Grilling Salmon on a Cedar Plank

Grilling Salmon on a Cedar Plank

Grilling salmon on a cedar plank says “Summer is here”, especially when you pair it with a crisp chilled French Rose! We find the best type is King Salmon, but other types of fish will work, as well.

Grilling salmon on a cedar plank is one of the easiest ways to infuse a soft smoky flavor. Salmon stays tender on the inside, because you are cooking it over indirect heat, but has a lovely roasted flavor on the outside.

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Preparing a cedar plank for grilling:

You MUST soak the cedar plank, prior to cooking, in water. Or try soaking in a combination of water and a little white wine, cider or sake to give your plank an extra dash of flavor.

Plan your cooking time to include soaking the plank for 30-minutes and up to 2 hours. Pat dry before using. The easiest way is to submerge on a baking sheet and then weigh down the plank with a ramekin or dish to keep it fully submerged.

Cedar plank soaking in water on a tray
Weigh down the plank while soaking

What else can you cook on a cedar plank?

You can substitute salmon or lobster with many other types of protein or vegetables. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Jumbo scallops
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Cod
  • Halibut
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Large cuts of vegetables such as zucchini or tomatoes
  • Large pieces of hearty fruit, such as thick pineapple slices

Where to buy cedar planks:

Cedar planks are available online, at hardware stores, or at some grocery stores. We get our cedar planks on Amazon.

How do you cook salmon on a cedar plank?

This cooking method is so simple. Just follow these important steps:

  • Soak the plank for at least 30-minutes and up to 2 hours
  • Pat the plank dry
  • Season the fish with olive oil and place skin side down on the plank
  • Season the top of the fish with your seasoning of choice. We use our own homemade Potlatch Seasoning.
  • Grill for about 20 minutes for a large piece of salmon
Cedar Plank Salmon with Potlatch Seasoning ready to grill
Place salmon skin side down on plank and season

How long do you grill Salmon on a cedar plank?

The amount of time your salmon is on the grill depends on the size and thickness of your fillet. We have had the best results with a larger piece, that you cut later, but if you only have smaller fillets on hand just cook for a shorter amount of time. A full large piece of salmon will take about 20-minutes. Single pieces will take about 15-minutes.

Topping Grilled Fish with Flavored Butter

Compound butter is one of the easiest ways to upgrade any recipe. You can make a big batch of flavored compound butter and freeze it, so you always have some on hand. For today we made just enough garlic herb butter for this recipe and it’s listed in the recipe card below.

Or top your fish, chicken or vegetables with any variety of our compound butters for delicious results.

Lemon Chive Compound Butter
Compound Butter with Garlic and Herbs

Potlatch Seasoning for Fish:

We sprinkle our amazing homemade Potlatch Seasoning mixture on fish to really amp up the flavor. Sprinkle this on any type of chicken or fish for a zesty flavor. The seasoning is super simple to make with just 9 herbs from your pantry.

Potlatch Seasoning Ingredients on spoons

Great side dishes to pair with cedar plank salmon:

Suggested Wine Pairings for Cedar Plank Salmon:

This dish pairs well with a full-bodied white wine like a Chardonnay, or a crisp fruity Rose, and a lively fruity Pinot Noir. Look for any available vintages of the following:

Your weekday wine:

  • Chateau de Fabregues Costieres de Nimes Rose, France

Your weekend wine:

  • Rock Angel Rose, France
  • Testarossa Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay, California

A special occasion wine:

  • Cristom Louise Pinot Noir, Oregon
  • Cakebread Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Cedar Plank Salmon with Potlatch Seasoning and lemons
Salmon on a cedar plank
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5 from 5 votes

Grilling Salmon on a Cedar Plank Recipe

Grilled salmon on a cedar plank is an easy way to infuse a soft smoky flavor to any type of fish. Our homemade Potlatch seasoning pairs well with the salmon.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Cyndy Ufkes – The Art of Food and Wine


  • Cedar plank
  • Grill


  • 16-20 ounces Salmon fillet, Skin on
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Potlatch Seasoning, or herb of your choice
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest, freshly grated
  • 2 cups water, white wine, sake or cider, for soaking the plank
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper, freshly ground

Compound Garlic Butter

  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp Fresh rosemary or other herbs, finely chopped


  • 1 medium Lemon, cut into wedges for the tables


  • Soak the cedar plank for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours by completely submerging plank in water, wine, or cider. You can use a combination of water and wine/cider. Pat dry before using.
  • Heat a charcoal or gas grill to about 350 F, or medium-high. While the grill is heating up make the compound butter by combining the softened butter with the garlic and herbs. Set aside.
  • Lightly coat the salmon with a thin layer of olive oil on each side. Place salmon skin-side down on the plank. Rub Potlatch seasoning or herbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper into salmon to coat.
  • Place plank on grill and cover. Start checking for doneness after 13 minutes. Salmon is cooked through when it is uniformly pink in the center. Remove the plank and allow to cool slightly on a cutting board.
  • Cut the salmon into four equal pieces. Dollop each piece with compound butter and a squeeze of lemon over the top.
    Serve with remaining lemon wedges and butter, if desired.

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