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You haven’t lived until you’ve tried cedar plank salmon! This easy method of grilling on a wooden plank infuses a smoky flavor that’s irresistible.

Cedar plank salmon
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The best way to cook salmon? Cedar plank salmon. Grilling fish on a plank of wood infuses a smoky flavor that is to die for. If you’re into grilling, cedar planks are where it’s at. This is my parents’ favorite way to cook salmon, so they gifted us a cedar plank so we could try it too. Alex and I love with grilled dinner ideas: this season has been full of BBQ cauliflower, grilled shrimp, and grilled avocado. So of course we were thrilled to have another grilling tool to test out! We found the cedar plank method is easy and {almost} no fail. It’s an easy dinner recipe for entertaining, or a busy weeknight.

Cedar plank salmon

All about cedar planks

First of all, if you’re going to make cedar plank salmon…where to get cedar planks? You can find cedar planks at your local grocery or hardware store. Or even easier, you can order cedar planks online.

Are cedar planks reusable? Yes! You can use a cedar plank over and over again. Just remember: place the food on the side opposite of the charred side. You can use it until it’s overly charred, or it becomes too hard to clean.

How long do you soak cedar planks? Good question. You have to soak a cedar plank before grilling so that it doesn’t burn while cooking. Consult the instructions for your cedar plank, but typically you’ll soak 1 to 2 hours.

Cedar plank salmon

How to make easy cedar plank salmon

What’s great about the cedar plank salmon method is that it is SO easy. You don’t even have to measure anything! Our method calls for using salmon fillets of any size. We’d plan on using about 4 ounces per person. The salmon is seasoned with our homemade Seasoned Salt blend, but you can use purchased seasoning salt as well. You’ll just season the fish liberally: no measurements here! It makes for a flexible method you can use again and again.

Here are the basic steps for making cedar plank salmon (scroll down for the full recipe):

  • Soak the plank: Soak the plank in water for about 1 hour (or whatever the plank instructions direct).
  • Season: Place the salmon on the plank and season with seasoning salt.
  • Grill: Grill over medium indirect heat for 10 to 20 minutes until the salmon is pink inside but not overly flaky.
  • Spritz: Spritz with lemon juice and serve.

A great sauce to pair: lemon dill sauce!

The zingy dill sauce from our Lemon Dill Salmon would be perfect for pairing with this cedar plank salmon! While the salmon grills, mix up the dill sauce with yogurt, mayo, fresh dill, and lemon. It takes just 5 minutes and takes this salmon to the next level.

Looking for more ideas? Here are all our salmon recipes.

How to buy sustainable salmon

Are you looking at buying sustainable salmon? (If so, kudos!) Here are a few pointers for buying sustainable seafood:

  • Look for wild-caught fish if possible. And if you live in the US, look for US caught if you can. 90% of the seafood we eat in the US is imported. Imported seafood runs the risk of being overfished, caught under unfair labor practices, or farmed in environmentally harmful ways.
  • How your fish is caught matters. Look for hook and line as one example of a sustainable gear type. Bottom trawling is considered the most destructive and least sustainable method.
Seasoned salt

Homemade seasoning salt

This salmon uses our homemade seasoned salt recipe. Why make it homemade? Sometimes seasoned salts can have MSG or other preservatives. This blend is easy to make and made of just salt and spices. Here’s what’s in our seasoned salt:

  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Turmeric

Head to the recipe for how to make it! Of course, you can also use different spice blends for seasoning salmon: like our Magic Seafood Seasoning. Let us know what your favorites are!

How to serve cedar plank salmon

Now, what are the best sides to go with salmon? We made it in a meal with freekah seasoned with butter, garlic and herbs and our favorite chopped salad. But there are lots of other great ways to serve this tasty main dish! Here are a few more sides we’d recommend:

This recipe is…

Pescatarian and gluten-free.

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Cedar plank salmon

Easy Cedar Plank Salmon

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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You haven’t lived until you’ve tried cedar plank salmon! This easy method of grilling on a wooden plank infuses a smoky flavor that’s absolutely irresistible.


  • Salmon fillets (any size, preferably skin on — 4 ounces per person)
  • Homemade Seasoned Salt (or purchased seasoned salt)
  • 1 lemon
  • Optional: chopped fresh herbs for garnish


  1. Soak the cedar plank in water based on the instructions that came with the plank, or at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat a grill to medium heat (you can use either gas or charcoal; a charcoal grill will infuse more flavor if you have it!).
  3. Lay the salmon on top of the cedar plank (if you’re re-using a plank, always lay the food on the un-burned side). Season liberally with seasoning salt (or with kosher salt and salmon seasoning).
  4. Place the plank on the grill and grill using indirect heat (not on top of coals) until salmon is pink in the center but before it gets flaky, about 10 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon and the heat of the grill.
  5. Remove from the grill and squeeze with lemon juice. Note that you can clean off the cedar plank with a spatula and wash it: then you can use it again and again (until it’s overly charred or impossible to clean).
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for more healthy seafood recipes?

Here are a few more healthy seafood recipes and fish recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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