Salmon on a Plank

I decided to try something new with the salmon. Grill it on a plank. Grill isn’t really correct because the planks aren’t put directly over the heat. Cooking on a plank is a moist heat method. The planks are soaked in water first. When the planks are placed in a hot grill, the planks start to steam, cooking the salmon. Since the planks themselves have aromatic properties, the steam is imbued with this delicious, interesting scent of woodsy-ness. And, it’s quite yummy and wonderfully moist.

As I said, this is an indirect grilling method. You need a grill with at least 2 heating elements, or a charcoal grill that is big enough to put the hot coals on one side and room for the planks on the unheated side.

I used cedar planks, but alder planks work well too. The planks are reusable. You don’t put them over a direct flame so they don’t get charred, particularly when cooking fast-cooking salmon. A single plank is big enough to hold 2 fillets of about 6 oz. each which is enough for 2 servings.

Cedar Planked Salmon
(serves 4)

4 6-ounce fillets of salmon
the zest of ½ a lemon
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, sliced thinly (you can use the lemon you used for the zest)
4 green onions, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cedar planks

Soak the planks in water for at least an hour. Preheat one element of the grill on high for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and dry out the plank by placing it in the grill over the unlit element for 5 minutes. Remove the planks from the grill and rub both sides of the plank with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on the planks. Sprinkle with salt, lemon zest, and black pepper. Drizzle on the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with green onions and cover with the lemon slices. Place on the grill on the unlit side and cook, with the grill cover on, for 20 minutes. Check after 10 minutes to make sure the plank end near the heat is not getting charred. If it is, turn the plank around 180° to assure that the plank doesn’t ignite.

(Adapted from a recipe that is part of the instructions from World Market that came with the planks.)


Author: worldplatterblog

I blog about food, travel, and anything else tangentially related to food that piques my interest. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and in Operations Research (it's math). That means I'm pretty analytical and love science, but I also love art. Food is a strange place where science intersects art in continually changing ways. I love writing about all of it.

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