my dad!  I learned to love this great fish and how to prepare it from this great man.

When you buy salmon, you should always buy fresh from the seafood case and try to avoid the packaged fish in the freezer section.  Ask for a ‘filet’ which is part or all of one whole side of the fish, or a buy a salmon ‘steak’ which is a slice including both sides of the fish.  When grilling a filet, plan on a piece 3- to 4- inches wide per person.  When preparing a salmon steak, plan on a piece about 2 inches wide keeping in mind that you are getting both sides of the fish. Since salmon is a rather delicate tasting fish, you don’t want to overwhelm it with too many flavors which could mask the natural flavor of the fish.  Use herbs and seasoning with care and to taste.

Ingredients ~

  • 1 Salmon fillet
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Various spices such as Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, dill.
  • Peppers: reds, yellows and greens diced and tossed together
  • Onions: red, white or green onions, chopped and tossed together
  • Cedar plank (utreated, thoroughly soaked)

Note ~

If you want to use a cedar plank, go to Home Depot and buy a length of untreated cedar and cut it to a length that will fit your grill.  Never cook with any kind of treated wood or you can pretty much kiss goodbye the ability to have kids or even concentrate on fine motor movements.  There are those who cooked with aluminum in the 50’s and 60’s can now attest to that.  The piece of wood you cook on should measure about 14 x 7 x 1 inches.  Once again, be sure to purchase untreated planks to avoid chemical contamination of food.  You don’t have to limit yourself to cedar. Try untreated oak, maple, cherry or apple wood or alder wood planks for different flavors.

Method ~  

Soak the cedar plank from four hours to over night.  When you are ready to cook the fish, preheat the grill.  Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels.  Add to the fish any of the seasonings, herbs, spices and or onions and peppers that you wish.  Oil the plank with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place the filet skin side down or the filets on the plank.  Turn the grill to ‘low’ and place the cedar plank with the fish on the grill and close the cover.  Grill, checking often until the fish is flakey, but not dry.

Variations ~

If you aren’t using a cedar plank, simply layer 4 or 5 pieces of foil on one another, oil the foil and then place the salmon filets skin side down or the steaks on the oiled foil.  Carefully roll up the edges to keep the juices from escaping into the flames of the grill.

Salmon Rub: 

Use Tom Douglas’ Salmon Rub (“Rub With Love”).  Put a couple of Tablespoons of olive oil on the fish and gently rub to cover.  Then use enough Salmon Rub to coat the filet or the steak.  Place on the plank or the foil and then on the grill until flakey, but not dry.

Butter and Dill:

Lightly salt and pepper the filet or the steak and add either fresh or dried dill and  some butter.

Maple Glaze:

Lightly salt and pepper the fish and then drizzle on pure maple syrup.  Follow with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

One Response to 'Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon'

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  1. Beth said,

    Ok, the salmon sounds amazing! But, I am commenting right now on how much I love that photo of you and Gene. It is just great. Have not tried that rub…will have to google it.

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