This cedar plank salmon recipe is one of the easiest salmon recipes I’ve made! It gets its sweet and smoky flavor from a delicious grilled salmon rub made with brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly ground black pepper…
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Cedar Plank Salmon
Another salmon recipe??? Yes! Maybe I’m just making up for lost time, but I’m really enjoying testing out new salmon recipes after finally kicking my anxiety surrounding preparing fresh fish to the curb.
Fish was not something we ate when I was growing up (outside of the occasional fish sticks LOL), so I had exactly zero experience with it. All that to say that, if I can do it, anyone can do it! And easy recipes like this are the best way to get started.
This sweet and smoky grilled cedar plank salmon recipe is BY FAR the easiest salmon recipe I’ve tried yet. You simply smother fresh salmon fillets in a quick and easy grilled salmon rub, which is just a simple dry rub made with brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Then you just grill it on a cedar plank and serve… It’s super delicious and a great way to impress guests!
Why I Choose Wild Alaskan Salmon
Of course, I recommend starting with Alaskan salmon — because all Alaska salmon is wild caught, never farmed.
Why is this so important to me? Wild salmon is higher in omega-3s, lower in fat, and contains less toxins than farmed fish. So if I don’t see it clearly labeled, I always verify that the salmon at my local grocery stores is Alaska salmon.
Like I did today when I didn’t see it in the fresh fish case… Alaska salmon season is winding down, so it’s becoming harder to find it on display. But the butcher behind the counter was kind enough to point me in the direction of some bagged frozen Alaskan salmon.
This actually turned out to be really convenient, because the salmon fillets had all of the pin bones already removed. Not a huge deal, but definitely a nice perk!
NOTE: If you’re looking for an excellent source for wild Alaskan salmon, I highly recommend ButcherBox’s high quality sustainably-harvested wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon!
Sweet & Spicy Brown Sugar Salmon Rub Recipe
Four simple ingredients make up the brown sugar salmon spice rub for this cedar plank salmon: brown sugar for sweetness (obviously!), smoked paprika for a bit of smoky spice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Simply stir them together well with a fork, and it’s ready to go.
You can even prepare this easy grilled salmon seasoning rub ahead of time to keep it on hand. Just store it in an airtight container. Then give it a shake before using to make sure the ingredients are well-mixed.
P.S. This salmon dry rub is also pretty tasty on grilled chicken thighs and/or pork chops, as well. Grill them right alongside your salmon for non-fish lovers!
How To Cook Cedar Plank Salmon On The Grill
So you don’t HAVE to grill this salmon recipe on a cedar plank… But it’s certainly a fun and different way to cook fish, as well as being one of the easiest ways to prepare it. My kids were so curious to try it!
Be sure to use an untreated cedar plank for grilling. I’ve seen them on clearance at almost all of the grocery and hardware stores I’ve visited lately, so this is the perfect time of year to give it a try for cheap.
It does add a distinct cedar flavor to your salmon, so if you find it’s not for you, just use a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil next time and decrease the grilling time slightly.
Want to learn how to cook cedar plank salmon on the grill? There’s really just two things you need to know: 1) Be sure to soak your cedar plank in water for at least an hour before grilling to prevent it from going up in flames. And 2) After soaking it, pat it dry, and then brush the side that you’re going to place the salmon fillet on with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
BTW, this cedar planked grilled salmon technique will work on both a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Both will produce delicious salmon that’s perfectly cooked. This really is the best salmon recipe for the summer months!
AND it will even work in the oven if you want to make baked cedar plank salmon during the colder winter months. Check the notes in the recipe card for instructions on how to make cedar plank salmon in the oven.
How Long To Grill Salmon On Cedar Plank?
Lay each of your salmon fillets skin side down on the oiled face of a soaked plank. Brush the fillets with olive oil and press the brown sugar salmon rub all over the top. Lay the cedar planks directly on the hot grill grates. Cover grill and cook over indirect medium-high heat for about 15 minutes.
Salmon cooks quickly, so check frequently to see if it’s cooked through and flakes easily as you get close to the 15-minute mark. If you prefer to use the internal temperature as your guide, salmon is cooked through when it reaches 145 degrees internally in the thickest part of the fish.
When it’s done, you can serve this flaky salmon right on the cedar plank or transfer it to a platter! A few lemon slices on the side are always a nice touch.
Can You Reuse Cedar Planks?
Some of you have wondered if you can reuse cedar planks… Used cedar planks can be reused indefinitely, as long as they’re still in good condition without a lot of char.
Some additional tips for reusing them:
- Rinse the used cedar planks well with hot water, and dry them thoroughly.
- Store the used planks in the freezer between uses.
- For best flavor, be sure to use the same planks for the same type of protein or veggies each time. Using them for the same recipe is even better, because they will hold on to those flavors and seasonings.
When the cedar planks become thoroughly charred, toss them and begin using a new plank!
More Easy Salmon Recipes To Try
Looking to add more salmon recipes to your menu? Here are a couple more equally delicious and easy options!
- Lemony Garlic Butter Grilled Salmon In Foil Packets With Green Beans — This simple grilled salmon in foil recipe is packed with lemony garlic butter flavor! Adding green beans to the foil packet means you have have a healthy protein and side dish on the table in under 30 minutes…
- Parsley & Garlic-Rubbed Sheet Pan Salmon With Asparagus And Potatoes — This parsley and garlic-rubbed oven baked salmon recipe is sure to become your new favorite… Makes a main dish + 2 sides with just one pan to clean up!